If World War II Never Happened: A FIFA World Cup Timeline

Wooooo! Happy to see Korea’s upset win here rather than yet another Brazil shithouse to the final, and Spain medaling.

Unsurprised by Italy’s triumph - that was a really remarkable time in Italian football, as OTL 2006 would attest
 
Prelude to UEFA Euro 2004
Part 80 - Baltic Stakes
Prelude to UEFA Euro 2004

Following a couple of previously unsuccessful bids, Portugal were awarded hosting rights for Euro 2004, beating yet another failed bid of Austria and Hungary. The format remained unchanged, with the 16 teams being divided into four groups of four, from which each winner and runner-up advanced to a knockout stage to decide the winner.

Latvia qualified for their first major tournament ever, finishing in a distant second behind France, but ahead of Slovenia. However, even more impressively, the fellow Baltic side Lithuania won a highly competitive group in front of even Germany, whom they sensationally defeated away despite losing to them in Vilnius.

euro 2004 qualifying group 5.png

Qualifying Group 5.

UEFA officials had to cross-examine the tiebreaking criteria to determine who advanced from the extremely competitive qualifying Group 7. The runners-up Slovakia ultimately narrowly lost a two-legged playoff to Belgium, who qualified.

euro 2004 group 7.png

Qualifying Group 7.

Greece defied the odds to qualify as runners-up behind Spain, at the expense of the reigning world champions Italy who failed to advance. Croatia and Romania were other notable absentees. Bulgaria surprisingly won that group, qualifying for their first Euros since 1988.


Tell me your group stage predictions:
euro 2004 groups.png


---------------------------
Stay tuned for the conclusion of the tournament!
 
Hopefully Bohemia can achieve what their IRL counterparts couldn't

Grp A: Greece, Portugal, USSR, Belgium
GRP B: England, France, Spain, Lithuania
GRP C: Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria, Serbia (by 2004 I feel like Serbia's team had become mediocre, especially when compared to its relatively solid late 90s generation)
GRP D: Bohemia, Holland, Germany, Latvia
 
Yikes, that Group B!

I’m going to go with my instinct here that Greece’s OTL run is lightning in a bottle and extremely hard to replicate. I also think it’s heavily implied that Germany’s early Aughts woes as a national team are even worse here, which influences these picks.

Group A: Portugal, USSR
Group B: Spain, England
Group C: Sweden, Bulgaria
Group D: Bohemia, Netherlands
 
UEFA Euro 2004 - Group Stage (April Fools post)
Part 81 - (April Fools Post)
UEFA Euro 2004 - Group Stage


After 24 long years, Greece were finally back at the European Championship, with nothing to lose. They sensationally defeated the hosts - and Euro 2000 runners-up - Portugal 2-1 in the opener. This was followed by a 1-0 triumph over Belgium, and advancement appeared all but sealed. The Soviet Union started their tournament with an entertaining 3-2 victory over the Belgians, before succumbing 2-1 to a Portugal in dire need of three points. On matchday three, the Portuguese easily put three goals past a Belgian side with nothing to play for. But all eyes was on the match between the Soviets and Greece. When it mattered most, the Soviets won 3-1 and advanced at the expense of Greece, whose point tally would have been enough to advance from any other group.

2004 group a.png

Group A of UEFA Euro 2004.

The group of death sprung to life when debutants Lithuania obtained an early lead versus the much more favored Spain. However, an equalizer later in the first half denied the Lithuanians a historic win. Meanwhile, France had scored twice in extra-time to mount a staggering comeback against England. Lithuania kept on impressing, drawing 2-2 with France next. Still, the 3-1 loss to England ensured the Lithuanians left Portugal winless, but with their heads up high. France and England both edged out Spain 2-1 to advance with a comfortable margin.

2004 group b.png

Group B of UEFA Euro 2004.

Sweden sensationally obliterated Bulgaria 5-0 in the opener, but that was only the beginning. Henrik Larsson was agonizingly close to finding the hattrick, though against Serbia, he did so - twice. Fredrik Ljungberg also scored two free-kicks, while Zlatan's bicycle kick hattrick gave the Swedes joy as they ran out 11-1 victors versus Serbia. However, the Super Swedes truly kicked into gear in their final match against Denmark (who had a completely awful tournament, having previously lost 5-0 to Serbia and 6-0 to Bulgaria). Some decent attacks had put the Swedes 8-0 by half-time. Nineteen additional goals in the second half cemented Sweden's 27-0 win. After the game, the Danish poet Thomas Boberg famously said: "I hate this. This sucks. Go Sweden!"

2004 group c.png

Group C of UEFA Euro 2004.

Group D was C's main contender for the one of 'death', and it's easy to see why, especially given the blistering football Bohemia played. Despite being held to a 1-1 draw versus debutants Latvia in their opener, the Bohemians came back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Netherlands before beating Germany 2-1 to win the group. On matchday two, Latvia sensationally defeated Germany 1-0, who previously drew 1-1 with the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands crucially won 3-1 over Latvia in the final round to advance.

2004 group d.png

Group D of UEFA Euro 2004.


Tell me your knockout stage predictions:
2004 knockout 1.png



---------------------------------------
Credit to @KingSweden24 and @ArupinumMaivista for getting the most predictions right, though the latter of you slightly overestimated Denmark.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the knockout stage!
 
