One thing missing from Cristiano Ronaldo’s CV is a major international trophy. In fact, Portugal, despite the all-world talent that has worn the shirt down the years, has never won a World Cup or a European Championship. They were runners-up in the 2004 Euros, but the clock is ticking on one of the game’s greatest ever players winning something big on the international stage.
Portugal’s quest for Euro 2016 glory is going to be a bit trickier than they would have liked and that starts in the group stage. Hungary, Iceland and a fantastic looking Austrian side stand in Ronaldo’s way of lifting any international silverware and furthering the world superstar’s drought on the global football stage.
We take a look at the odds to win Group F at Euro 2016 with odds coming from online shop Bodog.
Portugal qualified as winners of Group I; a group that consisted of Albania, Denmark, Serbia and Armenia. Group I was a tough one to be sure, but Portugal should have scored more than the 11 goals that they registered after those eight games.
The first thing you notice about this squad is its age. The backline and the forwards feel like they’ve been around forever as names like Ricardo Carvalho (38), Bruno Alves (34), Pepe (33), Ricardo Quaresma (32) and Ronaldo (31) will feature prominently throughout the tournament. That’s not to take anything away from the talent of those players, because they are certainly skilled.
The midfield is a different story as young names like André Gomes, João Mário, William Carvalho and the highly touted 18-year-old Renato Sanches look to make an impression as the next wave of A Selecção talent looks to make a name for themselves.
Portugal has gone quarterfinals, semifinals, runners-up, quarterfinals and semifinals in the last five Euros respectively and it feels like anything less than silverware will be a disappointment; at least for the great Cristiano Ronaldo.
After all, the clock is ticking on the great player’s international career.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Austria got really good at this game. Or was it all smoke and mirrors during qualifying? Until we find out, that price looks mighty good.
Das Team put together one of the absolute best qualifying campaigns as they won nine and drew one, collecting 28 points to win Group G with relative ease. What’s more, they dominated the opposition, bagging 22 goals and conceding just five in a group that featured Russia and Sweden, as well as smaller sides like Montenegro, Liechtenstein and Moldova.
Balanced scoring from all over the field was the order of the day during qualifying as goals came flying from FC Basel’s Marc Janko (seven), Bayern Munich’s David Alaba (four), Stoke’s Marko Arnautović and Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik (three) giving all other nations something to think about ahead of the tournament.
This is just Austria’s second appearance at the Euros after basically showing up in 2008 – the year it co-hosted with Switzerland.
This feels different, however, and this is a side to keep an eye on. Not just to record an upset or two, but to potentially take a competitive Group E.
Iceland survived the toughest group, finishing second with 20 points – just two behind the Czech Republic – to qualify for its first ever European Championship. It was a miracle of sorts, considering the island nation of just under 333,000 folks don’t really qualify for anything in the football world, but this year seems to be the year for football miracles doesn’t it?
Leicester City won the Premier League, why can’t Iceland win the Euros? If that’s your logic, it’s flawed, but go for it! Back Iceland! If anything, it’ll be a fun ride.
They do have their work cut out for them in a group that features teams that they traditionally don’t fare well against. They have played Portugal four times and lost all four. They have played Austria three times and lost one and drawn twice. Finally, they have tangled with Hungary 10 times, managing three wins and seven defeats.
The team does feature talent, though, with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alfred Finnbogason and Kobeinn Sigthórthsson able to fill the net. Plus, they conceded just six goals in that group. Six. That’s impressive and maybe that this is a side that will frustrate their opponents before hitting on a counter attack.
So maybe it’s not so crazy.
Hungary qualified via the playoff after finishing third in Group F. They totaled 16 points in the qualifying phase, finishing five behind winners Northern Ireland and four behind Romania.
The once dominant footballing country, formerly dubbed The Magical Magyars, hasn’t even been to a European Championship since 1972 and is probably just happy to be here and their +1400 odds to win the group reflects that.
There may be something brewing in Hungary, however, as just three players on the squad list are over 30 years old and a good portion of the side plying their trade in the top flight of Hungarian football.
It’s going to be tough for Hungary to even escape this group let alone win it as this looks to be one of the weakest sides travelling to France
Odds as of June 10 at Bodog
Tagged with: feature