Euro 2024 power rankings: Rating every nation’s chances after their first game of the group stage

Germany and Spain impressed while France and England got the wins they needed – but who has leapt up the rankings and where are Scotland now?

Lawrence Ostlere
Wednesday 19 June 2024 09:02
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Kylian Mbappe left covered in blood following brutal injury in Euro 2024 match

Euro 2024 is in full swing with 24 teams competing to win the Henri Delaunay Trophy this summer.

While the favourites all appeared fallible coming into this European Championship, they have got off to strong starts across the board. Germany were most impressive of all and thumped Scotland in the tournament’s curtain-raiser in Munich to send out a signal that the hosts are a serious prospect, powered by the talent of Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.

England, France, Spain, Netherlands and Italy were all among the first-round winners, while Slovakia earned a surprise – and controversial – win over Belgium and Romania thrashed Ukraine.

Here, we assess how every Euro 2024 nation stacks up after the first round of group games (this article will be updated after each round of matches).

1. Germany 🇩🇪 ⬆️ (2)

Before the tournament, Julian Nagelsmann reshaped his midfield by parachuting in Toni Kroos from international retirement, and the signs are very promising. Germany thrashed Scotland 5-1 in the opener and found a buzz from Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz in the wide attacking positions, with Kai Havertz leading as a false nine and Ilkay Gundogan in the No 10 role. It all comes together to see this reimagined German side become a dangerous prospect. And with home advantage, Germany suddenly look like contenders to be crowned champions of Europe again, almost three decades after Euro ‘96.

Florian Wirtz celebrates after giving Germany an early lead
Florian Wirtz celebrates after giving Germany an early lead (Getty Images)

2. France 🇫🇷 ⬇️ (1)

France have not been European champions since 2000, but they arrived in Germany as one of the favourites to win the trophy after reaching the past two World Cup finals. Yet Didier Deschamps is still searching for the right blend and balance, as the pre-tournament defeat by Germany and draw with Canada showed, and they had to work hard for their win over Austria. With Kylian Mbappe’s broken nose requiring protective scaffolding for the rest of the tournament, it was not quite the perfect start.

Kylian Mbappe created France’s only goal against Austria
Kylian Mbappe created France’s only goal against Austria (AFP via Getty Images)

3. England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ↔️

The worry before the tournament was around England’s defence, and yet a clean sheet against Serbia was one of the positives to take away from their opening victory, coupled with the match-winning performance of Jude Bellingham. Instead the unrelenting post-match discourse has focused on the peripheral roles of Harry Kane and Phil Foden, who struggled to get into the game, and a mixed display by Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield. Work to do, then, but Gareth Southgate has time to fine tune his team with one foot already in the knockout stages.

Jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring England’s winning goal
Jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring England’s winning goal (AP)

4. Portugal 🇵🇹 ↔️

Portugal were the only team with a perfect qualifying record, winning 10 games out of 10, and neatly Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 goals. A surprise friendly defeat by Slovenia in March’s international break set some alarm bells ringing, but Roberto Martinez brings one of the best squads to Germany this summer. A tough opening night ended in victory thanks to Francisco Conceicao’s late winner supplied by fellow substitute Pedro Neto, and while they didn’t play fluently, Portugal showed off their strength in depth as their subs combined to steal the game.

Ronaldo congratulates goalscorer Francisco Conceicao
Ronaldo congratulates goalscorer Francisco Conceicao (AFP via Getty Images)

5. Spain 🇪🇸 ↔️

An exciting new generation of Spanish players is showing itself at these Euros, primarily through the talents of Atletico’s Nico Williams and Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal – the 16-year-old Yamal is already one of Barca’s best players and looked bright in an opening 3-0 win over Croatia. Spain looked open at times and allowed Croatia 16 shots – a better opponent would surely have capitalised – but it was a convincing scoreline nonetheless and their clash with Italy on Thursday will be fascinating.

Spain got off to a winning start
Spain got off to a winning start (EPA)

6. Netherlands 🇳🇱 ↔️

It was far from a comfortable start to the European Championship for Netherlands, conceding an early goal to Poland’s Adam Buksa, but their reaction showed promising signs as they recovered to win 2-1. Wout Weghorst’s instant goal from the bench also hinted at the solution for who should lead the line, with Memphis Depay quiet in the false nine role. The Dutch meet France on Friday and that will reveal plenty more about both sides.

