On Friday, Euro 2020 will kick off, and the madness in the world is only rising and rising. Football has experienced a difficult year, with almost no European fans present at the games, and the growing fervor ahead of the tournament which has been postponed for an entire year due to the outbreak of the corona virus cannot be explained. Everyone is looking at the big teams – France, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Spain and even the Netherlands, but who are the teams that might surprise? There are quite a few of these, and they are very powerful. These are the teams that will make up the “black horses” of the upcoming Euro.
The Turks are the youngest team in the tournament – the average age of all the squad players is only 25. This is due in part to the fact that a rare generation of young defensive players has grown up there. With 23-year-old Smell Demiral from Juventus, 21-year-old Ozen Kabak who spent the last half of the season on loan at Liverpool, 25-year-old Chaglar Soyunjo from Leicester, 24-year-old right-back Zaki Chelik who won the French championship with Lille , And 22-year-old left-back Mert Moldor from Sassuolo, coached by a lousy back-to-back coach – so much so that he conceded just three goals in every qualifying campaign, and kept a clean sheet in all home games, including a 0-2 win over France.
Gonesh, however, the man who marched the Turks to third place at the 2002 World Cup, is a very offensive coach known for cultivating pioneers in grace. In fact, he is the one who propelled forward Borak Yilmaz’s career a decade ago in Trabzonspor. And here’s the turning point – now Burak is the 35-year-old captain of the team, who even pulls the low age average upwards. He contributed to Lille’s championship even more than Chelik, and his self-confidence before the European Championships could not be better.
Add to the equation a quality link squad, led by Milan’s stationary ball wizard, Hakan Celhanolo, and you get a real black horse. Turkey qualified for the semi-finals of the European Championship in 2008, and a bet on restoring the achievement will not be unfounded. She is even able to go further if everything works out in her favor.
The Danes will never be as brilliant again as they were in the happy 80s, but they can also be as effective as at Euro 1992, when Richard Muller Nielsen led them to win the tournament against all odds. The current team, whose majority of staff is involved in a successful campaign in the last World Cup where the Danes were eliminated in the quarter-finals against Croatia only due to bad luck in a penalty shootout, is somewhat reminiscent of the model from 29 years ago.
With the exception of Christian Eriksen, who has returned to life at Inter in recent months after a difficult period, the Danes do not have big stars, but there are many stable players who make up a cohesive and balanced team. Caspar Schmeichel is one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League. Pierre-Emil Hoyberg is a formidable fighter in midfield that every coach would want, and he also has excellent technical abilities. Captain Simon Kier enjoyed a good season at AC Milan, and alongside him, young midfielder Andreas Christensen from Chelsea will be on guard.
They are neither scary nor attention-grabbing, but on a given day they will make life difficult for any opponent – especially if the inexperienced coach Caspar Yulmand proves himself tactically on the big stage. The recent results are encouraging, and the Danes hope that everything will connect to them, perhaps as in Euro 1992.
The Swedes qualified for the last quarter-final of the World Cup thanks to a very organized game, even if without brilliance. This time, their roster is similar, plus two very exciting young wingers. Alexander Isaac has proven himself as a gifted scorer in the Real Sociedad uniform, while Diane Kolosevsky is one of the rising young stars in the Italian league in the Juventus uniform. If the collaboration between them blossoms, the bunch in yellow will be of much better quality up front compared to 2018, which definitely makes it a potential black horse.
Because the base already exists – there is an organized defense squad led by Victor Lindloff from Manchester United, there is a good link led by Leipzig star Emil Forsberg who may move to Bayern Munich, and there is coach Jana Anderson who has been guiding them since 2016. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s sensational return brought a lot of noise into the system, but the veteran star was injured and retired from the squad – and now the stage once again belongs to more modest actors with a sane scale ego. This is exactly what Sweden needs to succeed.
There is something reassuring for the players when they know the coach will be the focus of media attention anyway. Andrei Shevchenko is the big star of Ukraine, and he has consistently managed to build an organized team with a strong character. It has a lot of young players, and most of them play in the big two in the local league – Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv – but they did above and beyond in the qualifiers and finished at the top of their home table over Portugal, with just four mandatory goals.
The Ukrainians’ momentum may have been better a year ago, at the original time of the tournament, but on the other hand the team’s most important star duo has actually upgraded last season. Alexander Zinchenko has become a very significant player in the Manchester City squad, even if Pep Guardiola uses him as a left-back while in the national team he is the central midfielder who coordinates all the moves.
In addition to that, Ruslan Malinowski experienced a phenomenal season in Atlanta, and was one of the best in the entire Italian league in the first months of 2021. The houses.