Every team at Euro 2016 ranked as though they were an X-Factor contestant


Portugal have been crowned European champions for the first time following their upset 1-0 win over hosts France, but were they really the best team at the tournament?

Let's be honest, the answer to that is probably no.

Titles are, however, not won on entertainment, how heart-warming your team's back story is or how good your fans' songs are - that's the X-Factor script - but if they were this is how we think Simon Cowell and his crew might have rated the teams at Euro 2016.

24. Ukraine

Ukraine's Viktor Kovalenko lies on the pitch

It wasn't a tournament to remember for Ukraine as they forgot their lines and bombed out at the auditions. They were the only team in France that failed to get a point, they were the only team that failed to score a goal. All-round 'nos' from us.

23. Russia

Russian supporters attack England fans at the end of the Euro 2016 Group B match

That ageing contestant who keeps coming back, but gets a little aggressive when the judges tell them they ain't good enough. Fan violence played a part in making Russia the most unpopular team in the tournament and they didn't look like getting out of their group. They had the second oldest squad at the tournament, but they're hosting the tournament next time so they *WILL* be back again. The 2018 World Cup on home soil threatens to be very embarrassing.

22. Austria

Austria's Florian Klein

Regarded as a dark horse when they arrived on the big stage, but turns out they were pretty woeful. Scored just once - and that was in a 2-1 loss to Iceland. Imagine losing 2-1 to Iceland...

21. Sweden

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Hardly fired a shot in the tournament...literally. Sweden's 23 shots were the equal-lowest, with Northern Ireland, and they had the fewest shots on target out of any team - a paltry three! They are hard stats to stomach when you've got a bloke called Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front. That group of mates who want to 'make it' together but collectively drown out the only one of them with star quality.

20. Czech Republic

Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech and team-mate Ladislav Krejci

Twenty years ago they were wowing crowds, now they're bombing out before boot camp. Czech Republic are a vastly inferior outfit to the team that has made a habit of reaching the knockout stages ever since that Euro 96 breakthrough. They still looked to Tomas Rosicky's waning talents for inspiration and since the tournament they have also seen goalkeeper Petr Cech, the country's most capped player, retire from international football.

19. Romania

Former Romania manager Anghel Iordanescu

Almost grabbed a memorable point against France on the opening night, but that's about as good as it got for them. Losing to tournament debutants Albania ended their hopes of reaching the last-16 and the fall-out has seen them appoint their first-ever foreign coach - German Christoph Daum. It was always going to be a 'no' as soon as they walked into the audition room.

18. England

England goalkeeper Joe Hart (left) England's Gary Cahill (bottom) and England's Dele Alli

Struggled through the group phase and then lost to Iceland in the most embarrassing moment for English football since conceding against San Marino after eight seconds all those years ago. It was all the worse for having a young, talented squad. Time to lose that swag and concentrate on the basics and choreography.

17. Turkey

A team member claps the cheek of Turkey's scorer Ozan Tufan

Pumped out a nice cover of one of their previous incarnations, when they beat Czech Republic 2-0, but that was about it. Expectations were hardly high heading into the tournament after Turkey qualified third in their group, behind Czech Republic and Iceland. When they were then grouped with the Czechs, plus Spain and Croatia, no-one expected qualification and it didn't happen.

16. Spain

Spain's Juanfran applauds fans after his country's exit

Beaten in their group by Croatia and they were then bullied by Italy in the last-16. Is this the end of tiki-taka football? Probably not. Is this the end of a wonderful era of Spanish football? Definitely. They got to boot camp on the back of some pretty sweet dance moves, but after a few tears Simon got tough and sent them home.

15. Albania

Albania's open-top bus celebration

Just getting to their first ever major tournament was a significant achievement so to then secure a win over Romania made Albania's trip to the big time truly memorable. They almost scared hosts France too, only to concede twice in injury-time. They were treated to an open-top bus celebration on their return home. Probably won't see them at the auditions again though.

14. Slovakia

Slovakia's Marek Hamsik

Reached the last-16 after finishing third in England's group, but their tournament was abruptly stopped in the knockout stage as world champions Germany beat them 3-0 in a show of strength. They were just happy to get a trip to one of the judge's houses.

13. Switzerland

Everyone thought they had the star quality to go far, especially when Xherdan Shaqiri's decided to defy gravity and bop in one of the candidates for goal of the tournament against Poland in the last-16. But as they came up against hardened pros their weaknesses were exposed.

