Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's Not Always the Most Talented Team That Triumphs

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's Not Always the Most Talented Team That Triumphs

Article excerpt

ONCE a country has qualified, what qualities do they need to win the European Championships? History tells us that the key is organisation and luck.

The Euros are often won by a country that is hard to beat, has a plan and sticks to it.

There have, of course, been outstanding teams that have been head and shoulders above the rest.

West Germany in 1972 spring to mind, and France in 1984 and 2000, and surely current holders Spain will go down as one of football's greatest ever teams.

But what of Denmark (1992), Greece (2004), Czechoslovakia (1976) or West Germany (1980 and 1996)? None of those teams were particularly special and, in truth, the Greeks were extremely ordinary.

It should never be forgotten that the European Championships are a knockout competition and the best teams aren't guaranteed to win.

Perhaps Holland could and should have won in 1976, 1992, 1996, 2000 (when they were co-hosts) and 2004 and yet those tournaments - with the exception of 2000 - were won by teams less talented than the Dutch. …

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