3 July, 2012
During Euro 2012 the Bwin index examined the relationship between national teams’ salaries and their performance. France and England topped the chart in terms of wages but failed to deliver during the knock-out phase and unsurprisingly finished at the bottom of the performance chart.
Losing 2-0 to Spain is never an embarrassing defeat. Being behind by only a single goal for the majority of a game against the reigning World and European Champions is no cause for concern. However limping out of a tournament knowing you haven’t given your all and with the fans back home questioning not only your ability but your desire to play with pride and fight for your nation must surely strike a chord with the French players? Well we thought this back in 2010 too.
Only the English team’s average wage per player tops that of the French, interesting that they both played out one of the tournament’s most boring game, also considering that this 23-man squad featured more players from their own national league than at the World Cup in 2010 the astronomical wages afford by the likes of Karim Benzema or Real Madrid, Samir Nasri of Manchester City and Philippe Mexes of AC Milan seem to be at polar opposites to the level of performance they put in during their four tournament games.
Denmark’s 23-man squad averaged just under €70,000 less per man, making them the lowest paid team in the competition but someone without this high profile star power they managed to beat the Netherlands and run the favourites Germany close during the Group stage. Without being drawn in the so called Group of Death the Danes would have fancied their chances of reaching the last eight.
The showed a real team-ethic, the discipline to play to their strengths and unselfishness to work for one another, three traits clearly missing from Les Bleus this summer. Laurent Blanc struggled to pull the big egos into rank leaving players like Olivier Giourd on the bench while the marquee names sauntered around the pitch without a care in the world. It used to be a measure of pride to play well for your country, it seems now the more you get paid for your club, the less desire you have to leave it all out there on the pitch. Long gone are the days of France ’98 when this team was a symbol of belief, now it looks like a symbol of greed.