Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes numbers on the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

Is everyone else sat with their Euro 2024 flag ready for a summer of international tournament fun?

With just three days to go until the big kick-off in Germany, we at Opta Analyst can’t wait to get started and have been filling our website to the brim with Euro 2024 content. You can find it all via our Euro 2024 page, including features on England, Germany, Kylian Mbappé, Cristiano Ronaldo and, of course, Albania striker and former Watford player Rey Manaj. What more could you ask for?

In the meantime, as promised last week, here is the first of our Euro 2024-themed SVQs. If you missed last week’s newsletter, we explained that during the tournament, SVQ will not be sent out every Tuesday but after each matchday, meaning that, including the final you’ll be receiving seven more SVQs over the next five weeks. Your next helping of SVQ will arrive in your inbox on Wednesday 19 June.

Now, let’s get Euro-ing…

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STAT Plenty of Wunderkinds in Germany

There’s little worse than being made to feel old.

If a 31-year-old reportedly being on the verge of becoming manager of Brighton and Hove Albion isn’t enough, now we are likely to see the record for the youngest player to feature at a European Championship be beaten.

At 16 years and 338 days old when Spain begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Croatia, Lamine Yamal could break the record – currently belonging to Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski (17y, 246d) – by 274 days.

To put that in perspective, there will be someone taking part at the Euros for Spain who wasn’t even one year old when Fernando Torres scored the winner for La Roja in the Euro 2008 final against Germany.

Yamal will have earned his spot, though. The Barcelona winger has been sublime since bursting onto the scene, making 50 appearances in all competitions at club level this season (30 starts), with 14 goal involvements (7 goals, 7 assists), also scoring twice in four appearances (2 starts) for Spain in qualifying.

Lamine Yamal goal involvements 23-24

There will also likely be games in this tournament for France’s exciting 18-year-old midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery, while centre-back Jorrel Hato – just a day older than Zaïre-Emery – is in Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands squad.

Only N’Golo Kanté (3,777) and Antoine Griezmann (3,736) played more than Zaïre-Emery’s 3,236 minutes in all competitions this season among players in France’s squad, while Hato’s meteoric rise was emphasised when he became the youngest starting captain for Ajax in a European game in December (17y, 282d).

In the same month, Kenan Yildiz became the youngest foreign goalscorer in Juventus’ history in a Serie A game (18y, 233d) and he should be on show for Turkey at Euro 2024, as will Real Madrid’s Arda Güler, with the two 19-year-olds providing plenty of hope for their national team’s future. Güler may have only played 12 games but scored six goals for Madrid this season and ended with the best minutes-per-goal ratio across the five top European leagues in 2023-24 (minimum three goals).

Portugal’s João Neves and England’s Kobbie Mainoo are among the teenagers who could be handed the sort of midfield general roles often reserved for grizzled veterans, while Slovakia’s Leo Sauer – not to be confused with the Thunder in My Heart singer from the seventies – at just 18 could also make a big splash.

Twenty years after an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney set the continent alight for England at Euro 2004, the stage is set for today’s youngsters to shine; but just prepare to feel really, really old.

VIZ Experience is Key?

Viz by Jonny Whitmore

To follow on seamlessly from talking about youngsters, we thought we’d have a broader look at how much experience is being taken to Euro 2024.

Of course, experience doesn’t always equate to success. Some will say you need a mix of know-how and youthful exuberance.

The starting XI Roberto Mancini named for the Euro 2020 final had an average age of 28 years and 272 days old, almost two years older than England’s 26 years and 328 days. That doesn’t account for substitutions but the game at Wembley did have the feel of Italy dictating the tempo far more than their younger opponents.

The most experienced players at Euro 2024 will be Cristiano Ronaldo (204 caps), Luka Modric (175 caps), Jan Vertonghen (154 caps), Robert Lewandowski (149 caps) and a young whippersnapper named Pepe (136 caps), who will become the tournament’s oldest player ever if he takes the field for Portugal.

But who will be the most experienced team? Well, as this week’s viz shows, it depends whether you value age or caps.

Croatia’s squad astonishingly averages 45 caps per player, with a combined total of 1,169 caps, one of only four teams with over 1,000 in their squads (along with Portugal – 1,130, Switzerland – 1,109, and Denmark – 1,087).

