Euro Cup Winners Nobody Expected to See

Euro Cup Winners Nobody Expected to See
April 17 04:57 2019 Print This Article

Everybody loves a Cinderella story! Let alone when that story transpires before our eyes on the main stage like the finals of a European championship. Ever since it was conceived back in 1960, the UEFA Euro tournament has brought some interesting and at times unlikely football results. Reaching the European Cup final is probably the pinnacle of the career of every team and player and you can always read about it from But actually winning one is something dreams are made of.

In Euro Cup history, there have been a number of teams that have been viewed as underdogs on the start of the tournament. Many of these teams made us cheer for them even though we didn’t expect them to actually lift the European Cup trophy.

But there have been a few times when the football God smiled upon the weaker and granted them immense power and strength to actually go all the way and be crowned as Euro Cup champions.

Experts usually say that football today is played differently and that things are not what they were before. There is a lesser chance that a small nation would pull an upset at the upcoming 2020 Euro Cup let alone reach the 2020 Euro Cup Final. But football is a game that constantly surprises us and based on the recent results from various football leagues we can still hope for a surprise performance from a weaker team.

All people like cheering for the underdog! Even though a surprise isn’t likely to happen at the UEFA Euro 2020 here are some examples when it really did happen! These teams managed to beat the odds and will forever be remembered in the annals of Euro football history.

Denmark (Euro 1992)

Denmark wasn’t supposed to even be there at Euro 92 as they failed to qualify. Luckily for them, the Yugoslav team, that actually won the qualifying group, was forced to withdraw from the European championship due to severe sanctions imposed on their country by the UN because of civil war with Bosnia. This set the stage for one of the unlikely events that ever happened in Euro Cup History.

With only a week to prepare and without their star player, Michael Laudrup, Denmark eked a spot in the group stage of the tournament by finishing second. The first surprise came when the Danes faced the Netherlands, a team favored to win the Euro Cup final, and won the semi-final game on penalties.

Denmark completed their fairytale story when they pulled a decisive victory over the World Cup champions, Germany, defeating them in the final by 2-0 and finally raising the European Cup trophy.

Greece (Euro 2004)

Probably the most surprising underdog story of Euro football history is that of Greece at Euro 2004. When you look at the Euro champions list, you don’t expect to see Greece there. A country mostly known for its beaches and summer resorts was not expected to make it out of the group stage and let alone reach the European Cup final.

What was surprising about Greece is that they played as a team as they didn’t have any international stars in their ranks. The only notable name was their coach, Otto Rehhagel, who played with what he had. Namely, he used the strength of the defense, so as not to concede any goals, and took advantage in the front, scoring at every possible chance they got.  

After getting out of the group stage with a massive and surprising win over hosts Portugal (2-1), Greece went on to win every game till the end of the tournament. They eliminated France in the quarter-finals, outplayed the Czech Republic in the semis, and outclassed Portugal, again, in the finals with a heroic 1-0 victory courtesy of Angelos Charisteas. It was unheard of in football news at the time that something like this might ever happen.

Portugal (Euro 2016)

Portugal is probably considered as the early favorite to reach the Euro Final 2020. But their win at the previous Euro 2016 will be remembered as an unexpected one in UEFA Euro history. Led by one of the best footballers on Earth currently, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal entered the tournament as one of the early favorites. So how is their road to success seen as a surprising one?

First of all, Portugal barely made it out of the group stage as they didn’t even win a single game. They drew all three games that they played and finished third behind Hungary and Iceland. Due to their inconsistent and unconvincing performance, they were expected to be eliminated in every next game they played. Even their star player Ronaldo was struggling and didn’t perform as he was expected to. Somehow they managed to win each game after another. Croatia, Poland, and Wales all had to lay their arms in front of the surging Portugal side.

The most unlikely of events happened in the European Cup final, where Portugal played France, the host nation and a substantial favorite to win the tournament. Portugal’s chances were even lower when Cristian Ronaldo got injured and was forced to leave the game in tears early. Fortunately for them, an unlikely hero emerged in the form of Eder who bagged a surprising goal past the French goalkeeper in overtime. Sending the French side into tears and the Portugal side with the European Cup Trophy in their hands.

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