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Allez Ola Olé: When Eurovision meets the Euros ⚽️

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship begins today, so whether you’re a hardcore football fan or simply looking for a way to turn any footy chat back to Eurovision at the quickest opportunity, here’s your guide to the 2020 Euros.

First things first, we understand that a lot of you enjoy following competitions with flags, regardless of the sport – which is why we’ve produced a Euro 2020 wallchart for you to print off and fill in throughout the tournament.

Euros 2020 Wallchart is available to download and print out

Download: Eurovision Euro 2020 wallchart

In this article we are talking about the men’s Euros; the UEFA European Women’s Championship is due to take place in England in 2022, and the current women’s European champions are the Netherlands. Gefeliciteerd!

What’s this got to do with Eurovision?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. But it’s all anyone’s going to be talking about for the next month, so we’re here to furnish you with all the Eurovision-related football trivia you’ll need for tournament ahead.

The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament (or 'Euros’, 'Euro 2020' or 'European Championships’ if you’re feeling formal) was due to take place in 2020 but had to be postponed for 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montaigne playing football – for some reason Australia doesn’t participate in the Euros? Absurd.EBU

While the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was cancelled and began a whole new round of 2021 national qualifying competitions, UEFA decided to retain the 2020 name and pause their qualifying competitions rather than start over.

The Euros will be played by 24 countries, across 51 matches, in 11 stadiums across Europe, with 6 of the cities having previously hosted Eurovision Song Contest finals: London (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), Rome (1991), Baku (2012), Munich (1983), Amsterdam (1970) and Copenhagen (1964, 2001 and 2014).

Watch: UEFA Euro 2020 Eurovision Edition

Saint Petersburg (Russia) will also host matches and is currently the largest European city by population to have not been selected as a Eurovision Host City …yet.

There are 18 Eurovision 2021 participating countries in the European Championship Finals: Portugal (defending European Championship champions), Belgium (ranked best team in the world as of June 2021), Italy (Eurovision champions), France (current FIFA World Cup champions), Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and North Macedonia.

Let’s take a look at where they finished at Eurovision 2021 and what their current Men’s FIFA World Ranking is.

Eurovision 2021 Grand Final vs Men’s FIFA World Ranking

  1. 🇮🇹 Italy / Måneskin ⚽️ (FIFA: 7th)

  2. 🇫🇷 France / Barbara Pravi ⚽️ (FIFA: 2nd)

  3. 🇨🇭 Switzerland / Gjon’s Tears ⚽️ (FIFA: 13th)

  4. 🇮🇸 Iceland / Da∂i Freyr og Gagnamagni∂

  5. 🇺🇦 Ukraine / Go_A ⚽️ (FIFA: 24th)

  6. 🇫🇮 Finland / Blind Channel ⚽️ (FIFA: 54th)

  7. 🇲🇹 Malta / Destiny

  8. 🇱🇹 Lithuania / The Roop

  9. 🇷🇺 Russia / Manizha ⚽️ (FIFA: 38th)

  10. 🇬🇷 Greece / Stefania

  11. 🇧🇬 Bulgaria / Victoria

  12. 🇵🇹 Portugal / The Black Mamba ⚽️ (FIFA: 5th)

  13. 🇲🇩 Moldova / Natalia Gordienko

  14. 🇸🇪 Sweden / Tusse ⚽️ (FIFA: 18th)

  15. 🇷🇸 Serbia / Hurricane

  16. 🇨🇾 Cyprus / Elena Tsagrino

  17. 🇮🇱 Israel / Eden Alene

  18. 🇳🇴 Norway / TIX

  19. 🇧🇪 Belgium / Hooverphonic ⚽️ (FIFA: 1st)

  20. 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan / Efendi

  21. 🇦🇱 Albania / Anxhela Peristeri

  22. 🇸🇲 San Marino / Senhit

  23. 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (Hosts)/ Jeangu Macrooy ⚽️ (FIFA: 16th)

  24. 🇪🇸 Spain/Blas Cantó ⚽️ (FIFA: 6th)

  25. 🇩🇪 Germany/ Jendrik ⚽️ (FIFA: 12th)

  26. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom /James Newman ⚽️ (FIFA: England 4th; Wales 17th; Scotland 44th)

Of the 2021 Eurovision competitors that did not reach the Grand Final, here are their FIFA World Rankings: Poland (21st), Czech Republic (40th), Croatia (14th), Austria (23rd), Denmark (10th) and North Macedonia (62nd).