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Excuse me WHAT 😮

Heja Sverige, and I’ll be in my bunk…

Anywho!

England over USSR
Sweden over Netherlands (I mena with that kind of Goal Difference…)
Portugal over France
Bohemia over Serbia
 
For my knockout stage predictions:
  • England 3-0 Soviet Union
  • Netherlands 0-0 (5-4 penalties) Sweden
  • Portugal 4-1 France
  • Bohemia 2-1 Serbia
 
England-Soviet Union
Sweden-Netherlands
France-Portugal
Bohemia
-Serbia

England-Netherlands
Portugal-Bohemia

England-Portugal
 
As suggested by @Mildtryth, Sweden's absurd dominance and Denmark's crazy flop was indeed an April fools joke. Quite a successful one I'm even willing to say, since it went over most of your heads. I thought the fake quote by the Danish poet would be a dead giveaway!

Anyways, my next post will contain the "real" Group C (none of the other groups were fake) and knockout stage.
 
As suggested by @Mildtryth, Sweden's absurd dominance and Denmark's crazy flop was indeed an April fools joke. Quite a successful one I'm even willing to say, since it went over most of your heads. I thought the fake quote by the Danish poet would be a dead giveaway!

Anyways, my next post will contain the "real" Group C (none of the other groups were fake) and knockout stage.

Anyhow:

Soviet Union x England
Sweden x Netherlands
France x Portugal
Bohemia
x Serbia
 
As suggested by @Mildtryth, Sweden's absurd dominance and Denmark's crazy flop was indeed an April fools joke. Quite a successful one I'm even willing to say, since it went over most of your heads. I thought the fake quote by the Danish poet would be a dead giveaway!

Anyways, my next post will contain the "real" Group C (none of the other groups were fake) and knockout stage.
Lol well played
 
UEFA Euro 2004 - Knockout Stage New
Part 82 - You Only Lose the Gold
UEFA Euro 2004 - Knockout Stage

Denmark and Serbia featured in the group stage's first - and only - goalless draw. However, Sweden scored enough goals for three teams when they demolished Bulgaria 5-0 in their opener. The Swedes went on to find a late equalizer against Serbia to draw 1-1 and an even later one in the 2-2 thriller with Denmark, who previously brushed aside the Bulgarians 2-0. Serbia's 1-1 draw with Bulgaria ensured they left Portugal trophyless, but undefeated.

2004 group c REAL.png

Group C of UEFA Euro 2004.


The first knockout tie was an exciting rematch of a last 16 battle at the preceding World Cup, which was then won 3-2 by England. Indeed, The Three Lions opened the scoring and maintained the advantage for the majority of the game - until the Soviets equalized in the 84th minute thanks to their captain, Andriy Shevchenko. Football matches have a tendency to stagnate during extra time. Not this one. In the 110th minute, the Soviets took the lead for the first time. Five minutes later, England equalized, but in vain as the Soviets were more potent in the arduous shootout.

The second quarter-final was another greatly anticipated rematch - of both the 1984 and most recent Euro 2000 final, which France won. But not this time around, thanks to Helder Postiga's 83rd-minute goal. Despite topping an insanely competitive group, Le Bleus were already eliminated.

Despite being intense and featuring its fair share of chances and drama, the match between Sweden and the Netherlands was still goalless after 120 minutes. The Dutch were more accurate in the shootout, but the Sweded exited with their head held up high.

Bohemia had emerged as one of the big favourites following their group stage display, and they kept up their momentum, brushing aside a solid Danish side 3-0.

The Netherlands famously beat the Soviets in the Euro 1988 semi-final, but 16 years later the Soviets got revenge thanks to a goal around the hour-mark.

At Euro 2000, Portugal denied Bohemia a place in the final. Would history repeat itself? Following Portugal's goal in the 28th minute, that appeared to be the case, and when it was doubled 12 minutes into the second half, the result was all but sealed. Bohemia did get on the scoresheet a couple of minutes later, but the Portuguese resisted a comeback to reach back-to-back Euro finals.

Portuguese football had come a long way since the Soviet Union brushed them aside in that Euro 1996 quarter-final. However, more fresh in the minds of fans was this tournaments' group stage encounter between the two European giants. Could Portugal win again and exorcise their 2000 demons? The opener in the 34th minute gave Portuguese fans reason to be optimistic, but Shevchenko's equalizer around the hour-mark greatly dampened the mood, unless you were Soviet. Extra time again. Just like in 2000 when France won thanks to a golden goal. And in 1996 when the Soviets managed the same feat versus Bohemia. Since then, UEFA had replaced the golden goal rule with the equally hated silver goal, meaning at least the current half would be finished before an extra-time "winning goal" truly was just that. In the 108th minute, Nuno Gomes scored a silver goal to secure Portugal's gold medal. Champions at last.

2004 knockout 2.png

Knockout stage of UEFA Euro 2004.

----------------------------
Credit to @ArupinumMaivista for nailing the predictions.

Stay tuned for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and its many exciting differences.
 
Well, it's definitely nice to see Portugal winning the one tournament it deserved the most. It will be interesting to see if the 2006 World Cup will still take place in Germany or maybe some other country. Surely, memories of the the NS would still be felt.
 
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