Stat, Viz, Quiz is the Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes some of the most interesting numbers from Matchday 1 of Euro 2024.

Tournament football is great, isn’t it?

Goals galore, the odd shock here and there; the only thing that’s been missing at Euro 2024 so far is those cool little cars that bring the match ball onto the pitch.

England didn’t entirely convince in their 1-0 win over Serbia, but one man stood out. We’ll be taking a closer look at the performance of the increasingly impressive Jude Bellingham in this edition of SVQ.

From a young Real Madrid star to a slightly older one. Toni Kroos was also spectacular in Germany’s opener, and we’ll be showing you just how dominant the pass-master was against Scotland.

We also have a Matchday 1 quiz for you, as well as a fresh new viz to test your funny bones as we challenge you to caption it.

Now, play that famous Beatles song.

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STAT Hey Jude… You’re Just Showing Off Now!

In last week’s SVQ, we talked about some of the potential young superstars ready to burst onto the international scene. Some have already left their mark after just one game, but perhaps few did so more than England’s latest rose.

Jude Bellingham doesn’t seem to feel pressure, which is just as well given the hopes of a nation appear to rest on his not-even-21-years-old-yet shoulders.

Fresh off winning a La Liga and Champions League double in his debut season for Real Madrid – as well as La Liga’s Player of the Season – Bellingham got his Euro 2024 campaign off to a typically excellent start, heading England in front against Serbia just 13 minutes in.

The Three Lions may have purred rather than roared in their 1-0 win over Serbia, but their young midfielder was everywhere, scoring the winner and emerging as the brightest spark in Gelsenkirchen.

Bellingham’s goal on Sunday meant he became just the second player ever to score at both the World Cup and European Championship before turning 21, after another England prodigy in Michael Owen (World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000).

He also became the first player to score for England at both the World Cup and European Championship while playing his club football outside of England.

Bellingham also scored England’s first goal of the 2022 World Cup when he netted against Iran, meaning he’s now joined a list along with four legendary Three Lions figures to score the opening goal for their country at two different major tournaments; Bobby Charlton, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Bryan Robson.

It wasn’t just his goal, though. The former Borussia Dortmund man had the most touches in the game (93), while he completed 67 of his 70 passes (95.7%), with 24 of those passes coming in the final third (the most in the game). He also competed in the most duels – winning 10 of his 16 – made more tackles than any of his teammates (3), won the second-most fouls (4) and made the joint-most final-third entries (9).

Jude Bellingham heat map v Serbia

A certain famous sportswear manufacturer built up to the Euros by assuring Bellingham that he’s “got this”.

Whatever it is he’s got, it’s certainly something worth having.

VIZ Toni Kroos: Breaker of Lines, and Scottish Hearts

Toni Kroos line breaking passes v Scotland

Oh Toni Kroos, to me you are so wonderful.

We presume Germany fans, Real Madrid fans, and those who want society to think people in their mid-thirties are still good for something all agree.

Kroos is back in a Germany shirt for Euro 2024, and frankly it’s like he never left. In the hosts’ 5-1 demolition of Scotland in their opening game, he ran the show.

The 34-year-old – who will retire from football following the tournament – completed 101 of 102 passes (99%) and played a key role in Germany’s first two goals.

As usual, it was more about the quality than the quantity of his passing, though.

You can see from the Opta Vision viz above that Kroos played 30 line-breaking passes, helping to open Scotland up time and again.

That is the most line-breaking passes of anyone in the tournament by at least nine (Vitinha made 21 for Portugal vs Czech Republic).

For comparison, there were only three instances of players producing more line-breaking passes in UEFA Champions League games in 2023-24, one of which was Kroos for Real Madrid against Napoli (36); also the most in any game in the competition.

Hopes are high for Germany, who face Hungary in their second outing, and it’s likely that if Julian Nagelsmann’s side are to enjoy success on home soil this summer, Kroos will be a vital cog.

Young stars like Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala could end up being the poster boys and the future of German football, but over the next few weeks we could be treated to the Toni Kroos tournament for his final curtain.

QUIZ Matchday 1

Everyone has played once at Euro 2024, so let’s see what you can tell us about some of the best facts and stats from the last few days. Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Nedim Bajrami’s goal after 23 seconds for Albania against Italy is the fastest goal ever scored at the UEFA European Championship finals. Whose record did he beat?

2. Álvaro Morata (10 goals) became Spain’s outright second-highest goalscorer at major international tournaments (Euros/World Cup combined) when he scored in their 3-0 win over Croatia. He remains behind which former La Roja striker?

3. Harry Kane made his 23rd appearance at a major international tournament (World Cup/Euros) when he faced Serbia, the outright most by an England player. Name either of the two players he overtook.

4. Belgium slipped to a surprise 1-0 loss to Slovakia on Monday. It was their first group-stage defeat at a European Championship since losing to who in 2016?

5. Kylian Mbappé literally had his nose put out of joint in France’s win over Austria, but despite his brilliant play leading to the winning goal, he is still yet to score at a European Championship. How many shots has the soon-to-be Real Madrid man had overall in the competition without finding the net? A) 14, B) 18, or C) 22?

OptaMax Euro 2024

Opta Games

If you were one of the thousands who enjoyed Opta Games during the Premier League and Women’s Super League 2023-24 seasons, you’ll no doubt be happy to learn they’re back for Euro 2024.

With Opta Max (Euro 2024 Edition), predict the Player of the Match in four featured games each round and earn points for your predictions. Those points could then earn you big cash prizes. Player performance scores are powered by our new metric, Opta Points.

Sign up and play for free today.

Stat’s All Folks

For those who missed last week’s SVQ, we’ve introduced a new feature for the Euros where we ask our subscribers to send in their wittiest captions in relation to a topical viz.

Last week’s was this stats/shot map from England’s friendly defeat to Iceland.

England 0-1 Iceland stats

The best response came from Fynn Racket, who went with: “Only 1% of Iceland is covered by trees…. I assume the rest is covered by rogue balls, carried across the north Atlantic as a result of England’s inability to kick straight.”

That was a bit harsh, Fynn, but fair and quite funny. Luckily for England, Jude Bellingham’s return saw them find the net in their opening Euro 2024 game.

For this week’s viz, we’re giving you the below to work with. It’s Germany’s xG race against Scotland in the opening game of Euro 2024. We felt sorry for Steve Clarke’s men, who have a chance to bounce back against Switzerland on Wednesday, but suffice to say their first game didn’t exactly go according to plan.

Germany v Scotland xG race

Send your suggestions to and your name and caption could be in the next edition of SVQ.

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

Here’s some of the latest data-driven offerings you can find on our website:

Is England’s Left-Side Problem Back, and How Could Gareth Southgate Fix it?

Wout Weghorst: Netherlands’ Sublime Super-Sub Divides Opinion but There’s No Arguing With His Numbers

Copa America Predictions: Argentina to Follow World Cup Success

Premier League Fixtures: Who Has the Toughest Start to 2024-25?

Quiz Answers

1. Dmitri Kirichenko – 1 minute, 5 seconds (Russia vs Greece on 20 June 2004)

2. David Villa (13 goals)

3. Ashley Cole and Raheem Sterling

4. Italy (2-0)

5. B) 18

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