How Did the Favourites Fair At the Last Two European Championships?

The year 2024 is a big one in the world of football. Africa already kicked off a stacked international calendar back in January with the Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament won by the hosting Ivory Coast, despite the Elephants fishing third in their group. As the year progresses, more action is on the way with the Copa America and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

UEFA Euro 2024 

However, the tournament that will surely set the pulse racing more than others is the upcoming UEFA European Championships. The tournament is set to be underway in Germany on June 14th, as the hosts face off against underdogs Scotland inside Bayern Munch’s Allianz Arena. Over the month that follows, 24 will be whittled down to just two, and they will battle it out at the Berlin Olympiastadion on July 14th in the hopes of being crowned European champions. 

When it comes to the domestic game, Premier League 2023/24 betting providers have made reigning champions Manchester City the short-priced 2/5 favourites to retain the title this year. Much of their success has been built off English players, as Pep Guardiola’s Blues look to wrap up the title for the sixth time in seven years. 

With the new role of defender John Stones and the return to prominence of Jack Grealish, it’s clear to see why websites such as have made the Three Lions the 3/1 favourites for glory this summer as well. But how have the favourites fared in recent editions of the tournament? Let’s find out. 

Euro 2020: France 

Three years ago, France headed to the one-year postponed Euro 2020 tournament as the reigning world champions and the favourites to secure the European crown. In Russia in 2018, Les Bleus handily defeated Croatia by four goals to two to secure the World Cup for the first time since 1998, and many expected them to reign supreme on the continent as well.

However, they were drawn into the group of death alongside Germany and Portugal and came out on top, which handed them a favourable second-round tie against Switzerland. 

In that clash, everything was going according to plan. when a Karim Benzema brace as well as a Paul Pogba thunderbolt gave them a 3-1 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining. But the Swiss weren’t going down without a fight.

They pulled one back in the 81st minute through Haris Seferovic before a last-gasp equaliser from Mario Gavranović sent the tie to extra time.

Neither team was able to force a winner in the extra period which took the contest to the dreaded penalty shootout. There, Switzerland keeper Yann Sommer became the hero, saving from the maverick Kylian Mbappe to send the French packing. 

Euro 2016: Germany 

Just like France three years ago, Germany headed to Euro 2016 after winning the World Cup two years prior and poised to become champions of Europe as well. They topped their group before demolishing Slovakia in the second round and holding their nerve against Italy in the quarterfinals, eventually winning on penalties. 

In the semifinals, they came up against hosts France who had a wave of home support buoying them on. Despite the Germans entering the tournament as the favorites, this contest was a genuine 50/50 that could have gone either way.

Ultimately, however, it was the hosts who ran out victorious thanks to a brace from Atletico Madrid man Antoine Griezmann.

But unfortunately for him and his teammates, underdogs Portugal would ruin the party in the Stade de France finale with Eder’s 109th-minute blockbuster taking the trophy to Lisbon for the first time in history.