The championship is likely to experience a number of milestones being uprooted in this edition.
The wait is almost over as the much-anticipated Euro 2020 will kick-off with the opening game in Rome in June 12. Similar to other editions, there’s so much to look forward to. Exciting ties, big individual match-ups, shocking exits, surprise winners and of course, records.
Plenty of records and milestones are set to be made or broken at the Euro 2020. However, these are the 10 records on which you should be keeping an eye on.
10. Most appearances without progressing from the group stage
This is not the record which any team would be proud of. However, Ukraine, Austria and Scotland are staring at setting the unwanted distinction. All three sides, along with Bulgaria, have played in the competition twice before without ever progressing beyond the group stages.
Ukraine and Austria have been drawn in the same group. So the competition would be intense. Scotland, meanwhile, are with England, Croatia and Czech Republic in the other and have a tough ask of qualifying into the knockout rounds.
9. Most goals in a European championship
The competition expanded its format to 24 teams from the usual 16 ahead of Euro 2016, ensuring more games. So naturally, the last edition of the championship saw the most amount of goals ever scored with 106.
Now, with the Video Assistant Referee coming into play too, we could see those numbers being surpassed. The technology has helped award more penalties since its introduction, but having said that, the VAR has also disallowed several goals. So this could go either way.
8. Longest gap between European titles
Italy is the only side that could set this record in Euro 2020. It’s been 53 years since the Azzurri lifted their first and only European success. Getting crowned this year would see them setting the longest gap between two titles, surpassing Spain.
La Roja currently hold the record, with a gap of 44 years between their first European glory in 1964 and the second in 2008.
Italy, who failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, are looking to erase their past heartbreaks. Defeats in the 2000 and 2012 finals are the closest they have come to regaining continental success. With Roberto Mancini managing a highly talented squad, the Italian team are one of the dark horses who could go all the way in the continental competition.
7. Biggest ever victory margin
No side has ever won by more than a margin of five goals – which remains the biggest victory in the competition till now. France first set the record with a 5-0 thrashing of Belgium in 1984. But since then, Denmark 5-0 Yugoslavia (1984), Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia (2000) and Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria (2004) have equaled the goal margin.
Since debutants like Finland and North Macedonia are participating at Euro 2020, there’s a small chance of witnessing a bigger victory. Then there’s the ‘group of death’ with France, Portugal and Germany looking to feast on minnows Hungary.
6. Most tournaments played in
In what’s likely to be his last Euros, Cristiano Ronaldo will aim to bow out by shattering a few more records. For starters, he’ll be the player with most tournaments played in, the moment he steps onto the pitch on the opening day.
The Portuguese ace has played in four European championships before, a record he’s currently held with 16 other players. However, on June 15, he could make the milestones his own. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently returned from retirement, has been ruled out from the tournament following an injury. Else the Swede would have been in the reckoning too with a fifth Euros with his national side.
5. Most goals in a Euro championship
Scoring the most number of goals doesn’t always guarantee the championship. However, the record currently belongs to French and the Dutch sides of 2000 as well as the Les Blues squad of 2004. They all scored 13 goals each in those respective editions.
France are once again in with a shout of setting a new record. The world champions are stacked with attacking talents such as Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Karim Benzema’s return only adds more bite.
England and Belgium have many stellar forwards in their ranks and can set a new record too.
4. Youngest goalscorer in Euro history
Currently, the record is held by Switzerland’s Johan Vonlanthen, who scored in the competition when he was just 18 years 141 days old at the Euro 2004. It has somehow stayed intact all these years, but now, there’s one player who could surpass that feat at the Euro 2020.
Borussia Dortmund’s rising star Jude Bellingham has been called up to England squad. He doesn’t turn 18 until the end of this month. And even if the Three Lions go all the way, the midfielder would still be a lot younger than what Vonlanthan was when he scored his record-setting goal.
Another player in the reckoning for the milestone is Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski, who’s younger than Bellingham by 109 days. So that means if he manages to find the net, the record will be his, regardless of Bellingham’s returns.
3. Youngest player at the Euros
Another record which both Bellingham and Kozlowski would be chasing. The title of youngest-ever player at the Euros currently belongs to Jetro Willems. He debuted in the completion at just 18 years and 71 days with the Netherlands in 2012, making two more appearances thereafter.
Bellingham, given his top-flight experience and promising talent, is sure to get some minutes with England. But given Kozlowski is much younger than him, he could make the record his own the moment he steps onto the field.
2. Most goals in the history of Euros
Another milestone waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s currently the joint-highest scorer in the competition with nine goals, level with French legend Michel Palatini, who scored all of them in the title-winning 1984 edition.
The Portuguese captain has scored at least once in each of his last four appearances in the competition. So expect him to bag one more in the upcoming main event. However, Antoine Griezmann, with six under his belt, is also a potential candidate to surpass the mark.
1. Most goals in a single Euro competition
This will arguably be the hardest record to break, but there’s a chance. Michel Platini’s nine-goal haul in 1984 is the most ever managed by a player in a single edition of the European championship. To add the icing on the cake, it helped France clinch their first-ever title in the competition as well. However, Euro 2020 boasts of incredible strikers who are bore than capable of breaching the mark.
The closest anyone has come to this is Antoine Griezmann, who netted six times for Les Blues in 2016. If the record is indeed surpassed this year, it’ll most likely be from a player who’s team has reached deep into the tournament.