Football Daily | Finding a reason why every Euro 2024 team will probably fail in Germany

Football Daily | Finding a reason why every Euro 2024 team will probably fail in Germany


It’s one of life’s many disappointments: your team is almost certainly not going to win the Euros. Only 11 sides have won the tournament going back to its inaugural outing in 1960, and three of those – the Soviet Union, West Germany and Czechoslovakia – no longer exist, having crashed out at the knockout stage of geopolitics in the meantime.

There are 24 teams at Euro 2024 so, crunching the historical numbers, the odds are horrible whoever you support. Here’s why none of the 24 can win the Euros – with a guarantee of 23 correct predictions at a 95.8% success rate, which is statistically very impressive.

Germany Conventional wisdom suggests they are back on track under Julian Nagelsmann, but it’s all a bit premature. They have three wins in their last five under the former Bayern coach, including victories against France and the Netherlands, but still look weirdly disjointed, scraping a 2-1 win against Greece in their final warm-up. Unsurprisingly, German success tends to have a distinct Bavarian flavour: six Bayern players started the 2014 World Cup final, likewise when Die Mannschaft won Euro 96. Bayern are coming off the back of a disappointing season, while Bayer Leverkusen, the Bundesliga champions, have only three players in the squad. Home pressure will only exacerbate the cracks in the foundations of a deceptively fragile team.

Scotland Germany might not be at their best, but few expect them to slip up in the tournament opener. Unless Steve Clarke can mastermind a monumental upset, Scotland’s dismal run will stretch to one win in 10. That win came against Gibraltar, 203rd in the world rankings, and was about as enjoyable as root canal treatment. The chances of winning a first major tournament are not good.

Hungary There’s a lot to like about this Hungary side. Survivalist sluggers at Euro 2020, they have coalesced around the creative talents of Dominik Szoboszlai and play much more ambitious football under Marco Rossi than they once did. They were unbeaten in qualifying and, other than an unexpected hiccup in their warm-up friendly against Republic of Ireland earlier this month, their recent record is impressive. Not going to win the Euros though, are they? Be serious.

Martin AdamView image in fullscreen

Switzerland If Granit Xhaka can go unbeaten in domestic competition all season at Leverkusen then anything can happen, right? No, wrong, Switzerland are not going to win the Euros.

Spain They have Rodri in midfield, which gives them a statistically negligible chance of losing a game in normal or extra time. Unfortunately, they went out of Euro 2020 and the last two World Cups on penalties and are set to do the same again. Probably in the semi-finals.

Croatia In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and Luka Modric pulling the strings for Croatia. At 38, with yet another Big Cup title under his belt, he is still Zlatko Dalic’s midfield general. Having used his alchemical magic to help conjure a spot in the World Cup final in 2018, the semi-finals in 2022 and the Uefa Nations League final last year, however, even he hasn’t been able to turn the team’s overachievement into silverware. Croatia are on a journey that never quite reaches its intended destination.

Italy There’s only so long Italy can fuel themselves on the sting of failed World Cup qualifying campaigns. Spain are the only side to have won the Euros twice on the bounce, in 2008 and 2012, and that was at the absolute height of their tiki-taka dominance, not with a team addicted to chaos.

Albania Sylvinho has done a good job as head coach. But they are also in a group with Italy, Croatia and Spain.

England Is this the tournament where Gareth Southgate is finally toppled from his pedestal? Is the tyranny of the alpha centrist dad finally over? The grim mood following the warm-up defeat to Iceland at Wembley suggests we could be coming to the end of an era. There’s only one fitting finale: a sickener of a defeat in the semi-finals, bringing things right back around to where it all began.

Jude BellinghamView image in fullscreen

Denmark Every team gets a maximum of one huge upset victory at the Euros. Denmark used theirs in 1992.

Serbia They have way too many mavericks – Dusan Vlahovic, Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, the list goes on – to do the business at a major tournament. Should make for decent entertainment though.

