There was much expected of Euro 2016 as some of Europe’s biggest players and teams went head-to-head in France. On Sunday the final of the competition will take place between Portugal and hosts France, which we will preview on Sunday.
However today we are going to look at some of the great underachievers of Euro 2016, teams or players who have disappointed in France. Here are some of those great underachievers:
England as always came into the tournament highly-hyped by the British press. However there was a sense that something was different about the Three Lions squad, an air of freshness about the team and the squad.
However, just like in previous tournaments England were a massive let down in France. Expected to top a winnable group, Roy Hodgson’s side finished second following poor draws with Russia and Slovakia.
The worse was still to come though. The Three Lions were given what looked like a comfortable last-16 clash against minnows Iceland. It turned out to be the most embarrassing defeat in the history of the modern era of English football.
Boss Roy Hodgson quit his role straight after the game and it seemed he had little alternative but to leave his role following the defeat.
Austria headed into Euro 2016 as a potential dark horse to win the tournament. They had high-profile stars like Bayern Munich’s versatile David Alaba and Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic in their starting line-up, but fell flat on their face in France.
A disastrous open game 2-0 defeat against Hungary was followed by a battling draw with group favourites Portugal. However a last-gasp 2-1 defeat against Iceland in their last group game meant that Austria finished bottom of Group F and went home early.
No Doubt the Austrians will be back stronger in the future, as they have some relatively young players, but Euro 2016 was definitely one to forget for them.
The Bayern Munich striker headed into this tournament as one of the most highly-rated number nines in world football. The 27-year-old had also managed to score 13 goals in just ten qualification games, which saw him finish top of the scoring charts in qualifying.
He was expected to make a big impact in a Poland team that had a number of highly-rated players in their ranks. However his goal return of just one goal in France was disappointing. His goal against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the competition was the sort of effort that has become his trademark.
A number of issues may have caused his disappointing campaign. He did not look his usually sharp self in front of goal. Maybe a long Bundesliga and European campaign had left him tired or maybe speculation about a possible move to Real Madrid proved a distraction.
Whatever it was Lewandowski produced an under-par performance in France. His poor Euro 2016 campaign is unlikely to affect his reputation though, as the striker will still be regarded as one of the best number nines in world football.