Euro 2024 power rankings: Rating every nation’s chances ahead of the tournament

Euro 2024 is here with 24 teams competing to win the Henri Delaunay Trophy in Germany this summer.

Germany thumped Scotland in the opener in Munich with German fans delighted with the prospect of a fourth European Championship.

The strongest nations all appear fallible coming into the European Championship, and it is shaping up to be an open tournament with the chance to go deep into the knockout rounds for any side who can get their act together.

Here, The Independent assesses how every Euro 2024 nation stacks up.

1. France

France have not been European champions since 2000, but they will arrive in Germany as one of the favourites to win the trophy after reaching the past two World Cup finals. They have both the best player in the tournament, Kylian Mbappe, and the most strength in depth – players like Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga and Inter’s in-form Marcus Thuram may only make the bench. Didier Deschamps is still searching for the right blend and balance, as the recent defeat by Germany and draw with Canada showed, but expect France to find it by the knockout rounds.

France were beaten by Germany in Lyon (Getty Images)
France were beaten by Germany in Lyon (Getty Images)

2. Germany

Julian Nagelsmann has reshaped his midfield by parachuting in Toni Kroos from international retirement, and the early signs are that the gamble might just work. Germany thrashed Scotland 5-1 in the opener and found a buzz from Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz in the wide attacking positions, with Kai Havertz leading as a false nine and Ilkay Gundogan in the No 10 role. It all comes together to see this reimagined German side become a dangerous prospect. And with home advantage, Germany suddenly look like contenders to be crowned champions of Europe again, almost three decades after Euro ‘96.

3. England

This is Gareth Southgate’s fourth major tournament as England manager – and possibly his last – and he will take his strongest squad yet. Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are the top scorers in LaLiga and the Bundesliga at the time of writing; Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka are two of the best attacking players in the Premier League; Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer look like future leaders. England’s Achilles heel remains their defence, as mistakes in the recent friendly against Belgium showed, but they have the attacking firepower and tournament experience to navigate their way to the final. A 1-0 defeat by Iceland at Wembley was not ideal preparation.

Jude Bellingham is central to England’s hopes in Germany (AP)
Jude Bellingham is central to England’s hopes in Germany (AP)

4. Portugal

Portugal were the only team with a perfect qualifying record, winning 10 games out of 10, and neatly Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 goals. A surprise friendly defeat by Slovenia in March’s international break set some alarm bells ringing, and at the end Ronaldo walked off in a trademark huff. But Roberto Martinez will bring one of the best squads to Germany this summer including Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Pedro Neto, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Rafael Leao among a raft of attacking talent.

5. Spain

An exciting new generation of Spanish players will show itself at these Euros through the talents of Atletico’s Nico Williams and Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal – the 16-year-old Yamal is already one of Barca’s best players and was sensational for Spain against Brazil in their friendly draw at the Bernabeu. The youngsters will flit around Rodri, arguably the best midfielder in the world right now, and there is a quiet optimism that Spain can make a big impact in Germany.

Spain drew with Brazil in a 3-3 thriller (AP)
Spain drew with Brazil in a 3-3 thriller (AP)

6. Netherlands

Ronald Koeman continues to bounce between wing-backs and a more typical Dutch 4-3-3 formation, and it was the latter that proved effective in March’s friendly internationals with a 4-0 thrashing of Scotland. The problem for Netherlands remains the lack of a reliable goalscorer – no Dutch player scored more than three goals during qualifying.

7. Italy

The reigning champions have been unconvincing ever since beating England in the final at Wembley three years ago. They failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, then finished third in the Nations League, before scraping through qualifying for the Euros ahead of Ukraine with two defeats by England along the way. Like a number of the bigger nations, a significant problem for Luciano Spalletti is the lack of goals among his forward players, but Italy can never be discounted when it comes to major tournaments.

8. Belgium

The golden generation has faded and there is not quite the same talent coming through to replace them, but a fully fit Kevin De Bruyne still represents one of the best players in Europe. Belgium went through qualifying unbeaten, conceding only four goals, and have not lost a match since they were stunned by Morocco at the 2022 World Cup. Romelu Lukaku top-scored in Euro 2024 qualifying with 14 goals and he will be key once more.

Youri Tielemans is key to Belgium’s midfield (Reuters)
Youri Tielemans is key to Belgium’s midfield (Reuters)

9. Austria

Ralf Rangnick has got Austria playing some good football. They qualified comfortably after beating key rivals Sweden home and away, and then put together two impressive wins over the March international break, beating Slovakia 2-0 and Turkey 6-1. In David Alaba, Marko Arnautovic, Marcel Sabitzer, Christoph Baumgartner and Michael Gregoritsch they have some good players to call upon. They have just enough to cause an upset in a tough group with France and Netherlands.

10. Hungary

Marco Rossi’s free-flowing team are a joy to watch at their best and an underrated force too, having not lost a game of any kind since a Nations League defeat by Italy in September 2022. Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai is the captain and outstanding player, while striker Barnabas Varga is a threat: he scored four goals in qualifying and has 26 in 30 games this season for Hungarian champions Ferencvaros. They beat Israel 3-0 in their final warm-up before the tournament.

