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England forward Harry Kane acknowledges fans after a group stage match against the United States as Gary Pearson explores the commonalties between the Euro 2024 favorites and their unofficial sister NFL teams.
England forward Harry Kane acknowledges fans after a group stage match against the United States during the 2022 World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium. Photo by Yukihito Taguchi via USA TODAY Sports

With Euro 2024 set to commence on June 14 and die-hard NFL fans counting down the days before the 2024-25 season, I bet you're wondering what the similarities are between the Euro 2024 favorites and their unofficial NFL sisters teams.

That's probably a bet I'd lose, as even the most restless NFL fans would probably prefer an intense game of Tiddlywinks to canvassing the terrain for commonalities between national soccer teams and some of the highest-profile gridiron outfits.

Luckily, I've taken the liberty of exploring that intriguing world on your behalf as our complete beginner's guide to the Euro 2024 squads is here to help you find your new favorite team.

Once you've chosen a team, try your luck with our Euro 2024 bracket.

General similarities between soccer and the NFL

I must first address the morbidly obese elephant in the room. The world's most popular sport is only called soccer in a select few nations, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, the Philippines (thanks to American influence), American Samoa, and a handful of others. 

It's called football in more than 90% of the world's countries, and it originated in 19th-century Great Britain. So, both sensational sports are called football, and that's okay. I know the Puritans of each sport will probably scoff at the notion of having to share your sport's name, but if it makes the pill any easier to ingest, let's refer to the one which predominantly uses both feet as footy and the NFL as football.

The immense popularity of footy and football

Both sports are immensely popular, with the NFL gaining traction in more countries globally every year. According to ESPN, the 272 regular-season games in the 2022-23 NFL season had an average of 17.9 million viewers, tied for the second most all-time. That's a total of 4.87 billion viewers throughout the campaign, while an estimated 123.7 million tuned in to watch the Super Bowl. 

Euro 2020, delayed and played from June 11 to July 11, 2021 due to COVID-19, garnered 5.28 billion viewers, an average of 100 million per match. About 328 million people watched the final between England and Italy. 

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Similarities between Euro 2024 favorites and NFL teams

The usual suspects headline as Euro 2024 favorites. England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium round out the eight front-runners according to the Euro 2024 odds.  

England ðŸ´ó §ó ¢ó ¥ó ®ó §ó ¿+300+300+333+330+350 ðŸ”¥
France ðŸ‡«ðŸ‡·+340 â„️+380+350+400+400
Germany ðŸ‡©ðŸ‡ª+550+430 â„️+500+550+550
Spain ðŸ‡ªðŸ‡¸+700+650 â„️+750+800 ðŸ”¥+750
Portugal ðŸ‡µðŸ‡¹+800 ðŸ”¥+750+750+700+700
Belgium ðŸ‡§ðŸ‡ª+1600+1600+1800+2000 ðŸ”¥+1600
Italy ðŸ‡®ðŸ‡¹+1600+1600+1600+1800 ðŸ”¥+1400 â„️
Netherlands ðŸ‡³ðŸ‡±+1600+1800+1600+1800+1600

England's NFL sister team: Dallas Cowboys 

Off-the-field similarities 

I'd be surprised if Taylor Swift's new album, "The Tortured Poets Department," isn't a veiled jab at England and the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys, dubbed America's team, and England are two of the most highly scrutinized teams in any sport. The media has a field day criticizing both teams. The English media, renowned for picking every last morsel of meat from an exposed carcass, relentlessly flogs the Three Lions, more so than a pack of starving hyenas. 

No matter how trivial, any news with a tenuous link to England is splashed across every paper and online publication across the UK, aligning closely with the reception the Cowboys garner stateside.

Most of the criticism is warranted, as neither team covers themselves in glory despite their uncapped potential.

On-the-field similarities 

England's only claim to fame came 58 years ago at the 1966 World Cup. They haven't replicated that winning feeling since. It's a winless run spanning 28 major tournaments - 14 World Cups and 14 European Championships - a patch more barren than the Gobi Desert during the driest of dry seasons. 

Serendipitously and almost eerily, the Cowboys last won the Super Bowl 28 years ago. Their identical fruitless runs, at least regarding the time elapsed between triumphs, are compounded by the sky-high expectations that follow them like an evil entity on the verge of possessing an unwilling target.

