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Our Ranking Methodology
blogpopulation size typically translates to trophiesbut not for england

Population Size Typically Translates to Trophies…But Not For England

We independently review betting sites. Sign-ups through our links may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you, this never influences our listings’ order.

In the context of European football, nations with larger populations and wider talent pools have historically enjoyed far more success.

FairBettingSites have decided to put the knockout stages of Euro 2024 under the microscope and put that theory to the test.

As is to be expected, England are shown in a damning light, boasting the fifth largest population in the competition but with a solitary major trophy from 58 years ago to show for it.

Key Data Points:

  • More populous nations typically enjoy more success
  • Turkey and England are anomalies with one major trophy between them
  • Denmark and Portugal won the Euros despite 5million population

 

Nation Population Size
Turkey 84,980,000
Germany 83,800,000
France 67,970,000
Italy 58,940,000
England 55,980,000
Spain 47,780,000
Romania 19,050,000
Netherlands 17,700,000
Belgium 11,960,000
Portugal 10,410,000
Austria 9,042,000
Switzerland 8,776,000
Denmark 5,903,000
Slovakia 5,432,000
Georgia 3,713,000
Slovenia 2,112,000

Turkey and England Are the Exceptions

Turkey in particular fall under the unfortunate bracket of being the most populous country in this year’s competition, all the while having never lifted a trophy.

In fact, their all-time win percentage is the fourth lowest among the teams left at the Euros, indicating that a wider talent pool doesn’t necessarily translate to success.

England, meanwhile, serves to juxtapose. On the one hand they hold a football heritage that few nations on Earth can claim, but the densely populated island nation has endured well-documented struggles at major tournaments since lifting the World Cup 58 years ago.

England’s significance in the global football sphere can not be understated given the success of the Premier League and the deep-rooted origins of the modern game, but the burden of expectation appears to weigh heavy, generation-after-generation.

Along with trophy-less Turkey, they are among six nations left at the Euros with over 45million people. Of those six nations, four teams have lifted silverware on multiple occasions.

 

Nation Major Trophies
Germany 7
Italy 6
Spain, France 4
England, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark 1
Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Austria, Turkey, Georgia, Slovenia, Slovakia 0

 

Nation All-Time Win Percentage 
Spain 70.3
England 69.3
Germany 68.1
Italy 66.9
Netherlands 62.1
Portugal 61
France 60.9
Denmark 57.2
Romania 56.9
Belgium 54.9
Austria 53
Slovakia 52.2
Turkey 50.6
Slovenia 49.9
Switzerland 46.8
Georgia 42.9

Denmark and Portugal Prove Population Size is Irrelevant

Turkey have a population size around eight times that of Portugal and 17 times that of Denmark; nations who have both lifted the Euros in the past.

In fact, the Danes have constantly overachieved in spite of their relative insignificance boasting an all-time win percentage that falls just short of matching the likes of France, who have four major honours to their name.

Population size does appear to have a notable bearing on how talented a footballing nation can be, but teams such as Portugal and Denmark are successful case studies into clear coaching philosophies and strong national identities – both of which can combine to defy the odds for smaller nations.

charlierhodes
charlierhodes
charlierhodes

Charlie is an accomplished journalist with years of experience producing content across sport, gambling, crypto and fintech. Possessing considerable experience writing news, long-form content and betting, he has previously worked alongside former Goldman Sachs executives on a peer-to-peer fintech trading start-up, as well seen work published on leading sports content brands such as 90min and FootyAccumulators.

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