European football remains one of the most remarkable across the globe. With 55 national soccer teams and 37 top-flight domestic leagues, it is difficult to overlook the talent and allure on the continent. Continental football is also widely popular, even outside the continent, with billions worldwide watching how the European Championship unfolds.
Since the group stage draws, where three past winners were put in one group, fans could already tell how thrilling the competition could be. Yet, this is football, and as we often see, anything can happen. While there is always room for upsets in football, no one expected the horrific incident involving Christian Eriksen in his country’s first game. Thankfully, he’s alright now, and the team channeled his strength to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Fasten your seat belt as we take you on a winding journey from Euro 2008 till present and gauge the teams’ performance at Euro 2020.
The first country on our list is the Spanish team. Having won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012, Spain goes into every tournament as a favorite. They are also joint-highest winners of the competition – a reputation that should make even the bravest of oppositions wary. Spain beat Germany (their fellow joint-highest winners) 1-0 to win Euro 2008 and replicated the feat four years later by beating Italy 4-0 in football Euro 2012. The Spanish team also won the World Cup in 2010, entrenching themselves as the Kings of European and World football.
Their disappointing Euro 2016 results saw them get knocked out in the round of 16, Spain was looking to reclaim their status as one of Europe’s best this year. However, they failed once again. The three-time champions only won one game in the group stage and had to rely on extra time and penalties to reach the quarterfinal. They once again went to penalties in the quarterfinal, losing to the eventual winners in Italy – the same team that knocked them out five years ago.
Joint-highest winners Germany have been one of the teams to beat since the inception of the European championship. Losing the final in 2008 by a lone goal must have been hurtful, but the Germans could not make it past the semifinal stage in the following editions of the tournament. Euro 2012 saw the German national team bow out to Italy at the semifinal stage, and they lost to France in 2016 at the same stage.
At Euro 2020, the Germans were back with a fresh squad brimming with talent. Drawn in the group of death with France and Portugal, it was always going to be tough to qualify. Still, they managed to scale through, winning, drawing, and losing one each. However, the fairy tale was cut short in the round of 16, where they lost 2-nil to England to the shock of many on 5-pound deposit betting sites. The team’s shocking performance invariably led to the departure of team coach Joachim Low.
Portugal is one of the best-performing sides in the Euros per appearance. They have made eight appearances at the tournament, managing to reach the semifinals five times and reaching the finals twice. At Euro 2004, which they hosted, the Portuguese team flattered to deceive by losing 1-0 to Greece in the final. It was a sad moment for the home fans, who watched their stars falter after defeating Spain, Netherlands, and England en route to the final.
Euro 2008 and 2012 ended similarly for the Portuguese, as they went out in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages, respectively. Ironically, at Euro 2016, where they qualified as the best third-placed team, their glory finally came. Working hard as a team, with Ronaldo on the sidelines, Portugal won the trophy through an extra-time goal by Eder. Euro 2020 saw them come in as defending champions. Still, they could not live up to their euro 2016 results, qualifying third-best again and losing to Belgium in the round of 16 and disappointing punters who backed them on dollar betting sites.
Before Euro 2020, the Italians have had a bitter-sweet experience at the Euros, reaching the finals twice and losing on both occasions. In 2004, they went out in the group stage, while the UEFA euro 2008 and 2016 editions brought them quarterfinal eliminations. Though they made it to the finals in 2012, they were thumped 4-nil by Spain. The team improved their showing at Euro 2020, blistering through the group stage without conceding. Though they needed an extra-time win against Austria and a penalty shoot-out against Spain, their undying spirit helped defeat England in the finals on Penalties. This is Italy’s second European Championship title, with the first having come in 1968.
Though England has participated in ten European Championships, they have never won any. England often comes in as a favorite due to the talents at their disposal, but their best performance came in 1996, where they lost on penalties. Euro 2004 and 2012 brought back those memories as they lost in the quarterfinal stages on penalties.
Going into Euro 2020 with Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and the likes, the English outclassed their opponents without conceding a goal until the semifinal stage. This prompted fans to believe their time had finally come. The semifinal turnaround against Denmark in extra time helped them into the finals. However, they were unable to bring football home in front of their fans at Wembley as they lost to Italy on penalties – a curse they have been unable to shake off.
Euro 2020 football results have shown us that the football giant tag is no longer relevant, with three of the four teams in the semifinal without a euro football winners medal. As future competitions loom around, bettors at dollar betting sites will have to be more cautious when backing favorites. Let us know your favorite moments of the Euros in the comments section.