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5 teams that flattered to deceive at Euro 2020

France and Portugal were two of the early casualties at Euro 2020.
France and Portugal were two of the early casualties at Euro 2020.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST

Euro 2020 was largely a tournament of the underdogs. Italy, a traditional European heavyweight, may have been crowned champions after beating England in the final, but some less-fancied teams offered pleasant surprises along the way.

Denmark reached their first European semi-final since 1992, the year they won the Euros, while the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Switzerland also impressed at Euro 2020.

The tournament also saw some teams that failed to live up to their hype, going out earlier than expected. On that note, let's have a look at the top five teams that flattered to deceive the most at Euro 2020:


#5 Turkey

Turkey couldn't live up to their pre-tournament hype at Euro 2020.
Turkey couldn't live up to their pre-tournament hype at Euro 2020.

Besides their semi-final finish in 2008, Turkey have underwhelmed at the Euros. But there were high expectations from them at Euro 2020, as they took four points off world champions France in the qualifiers and lost only thrice since the start of 2019, going into the quadrennial tournament.

However, far from progressing into the knockouts, the Crescent Stars finished bottom of Group A, finishing behind Italy, Wales and Switzerland without garnering a single point and scoring just once.

Sure, none of the three teams were pushovers, with the Azzurri going all the way at Euro 2020. But it was the limp fashion in which Senol Gunes' side went down in all their group fixtures that was truly disappointing.

The attacking effervescence with which the Turks swatted teams aside in the qualifiers was severely lacking at Euro 2020. Defensively too, they were all over the place.


#4 Russia

Contrary to their fairy tale 2018 FIFA World Cup run, Euro 2020 was a chastening experience for Russia.
Contrary to their fairy tale 2018 FIFA World Cup run, Euro 2020 was a chastening experience for Russia.

The hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup were also one of the best underdogs of the tournament. Russia marched all the way to the quarter-finals that year and picked up some huge scalps along the way.

Having been drawn alongside Belgium, Denmark and Finland at Euro 2020 (and hosting a few games too), Russia were the dark horses to progress into the next round once again.

But despite having almost the same team that featured at the World Cup three years ago, Russia went out in the group stage after two defeats and a vastly inferior goal difference.

Heavy defeats to Belgium and Denmark undid their slender 1-0 victory over Euro debutants Finland as the Sbornaya lacked the fighting spirit they displayed at the 2018 World Cup.

An early exit, coming on the back of a disastrous Nations League campaign last year, proved to be the final straw for manager Stanislav Cherchesov, who was sacked after the tournament.

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Edited by Bhargav
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