Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Euro 2024 data dive: Modric makes history as Italy leave it late and Spain stay perfect

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Jun 2024


Euro 2024 continued to deliver on the drama on Monday, as Group B came to a thrilling conclusion.

Matters were relatively simple for Spain, as the group winners made it three wins from three by seeing off Albania 1-0 in Dusseldorf.

Yet there was late chaos in Leipzig, as reigning champions Italy salvaged a 1-1 draw against Croatia to book their place in the last 16.

We round up the best Opta facts from the day’s action.

Croatia 1-1 Italy: History-making Modric strike not enough

Luka Modric, at the age of 38 years and 289 days, became the oldest player to score at the Euros when he lashed home in the 55th minute, and it looked for all the world as if that would be enough for Croatia to sneak into second place.

Yet Italy, and specifically substitute Mattia Zaccagni, had other ideas.

Zaccagni curled in his first Italy goal with just 41 seconds of stoppage time remaining to send Luciano Spalletti’s team into the knockouts, with a tie against Switzerland up next. It is the latest goal scored by Italy at the Euros.

Italy have now come from behind to avoid defeat in two of their three group games at Euro 2024, after also beating Albania 2-1 on MD1 – they had only done so in two group games previously in the finals of the competition (2-1 win against Bulgaria in 2004 and 1-1 draw against Romania in 2008).

Croatia, who were also pegged back late on by Albania last time out, have failed to win any of their group games at an edition of the European Championships (D2 L1) for just the second time, after previously doing so in 2004 (D2 L1).

Each of the last four meetings between Croatia and Italy in all competitions have been drawn, since a 2-0 victory for Croatia in a friendly in August 2006.

Modric’s goal came just 33 seconds after Gianluigi Donnarumma had saved the veteran campaigner’s penalty.

Donnarumma has conceded just two of his last seven penalties faced at the Euros, saving four of them, with one hitting the woodwork.

Modric atoned with a brilliant close-range finish, making him just the second player to score at four different editions of the Euros, after Cristiano Ronaldo (five).

Whether or not Modric has played his final game at the tournament is yet to be decided, with Croatia relying on England beating Slovenia by a three-goal margin to progress.

Albania 0-1 Spain: Pretty perfect

With Spain already through as group winners, Luis de la Fuente made wholesale changes, but La Roja got the job done thanks to Ferran Torres’ goal.

Spain have become just the second side to win all three of their group stage games at a Euros without conceding, after Italy also did so at Euro 2020.

It is, in fact, the first time La Roja have not conceded a goal in the group stage of a major tournament, too.

Torres has been directly involved in seven goals across nine appearances for Spain under De la Fuente (five goals, two assists), with no Spain player being involved in more goals under him.

Dani Olmo released Torres with a sublime pass. He provided his fourth assist at the Euros on what was his seventh appearance in the competition, with only Cesc Fàbregas providing more for Spain in the competition since records began in 1964 (five).

Bayer Leverkusen star Alex Grimaldo came in for his first start at Euro 2024, meanwhile, and delivered by creating five chances.

That is the most of any Spanish defender in a single match at a major tournament on record (since 1980).

Unlike Croatia, Albania’s fate is sealed. They have been knocked out at the group stages of the Euros for a second time (alongside 2016), while this was the first edition that they failed to win a single game (D1 L2).


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More