Wout Weghorst scored with his first touch off the bench
Wout Weghorst scored with his first touch off the bench (Getty Images)

7. Italy 🇮🇹 ↔️

The reigning champions have endured a mostly torrid time since the last Euros, but looked impressive for large chunks of their 2-1 win over Albania, despite conceding that disastrous early goal. They remain short of an elite goalscorer, but Lorenzo Pellegrini and Federico Chiesa can make up the difference from the wide forward roles.

Nicolo Barella scored Italy’s winning goal against Albania (Nick Potts/PA)
Nicolo Barella scored Italy’s winning goal against Albania (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

8. Belgium 🇧🇪 ↔️

Belgium were the biggest casualties of the first round of games as they slumped to a frustrating 1-0 defeat by Slovakia. Romelu Lukaku top-scored in Euro 2024 qualifying with 14 goals, but he did not have his shooting boots on here as he squandered a number of chances. Belgium were unlucky, too, with VAR decisions going against them. They will still fancy their chances of picking up points against Ukraine and Romania, but there is work to do.

Romelu Lukaku had a day to forget
Romelu Lukaku had a day to forget (Getty Images)

9. Austria 🇦🇹 ↔️

Ralf Rangnick’s team were tipped by many as dark horses in this tournament and while they opened up with a defeat by France, there was enough in the display to suggest Austria can hurt Poland and Netherlands in their remaining two group games. In Marcel Sabitzer, Christoph Baumgartner and Michael Gregoritsch they have some good players to call upon.

Austria’s Max Wober scores an own goal against France
Austria’s Max Wober scores an own goal against France (Reuters)

10. Switzerland 🇨🇭 ⬆️ (15)

Switzerland impressed with a convincing 3-1 win over Hungary, showing an unexpected cutting edge to go with their obvious defensive steel. They are the big climbers in our power rankings and ones to watch.

Kwadwo Duah scored as Switzerland got off to a winning start at Euro 2024 (Michael Probst/AP)
Kwadwo Duah scored as Switzerland got off to a winning start at Euro 2024 (Michael Probst/AP) (AP)

11. Croatia 🇭🇷 ↔️

Croatia remain reliant on a 38-year-old Luka Modric to run the midfield but then he is still producing sublime performances, so who can blame them. They were disappointed to lose so heavily to Spain but it was not a disastrous performance and they have the chance to bounce back quickly against Albania.

Croatia lost 3-0 to a spirited Spain side in their Group B opener
Croatia lost 3-0 to a spirited Spain side in their Group B opener (Getty Images)

12. Denmark 🇩🇰 ↔️

The Danes qualified well for these Euros and the form of Rasmus Hojlund at Manchester United provided some hope ahead of the tournament, although it was his club teammate Christian Eriksen who scored against Slovenia, to everyone’s delight. Slovenia hit back to draw 1-1, but Denmark were the better side and will now try to stop Group C favourites England.

Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring for Denmark against Slovenia at Euro 2024
Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring for Denmark against Slovenia at Euro 2024 (Getty Images)

13. Hungary 🇭🇺 ⬇️ (10)

Marco Rossi’s free-flowing team were a joy to watch in qualifying and arrived at this tournament as something of an underrated force, having not lost a game of any kind since a Nations League defeat by Italy in September 2022. But that run ended with a limp defeat at the hands of Switzerland, and the pressure is on as they face hosts Germany in the second round of group stage games.

Barnabas Varga scored in defeat by Switzerland
Barnabas Varga scored in defeat by Switzerland (AFP via Getty Images)

14. Slovenia 🇸🇮 ⬇️ (13)

Slovenia never hit their stride against Denmark and were perhaps a touch fortunate to come away with a draw. They now face a crucial clash against Serbia and will hope to supply better chances to striker Benjamin Sesko.

Benjamin Sesko takes selfies with Slovenia fans
Benjamin Sesko takes selfies with Slovenia fans (Getty Images)

15. Slovakia 🇸🇰 ⬆️ (19)

Slovakia qualified from a tight pool to reach the Euros, and now find themselves in a strong position in a competitive group with Belgium, Romania and Ukraine after shocking the Belgians in round one. Although they rode their luck at times, they held on to clinch the biggest upset of the tournament so far and looked like a decent outfit in doing so. Captain Milan Skriniar is the defensive keystone and left winger Lukas Haraslin provides attacking impetus after a stellar season for Sparta Prague.

