Youngest international squads in Europe

Youngest international squads in Europe

Most countries have now played four games in their World Cup qualification groups so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at which countries are fielding the youngest and oldest teams so far in the competition. In the four games that have taken place so far it’s Belgium that has fielded the youngest set of players with an average of just over 24 years old. […]

Who will win Euro 2012?

The European Championships are now only a few days away, so we at Spirit of Mirko have decided to predict the entire tournament. Rather than predicting the results by analysing each individual side, their players, formations, recent form, we have decided to use hard, cold facts. So, for this set of predictions we have used the previous meeting for each side to predict which side will win. Group A Greece […]

Euro 2012 squad analysis: Part Two

Rather than bombard you all with information I thought I’d split the Euro 2012 squad analysis into two parts. I’ll try and concentrate more on the players than the squads in this section. Top goalscorers per nation Croatia – Eduardo (22) Czech Republic – Milan Baros (40) Denmark – Dennis Rommedahl (21) England – Wayne Rooney (28) Spain – Fernando Torres (27) France – Karim Benzema (13) Germany – Miroslav […]

Euro 2012: Squad analysis

The sixteen nations have now named their twenty-three man squads for Euro 2012. Three hundred and sixty-eight players will travel to the tournament in Poland & Ukraine, some experienced, some young, some with over hundred caps, some with none or very few. The following table shows a list of Euro 2012 countries, the total number of caps in their squad, the average caps per player, the number of international goals […]

Zambia – Champions of Africa

Eighteen years after eighteen of Zambia’s footballers were killed off the coast of Libreville, Stippola Sunzu scored the eighteenth penalty of a marathon shootout to win his country their first ever Africa Cup of Nations. During the shootout the Zambian players could be heard indulging in communal singing in support of their team-mates as they faced the dreaded walk to the penalty spot. It was this team-ethic that had seen […]

Chris Coleman appointed as new manager of Wales

Chris Coleman has been appointed the new manager of the Welsh national team. An odd fact associated to the appointment of Chris Coleman is that in March 1994 Wales played Norway in an friendly at Ninian Park. It was the solitary game in John Toshack’s first spell as Welsh manager (a spell that lasted for little more than a few weeks). The team that day featured Chris Coleman, Neville Southall, […]

World Cup 2014 qualification – a short population analysis

Much is made of the global appeal of football, with FIFA justifiably proud that there are more members of its organisation than there are of the UN: over 200 countries enter the World Cup competition. What’s perhaps not quite as well known is that many of these nations who enter quickly exit the competition and it’s not surprising that many of these countries are Caribbean islands or micro-states. However it’s not only obscure […]

Euro 2012 qualification attendances

Now that the group stages of the Euro 2012 qualification are over, I thought I’d take a look at the attendances. It’s especially interesting this time around as many of the games have been played on Friday/Tuesday rather than the traditional (and I use that term very loosely) Saturday/Wednesday. For the record of the  240 qualification ties 26 were played on a Saturday, 4 were played on a Tuesday, 103 were […]

Wales vs Montenegro & England

During the final days of Mark Hughes reign at the helm of the Wales national team when the marvellous win in Helsinki and a fully deserved victory over Italy were a fading memory, Welsh fans would often travel to games more in hope than expectation.  Then John Toshack came and  killed the hope. An inevitable slide down the world rankings ensued with defeats home and away to Russia, Germany and […]