Poland’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny will be hoping to channel some of this energyEBU/Thomas Hanses

The teams have been drawn into 6 groups of 4, and will play against those in their groups. The top two in each of the six groups proceed to the knock-out stages (along with the four best third-placed finishers) where teams will be narrowed down until two reach the final.

The Eurovision 'Group of Death’ is Group A, containing four countries with 11 Eurovision victories between them (including the first ever winners Switzerland, and the current champions Italy).

Group A Eurovision victories: 11

Turkey ⭐️
Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Wales ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (
as part of the United Kingdom)
Switzerland ⭐️⭐️

Can Bonomo, 2012: can Turkey navigate the choppy waters of Group A?EBU

Eurovision/Football crossovers

Bono and The Edge joined world-renowned Dutch (of course) DJ Martin Garrix to release the official song of UEFA EURO 2020, but we have no interest in anything without a tenuous connection to Eurovision, so unfortunately we won’t be able to link to what we assume is a tremendous collaboration. Instead let’s take a look at when the worlds of football and Eurovision have collided.

Double Sanremo winner Enrico Ruggeri represented Italy at Eurovision in 1993 with the song Sole D’Europa (‘Sun of Europe’), and earlier this week he made his debut for fourth-division Italian club ASD Sona, based in Verona, at the age of 64.

'I’m a playmaker, I play behind the forwards. The president invited me to play and I accepted with enthusiasm this new adventure’ he said in a post-match interview.

Enrico Ruggeri – not wearing football bootsEnrico Ruggeri

Ruggeri started in his team’s 1–0 league home loss to Tritium Calcio 1908. He wore the No. 10 jersey and played 9 minutes before leaving the pitch – a full 6 minutes longer than he appeared on stage in Millstreet.

You’ll know Frans from his 2016 Eurovision entry If I Were Sorry but you may be blissfully unaware of his biggest hit… in 2006 he released Who’s Da Man, Zlatan which stayed at the top of the Swedish singles charts for an incredible 10 weeks during the 2006 World Cup.

Watch: Frans – Who’s Da Man, Zlatan?

The song is dedicated to the Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović and can only be described as ‘scandi-reggae with added children’s choir’ – so think before you click.

A couple of bonafide Eurovision entries that have made their way into the football fandom.

In advance of the 2012 tournament (jointly hosted by Ukraine and Poland), the governing bodies launched the ‘Friends of UEFA EURO 2012’ programme and in 2011, future Ukrainian Eurovision participant Gaitana was announced as an 'Official Friend’ of Euro 2012 ahead of her appearance at Eurovision in Baku, 2012.

Watch: Gaitana – Be My Guest (Ukraine 2012)

Be My Guest became an anthem during the co-hosted football tournament which began just weeks after the Eurovision Song Contest.

Gaitana, Ukraine 2012 – inspired by the popularity of the vuvuzela at the 2010 World Cup no doubt

Similarly Jessy Matador’s 2010 French Eurovision entry Allez Ola Olé became something of an unofficial French anthem in South Africa, thanks to France Télévisions’ use of it to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Watch: Jessy Matador – Allez Ola Olé (France 2010)

And, of course, it was revealed this year that Growing Up is Getting Old singer Victoria has connections to the English Championship side Blackburn Rovers, thanks to her producer.

No word on an official anthem for the team… but Growing Up is Getting Goals can’t be far off.

Victoria – massive Blackburn Rovers fanVictoria

Which countries are participating in the European Championships?

Let’s take a look at the 24 teams competing in the Euros and also their record at both that competition and, more importantly, the Eurovision Song Contest.

Both Finland and North Macedonia make their debuts at the European Championships this year. Lordi lifted the Eurovision trophy for Finland back in 2006 but have yet to replicate that success on the pitch; similarly North Macedonia won the 2019 Eurovision jury vote, but will have to work their socks off to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Euros.

Vasil – he’s a keeper

🇫🇮 Finland

European Championship Finals debut: 2021 (2020)
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1961
Eurovision wins: ⭐️ (1)


🇲🇰 North Macedonia

European Championship Finals debut: 2021 (2020)
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1961
Eurovision wins: 0

Lucie Jones (2017) playing three upfront for WalesAndres Putting

The United Kingdom participates at Eurovision as one country, but different rules apply in the world of football, and so three of the home nations have qualified for Euro 2020: England, Scotland and Wales.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales

European Championship Finals debut: 2016
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1957 (as part of United Kingdom)
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 – as part of United Kingdom)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England

European Championship Finals debut: 1968
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1957 (as part of United Kingdom)
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 – as part of United Kingdom)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland

European Championship Finals debut: 1992
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1957 (as part of United Kingdom)
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 – as part of United Kingdom)

Måneskin – more interested in ping-pongEBU / Thomas Hanses

The Eurovision Big 5 tend to do quite well at the Euros, with a total of 9 victories between them. Italy will be hoping to do the double and land a victory in both competitions in the same year – Greece came close to doing this when they won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest and the 2005 European Championships.