Dominik Szoboszlai is Hungary’s key player (EPA)
Dominik Szoboszlai is Hungary’s key player (EPA)

11. Croatia

Croatia remain reliant on a 38-year-old Luka Modric to run the midfield but then he is still producing sublime performances, so who can blame them. Their record shows they know how to go deep in major tournaments, and a 2-1 friendly win over Portugal last week will have boosted confidence. A tough Euro 2024 group with Spain and Italy will reveal more about Croatia’s chances.

12. Denmark

The Danes qualified well for these Euros and the form of Rasmus Hojlund at Manchester United provides some hope ahead of the tournament. Manager Kasper Hjulmand led the team to the semi-finals at Euro 2020 but they flopped at the World Cup, and he is still searching for the right formation after flipping between a back four and wing-backs.

13. Slovenia

England should be wary of Group C rivals Slovenia and particularly giant striker Benjamin Sesko, who has 11 goals in 28 caps for his country to date and is enjoying an impressive debut season for RB Leipzig. A surprise 2-0 win over Portugal in March’s friendlies was another reminder of their threat.

Benjamin Sesko takes selfies with Slovenia fans (Getty Images)
Benjamin Sesko takes selfies with Slovenia fans (Getty Images)

14. Czech Republic

The Czechs qualified well from a competitive pool and have a good chance of progressing at the Euros from a group with Portugal, Turkey and Georgia. Captain Tomas Soucek is their key player.

15. Switzerland

The Swiss made hard work of a relatively light qualifying group and don’t look to have the firepower to cause any great shocks at the Euros. Chicago Fire’s 32-year-old Xherdan Shaqiri remains among their more dynamic attacking players.

16. Serbia

The Serbian team remains an enigma, with more talented players than their recent tournament results would suggest. In Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, captain Dusan Tadic, Sasa Lukic and Aleksandar Mitrovic there’s some quality, but they were twice beaten by Hungary in qualifying and then learnt little from a 4-0 thumping by Russia in March’s friendly preparations. Beating Sweden 3-0 in a more recent friendly will have steadied nerves.

17. Scotland

A disastrous start for Scotland, suffering a 5-1 defeat with a red card makes what was an impressive qualifying campaign seem a long time ago. Scotland shuffle down a few spots early given the nature of the defeat.

Scott McTominay was inspired in qualifying with seven goals – only Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe scored more – but that attacking threat has been lacking in a run of seven games without a win. Scotland will look to gain points against Switzerland and Hungry to emerge from Group A.

Steve Clarke, right, is confident Scotland will be ready for Euro 2024 (ane Barlow/PA)
Steve Clarke, right, is confident Scotland will be ready for Euro 2024 (ane Barlow/PA)

18. Poland

The team have rebounded under new manager Michal Probierz, following a poor qualifying campaign, and came through that dramatic play-off final with Wales in Cardiff on penalties. Robert Lewandowski is playing in quite possibly his final tournament, and Poland will need his goals to help spring a surprise in a tough group with Netherlands, France and Austria.

19. Slovakia

Slovakia qualified from a tight pool to reach the Euros, and now find themselves in a competitive but open-looking group with Belgium, Romania and Ukraine. Captain Milan Skriniar is the defensive keystone and left winger Lukas Haraslin will provide attacking impetus after a stellar season for Sparta Prague, with 14 goals so far.

Slovakia’s Lukas Haraslin brings threat from the wing (Getty Images)
Slovakia’s Lukas Haraslin brings threat from the wing (Getty Images)

20. Romania

Romania finished top of their qualifying group and unbeaten, but 16 goals scored in 10 games – four of which were against Andorra or Kosovo – tell the story of a team lacking spark in attack. Star player and captain Nicolai Stanciu has spent the past few years playing in China and Saudi Arabia.

21. Turkey

Turkey have been through a turbulent time in recent months with the sacking of manager Stefan Kuntz and the installation of Roma legend Vincenzo Montella as his replacement. Montella began by leading the team to qualification for the Euros, ahead of Wales and just behind Croatia, but the March international break was a disaster, with a 1-0 defeat by Hungary and a 6-1 thrashing from Austria. They lack a potent goalscorer and Montella has his hands full trying to get them ready to face Georgia in their opening game at the Euros.

22. Ukraine

It was heart-warming to see the celebrations as Ukraine made it through the play-offs to Euro 2024. The team has some talent most obviously seen in the boots of Mykhailo Mudryk, their hero in the play-off final, and a nation will be behind their bid to emerge from arguably the weakest group which features Belgium, Slovakia and Romania.

Mykhailo Mudryk scored Ukraine’s play-off final winner (Getty Images)
Mykhailo Mudryk scored Ukraine’s play-off final winner (Getty Images)

23. Albania

Albania topped their qualifying group but a horrendous draw sees them face Spain, Italy and Croatia in the Euro 2024 group stage – progressing to the knockouts would be a remarkable achievement. Armando Broja is their great hope, while Atalanta’s Berat Djimsiti is a high-quality defender and captain of the national team.

24. Georgia

There were celebrations in the streets of Tibilisi after Georgia qualified for their first major tournament in dramatic style, winning a penalty shootout after a tense play-off final with Greece. The French former Bayern Munich defender Willy Sagnol is the manager, and his main task is building a team that can get the best out of Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Georgia beat Montenegro 3-1 in their last friendly before the tournament.

Georgia’s players celebrate after qualifying for Euro 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Georgia’s players celebrate after qualifying for Euro 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

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