Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal have a difficult opening Euro 2016 match against Iceland, Pictured: Ronaldo reacts during a friendly international between Portugal and Estonia, June 8, 2016.Reuters

The European Championships move into the revamped version with Euro 2016, as 24 teams in all, battle it out to be named the best in the continent. With group stage matches galore, considering there are six groups, instead of the usual four, expect quite a few matches to be absolute crackers.

Here are a few that cannot be missed, and, on paper at least, promise to be need-to-watch-the-highlights-again-and-again classics.

Turkey vs Croatia: Sunday, June 12, 3 p.m. CET, 6.30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. ET at Parc Des Princes in Paris: Might not be the match that immediately catches your eye from the first round of group stage matches, but this has the potential to be a great one. Croatia are seen as one of the dark horses of the tournament, understandable considering they have the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic in the midfield, and with Turkey impressing, in patches, during the qualifiers, this could be a game that will set the ball rolling for Euro 2016.

Belgium vs Italy: Monday, June 13, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET, Stade de Lyon in Lyon: Group E is difficult as it is with the Republic of Ireland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden being the other two teams, so neither Italy nor Belgium will want to get off to a losing start. Could be a cagey game, with both sides reluctant to give away the advantage or could be a great one, particularly if there is an early goal. Either way, this one is hard to ignore.

Portugal vs Iceland: Tuesday, June 14, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET at Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint Etienne: Any match that involves Cristiano Ronaldo will interest quite a few, but add Iceland to the mix, this has the potential to be a great one. Iceland were one of the most impressive teams in the qualifiers, finishing second behind the Czech Republic in Group A, while playing some fantastic football. Ronaldo will want to get Portugal off to a roaring start, Iceland will want to prove they belong in this stage – should be fun.

England vs Wales: Thursday, June 16, 3 p.m. CET, 6.30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. ET at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens: One of the most awaited matches of the group stages and another one that cannot be ignored. Wales have been England's poorer cousin in terms of international footballing pedigree for a long, long time, so they will want to make an impression. Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and co. vs Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and co.

Germany vs Poland: Thursday, June 16, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET at Stade de France in Saint-Denis: Germany are the obvious favourites for this tournament, considering they are the world champions, but Poland have the firepower to trip up any side. How ironic it would be if Robert Lewandowski, the man who plies his trade in the Bundesliga with the German champions, was the one to strike the winning goal.

France vs Switzerland: Sunday, June 19, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille: The final match of the group stages for these two teams; two sides that are expected to finish in the top two. Depending on how the two previous group stage rounds go, this could be a really important game, especially if there is a lot at stake for the hosts.

Croatia vs Spain: Tuesday, June 21, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET at Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux: Could be the clash to top the group, which in turn would put a lot of pressure on both teams, because they will want to avoid a potential banana skin in the round of 16. A lot of the Croatia players, including the three mentioned above, play in Spain, so there will be a sense of familiarity between the two teams, which could be a good or a bad thing. Let's hope it all adds up to a great match.

Sweden vs Belgium: Wednesday, June 22, 9 p.m. CET, 12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET at Stade de Nice in Nice: Could this be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last match in international tournament football? Let's hope not. Either way, there should be a lot at stake when these two European heavyweights clash in the final match of the group stages.

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