Slovakia players celebrate after a 1-0 victory over Belgium (AP Photo/Michael Probst/PA)
Slovakia players celebrate after a 1-0 victory over Belgium (AP Photo/Michael Probst/PA) (AP)

16. Czech Republic 🇨🇿 ⬇️ (14)

A well-organised defensive display counted for nothing as they fell to a late defeat by Portugal, but the Czechs showed enough to suggest they can cause plenty of bother for Turkey and Georgia in Group F.

Czechia’s star midfielder Tomas Soucek stretches in training
Czechia’s star midfielder Tomas Soucek stretches in training (EPA)

17. Romania 🇷🇴 ⬆️ (20)

Romania finished top of their qualifying group and unbeaten, and they carried that form into the Euro 2024 finals with an impressive group stage win over Ukraine. Star player and captain Nicolai Stanciu has spent the past few years playing in China and Saudi Arabia, but looked a level above the rest with his performance in the 3-0 victory.

Nicolae Stanciu’s strike helped Romania to a big win (Matthias Schrader/AP)
Nicolae Stanciu’s strike helped Romania to a big win (Matthias Schrader/AP) (AP)

18. Turkey 🇹🇷 ⬆️ (21)

Turkey looked in disarray only a couple of months again but their wild opening win – albeit against relative minnows Georgia – showed they can be a threat in this tournament. And Arda Guler, what a talent.

Arda Guler struck an eye-catching effort (Nick Potts/PA)
Arda Guler struck an eye-catching effort (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

19. Serbia 🇷🇸 ⬇️ (16)

The Serbian team remains an enigma, with more talented players than their recent tournament results would suggest. In Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, captain Dusan Tadic, Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic there’s some quality, and at times they looked to threaten England’s nervy back line. The upcoming contest with Slovenia will be pivotal.

Serbia’s Dusan Vlahovic in action against England
Serbia’s Dusan Vlahovic in action against England (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

20. Poland 🇵🇱 ⬇️ (18)

The team have rebounded under new manager Michal Probierz, following a poor qualifying campaign, and came through that dramatic play-off final with Wales in Cardiff on penalties. Poland are in a tough group with Netherlands, France and Austria, and need a quick response having slumped to an opening defeat at the hands of the Dutch.

Adam Buksa of Poland celebrates scoring his team's goal
Adam Buksa of Poland celebrates scoring his team's goal (Getty Images)

21. Albania 🇦🇱 ⬆️ (23)

Albania topped their qualifying group but a horrendous draw sees them face Spain, Italy and Croatia in the Euro 2024 group stage. A spirited performance against the reigning champions was not quite enough as Italy ran out 2-1 winners in their opening game.

Albania players show their dejection after full-time
Albania players show their dejection after full-time (Getty Images)

22. Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ⬇️ (17)

The Scots weren’t expected to beat hosts Germany, but the manner of their dismal defeat is what was so alarming. Can they pick themselves up off the floor? Their next encounter, with Switzerland, is vital.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has his work cut out
Scotland manager Steve Clarke has his work cut out (Getty Images)

23. Georgia 🇬🇪 ⬆️ (24)

There were celebrations in the streets of Tibilisi after Georgia qualified for their first major tournament in dramatic style, winning a penalty shootout after a tense play-off final with Greece. The French former Bayern Munich defender Willy Sagnol is the manager, and his main task is building a team that can get the best out of Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The winger created their solitary goal in a 3-1 defeat by Turkey amid some signs of promise, and Georgia now face a huge game against Czech Republic on Saturday which will likely decide their fate.

Georgia’s players celebrate after qualifying for Euro 2024
Georgia’s players celebrate after qualifying for Euro 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

24. Ukraine 🇺🇦 ⬇️ (22)

It was heart-warming to see the celebrations as Ukraine made it through the play-offs to Euro 2024, but the tournament got off to a rough start with a 3-0 thumping by Romania. Friday’s meeting with Slovakia is almost a must-win game.

Ukraine couldn’t contain Romania in their opening fixture
Ukraine couldn’t contain Romania in their opening fixture (Reuters)

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