EURO 2024: Review of Eliminated Teams from Quarter Finals

After analyzing the performances of Slovenia, Georgia, Belgium, and Denmark – all of whom reached the Last 16 but were knocked out, it’s now time to delve into the stories of the other teams that fell short in the earlier stages of the tournament. This review adds a touch of drama, showcasing the highs and lows of their campaigns.

Romania: Surprising Sparks and Defensive Lapses

Romania turned heads as one of the dark horses of the tournament. Despite Ukraine being the anticipated standout in the group stages, thanks in part to La Liga’s top scorer Artem Dovbyk, the Romanians had different plans.

Their impressive 3-0 victory over Ukraine in the opening game displayed their lively and entertaining style of play. While the subsequent matches weren’t as eventful, Romania maintained a reputation for being an engaging and competitive side.

Absent from EURO 2020, it was refreshing to see Romania put up a solid performance in the group stages. However, their lack of defensive stability, with the exception of Tottenham’s Drăgușin, ultimately led to their defeat in the Last 16.

The Netherlands exploited their defensive vulnerabilities, a common pitfall for underdog teams facing stronger opposition. The match ended with a 3-0 victory for the Netherlands, as Romania struggled to contain Donyell Malen and Cody Gakpo.

Austria: A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Austria emerged as one of the surprise packages of EURO 2024. Initially viewed as underdogs, the Austrians, under Ralf Rangnick’s guidance, topped their group, which included heavyweights like the Netherlands, France, and Poland.

Although a 1-0 loss to France revealed their lack of creativity, they bounced back with a thrilling 3-2 win against the Netherlands, showcasing their ability to bring excitement to their games. They also secured a 2-1 victory over Poland, solidifying their top spot in the group.

Expectations were high heading into the knock-out phase, but Austria’s Last 16 encounter with Turkey exposed their offensive shortcomings, despite Christoph Baumgartner’s creative spark supported by Marcel Sabitzer.

Unable to break down the Turkish defense, Austria’s tactical rigidity prevented them from overcoming the passionate Turkish support, resulting in a lackluster performance.

For Austria to progress in future tournaments, they need to improve their offensive output. While defensively solid, their struggles with ball retention pose a significant obstacle. Coach Rangnick has much to ponder.

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Slovakia: A Story of Grit and Determination

Slovakia turned heads with a stunning 1-0 victory over Belgium. While their subsequent performances may not have been as impressive, they finished the group stages with four points, matching the other teams in their group.

With Stanislav Lobotka marshalling the defense, Slovakia proved to be a formidable force, even against top teams like England. In their Last 16 clash with England, Slovakia held the lead for most of the game, only to be denied by a last-minute bicycle kick from Jude Bellingham.

Slovakia’s high technical level and clarity of play defied expectations, showcasing their ability to play to their strengths effectively and leaving a lasting impact.

Despite their exit against England, Slovakia’s resilient performance is commendable. Coach Francesco Calzona and the team deserve praise for their memorable run.


Italy’s journey in EURO 2024 was marked by inconsistency. Traditionally a footballing powerhouse, Italy’s recent form has been erratic, failing to qualify for the last two World Cups despite their illustrious history.

Following their EURO 2020 triumph, hopes were high for a resurgence of Italian football excellence. With talented players like Federico Chiesa, Manuel Locatelli, and Gianluigi Donnarumma, optimism abounded. However, it proved insufficient.

Surprisingly, Locatelli was left out of the squad without clear reasons. Coach Luciano Spalletti, renowned for his success at Napoli, made puzzling decisions throughout the tournament.

Italy’s lone notable performance came in a 2-1 win over Albania. Despite navigating the challenging “Group of Death,” Italy advanced largely thanks to fortunate moments. They were outclassed by Spain in a 1-0 defeat and outfoxed by Croatia, narrowly avoiding elimination with a last-gasp goal. Major changes were evidently necessary.

Facing Switzerland in the Last 16, Italy faltered as Switzerland netted two goals, with Italy lacking the resilience to mount a comeback.

The disconnect between Italy’s potential and their displays is perplexing. Full-backs struggled, and Spalletti failed to maximize the team’s strengths, contrasting with his success at Napoli and raising doubts about Italy’s future outlook.

Riccardo Calafiori, the standout center-back from Bologna, was a rare positive in the squad, providing defensive solidity and tactical advantages from deep.

Calafiori was perhaps the only standout player for Italy in the tournament, emphasizing their need for improvement across the board.

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