EURO 2012 • Team & Group Strength

This year 16 out of 51 European nations will compete for the 14th European Championship. The UEFA tournament will take place in both Poland and Ukraine between June 8th and July 1st 2012. After incredible 15 months(!) of qualifying the four final groups are set, so let’s have a look at how “strong” teams / groups are in comparison.

  

FIFA vs. ELO Ratings

EURO2012 Relative Team StrengthObviously, there are several ways to define the strength of a national football team: There is the official FIFA ranking (FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking), which takes the performance of a team in the last four years into account (before 2006: eight years). Points are awarded based on the results of all FIFA-recognised full international matches, but regardless of goals scored and potential home advantages. — FIFA rankings have been revamped multiple times to reflect the differences between “official” and perceived team quality.

Another systems is called World Football ELO Ratings. It features a “win expectancy” factor: Teams are awarded more points when expected to lose, and gain additional points for every goal they score against higher rated teams. The ELO system was originally used as a method to define chess player’s strength, but has long been adopted to the world of football.

Comparing Teams with Relative ELO

The following tables use the ELO rating points as a base. Strength of all participating teams at the EURO2012 are calculated in comparison to the highest ranked team (Spain, 2093 points, 100%) and lowest (Poland, 1682 points, 0%).

Additionally, the relative strength of teams within the UEFA zone is shown. Here the highest ranked team (Spain, ELO UEFA rank #1) is compared to the lowest ranked one which participated in the qualification rounds, San Marino (ELO UEFA rank #51). Since the 16 qualified nations are among the highest rated teams in Europe, the numbers are unsurprisingly high as well (80,4% – 100%).

  

EURO 2012 • Team Strength & QL Performance

Qualification incl. Relegation • Relative UEFA Strength from Spain (100%) to San Marino (0%) • Relative EURO2012 Strength from Spain (100%) to Poland (0%)

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
1ESP SpainC2093100.0100.01003.03.30.82.5
2GER GermanyB205798.391.21003.03.40.72.7
3NED NetherlandsB204297.687.6902.73.70.82.9
4ENG EnglandD192692.059.4632.32.10.61.5
5POR PortugalB187489.546.7602.02.71.41.3
6CRO CroatiaC186589.144.5672.62.10.61.5
7ITA ItalyC186188.943.6802.62.00.21.8
8SWE SwedenD183187.536.3802.43.11.12.0
9FRA FranceD181186.531.4602.11.50.41.1
10DEN Denmark B180086.028.7752.41.90.81.1
11RUS RussiaA178885.425.8702.31.70.41.3
12IRL IrelandC177584.822.6582.11.70.71.0
13CZE Czech RepublicA176584.320.2601.91.50.80.7
14GRE GreeceA175984.018.7702.41.40.50.9
15UKR UkraineD174083.114.100.00.00.00.0
16POL PolandA168280.40.000.00.00.00.0

EURO 2012 • Relative Average Group Strength

Average Group Strength EURO 2012The following data shows that Group B with Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark is in fact the “Group of Death”, whereas Group A with Russia, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland can be seen as the “Group of Life”. — That being said, there is another death group: Spain, Croatia, Italy and The Republic of Ireland have an average team strength of 52,7%, compared to 63,6% of Group B. The overall differences between the four EURO2012 groups are huge, which may lead to “weaker” nations advancing further than expected.

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
1Group BB194392.863.6812.52.90.92.0
2Group CC189990.752.7762.62.30.61.7
3Group DD182787.335.3682.32.20.71.7
4Group AA174984.621.6672.21.50.61.0

EURO 2012 • Group A

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
11RUS RussiaA178885.425.8702.31.70.41.3
13CZE Czech RepublicA176584.320.2601.91.50.80.7
14GRE GreeceA175984.018.7702.41.40.50.9
16POL PolandA168280.40.000.00.00.00.0

EURO 2012 • Group B

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
2GER GermanyB205798.391.21003.03.40.72.7
3NED NetherlandsB204297.687.6902.73.70.82.9
5POR PortugalB187489.546.7602.02.71.41.3
10DEN Denmark B180086.028.7752.41.90.81.1

EURO 2012 • Group C

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
1ESP SpainC2093100.0100.01003.03.30.82.5
6CRO CroatiaC186589.144.5672.62.10.61.5
7ITA ItalyC186188.943.6802.62.00.21.8
12IRL IrelandC177584.822.6582.11.70.71.0

EURO 2012 • Group D

#CountryGroupELO RatingRel. Strength UEFARel. Strength EURO2012% QL Games Won Avg. Points QL GamesAvg. Goals +Avg. Goals -Avg. Goal Difference
4ENG EnglandD192692.059.4632.32.10.61.5
8SWE SwedenD183187.536.3802.43.11.12.0
9FRA FranceD181186.531.4602.11.50.41.1
15UKR UkraineD174083.114.100.00.00.00.0
Last update
March 5th, 2012

Data sources
wikipedia.org, uefa.com, eloratings.net, bwin.com, futebolfinance.com + various football association websites

Notes regarding League Comparison Tables
  • # Rank based on UEFA Ranking.
  • UEFA Ranking (UEFA coefficient) shows a snapshot taken after the 2011 finals. 2nd Divisions are not ranked by UEFA.
  • CL/EC Titles lists Champions League (1992-2011) and European Cup (1955-1991) wins
  • EL/CWC/UEFA Titles lists Europa League (2009-2011), UEFA Cup (1971-2008), Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1955-1971) and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1961-1999) and wins.
  • % of Foreign Players consists of players whose nationality differs from the country they play in. If a player has dual citizenship, the first nationality decides.
  • % of Population per Matchday is the average percentage of a countries population attending on a matchday.
  • Stadium capacity only takes stadiums in account where a team plays their home games. This excludes Wembley Stadium (London) and Stade de France (Saint-Denis).
Notes regarding European Cup Tables
  • Default sorting by total points.
  • 3 points per win for all games, irrespective of date.
  • Qualifying games are included throughout the tables.
  • # Rank based on total points earned in European Competitions.
  • Rounding errors may apply for % Wins, % Draws and % Losses
Notes regarding Domestic League Tables
  • Default sorting by total points.
  • 3 points per win for all games, irrespective of date.
  • # Rank based on total points earned in the Domestic League.
  • Rounding errors may apply for % Wins, % Draws and % Losses
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