Facts and figures about the U21 EURO finalists
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Do you know which team ended Spain's four-year unbeaten run? Or which has the most senior internationals? Read on for a hat-trick of facts about each U21 EURO finalist.
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Which team ended Spain's 59-month unbeaten run in qualifying? Which player played as many minutes in this season's UEFA Champions League as any other? Which country has 12 senior internationals in its squad?
The answers are all below as UEFA.com brings you a hat-trick of facts about each of the eight teams competing at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.
• The hosts scored just five goals at an average of one goal per game when winning the U21 EURO in 2002 – the lowest tally by a winning team since the introduction of a group format. With Petr Čech in goal, they conceded only five times at the other end.
• In all group matches since 2000, the Czechs have a better points-per-game average (1.50) than their three group rivals: Denmark (0.83), Germany (1.17) and Serbia (1.22).
• The Czechs have reached 11 final tournaments at U21 level, reaching the final twice and winning it once.
• Nicolaj Thomsen provided the most assists in qualifying (five) of any player in the final tournament. Florian Thauvin of France was the only player to provide more (seven).
• Denmark were the highest scorers in the group stage of qualifying, with 37 goals in ten matches (3.7 per game).
• The Danes' best performance in five U21 finals appearances was when they reached the semi-finals in 1992 – the same year their senior team were European champions.
• When Germany won the tournament in 2009, they finished second behind England in the group stage but then beat them 4-0 in the final.
• Germany's successful 2009 campaign was the only time they have survived the group stage since the format was introduced.
• No player played more minutes in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League than Germany’s FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. He played every minute of Barcelona's 13 matches – a record equalled only by the Juventus trio of Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
• They ended the 2011 and 2013 champions Spain's 35-game unbeaten run in UEFA European Under-21 Championship matches when winning 2-1 in Cadiz in their play-off second leg last October. It was Spain's first loss since November 2009.
• Serbia's record (as Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro) is impressive – in eight final tournament appearances, they have finished winners once, runners-up three times, and reached the semi-finals on three other occasions. Only once have they not survived the group stage.
• It is a measure of Serbian football's strength in depth that on the day of their opening U21 EURO match against Germany, they also have a team facing Mali in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
• Saido Berahino was the top scorer in the qualifying competition with ten goals in ten games. With Harry Kane adding six in eight appearances, England should have a considerable attacking threat.
• England have won the tournament twice (1982 and 1984) but have only reached the final on one other occasion (2009) in their 12 appearances.
• Jack Butland, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Redmond are the only survivors of England's 2013 campaign in Israel.
• Italy are the only nation to have defended the U21 title successfully on two separate occasions. England, Netherlands and Spain have won back-to-back titles once.
• They are the only squad at the 2015 finals with not a single player capped at senior level.
• Italy have played at a record 17 U21 final tournaments and have reached the semi-finals on 11 of those occasions.
• Born on 13 March 1997, Porto midfielder Ruben Neves is the youngest player at this tournament at the age of 18 years and three months.
• Only Denmark, with five appearances, have played in fewer U21 final tournaments than Portugal (six).
• In four appearances in U21 tournament group stages, Portugal have never got more than four points – and advanced to the semi-finals only once (2004).
• Sweden have the highest number of players with senior caps in their squad at this tournament (12).
• They were the only team in the play-offs to turn around a first-leg deficit when they bounced back from a 2-0 defeat in Le Mans by beating France 4-1.
• In their two previous finals group stage appearances, Sweden have managed an impressive average of 2.8 goals per game.