Which Teams Will Travel The Furthest For Euro 2020?

football pitch chalk board with paper airplanes last one greenWith the highly anticipated Euro 2020 Championship imminent, albeit having been delayed a year due to COVID-19, we take a look at how far teams could travel if they made it all the way to the final.  Previously we have looked at what teams have home advantage, if any, at the Euros.

This edition of the European Championship is being hosted in no less than eleven different venues and as a result, there are many different permutations that this could take on. It could be argued that some teams have an advantage such as England, due to the fact that effectively, nearly all of their games could be played in one venue (Wembley) which means they do not have to worry about travel or the effects that this could have on their performance.

Let’s start off by taking a look at each of the group games and how this could affect each team as if they travelled from their home nation initially.

Group A

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
WalesBaku & Rome3114.6 miles2751.5 miles2751.5 miles
TurkeyBaku & Rome1500.62 miles2751.5 miles0
SwitzerlandBaku & Rome2710.2 miles2751.5 miles2751.5 miles

In terms of distance to travel in Group A, Italy are the clear winners and should be the freshest out of any team. When you take into account the climate as well, they will be used to playing in what is likely to be hot weather which will give them in further advantage over teams like Wales and Switzerland.

Group B

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
BelgiumCopenhagen & St. Petersburg590.7 miles943.5 miles0
FinlandCopenhagen & St Petersburg783.0 miles943.5 miles0
RussiaSt Petersburg & Copenhagen00943.5 miles

While Belgium will be the favourites to top Group B, Denmark could be considered challengers due to the fact that they do not have to travel for any of their matches. Meanwhile, Russia could be surprises to finish second, however, the fact that UEFA are offering third-place finishes as well could mean that Finland may be considered unlucky.

Group C

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
AustriaBucharest & Amsterdam775.6 miles1385.3 miles1385.3 miles
North MacedoniaBucharest & Amsterdam425.9 miles01385.3 miles
UkraineAmsterdam & Bucharest1349.9 miles1385.3 miles0

For the Netherlands, it should be a relatively straightforward group for them, made even easier by the fact that they do not have to travel. If fatigue affects Austria though, then it could open the door for North Macedonia to sneak into the third-place spot and qualify for the last 16.

Group D

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
CroatiaLondon & Glasgow1080.0 miles 413.0 miles0
Czech RepublicGlasgow & London1206.1 miles0413.0 miles
ScotlandGlasgow & London0413.0 miles0

In terms of distance between the two venues for Group D, there isn’t a lot of distance, once the flights to the UK for both Croatia and Czech Republic have been taken into account. It is effectively a 30 minute flight time between Glasgow and London, so there really shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Group E

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
PolandSt Petersburg & Seville 825.0 miles2793.5 miles2793.5 miles
SwedenSeville & St Petersburg2007.2 miles2793.5 miles0
SlovakiaSt Petersburg & Seville1078.1 miles02793.5 miles

When you factor in the temperature as well, Spain have a clear advantage over the other teams from more northern Europe in Group E. If Poland are affected by travel, despite the quality of the players that they have, they might struggle to finish in third place.

Group F

TeamsVenuesDistance 1Distance 2Distance 3
HungaryBudapest & Munich00404.9 miles
PortugalBudapest & Munich1853.8 miles404.9 miles404.9 miles
FranceMunich & Budapest579.3 miles404.9 miles0

Very clearly, Germany are the favourites in Group F if this was to be decided by distance travelled and the amount of rest and time they get on the training pitch between matches. Hungary could definitely be considered outside favourites for a chance to at least finish third, due to having a lot of stability for their first two games, without travel interrupting their preparation.

Theoretical Distances For The Top Teams

TeamLast 16Quarter-FinalSemi-Final (London)Final (London)
England0Rome: 1248.5 miles1248.5 miles0
FranceBucharest: 518.2 milesSt Petersburg: 1326.4 miles1748.6 miles0
GermanyBucharest: 918.1 milesSt Petersburg: 1326.4 miles1748.6 miles0
SpainGlasgow: 1492.3 milesRome: 1557.4 miles1248.5 miles0
ItalyLondon: 1102.9 milesMunich: 711.4 milesLondon: 711.4 miles0
BelgiumSeville: 2793.5 milesMunich: 1461.9 milesLondon: 711.4 miles0
PortugalBucharest: 518.2 milesSt Petersburg: 1326.4 miles1748.6 miles0
CroatiaLondon: 413.0 milesRome: 1248.5 miles1248.5 miles0
NetherlandsBudapest: 866.2 milesBaku: 2025.3 miles2902.3 miles0

If the tournament was to be decided already based on distance travelled, then very clearly England would be favourites. What is of interest, is whether any of the bookmakers have factored this variable into their odds, especially when you take into account the staggering distance that tournament favourites France have to travel in the best-case scenario.

Of course, the above table and the one below reflect the outcomes in the best possible situations, which means each team finishing first in their group and then winning every match from there on in.

Overall Distance Travelled (Assuming 1st In Group)

TeamEventual possible distance covered (best permutation – miles)

Unnecessary Air Pollution?

toy airplane and footballWith so much pressure from focus groups and protesters over the last few years in regard to climate change and the unnecessary burning of fossil fuels, Euro 2020 could hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. What the above tables show is perhaps the story from a different angle when you factor in the 10s of thousands (in the best case scenario for each team), that could be flown throughout the tournament and in the space of four weeks.

This might lead in the future to UEFA reverting back to a one or two team host for future tournaments if there is too much pressure and campaigning.

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