Slovenia One of the least likely teams to emerge triumphant in Germany, having never escaped the group stage of a major tournament. Sadly, they also look set to miss out on the golden fax machine award for transfer speculation after Benjamin Sesko’s decision to extend his contract with RB Leipzig.

France A stacked squad, heaps of winning experience, Kylian Mbappé: everything is in France’s favour. But, in the finest traditions of le foot français, they are overdue a tournament where they implode spectacularly and go out at the group stage in a mushroom cloud of acrimony.

Austria It was always going to be a tough ask for Austria to progress from a group including France, the Netherlands and Poland, but it has become that much harder with David Alaba, Alex Schlager and Xaver Schlager ruled out with injury. As for winning the tournament: it’s a no.

Netherlands Frenkie de Jong is sidelined, their form is middling and they have lost all their recent games against their big rivals. A repeat of Euro 88 seems a long way off.

Poland The Robert Lewandowski show. But not the good one, because he’s knacked and might not play. Settle in and enjoy every excruciating second of the 270-minute run time.

Belgium Undefeated since going out at the group stage in Qatar and thriving under the management of Domenico Tedesco, the Red Devils could actually go the distance this time. Except, think of all the other times Belgium could have gone the distance. Being really good just isn’t enough.

BelgiumView image in fullscreen

Romania Belgium are the obvious favourites to come top but, otherwise, Group E is one for the underdogs. Slovakia and Ukraine seem better bets to progress though. Sorry, Romania.

Slovakia Feasible runners-up in Group E, before going straight out in the round of 16.

Ukraine Also feasible runners-up in Group E and, given the bigger picture, they will not be short on goodwill in Germany. As at Euro 2020, however, they are likely to run into trouble when they meet the main contenders.

Portugal The stage is set for a tournament-long psychodrama centred on a 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo. Among the subplots: defeat in the quarter-finals.

Turkey Remember when everyone had Turkey down as their dark horses at Euro 2020? That went well.

Georgia The lowest-ranked team in the competition having qualified via the Nations League playoffs, Georgia’s first appearance at a major tournament is quite the story. We all know how it ends.

Luka LochoshviliView image in fullscreen

Czech Republic The Czechs arrive in Germany on the back of five consecutive wins, making them one of the form teams. It should be noted that those wins were against North Macedonia, Malta, Armenia, Norway and Moldova. They are well-placed to make the knockouts, but not to delve deep.


“There can’t be any: ‘I’m Sylvinho, won the treble in ‘09, worked for [Pep] Guardiola, now I know everything.’ What I did before is important for me as background and I can use it, but I can’t come here and talk to the players on a different level. You don’t just walk into the dressing room and say: ‘[Big Cup]’” – Albania boss Sylvinho gets his thoroughly entertaining chat on with Nick Ames.

SylvinhoView image in fullscreen


For all those fans that dislike Manchester United, or as we colloquially refer to them, ‘football fans’, United winning the FA Cup this season is going to end up being the funniest thing ever for next season isn’t it?” – Noble Francis.

Of course having four Brentford players in their squad must mean something for Denmark (Tuesday’s Football Daily). No team with four Brentford players in their squad has ever lost at a major International tournament” – Russell Wallman.

With Euro 2024 nearly upon us, I took to the google to see which television network has the coverage here in the USA USA USA. The answer was Fox Sports, whose schedule page included a link to a video bearing the headline: ‘Would USMNT be able to win the Euros if they played it this summer?’ I certainly didn’t click the link, but has Betteridge’s Law of Headlines ever been more apt?” – Chad Thomas.

Send letters to [email protected]. Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Chad Thomas, who wins a copy of Euro 88: The Football Purists’ European Championship, by Pitch Publishing. Visit their bookshop here. Terms and conditions for our competitions can be viewed here.

This is an extract from our daily football email … Football Daily. To get the full version,just visit this page and follow the instructions.