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EURO 2016: How do the squads compare?

In just over 48 hours’ time, France and Romania will be kicking-off a month elite tournament football as the expanded 2016 European Championships gets underway.

Of course, as with every other major senior and youth international tournament being played around the world, we will be covering the competition extensively with all squad information, match details and HD video, incorporating time-stamped match events, being made available across all of our platforms. This will ensure that both our federation clients participating at the tournament, and club scouts watching in the stands, can begin their player and team analysis within minutes of full-time.

Whilst video is playing an increasingly central role in our platforms as the technology we use at work and at home advances, it is worth remembering just how insightful and potentially powerful the data aspect of our Intelligent Sports Framework can be for the thousands of researchers, scouts and analysts working in the industry.

Our database now has records for over 350,000 active players around the world and all of the players on show at the Euros could have potentially been tracked by clubs using Scout7 for several years, as they have passed through the ranks of domestic and international football. For example, England’s Harry Kane first appeared in our database as a 15 year old, when he was selected to play for Tottenham’s U18s at the Torneo Bellinzona in Switzerland in 2009. Since then, each of his career milestones will have been logged in his record, ranging from his England U17 debut in 2010, through to when he scored his first domestic club goals at U18, U21 and senior level.

So given the depth of data we store on all 552 players taking part in the Euros, we thought it would be interesting to use some of this information to compare the various squads, to see if we could identify any interesting insights into their contrasting demographics, experiences of elite football and where they currently ply their trade for their clubs.

Here is a brief summary of some of our key findings:

Where do the Euro 2016 players play their club football?

Given that four nations from the British Isles have qualified for the tournament, it will probably come as no surprise that the country where most Euro 2016 players play their club football is England.

However it turns out that the final figure of players playing for clubs in the English Premier League and Football League stands at a massive 139, which equates to more than 1 in 4 players involved in the entire competition.

Country

Number of Euro 2016 Players

% of total tournament players

England

139

25.10%

Germany

65

11.70%

Italy

56

10.10%

Turkey

36

6.50%

Spain

35

6.30%

Russia

32

5.70%

France

22

3.90%

Ukraine

20

3.60%

Switzerland

16

2.90%

Which nations have the most senior international experience?

In total, there are 24 players taking part in the competition who have 100 or more senior international caps. Four of those players represent Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Andrés Iniesta and Cesc Fàbregas, however the squad boasting the most experience is the Republic of Ireland, who themselves have three centurions in Robbie Keane, John O’Shea and Shay Given.

Interestingly, tournament favourites France have the fourth most inexperienced squad, one place above England.

*Numbers correct as of 4/6/2016

Which squads have the most experience of major senior international tournaments?

The senior caps chart encapsulates appearance data all senior international matches, but how does the figure change when we only factor in appearances at major international tournaments?

When we filter the numbers down to just include World Cup and European Championship finals appearances, you will see that France, Switzerland and Croatia rise up the list significantly, whilst Germany and Spain sit a long way ahead of all the other 22 nations.

This highlights how both of these nations have retained a nucleus of players for Euro 2016, who have previously helped each country achieve success during the last four major tournaments.

Which squads have the most ‘big-six’ league experience?

When you assess how many career league appearances each squad member has made in six of the major European leagues: Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Eredivise, you can see that there is a big gap between the top two, Spain and France, who both have over 500 more appearances than the third-placed nation, Italy.

Note that Russia and Ukraine sit a long way behind all the other nations, which reflects how many of their players choose not migrate from their home domestic leagues.

Which squads have the most Champions League experience?

Mirroring the trend seen in major international tournament appearances, Spain and Germany come first and second when we look at the number of career appearances each player has made in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite having the second fewest of ‘big-six’ league appearances, Russia sits fifth in Champions League experience, whist England are only tenth, just above Switzerland.

*Since 2002/3 season. Includes appearances in qualifying rounds

Which squads have the most Europa League experience?

Since it replaced the old UEFA Cup in 2009 the Europa League has split opinion, with many clubs choosing to prioritise their domestic league over Europe’s second club competition.

