Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden struggled in France..

Five teams at Euro 2016 that had a worse time than England

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There can be no beating around the bush – England were truly dreadful at Euro 2016, where they looked tired, limited and lacking in any real leaders or intent on the pitch.

Yet somehow, someone other than England managed to make an even bigger pig’s ear of things in a tournament that seemed set up to make it as easy as possible to succeed and progress far.

In fact, as many as five other national teams had a worse Euro 2016 than England – here are the not so fearsome fivesome in all their glory.


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5. Turkey

Though Turkey’s fans may argue that their 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic outstrips anything England did in France, they just sneak onto this list by the fact that they fell at the very first hurdle in Euro 2016 and it was all their own fault.

Having been unlucky to go down 1-0 to a good Croatia side, Turkey put in one of the poorest performances at the finals in losing to Spain 3-0. It was that result, combined with Northern Ireland’s superior defensive record, that rendered that win over the Czechs meaningless.

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Arda Turan – Expected to shine, despite a stop-start campaign with new club Barcelona, the winger found himself roundly booed by his own fans against Spain with his heroic contribution to their run to the semi-finals of Euro 2008 all but forgotten.

Spain v Turkey - Group D: UEFA Euro 2016

4. Russia

When Vasili Berezutski let out a primordial scream following Russia’s late, late equaliser against England, he could never have guessed that that would be as good as it would get for Leonid Slutsky’s team.

Outplayed by England, the 2018 World Cup hosts had been convinced that a point against the Three Lions would give them a solid base to build from in France. Unfortunately, defeats to Slovakia and Wales proved otherwise, with Russia completely outclassed on both occasions.


Roman Neustadter - Much was made of Russia’s shock decision to call-up the Schalke defender but, after two abject showings, the 29-year-old found himself dropped for the national side’s group decider with Wales. It didn’t help.


3. Sweden

Though they escaped with a draw against Ireland in their group opener, helped by an own goal from Ciaran Clark, Sweden failed to muster a single shot on target over the course of their first two group games and looked slow and lacking in ideas over those two fixtures.

Sweden did improve in their final group game against Belgium but still fell to the Red Devils in an encounter they never truly looked like winning.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic – The Big Swede struggled to live up to the hype, failing to muster a single shot on target in over 180 minutes of football. Scored a (rightly) disallowed goal against Belgium before bowing out of the international game with another disappointing tournament.


2. Ukraine

The eastern European side would have fancied their chances of progression after losing just two – both times to Spain – of 26 games going into the tournament. Unlucky in their 2-0 defeat to Germany having created plenty of chances, they looked a shadow of the same team against Northern Ireland.

Beaten 2-0 by Michael O’Neill’s side, Ukraine were the first team to go out of Euro 2016 and, despite a spirited showing, went down 1-0 to Poland while enjoying a glut of opportunities.


Andriy Yarmolenko - While Yevhen Konoplyanka showed glimpses of the wing-play that made Ukraine such a force in qualifying, on the opposite flank, Andriy Yarmolenko cut a forlorn figure, often isolated and lacklustre. It’s difficult to see a big bid coming in for the Dynamo Kyiv man.

Ukraine v Poland - Group C: UEFA Euro 2016

1. Austria

Marcel Koller’s team came into the tournament as dark horses for success, following an imperious qualifying campaign that saw they drop just two points from the available 30. But an abject showing against a plucky Hungary team set the tone for what was the come.

Fortunate to escape with a point against Portugal, following a performance that deserved little, Austria may have looked better against Iceland but ultimately fell to a late goal that left them winless and going home early at a European Championship yet again.


David Alaba – The pressure was well and truly on the Bayern Munich man, who had been touted as a player for all positions but ultimately struggled to fulfil any of them. Struck the post early against Hungary but that was about as good as it got.


Were all these teams worse than England? Have your say in the comment box below.

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Wayne Rooney
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
England Football
Premier League
David Beckham
Manchester United
Euro 2016

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