53 nations set off on the road to Israel 2013 and now only eight remain
Way back in March 2011, the first ball was kicked in qualification as 53 nations started out on their hopeful journeys to become the 2013 UEFA European Under-21s Champions.
Now, after 220 matches and seven play-off ties, 45 countries have fallen by the wayside, leaving just eight to compete at the Finals in Israel.
England line up in Group A with Italy, who they meet first on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, hosts Israel and their qualifying rivals Norway.
Meanwhile Group B comprises the last three winners of the competition, holders Spain, Germany and Holland, along with Russia.
The top two teams in each group will go into the semi-finals with the Final taking place on 18 June. Games will be at four venues; Tel Aviv, Netanya, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva.
Here we give a run-down of all eight nations at Euro 2013...
Qualified: By beating Serbia in the play-offs after winning Group 8
U21 Titles: Two
Last Finals Appearance: 2011 (group stage)
Coach: Stuart Pearce, who made 78 appearance for England.
Key Player: Captain Jordan Henderson was ever-present during qualification and his displays earned him the England Under-21s Player of the Year award. He also appeared in of the Three Lions games at the Finals two years ago, shortly after his £16m switch from Sunderland to Liverpool.
Fact: The Three Lions are the only nation to have qualified for the last four U21s Finals tournaments.
1 Jack Butland
, 23 Declan Rudd
, 13 Jason Steele
4 Steven Caulker
, 2 Nathaniel Clyne
, 6 Craig Dawson
, 7 Tom Lees
, 9 Jack Robinson, 11 Danny Rose
, 3 Adam Smith
, 5 Andre Wisdom
12 Nat Chalobah
, 8 Jordan Henderson
, 16 Tom Ince
, 17 Henri Lansbury
, 10 Jason Lowe
, 14 Josh McEachran
, 18 Jonjo Shelvey
, 19 Nathan Redmond
20 Nathan Delfouneso
, 21 Marvin Sordell
, 22 Connor Wickham
, 15 Wilfried Zaha
Qualified: as Hosts
U21 Titles: None
Last Finals Appearance: 2007 (group stage)
Coach: Guy Luzon, ex-Maccabi Petah Tikva player and manager
Key Player: Mohammad Kalibat, the 22-year-old who has scored five goals in 13 games since August 2010, including a brilliant strike against England.
Fact: Israel travelled to Barnsley to face England in a friendly in September last year and despite leading at half time they ended up losing 4-1.
1 Boris Kleyman, 18 Barak Levi, 23 Arie Yanko
2 Eliazer Dasa, 3 Ofir Davidadza, 4 Ido Levi, 5 Ben Vahaba, 12 Edi Gotlib, 13 Taleb Twatha, 16 Ofer Verta, 20 Omri Ben Harush
6 Marwan Kabha, 7 Israel Zaguri, 8 Nir Biton, 10 Eyal Golasa, 17 Sintayehu Sallalich, 19 Ahad Azam, 21 Omri Altman, 22 Ofir Krieff
9 Mohammad Kalibat, 11 Munas Dabbur, 14 Orr Barouch, 15 Alon Turgeman
Qualified: by beating France in the play-offs after finishing runners-up in Group 8
U21s Titles: None
Last Finals Appearance: 1998 (third place)
Coach: Ex-Valerenga manager Tor Ole Skullerud, who recently stepped up from his role as assistant to replace former Under-21s coach Per Joar Hansen
Key Player: Blackburn Rovers’ young forward Joshua King, who joined from Manchester United in January, has made four appearances for the Norway senior side during their World Cup qualifiers, scoring once.
Fact: Norway are the only group runner-up to qualify for the Finals. They finished second to England in Group 8, losing both times to Stuart Pearce’s side.
1 Arild Østbø, 12 Orjan Nyland Haskjold, 23 Gudmund Kongshavn
2 Martin Linnes, 3 Thomas Rogne, 4 Stefan Strandberg, 5 Vegar Hedenstad
7 Harmeet Singh, 9 Valon Berisha, 13 Markus Henriksen, 15 Håvard Nordtveit, 16 Yann-Erik de Lanlay, 17 Anders Konradssen, 18 Magnus Eikrem, 20 Stefan Johansen, 22 Abdissalam Ibrahim
6 Omar Elabdellaoui, 8 Jo Inge Berget, 10 Marcus Pedersen, 11 Håvard Nielsen, 14 Fredrik Semb Berge, 19 Flamur Kastrati, 21 Joshua King,
Qualified: by beating Sweden in the play-offs after winning Group 7
U21s Titles: Five
Last Finals Appearance: 2009 (semi-final)
Coach: Devis Mangia, former boss at Seria A outfit Palermo
Key Player: Bologna forward Manolo Gabbiadini banged in six goals in seven games in qualifying, and also chipped in with a couple of assists.
Fact: Italy’s Under-21s were the first opposition to play at the new Wembley Stadium, drawing 3-3 with Stuart Pearce’s side. Giampaolo Pazzini also bagged a hat-trick for the Azzurrini.