And then there are Harry Kane and Dak Prescott, the most high-profile of all the high-profile players leading each team.

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Kane, the second favorite by the Euro 2024 top goal scorer odds, left Tottenham hunting for glory, scouring for silverware that eluded him for almost 10 years in north London. In his first season with Bayern Munich, he led the team in goals but didn't win a team trophy, marking the first time the Bavarian side didn't win a trophy since the 2011-12 season. And to think, I didn't believe in curses before Harry came into my life.

I don't have a crystal ball. If I did, I wouldn't be on the wrong side of so many wagers. But it distinctly feels like Prescott, with all the uncertainty surrounding his future, will soon follow in Kane's footsteps, pursuing pastures anew to source the glory that has been so elusive in Big D.

Humiliating defeats an unenviable similarity

There's also the topic of humiliating, gruesome defeats to cover. The Cowboys, mammoth favorites in the 2023-24 wild-card round, were hammered by the visiting Green Bay Packers. 

Every player on England's Euro 2016 roster can relate to their pain, with the 48-32 shellacking probably awakening the deeply buried memories from their soul-destroying 2-1 loss to Iceland in the Round of 16. 

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And while lightning doesn't usually strike twice, it does for England.

The Three Lions suffered another embarrassing defeat to Iceland, losing 0-1 at Wembley in their final pre-Euro 2024 warmup encounter.

The meaningful games' conundrum 

The losses to Iceland and Green Bay are just two examples in a long line of failures in meaningful games. The Cowboys breeze through regular seasons as easily as Joey Chestnut ingests hot dogs, while England flies through qualification and the group stage of major tournaments like Red Bull wins F1 races. 

Those favorable, fair-weathered results don't perpetuate when the pressure intensifies during the playoffs or knockout stages.

The Cowboys have lost 13 of 18 playoff games since their last Super Bowl triumph in 1995, while England advanced past the quarterfinal in two of their previous 11 World Cups and three of the last 10 European Championships. 

That's five semifinal berths for England since 1950, two of which in the last six years.  

  • England's odds to win Euro 2024: +350 via BetMGM
  • England's odds of disappointing a nation: Probable 
  • Dallas Cowboys odds to win Super Bowl 59: +1800 via BetMGM
  • Dallas' odds of disappointing Cowboys nation: Probable  
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France's NFL sister team: Kansas City Chiefs

Off-the-field similarities 

France and the Kansas City Chiefs are bursting with elite generational talent whose popularity stretches well beyond the field of play. Travis Kelce has become a pop culture icon and wannabe model, largely thanks to the buy-in from Swifties across the globe. France's golden boy, Kylian Mbappe, has a similar zest for flair, flamboyance, and a love of the limelight.

Although unconfirmed, Mbappe reportedly dated French model Ines Rau for a stretch. Mbappe, a global superstar who shares a similar off-the-field profile as Kelce, shares more on-the-field similarities with Patrick Mahomes.

On-the-field similarities 

Mahomes and Mbappe are generational talents and arguably the best players in their respective sports. Mahomes has three Super Bowl rings, in all of which he was named MVP. He has two regular-season MVP awards and was named the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year. 

Mbappe, 25, has won six of a possible seven Ligue 1 titles with PSG, four Coupe de France titles, two Coupes de la Ligue, and three Trophees des Champions. Most importantly, he reached the pinnacle of the sport by winning the 2018 World Cup.

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And both players' last name starts with M, which I managed to source with minimal effort.

Again among the Super Bowl odds favorites, the Chiefs are in the midst of a dynastic run consisting of three Super Bowl rings and four Super Bowl appearances in the last five years. France haven't won quite as much recently but can also punch their ticket into the final at major events as easily as Kelce and Mbappe access the VIP entrance of lavish, hoity-toity nightclubs.  

France have reached the final in three of the last four major tournaments, two of the previous six European Championships, and three of the previous five World Cups. Les Bleus advanced to the final in six of their last 13 major tournaments, resulting in three trophies (1998 World Cup, 2018 World Cup, 2000 Euros). 

