A review of Euro 2016

So, the European Championship... what did we make of it, sports betting fans?

If you spent the tournament gambling away half of your life savings, the chances are that you weren't too much of a fan. We suspect that you will have had a very different perspective on the competition, however, if you became one of our members here at Profit Accumulator and generated a princely sum from a few well-chosen matched bets!

But what of the football itself? We thought we'd come up with a few conclusions about the competition that saw the Portuguese finally emerge victorious in an international tournament.

It was a competition for the underdogs

Of course, the Euros have a bit of a history over the last few decades of minnows finding unexpected success. Just think of Denmark in 1992 or Greece in 2004 - except that now, you can add the likes of Iceland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Hungary to that list.

Few would have imagined in the pre-tournament betting, for example, that Chris Coleman's squad would reach the semi-finals. But that was what happened, thanks in part to the tactical nous of the former Fulham and Real Sociedad boss, talisman Gareth Bale netting in every group match and Hal Robson-Kanu's incredible Cruyff turn and finish in the comeback triumph against Belgium.

The Welsh showed the worth of a team functioning as a team rather than as a collection of individuals, and much the same could be said about Iceland, which mustered the most astonishing result of the tournament in beating England 2-1. The spectacle of the smallest nation ever to feature in the European Championship embarrassing the fatherland of football and the tournament's highest paid coach will surely live long in the memory.

We saw the best - and worst - of the fans

Let's get the bad news out of the way first - the scenes in Marseille between what appeared to be Russian professional hooligans and England supporters were a disgrace to the game, a throwback to a darker, less civilised time that many of us would have hoped was long gone.

Thankfully, we were distracted from all of that by some truly wonderful fan displays from the likes of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Iceland, with anthems like "Will Grigg's on Fire" and "Don't take me home" endearing different countries' fans to each other.

All of that is before we have even touched on Iceland's fearsome thunderclap, which was even affectionately appropriated by the little country's eventual conquerors, France. If you wanted a carnival-like atmosphere of footballing celebration, you definitely got it at Euro 2016.

Coaches really do matter

In recent years, football fans have become used to the idea that they can't beat the elite. The top clubs and nations will always find a way somehow, we were told. Of course, any sports betting fans following Leicester City last season will have seen how ludicrous such a notion is in today's footballing climate.

Indeed, if Euro 2016 taught anything to those of us wanting to make money from betting, it was that potentially lucrative opportunities exist in backing the smaller teams that seem to have the right manager on board.

For evidence of that, one only needed to look to the likes of Antonio Conte, who took possibly the least talented Italy team of the last 50 years to within a whisker of the semi-finals, or Fernando Santos, the final-winning Portugal boss who, in the words of Jose Fonte after the semi-final, "always knew the right thing to say to the squad."

Antoine Griezman was a deserved player of the tournament

The 25-year old French starlet came oh so close to final victory, but his performance at the end of the competition ended up as indifferent as the one he delivered at the tournament's start.

However, in the five matches in-between, he was sensational. He netted six goals in all, the most by any player in the tournament since the nine mustered by Michel Platini at Euro '84. The sheer range of goals scored also impressed, including a header against Ireland, a predatory finish against Germany and a quick run and dinked shot against Iceland.

Having not earned his first cap until less than a month before his 23rd birthday, Griezman may have been something of a late bloomer, but there's no question that he is now firmly a star. It's just a shame that he had to settle for another runner-up medal so soon after his last one, with his club Atletico Madrid in May's Champions League final.

Why not join us for matched betting on future events?

In summary, then, the Euros brought us some very interesting talking points, as well as many well-deserved triumphs - but as we all know, the world of sport doesn't stay still for long.

New opportunities to make money online are continually springing up for the matched betting aficionados who make up our member base here at Profit Accumulator, and it couldn't be easier or quicker to register with us today and get in on the action!