Favourites for relegation at the start of the season, Leicester City shocked the English Premier League and made headlines across the globe as they raced to the first title in their history.
At the same time, previous champions Chelsea finished a lowly 10th in the table.
Leicester’s 5000/1 victory was contrasted with PSG (1/11 at the start of the season) and Bayern Munich (2/13) romping home in France and Germany — showing occasionally the bookmakers do get it right.
Betting on the European Championships can be a mixed bag too.
Last time around in 2012 5/2 favourites Spain eased to victory without being troubled. They were slightly longer 7/1 third favourites when winning the trophy four years before.
Much fancied Germany took the crown in 1996, and France were able to complete a World Cup and European Championship double when beating Italy in 2000 — as clear bookie’s favourites.
However, more than any other international tournament, the Euros has tended to veer away from the expected.
In 1992 Denmark weren’t even expecting to play in the tournament — only being added with a week’s notice when Yugoslavia were banned from the competition.
Nobody gave them a prayer, but after sneaking through their group, they overcame the Netherlands on penalties in the semi-final before beating Germany in the final to complete a remarkable story.
Otto Rehhagel’s Greece in 2004 provided an even more unlikely fairytale.
While Denmark’s win came in an eight team tournament, 150/1 shot Greece had to overcome 15 other sides when winning in Portugal.
Without any star names but with plenty of organisation and team spirit, Greece shocked the footballing world by overturning the hosts 1–0 in the final.
Will the winners of this summer’s Euros in France follow in the footsteps of Leicester and Greece, or are we going to see one of the favourites take the trophy?
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