1 Francesco Bardi, 12 Simone Colombi, 22 Nicola Leali
2 Giulio Donati, 3 Cristiano Biraghi, 5 Marco Capuano, 6 Luca Caldirola, 13 Matteo Bianchetti, 19 Vasco Regini
4 Marco Verratti, 7 Alessandro Florenzi, 8 Luca Marrone, 16 Andrea Bertolacci, 21 Fausto Rossi, 23 Marco Crimi
9 Ciro Immobile, 10 Lorenzo Insigne, 11 Manolo Gabbiadini, 14 Mattia Destro, 15 Nicola Sansone, 17 Alberto Paloschi, 18 Riccardo Saponara, 20 Fabio Borini,
Qualified: by beating Denmark in the play-offs after winning Group 5
U21 Titles: Three
Last Finals Appearance: 2011 (winners)
Coach: Former Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui
Key Player: Midfielder Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, aka Isco, is currently starring in La Liga for Malaga and has also figured in their Champions League campaign.
Fact: Spain are the current holders of the title after beating Switzerland in the 2011 Final in Denmark
1 David de Gea, 13 Diego Mariño, 23 Joel
2 Martín Montoya, 4 Nacho, 5 Marc Bartra, 15 Marc Muniesa, 16 Álvaro, 18 Alberto Moreno, 20 Daniel Carvajal
3 Asier Illarramendi, 6 Iñigo Martínez, 7 Sergio Canales, 8 Koke, 10 Thiago Alcántara, 14 Ignacio Camacho, 17 Pablo Sarabia, 22 Isco
9 Rodrigo, 11 Cristian Tello, 12 Álvaro Morata, 19 Iker Muniain, 21 Álvaro Vázquez,
Qualified: by beating Slovakia in the play-offs after winning Group 10
U21s Titles: Two
Last Finals Appearance: 2007 (winners)
Coach: Cor Pot, a former player with Sparta Rotterdam and Excelsior in Holland.
Key Player: Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong featured for the Dutch senior team at Euro 2012 but was back with the Under-21s scoring in their play-off win over Slovakia
Fact: On their way to lifting the trophy as hosts in 2007, they edged England out 13-12 in a penalty shootout in the semi-final.
1 Jeroen Zoet, 16 Marco Bizot, 23 Nick Marsman
2 Ricardo van Rhijn, 3 Stefan de Vrij, 4 Bruno Martins Indi, 5 Daley Blind, 13 Mike Van Der Hoorn, 14 Bram Nuytinck, 20 Patrick van Aanholt Midfielders
6 Jordy Clasie, 8 Kevin Strootman, 10 Adam Maher, 12 Kelvin Leerdam, 17 Leroy Fer, 18 Marco van Ginkel, 19 Tonny Trindade de Vilhena,
7 Florian Jozefzoon, 9 Luuk de Jong, 11 Ola John, 15 Georginio Wijnaldum, 21 Daniel Hoesen, 22 Memphis Depay,
Qualified: by beating Switzerland in the play-offs after winning Group 1
U21s Titles: One
Last Finals Appearance: 2009 (winners)
Coach: Ex-VfB Stuttgart defender Rainer Adrion
Key Player: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby, whose mother is English, has made two appearances at senior level for Germany and scored five times in nine qualifiers for the Under-21s
Fact: Germany were crowned Champions in 2009 as they beat England 4-0 in the Final with the soon-to-be Real Madrid duo Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira in their squad.
1 Bernd Leno, 12 Oliver Baumann, 23 Timo Horn
2 Tony Jantschke, 3 Stefan Thesker, 4 Lasse Sobiech, 5 Shkodran Mustafi, 13 Matthias Ginter, 15 Sead Kolasinac, 16 Oliver Sorg, 17 Antonio Rüdiger
6 Sebastian Rudy, 7 Patrick Funk, 8 Sebastian Rode, 10 Lewis Holtby, 19 Christian Clemens, 20 Christoph Moritz, 22 Emre Can
9 Kevin Volland, 11 Peniel Mlapa, 14 Sebastian Polter, 18 Patrick Herrmann, 21 Pierre-Michelle Lasogga
Qualified: by beating Czech Republic in the play-offs after winning Group 6
U21s Titles: None
Last Finals Appearance: 1998 (quarter-finals)
Coach: Nikolai Pisarev, the former Spartak Moscow and Russia striker
Key Player: Fyodor Smolov played nine times during qualification and scored seven goals. He’s currently on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala from Dynamo Moscow.
Fact: Russia lost just once during qualification, away in Portugal, but were still able to finish above the Portuguese in their group
1 Nikolai Zabolotni, 12 Stanislav Kritsuk, 16 Aleksandr Filtsov
3 Georgi Schennikov, 4 Nikita Chicherin, 5 Taras Burlak, 13 Sergei Bryzgalov, 15 Maksim Belyaev, 23 Ivan Knyazev
2 Ibragim Tsallagov, 6 Yuri Kirillov, 7 Sergei Petrov, 8 Oleg Shatov, 18 Roman Emelyanov, 19 Maksim Grigoryev, 20 Shota Bibilov, 21 Aleksandr Zotov, 22 Alan Dzagoev
9 Andrei Panyukov, 10 Fedor Smolov, 11 Maksim Kanunnikov, 14 Pavel Yakovlev, 17 Denis Cheryshev