England, France & Portugal: Which European nation has the best squad depth?

England defeated Belgium 2-1 on Sunday afternoon

Euro 2021 is now less than a year away.

At this moment in time, there isn't really a clear favourite for the tournament, as the majority of Europe's elite nations all possess seriously talented squads.

France, England, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Belgium all have a shot at glory next summer, while Holland, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland and a select few other nations will be labelled as 'dark horses'.

It's going to be one hell of a tournament and with the international break coming to an end this week, we thought we'd find a way to rank the continent's finest ahead of next summer's showpiece.

So what we've done is cherry-picked Europe's nine best teams according to the official FIFA rankings and ordered them by the quality of their squad depth.

The Euro 2021 trophy

To make things as fair as possible, we've picked what we believe is each country's best XI and then selected just one back-up player for each position. Enjoy!

9. Croatia

Croatia's squad depth

Croatia's squad is still reliant on members of the 'old guard', namely Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Dejan Lovren.

There are some fresh faces in the form of Mislav Orsic, Josip Brekalo and Duje Caleta-Car, but the Vatreni have regressed a tad since reaching the World Cup final in 2018.

They're still not a team you'd fancy drawing at a major tournament, though and in Andrej Kramaric, Croatia have one of the most lethal goal scorers in world football.

8. Italy

Italy's squad depth

Italy's squad lacks an X-factor right now. The ol' war horses Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are still hanging about, but there's just a distinct lack of superstar quality.

The likes of Manuel Locatelli, Stefano Sensi, Sandro Tonali, Nicola Barella, Federico Chiesa and Nicolo Zaniolo are all very promising talents, but the current squad is not one that creates fear in the pit of an opponent's stomach - yet.

In three to four years time though, this group of Italians has the potential to drag the country back to the very upper echelons of international football.

7. Holland

Holland's squad depth

Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Memphis Depay represent an exciting core of world-class talent in the Dutch national team.

However, there just doesn't appear to be quite enough in reserve to label La Oranje as one of the very best in Europe right now.

But like the Italian squad, there's serious potential here and this Dutch side can still mix it with the very best - as they proved when they beat Germany 4-2 back in September 2019.

6. Belgium

Belgium's squad depth

Belgium still boast a healthy number of world-class players in Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Dries Mertens.

But their squad doesn't possess the same threat level that it did during the peak years of the Red Devils' fabled 'Golden Generation', particularly in defence.

Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are way past their best, while the lack of a quality left-back/left-wing back is still a noticeable issue in Roberto Martinez's squad.

5. Spain

Spain's squad depth

La Roja's present day squad and any one named in the future will always pale in comparison to the iconic set of players that dominated international football from 2008 to 2012.

But this is still a seriously talented group. The world-class experience of Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Thiago Alcantara is perfectly complimented by the youthful exuberance of Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and more.

Write off Spain at your own peril.

4. England

England's squad depth

England's squad is loaded with quality in the present day and in Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, the Three Lions possesses arguably the most formidable selection of forwards on the international scene.

But the defensive options available to Gareth Southgate are slighly concerning right now, especially at left-back.

Ben Chilwell is the only quality option who is a natural fit in the role, Kieran Trippier having to deputise on the left against Belgium in the Chelsea man's absence.

But overall, this is probably the most exciting Three Lions squad for over a decade, especially if Jack Grealish is handed a regular starting berth ahead of Euro 2021.

3. Germany

Germany's squad depth

Die Mannschaft are struggling to win games under Joachim Low right now, but their squad depth is immense - on paper at least.

Germany are blessed with an embarrassment of riches in the three forward roles, while a midfield duo of Toni Kroos and Joshua Kimmich - with Leon Goretzka as cover - is about as good as it gets.

The only reason the 2014 World Cup winners don't quite make the top two is due to their defence, which is still a work in progress in the absences of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.

However, there's still more than enough quality and potential within the depths of the back-line and in Manuel Neuer, they probably have the best 'keeper in the world.

2. France

France's squad depth

The French squad looks as good as ever and they've actually added to their depth since winning the 2018 World Cup.

Houssem Aouar, Ferland Mendy, Eduardo Camavinga, Anthony Martial, Dayot Upamecano and Clement Lenglet are all regulars in Didier Deschamps' senior squad now.

The perfect marriage of World Cup-winning experience and young superstars in the making, Les Bleus' conveyer belt of quality is simply breathtaking.

But they just miss out on the number one spot...

1. Portugal

Portugal's squad depth

Omitting France from top spot was a tough choice to make, but we just can't look past the plethora of star quality currently available to Portugal manager Fernando Santos.

Eight stellar options for the four attack-minded roles - including the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo -   supported by a powerful midfield that also boasts impressive depth? Not bad that.

Portugal's defence is also stacked these days too, Nelson Semedo, Joao Cancelo, Ricardo Pereira and Raphael Guerreiro all revered as some of the best full-backs in the world.

Then you have the experienced, street-wise Pepe paired up with the Rolls-Royce that is Ruben Dias in central defence. A Selecao's squad does not possess a single weakness right now.

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