Euro 2008: For the anoraks, it all points to Germany

June 8, 2008

Ballack speaks at a news conference

Sat with my anorak on in Vienna in the Reuters Euro 2008 office I spent much of the week in the build-up to Euro 2008 buried in weird and wonderful statistics … and a lot of them point to Germany winning.

For example, the last time the Germans played on the second day of a European Championship final tournament was at Euro 96 in England. They beat the Czech Republic 2-0 at Old Trafford, Manchester and went on to lift the trophy for the third time.

Here, at Euro 2008, they play Poland on the second day of the tournament.

During qualifying for the Euro 96 finals Germany won eight matches, losing just one in a group featuring Wales.

In qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals Germany won eight matches and lost one in a group featuring? You guessed it, Wales.

And also Germany/West Germany won a European Championship eight years after Belgium had hosted the competition, which they last did in 2000 – eight years ago.

Throw in the fact they scored the most goals in qualifying, are the most experienced country (in their 10th European Championship), and have an in-form global star in Michael Ballack, I think the other teams might as well just go home now. What do you think?

PHOTO: Michael Ballack pauses during a news conference in Tenero June 6, 2008. (EURO 2008 Preview) REUTERS/Alex Grimm


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I think you should get out more

Posted by Big Blue | Report as abusive

Stats are nice, but they do not play the matches. I think we should wait for the first round of matches to be played before choosing any favourites. The 16 teams at the tournament got there by winning, not by losing. So they are all favourites in my opinion, even though the stats favour some of them. I’d like Romania to win the trophy, but I wouldn’t mind if Portugal lift the cup at the end.

Posted by Adrian Enache | Report as abusive

That is factually incorrect!!!

Germany lost to Czechia 3:0 in Munich!

Posted by Tomas the Czech | Report as abusive

I have no idea why Germany are everyone’s favourites. They have not impressed me in the euros since 1996. That’s 12 years ago. We’ll see. If Klose is on form, anything iis possible. http;//

Posted by Gio | Report as abusive

Hi Tomas,

Yes the Czech’s did beat Germany 3-0 in Munich which is the one game Germany lost in qualifying, I did not say who against, just that Wales were in the group:

“In qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals Germany won eight matches and lost one ”

Maybe after last night’s victory the Czech’s will feel they could beat Germany 3-0 again, this time in the quarter-finals!

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

I have no problem with Germany being installed as the favorites, their traditional record speaks for themselves.

However, the tone of this article is a bit biased in suggesting that other teams are merely there to make up the numbers.

Posted by JohnST | Report as abusive

Sorry Patrick, my bad!

Thanks for actually reading the comments thread and conversing with the readers!

Posted by Tomas the Czech | Report as abusive

[…] Euro 2008: For the anoraks, it all points to Germany By Patrick Johnston Sat with my anorak on in Vienna in the Reuters Euro 2008 office I spent much of the week in the build-up to Euro 2008 buried in weird and wonderful statistics … and a lot of them point to Germany winning. … Reuters Soccer Blog – […]

Posted by Euro 2008: For the anoraks, it all points to Germany | Report as abusive

Another wierd little statistic (that may be as valuable or as useless as the rest of your figures) is that West Germany/Germany have won the tournament every time they won their first match — as they did tonight against Poland.

Posted by Erik Kirschbaum | Report as abusive

I do agree that Germany should be considered favorites, considering their footballing history, the role geography plays in this event not to mention their current form. But, despite the win they had against Poland klagenfurt and the command they exhibit over their game, I am inclined to believe current form, not statistics, and for me the Polish team were slightly overawed at their German opponents on the night which helped to nurture an innately-German professional team effort showing fine displays of game control and temporance on the ball.

Although, in a strange way, the down side of Germanys game is that when in control of the game they have a tendency to become too tightly organized, particularly in mid-field and up front, in-turn showing their weakness in creativity in those areas and offering all their opponents incentive to become disarmingly inventive. (can Germany become more flexible under the responsibility-laden Michael Ballack?)

Posted by Vitruvian 21 | Report as abusive

I concur with big Blue – doff that anorak and go enjoy the sights and sounds of Wien. There’s a place does awesome kebabs near Sudbahnhof train station.
Ze germans look good though, as long as nutbag-Lehman doesn’t throw a wobbly and decide to defecate on the penalty spot at an inopportune moment…

Posted by Cahir McDaid | Report as abusive

of course Germany is going to win; these fact supporting it or not.

The stars are aligned Deutschland will hoist the trophy once again!!!

Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive