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Euro 2024 knockout stage field re-ranked

The Euro 2024 group stage has come to an end, and now it’s time to assess the remaining teams as we head into the knockout rounds. After analyzing the field leading up to the tournament, let’s see how the 16 title hopefuls stack up.

1. Spain ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 5

Spain is the only team to finish the group stage with a perfect record. They have played with confidence and style, abandoning their previous tedious play for a more progressive brand of football. Nico Williams has brought energy and urgency to their attack, while Fabian Ruiz has transformed their midfield with his vertical passing and excellent runs. Spain is also the only team that hasn’t conceded a goal at the Euros.

2. Germany ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 4

Germany may have fallen short of a perfect record, but they dominated every statistical category during the group stage. They led in possession, shots, key passes, and goals scored. Jamal Musiala has been a standout in the front line, and Niclas Fullkrug has provided valuable contributions off the bench. Manuel Neuer has also returned to his best form. While there are still questions in defense, Germany looks like their old selves again.

3. Portugal ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 3

Portugal suffered a loss to Georgia, which exposed their lack of depth. However, at full strength, they remain strong contenders for the title. Their goal-scoring midfielders shined in the win over Turkey, and Vitinha and Joao Palhinha brought stability to their play. Pepe, at 41 years old, showed he can anchor their backline.

4. France ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 1

France has only scored two goals in the tournament so far, which is concerning. However, they have a wealth of talent and can never be written off. N’Golo Kante continues to impress, and Kylian Mbappe carries the offensive burden. While their lack of production is alarming, France has started tournaments slowly before and still found success.

5. Austria ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 10

Austria has emerged as a dark horse in the tournament. Despite an own goal costing them against France, they secured wins over Poland and the Netherlands to top Group D. Marcel Sabitzer has been a standout in midfield, but Austria’s success is a result of their collective effort. They attack and defend as a unit, picking their moments to counter. With some improvement at the back, they could make a deep run on the easier side of the bracket.

6. Switzerland ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 13

Switzerland may not be the most exciting team, but they are disciplined both with and without the ball. Their solid backline consists of Ricardo Rodriguez, Manuel Akanji, and Fabian Schar, while Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler control the midfield. Xherdan Shaqiri adds a wildcard element with his ability to score wonder goals.

7. England ????
Pre-tournament rank: 2

England has underwhelmed so far in the tournament. While they topped their group, their performances have lacked the promised sass and vigor. Phil Foden has struggled on the left wing, Jude Bellingham has been inconsistent, and Harry Kane hasn’t found his scoring form. The team seems unbalanced, and coach Gareth Southgate has shown little interest in making significant changes. Fortunately for England, they have avoided the tougher side of the bracket.

8. Netherlands ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 7

The Netherlands has been far from impressive. Coach Ronald Koeman expressed his frustration with their performance against Austria, calling it “awful” and “appalling.” They have struggled against top opponents in recent matches and made several changes during the group stage without much impact. They will need someone like Wout Weghorst to step up if they want to progress.

9. Italy ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 9

Italy barely made it through the group stage, relying on a late equalizer against Croatia. They have been inconsistent throughout the tournament, trying different systems that haven’t quite worked. Individual performances, particularly from Riccardo Calafiori and Alessandro Bastoni, have kept them afloat. However, Calafiori will miss the round of 16 due to suspension.

10. Belgium ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 6

Belgium has faced criticism for their lackluster performances, particularly in the goalless draw against Ukraine. Romelu Lukaku has had goals disallowed by VAR, and the team has struggled to find the right balance between attack and defense. Jeremy Doku, the tournament’s leading dribbler, could be the key to their success.

11. Turkey ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 15

Turkey’s boom-or-bust style of play makes them an exciting team to watch. They have scored impressive goals from outside the area and have shown a relentless approach. However, their aggressive style has also led to numerous yellow cards, highlighting defensive issues. They have promising young players like Kenan Yildiz, but they will need to tighten up defensively.

12. Slovakia ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 22

Slovakia has shown impressive defensive resolve, celebrating tackles as if they were goals. They maintained composure in difficult conditions and secured the necessary points to advance. Star midfielder Stanislav Lobotka has been a standout player for them.

13. Georgia ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 24

As the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, Georgia has exceeded expectations. They have approached each match with determination and bravery. While they have conceded chances, they have also scored vital goals. Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili has made the most saves in the tournament.

14. Denmark ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 11

Denmark advanced from the group stage with three draws, and their performances have been tough to watch at times. Scoring has been a challenge for them, and finding key players like Rasmus Hojlund has been difficult.

15. Romania ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 20

Romania reached the knockout stages for the first time in 24 years, beating Belgium to first place in their group. They have had mixed results in recent matches but have relied on Razvan Marin for offensive production.

16. Slovenia ????????
Pre-tournament rank: 21

Slovenia has collected three draws in their first Euro appearance in 24 years. They have shown strength on set-pieces and have a willingness to chase balls. However, they have limitations that have been exposed at times.

As we head into the knockout rounds, it will be interesting to see how these teams perform and who will emerge as the ultimate champion of Euro 2024.

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