The Euro final is upon us with the two resurgent powers of Italy and England set to face off at Wembley on 11th July. The sides have been the two best teams of the competition, having steamrolled their way to the semis before overcoming Spain and Denmark respectively to book their places in the showpiece.
FootTheBall brings to you interesting trivia around the final and this year’s Euro before the two sides clash.
10 TO 1
10 – The number of unique countries to have won the European championships. Soviet Union, Spain, Italy, Germany/West Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece and Portugal are the countries to have won it until now. England would become number 11
9 – The number of penalty shootouts that England have participated in, across all competitions (4 World Cup, 4 Euros, 1 Nations league). The English had a dismal record until 2018, having won just one out of seven but they have won their last two penalty shootouts – in the World Cup against Colombia, and more recently, in the Nations League against Switzerland
8 – The number of consecutive matches (including qualifying) that England have not conceded a goal in UEFA Euros, a joint high. The free kick from Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard in the semifinal made sure that the Three Lions do not get the outright record
First direct free-kick at EURO 2020 🎯✅
🇩🇰 Unforgettable moment for Denmark star Mikkel Damsgaard!#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/xawbghoz25
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 7, 2021
7 – Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini’s rank in the all time appearance list for Italy. The Juventus defender has featured 111 times for the Azzurri and with Gigi Buffon leading the way at 176, it is difficult to see any outfield player beating his record
6 – The number of wins Italy or England will have if the final does not go to a penalty shootout. The six wins would set a record for most wins by a team in a single Euro tournament
5 – The team that loses would also equal the record set by France of most wins (5) in a single tournament without becoming champions in 2016
4 – The most number of goals scored in a European championship final. Czechoslovakia played out a 2-2 draw with West Germany in the 1976 final before defeating the Germans on penalties while Spain thumped Italy 4-0 in the 2012 final. Fans will be hoping that the same level of entertainment is on show at Wembley on Sunday
3 – The most number of goals scored by an individual Italian at the Euros with Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano scoring three goals each. Balotelli’s three goals at Euro 2012 is the most by an Italian at a single Euro as well. Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, Manuel Locatelli, Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina can all equal that record in the final having scored two goals each so far
2 – The number of times Italy and England have faced each other in the Euros before Sunday’s final. Italy have triumphed on both occasions – a 1-0 win in the 1980 group stages and a win on penalties in the 2012 Euros quarterfinal
2️⃣ days to go! pic.twitter.com/RonkIbdDL6
— England (@England) July 9, 2021
1 – The number of Euros won by Italy. The Azzurri have won the World Cup four times but haven’t had the same luck on the continent. Their solitary win came in 1968 and Roberto Mancini’s men will be looking to emulate that feat
0 – The number of Euro finals played by England in their entire history. The English have played in just one major final – the 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany. Perhaps, football is not quite coming home but rather exploring new pastures
EURO 2020 STATS
Golden Boot – Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal and Patrik Schick, Czech Republic (5)
Ronaldo showed he has still got it even at 36 years of age, scoring five goals in the three group stage games,helped in part by the three penalties Portugal got. He was unable to stop his team’s Round of 16 exit to Belgium and would certainly have added to his tally had his side gone deep in the tournament.
Schick scored the goal of the tournament in his side’s opener against Scotland lobbing David Marshall from the halfway line. However, he proved he wasn’t a one-shot wonder and his goals helped unfancied Czech Republic reach the quarterfinals where they lost to Denmark.
Harry Kane is joint-second with four goals and may yet overtake the pair if he manages to get on the scoresheet in the final. That is of course after discounting the fact that there have been 11 own goals at the tournament.
⚽ @HKane moves up to 6th in the Top Scorers table 👏👏👏
🔮🔝 Will Kane catch @Cristiano?@alipay | #EUROtopscorer | #EURO2020
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 8, 2021
Most Assists – Steven Zuber, Switzerland (4)
The Swiss upset the favourites France in their Round of 16 clash and Steven Zuber was at the heart of this iconic victory. He assisted Haris Seferovic for the opener and if not for Zuber’s three assists in the group stage, Switzerland might not have even reached the knockouts.
