EURO 2004: Greece, the surprise victory of the underdogs
The qualifiers took place between September 2002 and November 2003 and took part in fifty teams divided into ten groups of five, with two-way matches. The first of each group qualified directly for Euro 2004, while the second competed in the play-offs. The sixteen qualified teams were divided into four groups. In Group A the hosts of Portugal, led by Figo, Rui Costa and the young Cristiano Ronaldo, find the Spanish cousins ​​of Raul, Xavi, Puyol, Torres and Morientes, the indecipherable Russia and the outsider Greece. But the Hellenes really surprise Portugal in the first day: it ends 1-2 for Karagounis and teammates, a symptom that there will be nothing for granted in the group. Lusitani who will then win the matches against Spain and Russia, winning the group with 6 points;
Group B sees France and England clearly favorites over Croatia and Switzerland and the verdict confirmed at the end of the group matches: France and England qualified. Group C and that of Italy in the company of Sweden of the emerging Ibrahimovic, Denmark and the weak Bulgaria. Italy is the favorite, but the Azzurri get themselves into trouble: despite a very strong squad they are unable to overtake Denmark on their debut, and in the second match with Sweden, the final result is 1-1. The ranking is in a strange way, since on the last day a 2-2 between Sweden and Denmark would eliminate us. And so it will be: Italy at home thanks to the Nordic biscuit.
The last round is the most formidable with Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic playing the two places with Latvia as sparring partner. The Czech Republic surprises everyone and scores full points; between the Netherlands and Germany it is the Orangemen who have the upper hand, hitting second place at an altitude of 4.
Greece’s path from the quarterfinals to the conquest of the title: France-Greece quarter-finals, on paper, should have no history: the transalpines are the defending champions, but and the Greek Charisteaswho packs the surprise for the cockerels, triggering the Athens party. In the semi-final Greece against the battleship Czech Republic, there seems to be no hope for the Hellenes, yet it ends 0-0 after 90 minutes and, in extra time, and Dellas who guesses the head kick on a corner kick and and with a silver goal that Greece goes to the final.
The final and Portugal-Greece: everyone thinks that the home cheer could drag Figo and his teammates to victory; however, Greece, as in the semi-finals, barricaded themselves neatly in defense right from the start. The Portuguese players try in every way but do not find the net; the Hellenes, on the other hand, made the most of a corner in the 60th minute, when Charisteas beat the Proto goalkeeper on time and signed the goal-match and the first European title for Greece.

And who would have thought that Iceland would have come this far
At the 2016 European Championship, the team that stood out above all was Iceland, because it went beyond the classic “David against Goliath”: you always cheer for the weakest, but for such a people you get excited. Out of 330,000 inhabitants, he brought 10% to France to follow his national team and the historic victory with the English inventors of football had a 98% share on TV. The team stands out in the eye of the spectators for its style of play without opposition and never yielding to the enemy. Iceland in this European is one of the most beautiful surprises and its people are the most beautiful part of this European, which began with the terrible clashes in Marseille between English, Russian and French hooligans and continued with the wonderful Irish choirs ( Catholics and Protestants) and the geyser-sound of the Vikings. In the groups Iceland drew with Portugal and Hungary, but beat Austria 2 to 1 and qualified for the quarterfinals where they met England. The British still remember that game today! It ends 2 to 1 for the Icelanders who teach how to play football to whoever invented it. The adventure ends in the semifinals with France winning 5-2, but this European remains indelible in the minds of all 330,000 inhabitants of Iceland.

The first big surprise to a European was Denmark in 1992
The first big surprise in the history of this tournament was Denmark in the 1992 European Championships, which landed directly in the final phase because in its qualifying round it had come behind Yugoslavia but the conflict that for years had shaken the various Slavic ethnic groups plan turned into war and FIFA cannot therefore involve Yugoslavia in the European Championships. Denmark, solid team, but struggling with some internal problems. Like the “great refusal” of Miki Laudrup, who left the ship due to obvious disagreements with the coach Richard Moller-Nielsen. “My national team is called Barcelona”, clarified Michael before the definitive abandonment, which took place after the match in Belfast against Northern Ireland. In which the technician, badly tolerated even by the national press, he had “dared” to replace the entire Laudrup family in one fell swoop. Reckless. And of course under scrutiny, at the great Swedish kermesse.
The path of Denmark in the first round: England immediately eliminated, they obtained two draws before a defeat against the hosts of Sweden. A similar fate will be given to France, which is also capable of conquering only two points: access to the semi-finals in Sweden and Denmark, fished out at the last moment. The other group was instead won by the Netherlands, with a two-point margin on the Germans.
The first crossover of the semi-finals pitted the world champions Germany against their host nation Sweden, resulting in a 3-2 Mannschaft victory. The other semi-final saw Denmark reinvigorate their role as outsiders, bending the Dutch of Marco van Basten to penalties.
The final saw a great triumph for Denmark, who won 2-0 over the Germans and won the first trophy in their history.

Who will be the outsider at the next European Championship
? North Macedonia or Finland and Slovakia. As for Italy we can say that it is just close to the lot of the very favorites and we are confident that it will have a great path in the tournament, also because we have not seen such a cohesive and determined Italian national team for many years.
We just have to wait until 11 June for the kick-off of the European Championships.

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