Kelce and Mbappe's high-profile and public insubordination 

For those who don't love their bosses, you probably lived vicariously through Kelce when he gave it to Andy Reid on the sideline during Super Bowl 58. Not only did Kelce let Reid have it like it was a scene from "Office Space," but he also made his best Olivia Newton-John "Physical" impression by bodying the legendary coach. 

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I won't make a mountain of a molehill, as things happen in the heat of the moment. However, I strongly advise against using that excuse if things go all Draymond Green with your superior. 

You'd think Mbappe, after letting loose on PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi days before he departed from the Parisian outfit, has a copycat level of admiration for Kelce. Mbappe, knowing he was bound for Real Madrid, let Al-Khelaifi have it before a match against Toulouse. While his tirade and Hulk-like outburst weren't nearly as public or high profile, Mbappe still did Kelce proud.

  • France's odds to win Euro 2024: +400 via bet365
  • Chances Mbappe shouts at Didier Deschamps in a Euro 2024 match: Unlikely 
  • Chiefs odds to win Super Bowl 59: +600 via FanDuel
  • Chances Kelce ups the ante and tries to suplex Any Reid: Stranger things have happened
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Italy's NFL sister team: New York Giants

Off-the-field similarities 

The Italian national footy team is as Italian as it gets. However, the New York Giants' third-string quarterback turned hero for a month, Tommy DeVito, and "Goodfellas" lookalike agent Sean Stellato (sounds like the Italian version of "Starsky and Hutch") deserve an honorable mention. 

Not only did DeVito and Stellato make everyone want to rewatch the Sopranos, but they took things even further by visiting a local New York Italian pizza shop in the heat of the Giants' Italian transformation. 

Devito, dubbed Tommy Cutlets, took a page from the Euro 2020 Italian side's winning handbook. En route to beating England at Wembley in the final, the Italian team routinely feasted on, you guessed it, pizza after tournament matches. In silo, that doesn't sound like the best post-game routine. Italy certainly discredited any post-game pizza naysayers. 

I stand corrected; it doesn't get more Italian than the national footy team eating pizza post-game at a major tournament. Had England's players gorged themselves on pizza after each match, maybe they wouldn't be partnered with the Cowboys in the annals of ignominy. 

On-the-field similarities 

The Giants have won four Super Bowls (1987, 1991, 2008, and 2012), and Italy four World Cups (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006). The Azzurri have also won two European Championships (1968, 2020). Both teams have two championships in the last 20 years, with Italy winning Euro 2020 and World Cup 2006 and the Giants lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2008 and 2012. 

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Despite their rich winning traditions, neither team has been particularly good recently. The Giants allowed the seventh-most points per game in 2022-23 (24.3), while the Azzurri conceded nine goals in qualification, the fifth-most of 24 participating Euro 2024 teams. 

Oh, and don't expect many wild west shootouts when either team plays. The Giants scored 15.6 points per game last season, the third-fewest, while Italy’s 45 matches at the European Championships have produced an average of just 1.84 goals (52 for, 31 against). That is the lowest ratio of any of the 25 teams to have taken part in 10-plus matches in the competition. 

  • Italy's odds to win Euro 2024: +1600 via FanDuel
  • Italy's odds of eating pizza after matches: Probable 
  • Giants' odds to win Super Bowl 59: +15000 via BetMGM
  • Chances Stellato is cast as the lead in the next blockbuster mafia movie: 100%

Belgium's NFL sister team: Detroit Lions

Off-the-field similarities 

Belgium is renowned for creating some of the best beer in the world. Meanwhile, Lions' fans are known for their ability to drink beer at a faster rate than Belgium produces it. 

On-the-field similarities 

The Detroit Lions and Belgium share in each other's misery, with neither team obtaining their ultimate goal. The Lions haven't won a Super Bowl, while Belgium have no European Championships or World Cup titles.

A spattering of recent success at World Cup 2018, where they advanced to the semifinals for the second time, had Belgium supporters believing glory was inevitable. Those hopes quickly faded in Qatar, where Belgium didn't make it past the group stage. Their results at the European Championships are even worse, with the Red Devils failing to make it past the quarterfinals since their 1980 run to the final, their best result. 

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The Lions can relate to being a perennial disappointment. They finally appear on the right track, thanks to head coach Dan Campbell and an outstanding 2023 draft.

