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Which side is the perfect age to win EURO 2016?

EURO2016.com has averaged out the ages of the 14 teams that have won past EUROs and has some brilliant news for one of our 24 contenders – they are the ideal age to win it!

Could Turkey be contenders for UEFA EURO 2016?
Could Turkey be contenders for UEFA EURO 2016? ©Panoramic

Mixture of youth and experience ... blah, blah, blah. Yet when it comes to a perfect average age for a EURO-winning squad, what is the magic number?

Thanks to some extreme number-crunching – working out the average age of every winning squad on the opening day of the tournament, totting them all up, and dividing that number by the 14 previous editions of the championship – EURO2016.com has the answer: 26.495 on the first day of the finals.

That figure takes in the average ages of all the EURO-winning squads, from the oldest (Greece, 2004: age 28.35) to the very youngest (West Germany, 1980: age 24.55), and compresses them down into one optimum number.

Watch Platini’s nine goals at EURO 1984

The absolute acme of a winning side from days gone by are France's 1984 champions, who – with an average age of 26.50 – were almost exactly on the button.

Which is great news for Turkey who, of all the teams involved this summer, are closest to that wonder figure: their average squad age is 26.39. Croatia – average age 26.30 – and Wales – average age 26.83 – also look to be in with a shout.

Romania, meanwhile, can take courage from the example of Greece, since Otto Rehhagel's glory boys of 2004 went into the competition with exactly the same age profile as Anghel Iordănescu's charges: mean age 28.35.

However, our senior citizens in France – Republic of Ireland (29.39), Czech Republic (28.70), Russia (28.57) and Italy (28.57) – will all need to break a new greybeard record if they are to lift the crown.

Average age of EURO-winning sides on the day of the first game of the finals
1960: Soviet Union (17-man squad) – 26.53
1964: Spain (20-man squad) – 25.70
1968: Italy (22-man squad) – 25.77
1972: West Germany (18-man squad) – 25.11
1976: Czechoslovakia (22-man squad) – 26.77
1980: West Germany (22-man squad) – 24.55
1984: France (20-man squad) – 26.50
1988: Netherlands (20-man squad) – 26.15
1992: Denmark (20-man squad) – 26.90
1996: Germany (23-man squad) – 27.91
2000: France (22-man squad) – 27.95
2004: Greece (23-man squad) – 28.35
2008: Spain (23-man squad) – 26.00
2012: Spain (23-man squad) – 26.74

Robbie Keane has brought up Ireland's average
Robbie Keane has brought up Ireland's average©Sportsfile

Average ages of the UEFA EURO 2016 squads on the first day of the finals (oldest to youngest)*
29.39: Republic of Ireland
28.70: Czech Republic
28.57: Italy
28.57: Russia
28.43: Slovakia
28.35: Romania
28.00: Northern Ireland
27.87: Portugal
27.61: Spain
27.53: Hungary
27.43: Ukraine
27.30: France
27.26: Sweden
27.17: Poland
27.13: Austria
27.13: Iceland
27.09: Albania
26.83: Wales
26.39: Turkey
26.30: Croatia
25.91: Belgium
25.57: Switzerland
25.39: Germany
25.39: England

*Official squads at time of publishing.