However whilst many of Spain, Germany, Portugal and France’s squad players have attained European competition experience by playing in the Champions League, many of the players selected for Central and Eastern European nations have also racked up plenty of valuable experience through playing Europa League matches.

Ukraine top the list, followed by the Czech Republic, who have many players who have played in the competition for German and Turkish clubs.

*Since 2009/10 season. Includes appearances in qualifying rounds

Which players have scored 20 or more goals domestically during 2015/16?

In total, 16 players called-up for EURO 2016 have scored 20 or more league goals during the 2015/16 season.

What you may be surprised to know is that five nations have not just one, but two players who have reached the landmark: Germany, England, France, Poland and Romania.

It will be interesting to see if any of the following players secure the tournament’s golden boot:

Player Name

Country

Club

15/16 Lg Gls

Zlatan Ibrahimović

Sweden

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

38

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal

Real Madrid (ESP)

35

Robert Lewandowski

Poland

Bayern Munich (GER)

30

Nemanja Nikolić

Romania

Legia Warsaw (POL)

28

Mario Gómez

Germany

Beşiktaş (TUR)

26

Will Grigg

N Ireland

Wigan Athletic (ENG)

25

Harry Kane

England

Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

25

Jamie Vardy

England

Leicester City (ENG)

24

André-Pierre Gignac

France

Tigres UANL (MEX)

24

Antoine Griezmann

France

Atlético Madrid (ESP)

22

Florin Andone

Romania

Córdoba (ESP)

21

Arkadiusz Milik

Poland

Ajax (NED)

21

Aritz Aduriz

Spain

Athletic Bilbao (ESP)

20

Thomas Müller

Germany

Bayern Munich (GER)

20

Fyodor Smolov

Russia

Krasnodar (RUS)

20

David Lafata

Czech Rep.

Sparta Prague (CZE)

20

Who are the youngest players that have been called up?

In total, 431 of the 552 players called up for the Euros have never played in a European Championship finals before, and that includes 10 teenagers who will be looking to make an impact.

Whilst Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has won headlines for his club performances since making his debut in February, perhaps the most unlikely call-up has been the Danish-born midfielder Emre Mor, who only switched allegiance to Turkey in March and comes into the tournament having made just 13 appearances in the Denmark Superliga for FC Nordsjælland.

Player Name

Country

Club

Age

Marcus Rashford

England

Manchester United (ENG)

18 years, 223 days

Renato Sanches

Portugal

Benfica (POR)

18 years, 296 days

Emre Mor

Turkey

FC Nordsjælland (ESP)

18 years, 321 days

Ante Ćorić

Croatia

GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

19 years, 57 days

Breel Embolo

Switzerland

FC Basel (SWI)

19 years, 117 days

Bartosz Kapustka

Poland

Cracovia (POL)

19 years, 170 days

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Ukraine

FK Ufa (UKR)

19 years, 178 days

Denis Zakaria

Switzerland

BSC Young Boys (SWI)

19 years, 203 days

Nico Elvedi

Switzerland

B. Mönchengladbach (GER)

19 years, 254 days

Kingsley Coman

France

Bayern Munich (GER)

19 years, 362 days

*Ages correct as of 10/6/2016

These various squad and player summaries offer a brief glimpse of the potential information available for interrogation within the ISF, which is applicable for not just the Euro 2016 competition, but also for other major tournaments around the world.

This information of course means little on its own, but when analysed in the context of a club’s specific requirements, it can definitely be used as preliminary research before any assessment and analysis work is undertaken by club scouts, which can aid the overall scouting process.

All the information published here is available within a more detailed document I have collated, which also includes career league, European and major international tournament experience for each individual player. If you would like to obtain a copy of this document for free, please email me at andy@scout7.com and I will be happy to send you a copy.

It will be interesting to see if there are any correlations between a squad’s collective career experience and results once the action gets underway, I for one am looking forward to seeing how the competition unfolds!

by Andy Cooper PR & Project Manager

Published 07 June 2016

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