It certainly took them long enough. The Lions endured 33 years without a playoff victory, finally breaking that unenviable record with a wild-card victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022-23 season. 

After winning two playoff games in 1957, the Lions stumbled through the next 34 years without a postseason victory. That's three playoff wins in the last 67 years, a run even Toronto Maple Leafs fans would be embarrassed by. Since the Super Bowl era began, the Lions, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans are the only teams that haven't played in at least one final. 

Inexperienced coaches at the helm

Campbell landed his first permanent coaching gig on Jan. 20, 2021, when he became Detroit's head coach. 

Domenico Tedesco, who became Belgium's head coach in February 2023 after Roberto Martínez's departure, will lead the Red Devils into battle at a major tournament for the first time. While Tedesco has seven years of experience coaching various club teams, he's never been at the helm of a national program. 

The 38-year-old can only hope his trajectory resembles Campbell's, who guided his team into the NFC Championship game after just two years in charge. 

  • Belgium's odds to win Euro 2024: +1800 via Caesars
  • Tedesco's odds of following in Campbell's footsteps: Improbable
  • Lions' odds to win Super Bowl 59: +1300 via FanDuel
  • Campbell's odds of going for it the most on 4th down in 2024-25: 100%
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Portugal's NFL sister team: New York Jets

Off-the-field similarities 

The New York Jets were ranked by the Los Angeles Times as having the most miserable fanbase, which, akin to bangers and mash, sounds like a perfect pairing for England supporters. The Three Lions, though, are already spoken for, claimed by a far more compatible partner. 

Off the field, Aaron Rodgers and Cristiano Ronaldo are their own sideshow spectacles. Ronaldo has always aspired to be the best footballer ever, and he can't quite come to terms with the fact that he's not. Sorry, Ronaldo backers, but Lionel Messi is a superior Puritan talent. The diminutive Argentinian also has eight Ballon d'Ors to Ronaldo's five. 

Rodgers sat uncomfortably in the shadow of Tom Brady for years and, at least recently, has taken a back seat to Patrick Mahomes and others. He's also as controversial as they come, using his social media platforms and the Pat McAfee Show to spout more unverified rhetoric than a conspiracy theorist on hallucinogenics. 

On-the-field similarities

Led by superstars as ancient as the Lost City of Atlantis, Portugal and the Jets' success, probably to the owners' despair, relies too heavily on Ronaldo and Rodgers. Rodgers is 40 years old, while Ronaldo is 39. 

While in wildly different circumstances, both stalwarts sustained high-profile injuries. In his debut with Gang Green, Rodgers made it through four plays before tearing his Achilles, while Ronaldo was forced off after just 25 minutes of the Euro 2016 final against France. 

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Ronaldo's injury wasn't career-threatening, and Portugal prevailed, winning their only major trophy. In contrast, the Jets spiraled in the opposite direction, losing more than a sports bettor who consistently chases their losses. 

Rodgers has four MVPs and a Super Bowl, while Ronaldo has five Ballon d'Ors and a European Championship. The Jets have a single Super Bowl, which they won in 1968, and Portugal has one major trophy, the 2016 Euro title. 

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Both teams also share the dubious honor of seeing a highly touted youngster flop harder and more often than the Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart. Yes, I'm speaking about Zach Wilson, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2021 draft ahead of the following players: Micah Parsons, Justin Fields, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Ja’Marr Chase, and Najee Harris. 

Portugal's Fosbury flop was Ricardo Quaresma, once perceived as Luis Figo’s heir apparent. Quaresma emerged from the same prestigious Sporting Lisbon academy as Ronaldo, but their career trajectories differed more than a vegan and carnivore's diets.

Rated as the Italian League's worst player in his 2008 debut season, Quaresma never met his lofty potential. Jose Mourinho also castigated him for an unwillingness to put in the hard yards. That was just the start of Quaresma's bitterly disappointing career. 

  • Portugal's odds to win Euro 2024: +800 via bet365
  • Ronaldo's chances of playing longer than Rodgers: Even money
  • Jets' odds to win Super Bowl 59: +2500 via bet365
  • Rodgers chances of making it past the fourth play of the 2024-25 season: Fingers crossed

Spain's NFL sister team: San Francisco 49ers

Off-the-field similarities

Their names start with S, and they both play by the sea.