Luke Shaw of England can level or pull ahead of Zuber should he continue his rich vein of form against Italy in the final.
Total Shots – Dani Olmo, Spain (22)
Dani Olmo might have missed a key penalty in Spain’s semi-final exit to Italy but there is no denying that the midfielder had an outstanding tournament. The Leipzig man is a very smart mover on the field and his smart movement got him into space which allowed him to take shots. Compatriot Alvaro Morata and Italian Ciro Immobile are joint-second with 17 shots each.
The shot count becomes even more impressive when you factor in the fact that Olmo was often used off the bench. He recorded 5.24 shots/90 which is a very high figure even in Spain’s uber dominating style.
Fastest Player – Leonardo Spinazzola, Italy and Loic Nego, Hungary (21mph)
Italy will be missing their speedy left-back who damaged his achilles tendon in the quarterfinal win over Belgium. Spinazzola had impressed a lot before his long-term injury after he set the pace record at the tournament.
Most Distance Covered – Pedri, Spain (76.1kms)
The young Barcelona midfielder has impressed everyone with maturity beyond his years. He has dictated the midfield, covering every blade of grass and being the legs for Sergio Busquets. Pedri has had a long season and both Ronald Koeman and Luis Enrique would do well to manage his workload better at just 18 years of age.
It is unlikely that Pedri will top this stat after the final though with Jorginho less than 4kms behind him with 72.3. Kalvin Phillips has run 67.3 kms and may also overtake Pedri if he puts in a mammoth shift. Pedri leads the charts for shot creating and goal creating actions as well, showing that his efforts were highly productive as well.
Pedri's already an integral part of both Barcelona and Spain offences; he's played 4,734 minutes this season which ranks him 7th in Europe for the U23 category. Barring voter incompetence he should be voted into the Team of the Tournament.
Again, he's just 18-years old! pic.twitter.com/cW1pDZMyi4
— UtdArena (@utdarena) July 8, 2021
Most Tackles – Marco Verratti, Italy (21)
Verratti was a doubt coming into the tournament and missed the Azzurri’s first two group stage matches. But when he did come back, he did so in style. The PSG midfielder has been the lynchpin for Italy’s overwhelming dominance and his battle with Pedri and Busquets in the middle of the park in the semifinal was one for the ages.
Second place is shared by Locatelli, Lainer and Busquets with 14 tackles each. It is safe to say that no one is overtaking Verratti in this metric.
Most Saves – Yann Sommer, Switzerland (22)
Goalkeepers usually stand out in international knockout tournaments and no number one has stood out as much as Yann Sommer at this year’s Euros. The Borussia Monchengladbach shot stopper made exceptional saves in normal time against France and Spain in the knockouts and did well in the penalty shootouts as well.
He saved Kylian Mbappe’s decisive penalty to send Switzerland through to the quarters where he saved from Rodri in the shootout but was outdone by his Spanish counterpart Unai Simon who saved two penalties to ensure La Roja’s progression.
Players Dribbled Past – Raheem Sterling, England (18)
Sterling has been England’s unexpected star of the tournament. The Man City winger had a difficult domestic season but he has been exceptional in the Three Lions’ jersey. He has not only scored important winning goals but has also been key in the buildup, using his pace and trickery to glide past opponents. Spain’s Dani Olmo is second with 14 alongside Aleksander Isak of Sweden.
The support and energy from all the fans have been incredible both at Wembley and everyone watching at home. Bring on Sunday under the arches ❤️🏴 pic.twitter.com/KqhXHflaNa
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) July 8, 2021
Most Passes Completed – Aymeric Laporte, Spain (658)
It is clear from a glance at the passing charts to see that Spain like to keep the ball. All of the top four rankers are Luis Enrique’s men in order – Laporte, Jordi Alba, Pedri, and Pau Torres. Laporte’s last minute decision to represent Spain instead of France has clearly paid dividends.
The Man City man has been the catalyst for Spain’s revival and they could have knocked out Italy as well if not for a lack of luck and some poor finishing.
The stage is set and the players are ready to give it their all in the final. Set your clocks, make the popcorn and grab a seat for the rollercoaster ride.