Euro 2020 Journalist survey: Mbappé’s France the team to beat

Posted on 02 November, 2023 by Danny McLoughlin

We surveyed 50 journalists from the countries who have qualified for Euro 2020 to get the expert view on how the tournament will unfold. Here’s what they said:

Key findings

  • 56% of journalists backed France to win Euro 2020
  • Only 5 teams mentioned as potential winners (France, England, Belgium, Portugal and Italy)
  • 42% back Germany to be the biggest underachiever at Euro 2020
  • Kylian Mbappé favourite for best player and Golden Boot
  • Phil Foden heavy favourite for best young player
  • Denmark and Ukraine chosen as biggest overachievers

At a glance

  • Tournament Winner - France (56%)
  • Runner-up - France (20%) [Spain (18%)]
  • Biggest overachievers - Denmark (18%)
  • Biggest underachievers - Germany (42%)
  • Best player - Kylian Mbappé (36%)
  • Golden Boot - Kylian Mbappé (38%)
  • Best young player - Phil Foden (36%)

Who will win Euro 2020?

France is a heavy favourite amongst our respondents. More than half of the journalists surveyed backed them to win the tournament and match their achievements from World Cup ‘98 and Euro 2000 by winning back-to-back international tournaments.

England and Belgium are joint second-favourites with 16% picking each of these teams to win their first Euros.

Defending champions Portugal are 4th favourites with just 8% of the vote, with Italy the last team picked as potential winners by our jury.

With just 5 teams chosen as potential winners, traditional big names such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain have missed out completely.

Who will finish as runner-up?

France has also been chosen as the most likely team to finish as runner-up by our jury. With 20% of journalists backing them to finish as runner-up and 56% choosing them to win, 76% of respondents have stated they think France will reach the final.

Spain is runner up in the runner-up poll on 18%, closely followed by England and Belgium who can’t be separated again.

Germany, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, and Wales also got mentions.

The overachievers

19 out of 24 qualifying teams have been mentioned as the biggest overachievers at the tournament.

Denmark received 18% of the vote for this question, with Ukraine following closely with 14%.

Robert Lewandowski led Poland came in third in the voting with 10% which isn’t all that surprising on the back of his record-breaking Bundesliga season.

The underachievers

Germany is backed to be a huge letdown at Euro 2020.

42% of respondents answered that they thought Germany would be the biggest underachiever at the tournament.

Perennial underachievers, England, came in second in the voting with 16%.

Croatia and Portugal are other notable teams predicted to flop at the tournament.

Who will win the Player of the Tournament?

14 different players were selected as potential players of the tournament.

Kylian Mbappé is the significant favourite and seems to be the man to watch. He received 36% of the vote.

Second, was Kevin De Bruyne on 14%, then Harry Kane and Karim Benzema - each on 10%.

Although mainly forward-thinking players were mentioned, there was still room for Manuel Neuer, Ruben Dias, and N’Golo Kanté.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

France and Kylian Mbappé feature heavily in the Golden Boots standings as well.

Mbappé is the favourite with 38% of respondents choosing the Frenchman. His teammate Karim Benzema is in joint second with Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku. He’s closely followed by Harry Kane on 16%.

Who will win the Young Player of the Tournament?

18 different players were selected in the running for Young Player of the Tournament.

In spite of being chosen for Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot, Kylian Mbappé was not in first place on this occasion. He fell to second on 18%.

Instead, England’s Phil Foden was the overwhelming favourite for best young player with 36% of the vote.

Conclusion - Mbappé’s France the team to beat

The experts have had their say. It’s clear France is the team to beat and Kylian Mbappé is the main man.

Of the rest, England and Belgium each have a chance of winning their first European Championship.

For the Belgians, journalists believe Kevin De Brunye will be the key man (having finished second in Player of the Tournament predictions) and Romelu Lukaku will be vital up front.

For England, Harry Kane is the main man (coming joint 3rd in player of the tournament predictions and 4th in Golden Boot predictions.)

Phil Foden is also tipped to make a huge impact for the English in his first international tournament after being predicted as the overwhelming favourite for the best young player award.

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin
Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.