Ok guys this is my first fan-post and I hope you enjoy reading and give me your thoughts.
Now our season is over my mind was turning towards Euro 2012 and the potential outcomes of that tournament. I wanted to find out if there was a correlation between the majority nationality of the winning starting eleven of the Champions League final and the eventual winning nation of the European Championship.
I started out - in perhaps the wrong order - by considering the starting XI sides of both winner and loser of the Champions League final from 2009 to 2012.
The purpose of this was to ascertain what nationality had been most represented over this period (the thinking being there would be a natural correlation with eventual EURO winner when I worked back over the historical records)
This threw up an interesting outcome - the most represented nationality in the Champions League final between 2009 and 2012 was English! Surprising outcome no? Perhaps less surprisingly this was followed by both Germany and Spain (in that order) - both of whom are the bookies favourites for the tournament.
I then undertook the same exercise but considering the starting XI's from 2005 to 2008. It turns out that the most represented nationality is again English - thanks largely to 'that' 2008 final (only starting to get over this now). As we know England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 so there is no way to determine if there would have been a link. However the runner up is Spain. Spain of course won Euro 2008.
Feeling good now that there may well be a link - however we also all know that GREECE won Euro 2004! Of course it is safe to say without any research that Greek was not the most represented nationality over the period 2001 to 2004 (for info they had 1).
The most represented nationality was - French. France contrived to get knocked out by GREECE in the quarter finals in 2004. As a result my hope for a sustainable link has been dashed.
Just to be sure I checked the data for the starting XI's 1997 to 2000 - the most represented nation is Germany - and they failed to get out of the group in Euro 2000.
At this point - I was feeling a little dejected. That was until I noticed an interesting pattern.
In 1996 the winners of the Champions League were Juventus. The majority of the starting XI were Italian. The runners up were Van Gaal's Ajax - the majority of whom were Dutch. At Euro 1996 Italy failed to pass the group and the Netherlands went out in the Quarter Finals.
In 2000 the winners of the Champions League were Real Madrid. The majority of the starting XI were Spanish. The runners up were Valencia - the majority of whom were Spanish. At Euro 2000 Spain went out in the quarter finals.
In 2004 the winners of the Champions League were Porto. The majority of the starting XI were Portuguese. The runners up were Monaco - the majority of whom were French. At Euro 2004 Portugal were runners up and France went out in the quarter finals.
In 2008 the winners of the Champions League were United. The largest single nationality on the team was English. The runners up were Chelsea - the largest single nationality on the team was English. At Euro 2008 England didn't play as they didn't qualify! (Lets be honest they would have been lucky to have gone out in the quarter finals.)
In 2012 the winners of the Champions League were CHELSEA!!!!!!!!!!! The largest single nationality on the team was English. The runners up were Bayern - the majority of whom are German.
On this basis - I am making a prediction. England will not win Euro 2012 :(. Germany will get knocked out in the Quarter Finals. Good times for either of probably Russia or the Czech Republic (apologies Poland and Greece).
I did also look back further at the data but before Euro 1996 the European Championships had a lower number of participants and thus it is quite regular for successful European Cup nations not to qualify for the tourney (Spain 1992, Italy 1988 for example).
I hope you found this of interest - if largely worthless as a reliable forecast model. Also for my money I see a Spain v Italy final (you heard it here first).
Also what is the general view on the fact that English was the most represented Champions League final over an 8 year period and yet the England national team is still so poor?