While the first round of games in the group stages of Euro 2020 didn’t throw up too many surprises regarding the scorelines, several of the games will go down as classic encounters between the two teams. The Netherlands vs. Ukraine match was the game of the round, but clashes like France vs. Germany, Hungary vs. Portugal, Turkey vs. Italy, and even Austria vs. North Macedonia managed to entertain.
Here, however, the score lines don’t matter too much: it’s all about the shirt numbers. So, here are some shirt number facts derived from the first set of fixtures of Euro 2020.
Which shirt number led the scoring through the first round?
There were a total of 28 goals scored through the first 12 games of Euro 2020, three of which were own goals. Among the regular scorers, there were 14 different shirt numbers finding the back of the net. Of those 14 numbers, only four of them saw multiple score sheet entries, and they’re exactly the numbers that you’d expect.
Leading the way with five goals each were the number 10s and numbers 7s. Within these groups, two players finished the first round with a brace: Cristiano Ronaldo (number 7 for Portugal) and Patrik Schick (number 10 for the Czech Republic). Now, in the sports betting UK odds, Ronaldo is at 39/50 to score over 3.5 goals in the whole tournament, and Schick is at 4/6 to just get one more and have over 2.5 goals at Euro 2020.
Next up were the number 9s, pulled into third by Romelu Lukaku’s brace against Russia. His fellow number 9 to score was Roman Yaremchuk, who netted against the Netherlands in their 3-2 thriller. Finishing the multiple entrants were the number 8s, with Georginio Wijnaldum scoring for the Dutch and Karol Linetty giving Poland their only goal of the round.
The highest numbers to walk out in a starting XI
Each team was allowed to take 26 players with them to Euro 2020, with 23 being allowed to come on any given matchday – three of whom must be goalkeepers. Convention would suggest that the 24s, 25s, and 26s would be those left out, but there were plenty of them across the 24 starting XIs of the first games for each team.
The first round saw six number 23s, four number 24s, and five number 25s. Interestingly, with the top goalie invariably getting the number 1 shirt, five of the starting 24 goalies weren’t a number 1. Spain, Austria, Wales, Turkey, and Italy all played higher shirt numbers, with Uğurcan Çakır and Unai Simón taking the top spot as Turkey’s and Spain’s number 23, respectively.
However, there was a certain wonderkid roaming a pitch from the first minute whose shirt number eclipses all others: Pedri and his number 26 shirt. He became the youngest player for Spain at a European Championship, being named to the starting XI at 18 years, six months, and 18 days of age.
The highest and lowest starting XI shirt number totals
A traditional starting XI with players numbered 1 to 11 would present a total of 66 if you add up each of their shirt numbers. These days, even at major national tournaments where the squad numbers are essentially reset before it begins, many players have their preferences, regardless of position. Furthermore, some teams will have rested some stars for their seemingly easier first-round match.
Looking into both the highest starting XI shirt number total and the lowest, we found that the two coincided, with a shirt value of 162 meeting one of just 79 in the same game. That game was the frustrating affair – for La Furia Roja – that was Spain 0-0 Sweden.
Spain only started with five traditional starting XI numbers in the team, who were Ferran Torres with number 11, Pau Francisco Torres with number 4, and Koke with number 8. The likes of Pedri, Simon, and Aymeric Laporte all stepped out with shirt numbers in the 20s. Sweden, on the other hand, had just two players outside of a starting XI numbering, with Kristoffer Olsson (number 20) and Marcus Danielson (number 24) bucking the Sweden trend.
So, while the usual suspects headed up the scoring, few would have expected a number 26 to start, let alone the lowest and highest starting XI shirt number counts to have met in the first game.