On-the-field similarities

The San Francisco 49ers and Spain are storied teams with rich winning histories. While the timelines vary and their recent success has manifested differently, both are respected, even lionized, for their winning cultures. 

Spain is the only nation to win three major tournaments on the bounce. La Roja won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, and Euro 2012, cementing their dynastic run. Between 1982 and 1990, the 49ers won four of nine Super Bowls. 

Recently, the 49ers have made it to two of the last five Super Bowls while advancing to the NFC Championship game in four of the previous five campaigns.

The Spaniards and 49ers also share a venerable trait: offenses that can hurt you in more ways than Jon Jones and have more flair than the Nature Boy during his wrestling heyday. 

  • Spain's odds to win Euro 2024: +850 via Caesars
  • Spain's chances of securing another three-peat: Next to none
  • 49ers odds to win Super Bowl 59: +650 via BetMGM
  • 49ers' chances of remaining relevant throughout "Mr. Irrelevant's" career: Probable 

Germany's NFL sister team: Philadelphia Eagles

Off-the-field similarities

Jerry Jones' Cowboys are among the Philadelphia Eagles' most loathed rivals. Well, the Cowboys' sister footy team, England, happen to be Germany's most despised arch-nemesis. I don't know if you've heard, but the two nations have a slightly sordid history, both on and off the field. 

The Eagles and Germany share another off-field commonality: their feverish and raucous fans. "Fly Eagles Fly" resembles one of countless songs German supporters incessantly bellow in unison at the top of their lungs. 

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Eagles fans, who've whipped snowballs at players, broadcasters, and refs, publicly booed Santa Claus, and resorted to tossing batteries at opposing players, at least purportedly, can be perceived as slightly off-kilter, even vulgar.

Well, head to a Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga match at Westfalenstadion, and the similarities will smack you in the face as forcefully as a snowball from a perturbed Eagles fan. 

On-the-field similarities

The Eagles won their only Super Bowl in 2018, while Germany won Euro 1996, their only Euro Championship title since reunification.  

The Germans have advanced to three Euro Championship finals, losing twice, while the Eagles are 1-3 in their Super Bowl appearances. And both teams are coached by individuals of similar ages who must be on the cusp, for entirely different reasons, of having a midlife crisis. 

Nick Sirianni is 42 and on a midlife crisis collision course because he had to watch his team's secondary almost every week for over four months last season. 

Julian Nagelsmann, 36, while six years' Sirianni's younger, will almost invariably be driven into a midlife crisis prematurely if the Germans bow out at home in the embryonic stages of Euro 2024. 

  • Germany's odds to win Euro 2024: +550 via DraftKings
  • Nagelsmann's chances of a midlife crisis: Probable 
  • Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl 59: +1700 via DraftKings
  • Sirianni's chances of making it through the 2024-25 season: Questionable 

Netherlands' NFL sister team: Buffalo Bills 

Off-the-field similarities

Dutch people and Buffalonians share an involuntary and natural disposition to speak frankly, unerringly telling people how it is. Unless we're talking about a pastry fresh out of the oven, there's no sugar coating when interacting with inhabitants of either locale, an oddly refreshing, if not humbling, experience. 

So, in typical Dutch and Buffalonian fashion, I'll be as forthright and straightforward as possible in discussing their on-the-field similarity. 

On-the-field similarities 

I highly doubt the Bills' record of four successive Super Bowl defeats from 1991-94 will ever be broken. It's one of the most sullen sports records of all time. Just thinking about it almost brings tears to my eyes, and I'm not even a Bills fan. I shudder to think how Bills fans react when they drudge up those deeply suppressed nightmares from thirty-plus years ago.  

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The Netherlands did their best Buffalo impression, albeit to a lesser extent. They've lost three of four finals at major tournaments, including the 1974 and 1978 Euro finals and the 2010 World Cup final. Holland managed to avoid Buffalo's fate by winning their only trophy at Euro 1988 against the Soviet Union. 

  • Netherlands odds to win Euro 2024: +1800 via FanDuel
  • Netherlands chances of losing their next final: Probable 
  • Bills' odds to win Super Bowl 59: +1600 via Caesars
  • Chances of Bills' fans getting over their four straight Super Bowl losses: 0% 

Euro 2024 betting pages

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