Euro Championship winners

Like most competitions across World football, the European Championships are often one by teams in good form once the tournament begins, and as it progresses. With Euro 2012 lasting a month teams must grow in confidence and their levels of play must remain high, especially in the knockout stages when the better teams begin to face each other. There is little time to correct a slump in form, whilst inconsistent teams can hit a good spell and surprise opposing teams.

Euro 2008 was won by arguably the best team in the world, the once ridiculed Spain. Before then, they were doubted however good they had been ahead of the competition. Their lack of tournament wins, even though they had often had world class sides, left them with the tag of nearly men. The victory in that tournament and the 2010 World Cup has given them a winning mentality, and that experience of success that can be vital in the crunch games. Teams like Italy, France and Germany understand how to adapt to the weight of expectation, to such an extent that even bad Italian and German sides are expected to do well.

On fire strikers will win teams tournaments. As defences get better and the games get tenser, a forward in a scoring vein can find the single goal it takes to win a match. It’s no coincidence that Spain have won competitions in which no one has outscored David Villa.

What factors determine Euro Championship winners?

A team ethic is important. Consistent selection policy, a settled side, will often lead to good performances. This doesn’t mean a squad isn’t important. Injuries happen, different systems can be used, substitutes make an impact and bad early form may find a manager changing the side to reverse a quick slump. As years go by, teams grow and fade. The French and Italians sides are finding that lately, once World and European champions now having to rebuild after their stars get older, and often retire.

Greece’s 2004 win in Portugal was down to their strong defence and combined work ethic. They proved that a well drilled side can win a tournament, especially playing only six games. But that was a shock win, and the market leaders are favourite to win the Euros for a reason. Big stars, deep squads, team unity and goal scorers will win you these competition. Consider that when choosing your pre-tournament winners, but also keep an eye on in-play prices. If a team hit form in the quarter finals they may be the team to follow.