The team with the fewest caps overall is Czechia with 398, an average of just 16 caps per player. Tomas Soucek is their most experienced player on 68 caps, with six members of Croatia’s squad having more. Perhaps surprisingly, Italy (546, avg. 21 per player) and Spain (552, avg. 21.2 per player) have the next fewest.

Who are the ‘golden oldies’, though? Well, it’s Scotland. Steve Clarke has named a squad with an average age of 28.4 years old. That would have been greater still had 41-year-old goalkeeper Craig Gordon made the final squad. As it is, 32-year-old James Forrest is the oldest player in Scotland’s selection.

Hosts Germany have also named a squad with an average age of over 28 (28.2), largely helped by 38-year-old Manuel Neuer, but also 34-year-old pair Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller.

The youngest squad? Those rugrats of Czechia again, with an average age of 25.4 years. Turkey aren’t too far behind at 25.8, but it is England who are taking the third-youngest squad to Euro 2024 at 26.1 years. The inclusion of young midfielders Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton certainly plays a role in that.

Will experience be a key factor in the tournament? Probably yes, the further it goes at least. As we’ve already alluded to, though, don’t be surprised to see some new names come to the fore in Germany this summer.

QUIZ The Euro 2024 Challenge

Five Euros questions, five chances to prove you have what it takes to watch the tournament. If you get any wrong, you can’t watch any games. Deal? No? Well fine, just see how many you get and we can negotiate. Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Who are the only team participating at Euro 2024 to be making their debut at a European Championship?

2. The Euro 2024 final will take place at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. Which country has won both of the previous two major men’s international tournament finals at the venue?

3. Germany are looking to become the first solo hosts to win the Euros since who in 1984?

4. France and which other nation are looking to become the only two European representatives to reach the knockout stage at each of their last five major tournaments (2014 World Cup, Euro 2016, 2018 World Cup, Euro 2020 & 2022 World Cup)?

5. And finally, to see if you’ve been visiting the Opta Analyst site lately, which country did the Opta supercomputer predict will win Euro 2024 last week?

Opta Super Bracket

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 keen to learn they’re back for Euro 2024.

Fan favourites Opta Max and Opta Streak have returned, while we’re excited to announce a brand-new game: Opta Super Bracket.

Work with or against the Opta supercomputer to predict the perfect bracket for a chance to win $500,000. You also have a chance to win huge prizes based on the number of points you earn.

Find out about all three games on our website.

Stat’s All Folks

For something a bit different during the Euros, we thought we’d give you a different way to get your name into the next edition of SVQ, so we’re running a caption competition.

We say ‘competition’; the only prizes are respect, self-esteem and the warmth that comes with knowing that you made at least one of us go: “Yeah, that’s pretty funny I suppose.”

Because we’re SVQ, we wanted to be a little different so we’re challenging you to caption a viz. Quite a twist, huh?

See what you can do with the below stats/shot location graphic from England’s 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final warm-up game before Euro 2024. We’ve put our suggestion underneath but are certain you funny lot can do better. The one that makes us chuckle most will get into the next SVQ.

Like that awkward first kiss at the school dance, the more tongue-in-cheek the better, but obviously no offensive language please, as difficult as that might be for England fans given this week’s viz.

England 0-1 Iceland stats

“The good thing about this England team is that they’ve come on leaps and bounds since that disaster in 2016 when they were beaten by…”

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

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

Who Will Win Euro 2024? The Opta Predictions

Euro 2024 Groups: The Opta Predictions

European Championship Records

Who Will Win the Euro 2024 Golden Boot?

King Kylian: Will France’s Reliance on Mbappé Be Their Downfall or Salvation?

Cristiano Ronaldo: What Role Will He Play for Portugal at Euro 2024?

Quiz Answers

1. Georgia. Every edition of the Euros has had at least one debutant.

2. Italy – Gold medal match at 1936 Summer Olympics (2-1 aet vs Austria) and the World Cup final in 2006 (1-1 aet vs France, 5-3 pens).

3. France

4. Switzerland

5. England, with a 19.9% chance. You can read all about the supercomputer’s predictions here.

Before you go…

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