🇮🇹 Italy

European Championship Finals debut: 1968
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3)

🇫🇷 France

European Championship Finals debut: 1960
European Championship wins: ⭐️⭐️ (2)
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5)

🇩🇪 Germany

European Championship Finals debut: 1972
European Championship wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3)
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️ (2)
From 1972 – 1988 Germany competed in the Euros as West Germany.

🇪🇸 Spain

European Championship Finals debut: 1964
European Championship wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3)
Eurovision debut: 1961
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️ (2)

Salvador Sobral winning the 2017 Eurovision Song ContestAndres Putting

Portugal had to wait for their first European Championships win for nearly as long as their Eurovision victory, bagging the trophies in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

🇵🇹 Portugal

European Championship Finals debut: 1984
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 1964
Eurovision wins: ⭐️ (1)

Jeangu Macrooy, The Netherlands, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 13 May 2021EBU / Thomas Hanses

It’s always difficult participating in a Eurovision you’re hosting, and this year was no different. The Netherlands scored a total of 11 points at this year’s Contest, but looking on the bright-side this would be more than enough to qualify from their Euros group that contains two Eurovision non-qualifiers (Austria and North Macedonia) and Ukraine.

🇳🇱 The Netherlands

European Championship Finals debut: 1976
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5)

🇺🇦 Ukraine

European Championship Finals debut: 2012
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 2003
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐ (2)

🇦🇹 Austria

European Championship Finals debut: 2008
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1957
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️ (2)

Max Jason Mai (2012) was the last artist to represent Slovakia at Eurovision

For some countries, success in either tournament eludes them for now, but it can’t be far off. Hungary have finished as World Cup runners-up, 3rd at the European Championships and a highest placing of 4th at Eurovision. Croatia have also finished no higher than 4th at Eurovision.

🇸🇰 Slovakia

European Championship Finals debut: 2016
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1994
Eurovision wins: 0


🇵🇱 Poland

European Championship Finals debut: 2008
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1994
Eurovision wins: 0

🇭🇺 Hungary

European Championship Finals debut: 1964
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1994
Eurovision wins: 0

🇭🇷 Croatia

European Championship Finals debut: 2008
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1993
Eurovision wins: 0

A quick reminder from Geike to iron your flags on a low heat setting ahead of the tournament.EBU / Andres Putting

According to the FIFA Men’s World Rankings, Belgium are currently the top ranked team in the world. Can they place a Euros trophy next to the Eurovision one in their cabinet?

🇧🇪 Belgium

European Championship Finals debut: 1972
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️ (1)

🇹🇷 Turkey

European Championship Finals debut: 1996
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1975
Eurovision wins: ⭐️ (1)

Celine enjoying the sweet taste of victoryEBU

Switzerland hosted (and won) the very first Eurovision Song Contest back in 1956, but it would take them until 1996 to qualify for the finals of the European Championships. They co-hosted the 2008 tournament with local buddies Austria.

🇨🇭 Switzerland

European Championship Finals debut: 1996
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1956
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️ (2)

🇸🇪 Sweden

European Championship Finals debut: 1992
European Championship wins: 0
Eurovision debut: 1958
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (6)

🇩🇰 Denmark

European Championship Finals debut: 1964
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 1957
Eurovision wins: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3)

Benny Cristo – sure there’s a copy of FIFA 21 in there somewhere…Benny Cristo

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

European Championship Finals debut: 1960
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 2007
Eurovision wins: 0
From 1960 to 1980 the Czech Republic competed in the Euros as Czechoslovakia

🇷🇺 Russia

European Championship Finals debut: 1960
European Championship wins: ⭐️ (1)
Eurovision debut: 1994
Eurovision wins: ⭐️ (1)
From 1960 to 1988 Russia competed as the Soviet Union, and in 1992 as CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)

There we have it! All the vital statistics and trivia you’ll need to get through the 2020 European Championships.

Don’t forget to download your wallchart and if you think we’ve missed any fascinating facts then let us know via our official Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook accounts.

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