12. Hungary

Hungary at Euro 2016

The last time Hungary were at a major tournament they finished fourth. That was, however, 44 years ago and expectations matched ahead of their long-awaited return to the big time. Hungary did themselves proud, topping their group and playing out one of the most entertaining matches of the initial stage when they drew 3-3 with eventual winners Portugal. Despite that everyone knew they were going home early and Belgium showed their gulf in class in a 4-0 hammering in the last-16.

11. Belgium

Sam Vokes scores against Belgium at Euro 2016

Everyone's favourite to win after some hugely impressive performances at the start, but one off night and strangely everyone was happy to see them go home. You can't help but feel Belgium's golden generation missed a golden opportunity in France. They took arguably the most talented squad to the tournament, even without injured skipper Vincent Kompany, and when the draw opened up for them they appeared shoo-ins for the final. Then along came Wales to destroy all their hopes in the quarters.

10. Croatia

Croatia's Ivan Perisi

Beat Spain in the group stage and then hardly deserved to be knocked out by eventual winners Portugal in the final few minutes of extra-time in their last-16 clash. They were well choreographed with some wonderful talents - Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic - orchestrating everything that went on around them, although whoever dressed them and cut their hair did them no favours. On another day they beat Portugal and follow their path to the final.

9. Poland

Poland's Robert Lewandowski

Never looked like winning it but it was a surprise when they got sent home. The only team who were never behind for a single minute of the tournament before they went out on penalties to eventual winners Portugal in the quarter-finals. They left with a slight sense of 'what if' after star striker Robert Lewandowksi managed just a single goal - against Portugal.

8. Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland players huddle

Their fans were immense. They led France. They beat Italy. True, they didn't play much sparkling football, but they certainly brought a lot to the tournament. We could make a Jedward reference here....

7. Northern Ireland

A Northern Ireland supporter with a 'Will Grigg's on Fire' t-shirt

Reached the knockout stages, gave us the Will Grigg song - sort of - and their fans were every bit as good as those from south of the border. The fact that they did it all while barely having a shot on goal somehow made it even better. Hello Wagner!

6. Germany

Euro2016 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Oh to support a nation that considers a semi-final appearance a disappointment. The pre-tournament worry that they might not have the firepower up front proved correct. For Germany, Euro 2016 will be remembered as the tournament in which Joachim Low sniffed his fingers and they finally missed some penalties. Everyone thought they were going to win, but once we grossed out by an off-stage story they lost their nerve and forgot what they do best.

5. Italy

Italy's Simone Zaza

Got through by being solid only to try something they were not capable of in a sing-off. With no major stars and a plenty of injuries, they still found a way to get through to the quarter-finals. There's something irresistible about Italian defending at its best - although *that* Simone Zaza penalty will live longer in the memory than anything else they did.

4. Iceland

Iceland players lead celebrations after beating England

There's not much more to say about Iceland that hasn't already been said. Their fans were great, they had a chant to rival Will Grigg and they produced one of the moments of the tournament when they beat England. Everyone loved them, but as we got down to the final few they had to go.

3. Portugal

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the trophy at the end of the Euro 2016

The Joe McElderry of world football. Yes they won the whole thing, but damn, they were dull. When you have the best player in the tournament in Cristiano Ronaldo it was a pretty good effort to be so unwatchable. They snuck through their group - qualifying in third behind Hungary and Iceland - and didn't win a game inside 90 minutes until the semi-final against Wales. They stunk out the Stade de France in the final, when Ronaldo's injury was about the only memorable moment of the first 90 minutes, before a bloke who couldn't score for Swansea smashed in the winner from the car park. Football, hey! Good luck to them.

2. Wales

Unfancied but they kept defying the odds to stop the judges from sending them home until the very end. Let's not underestimate the significance of what Chris Coleman's team achieved this past month. Wales had not qualified for a major tournament for 58 years so just getting to France was huge. To then go out and top the group, ahead of England, and then reach the semi-finals was the stuff dreams are made of. They were billed as a one-man team behind Gareth Bale but everything Wales did proved that could not be further from the truth. That was typified in their work rate but also in moments of individual brilliance such as Hal Robson-Kanu's stunning goal against Belgium. They were treated as heroes when they returned to Cardiff and rightly so.

1. France

France's Antoine Griezmann

They had everything. The star quality - see Antoine Greizmann - and a unifying back story that meant this France team's legacy had probably already been written before the final whistle in Paris on Sunday night. It's just they froze on the big stage. Les Bleus played with a verve and vigour that permeated a feelgood factor throughout the country after the events of the past 18 months. The tournament did not only run without incident, but France was as strong as ever on and off the pitch.