Georgia Set to Bag a Whooping £8.4m Financial Reward For Beating Portugal to Qualify For Euro 2024 Round Of 16

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Georgia are the surprised team in the group stage of the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament in Germany. It was their first appearance in the continental football showpiece, hence they were given no chance against the tournament heavyweights.

Seeded in Group F alongside one-time champions Portugal and other stronger opponents like Türkiye and Czech Republic, The Crusaders were given less chance to qualify from the group.

However, they have defied the odds to sneak into the round of 16, thanks to a landmark and historic win against Portugal in the final round of group matches. Before the big and crucial victory over Portugal, the Willy Sangnol-led side opened their campaign with a 3-1 loss to Türkiye and settled for a 1-1 draw against Czech Republic.

Georgia national team Euro 2024 Portugal

They needed the victory against the star-studded Portuguese side to stand a chance of qualifying for the round of 16. And they came out with a perfect result, putting the tournament favourites to the sword with a 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Kvaratskhelia and Mikautadze.

Now, according to the BBC, a former prime minister of the country, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has promised to gift the team a financial reward of £8.4m following the win over Portugal.

With the strong backing from Ivanishvili, the team will hope to do the country prouder when they take on three-time winners Spain in their round of 16 fixture on Sunday, June 30, 2024.

Georgia men’s national football team

Unlike other top senior men’s national teams in Europe, Georgia is a relatively younger team with a negligible presence on the international scene. The team was reportedly formed 34 years ago in 1990 and played their first international match against Lithuania which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Notably, Georgia’s national team was formed a year after the country secured independence in 1991. They reportedly invited a number of countries for their first friendly football tournament but were turned down since they were not yet an independent entity with a FIFA-recognized domestic football governing body. Lithuania happened to be the only national team that accepted their invitation for their first football match.

After independence in 1991, they would play their second International match against Moldova. However, they were still barred from playing competitive international matches since they had no FIFA-accredited football governing body. A year after independence, the Georgian Football Federation, the country football’s governing body, finally secured UEFA and FIFA membership, granting the team access to competitive tournaments.

Georgia in international tournaments

Since their formation in 1990, Georgia have failed to qualify for all seven World Cup tournaments so far. They have played 64 World Cup qualifiers, winning 11, drawing 17, and losing 36. They are in the running again for their first World Cup tournament, playing in UEFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In the UEFA European Championship, they failed to qualify for seven of the eight tournaments since their formation. Euro 2024 is their first UEFA European Championship.

Georgia’s best international campaign is in the UEFA Nations League, where they have played 18 games, won 11, drawn 6, and lost one. However, they are still one of the lowly-ranked teams in the continent.

International stats and honours

Georgia have faced 78 national teams in both competitive matches and friendlies. They have played 286 matches, winning 92, drawing 61, and losing 133. They have yet to win any silverware in international competitions.

Has Georgia ever qualified for the World Cup?

Georgia have never qualified for the World Cup. They have taken part in seven editions of World Cup qualifiers and have lost out in all.

Has Georgia ever qualified for the Euro?

Georgia have only qualified for the Euros once. They failed to scale through the qualifiers of the tournament in the past seven editions before finally breaking the deadlock in the 2024 edition.

How did Georgia qualify for the Euro 2024 knockout?

Georgia pulled an incredible stunner of a result in the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament in their last group game against Portugal. They secured an unlikely 2-0 victory over the Portuguese to finish among the best third-placed teams and book a slot in the knockout round of the tournament.

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