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Euro 2024: Teams that punched above their weight to reach the knock-out stage and those that flopped

The Euro 2024 group stage has concluded, bringing both surprises and disappointments. Notably, each of the eight highest valued teams managed to reach the knock-out phase, leaving no surprises at the top. However, the real intrigue lies with the underdogs, as four of the five lowest valued teams shocked their opponents and qualified for the round of 16, advancing at the expense of squads with a higher monetary valuation. In this Sportingpedia report, we analyze the value of the least expensive teams that progressed and the most expensive ones that failed to make the cut.

Another curious fact is that excluding the eight highest valued teams, the combined value of the eight other teams that qualified for the knock-out stage is €1.81 billion, while the eight countries that crashed out have a combined value of €1.91 billion. In this SportingPedia report, we analyze the value of the least expensive teams that progressed and the most expensive ones that failed to make the cut.

Key Takeaways:

  • Romania, the lowest valued team at Euro 2024 finished 1st in Group E
  • Ukraine was the highest valued squad to leave Euro 2024 after the group stage
  • Slovenia and Georgia had the lowest estimates in their respective groups but still managed to qualify for the last-16 round
  • Three countries with values of over 300 million crashed out – Ukraine, Croatia, and Serbia, while 6 nations with lower estimates progressed through

Pleasant surprises

Romania, the lowest valued squad at Euro 2024, surprised many by qualifying for the knock-out stage of the tournament. They opened their campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Ukraine, setting the tone for their performance. Romania, the only squad valued below €100 million, finished first in Group E, ahead of Belgium.

Slovenia and Georgia both punched above their weight, being the lowest valued squads in their respective groups, but managed to upset the odds and reach the round of 16. Georgia’s victory over Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal was particularly impressive, with an economic gap of almost €900 million between the squads. Slovenia, valued at €156.7 million, did not register a single defeat, holding England, Denmark, and Serbia to draws, which was enough to see them through to the knock-out stage at Serbia’s expense.


Three squads with estimates above €300 million failed to reach the knock-out phase – Ukraine, Croatia, and Serbia.

Ukraine (€379 million) became the highest valued team to be eliminated after the group stage of Euro 2024. Despite collecting 4 points, which would have been enough to progress from any other group, Ukraine will bemoan their heavy 3-0 loss to Romania, as all teams in Group E, finished on equal 4 points and the standings had to be decided on goal difference.

Croatia was the unluckiest of the three, conceding goals in stoppage time in two separate games against Italy and Albania, which cost them wins and a place in the knock-out stage. Despite having a higher value than seven of the qualified teams, Croatia finished behind Spain and Italy in the group standings, both of whom had a significant advantage in squad values.

Scotland entered the tournament with high hopes of making it out of Group A but were brought down to Earth, failing to have a single shot on target in matches against Germany and Hungary. They deservedly finished last in the group, behind Hungary, despite having a higher valued squad.


The analysis of Euro 2024’s group stage revealed surprising successes for lower-valued teams like Romania, Slovenia, and Georgia, and disappointing exits for higher-valued squads such as Ukraine, Croatia, and Scotland. This comes to highlight the unpredictability and excitement of football, where team spirit and performance can sometimes outweigh financial disparities, especially when defending the pride of your nation.