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O'Neill in the Martin Scorsese role: Euro 2016 teams and the TV shows that truly define them

Football’s great, TV is great. And football on TV is probably the best invention ever.

SO, YOU KNOW who you’re backing at Euro 2016, you know their groups, their opponents, their path to the final and the key men and weaknesses af two dozen teams.

But to really know a team, a wise man once said, you must allocate them a television show so we can understand their character.

Just the 24 box sets to get through so…

Mrs Brown’s Boys


Sure, you’d sit and watch it if your father had fallen asleep on the remote on Christmas night and you’ve a belly fully of Baileys. But come on, lads. Albania are awful to watch (and not even in a funny way).


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Something a little fancy, definitely underrated, but also definitely not in top bracket and never around for long… Austria.

The Leftovers


Historically only okay, but they seem to have put an excellent cast together and the latest incarnation just might be the best thing on TV, but you won’t believe it until you see it. Belgium.



A couple of good showings in the early days without ever being the very best, but you still keep an eye on Croatia anyway in case they conjure up something special again.

The X-Files


You loved it in the ’90s and always overlooked its flaws, but you wish you hadn’t bothered watching the Czech Republic this time around.


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Admit it, you only watch England to see people suffer.

The Sopranos

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France have a little bit of everything, and on home turf they’re capable of being the absolute best thing around. Magnifique, if they can just keep that dysfunctional family together until the end.

Game of Thrones

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They seem to have been great from the very start of football and now Germany move so fluidly and seductively to lure you in with ‘t**s and dragons‘. But the more you watch the more you see a well-oiled machine where every little cog movement matters.

The Simpsons


Hungary were absolutely jaw-droppingly terrific once upon a time. Now, not so much.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This show gives us hope and an appreciation for the ability to smile through even the dirtiest New York day… like Iceland.


(Also, females are strong as hell.)

Mad Men


Nothing if not stylish and oozes class as it comfortably meanders along at a slow pace. Italy, of course.

Arrested Development

We’d all love them to be box office, but Northern Ireland probably won’t be around the tournament very much longer.


Jessica Jones


Underrated, but certainly packs a punch. Poland are a dark horse.

True Detective

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Comes with a heck of a lot of hype, but behind the glossy exterior there’s not a lot going on apart from some stellar performances from McConaughey and Farrell. Sounds like Portugal to us.



Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane are the Martin Scorsese of Ireland, bringing you a product that’s nowhere close to their former glories, but sure there’ll be a ton of crack along the way.

The People v OJ Simpson — American Crime Story

Based on an incredible defence and a prosecution that was problematic to say the least. Romania conceded only twice in qualification.



A great big unwieldy show which is great to pass the time, but it’s never going to win any awards and it’d be great if they could get to the point a little sooner. Oh, hi Russia.


The Americans

We keep hearing great things about Slovakia. They beat Spain to help them enter the Euros under the radar.

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Friday Night Lights


You know they’re going to win in the end and that can get a bit boring, but damnit, Spain are good.


Just like Paul Giamatti, Zlatan is a superstar making a pretty average Sweden into appointment viewing.



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If it wasn’t for the promise of some sexual content served up by Xherdan Shaqiri, we probably wouldn’t watch Switzerland either.

South Park

Turkey‘s stays at tournaments are usually all too brief, but the’re capable of some jaw-dropping moments and their football is way more intelligent than it gets credit for.


Home and Away

Ukraine seem to be in every single tournament and they’re never very good.

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The Walking Dead

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Capable of their fair share of shocks, but Wales will rely heavily on their very own Rick Grimes, Gareth Bale.

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Où est la discothèque? The playlist for our Euro 2016 roadtrip to France

Quiz: How well do you remember Euro 88?

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