Euro 2024 Qualified Teams and How the Play-offs Work

Euro 2024 FlagThe final round of qualifying matches for Euro 2024 have taken place and we now know almost all the teams that will compete at the tournament proper in Germany in June and July 2024. In this article, we’ll give details of the 21 sides that have made it to the final tournament and we’ll run through the 12 teams who will have to battle it out in the play-offs to chase the three final spots of the 24-team Euros.

Which Teams Have Qualified for Euro 2024?

As tournament hosts, Germany pre-qualified for the Euros without having to go through the rough and tumble of playing any qualifying matches. The rest of the 53 UEFA members were split between 10 qualifying groups, with each team playing each other team in their group home and away. Without going into the minutiae of the qualifying process, the winners and runners-up of each of the qualifying groups gained their spot at the tournament proper. Here are those teams, along with each team’s ranking (which, as we’ll explain later, will be important when it comes to the tournament draw). Note that seven of the groups contained five teams and the other three contained six.

Team Rank How They Qualified Qualification Points Pot For Draw
Germany n/a Tournament Hosts n/a 1
Portugal 1 Winners Group J 30* 1
France 2 Winners Group B 22 1
Spain 3 Winners Group A 21 1
Belgium 4 Winners Group F 20 1
England 5 Winners Group C 20 1
Hungary 6 Winners Group G 18 2
Turkey 7 Winners Group D 17 2
Romania 8 Winners Group I 22* 2
Denmark 9 Winners Group H 22* 2
Albania 10 Winners Group E 15 2
Austria 11 Runners-up Group F 19 2
Netherlands 12 Runners-up Group B 18 3
Scotland 13 Runners-up Group A 17 3
Croatia 14 Runners-up Group D 16 3
Slovenia 15 Runners-up Group H 22* 3
Slovakia 16 Runners-up Group J 22* 3
Czech Republic 17 Runners-up Group E 15 3
Italy 18 Runners-up Group C 14 4
Serbia 19 Runners-up Group G 14 4
Switzerland 20 Runners-up Group I 17* 4
Play-off Winner A n/a Play-offs tbc n/a 4
Play-off Winner B n/a Play-offs tbc n/a 4
Play-off Winner C n/a Play-offs tbc n/a 4

*Denotes points earned in a group containing six teams (rather than five)

There were no major upsets in terms of the teams that qualified or missed out, which is no surprise given that the tournament will feature 24 teams (as it did in 2016 and 2020), so it’s not really that challenging for the best sides in Europe to make it through. Having said that, it wasn’t plain sailing for all the big teams. Two-time Euros winner Italy, for instance, only scraped through in second place in their group behind England, and even then they finished level on points with third-placed Ukraine and had to rely on their head-to-head points against them. As we’ll see later, that will make things particularly tough for Italy if they are aiming for a joint-record third Euros triumph (to match both Spain and Germany).

Which Teams are in the Play-offs for Euro 2024?

Wales v Finland Flags

We know 21 of the teams who will definitely be at the tournament in Germany, but 12 sides will have to negotiate the play-offs to earn any of the final three places. Here’s the list of sides that will have to rely on this rather treacherous route:

  • Path A: Poland, Estonia, Wales, Finland
  • Path B: Israel, Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine
  • Path C: Georgia, Luxembourg, Greece, Kazakhstan

How Do the Euro 2024 Play-offs Work?

UEFA don’t always make things perfectly simple. That’s the case with the way the play-offs have been set up for Euro 2024. The teams who’ve qualified for the play-offs have been split into three paths, Path A, Path B and Path C. Each path will feature four teams who will be split into two semi-finals (to be played on 21st March 2024). The winners of those semis will then meet in each of the Path finals on 26th March 2024, and the winners of those will earn their place at the Euro 2024 tournament itself.

Teams may have qualified for the play-offs through the Nations League by winning their respective league. Though if they subsequently qualified through the Euro 2024 qualifying group stage, their play-off place was handed to the next-best side in their Nations League league. So, for instance, the best side to not have qualified through the Euros qualifying group from League A of the Nations League was Poland, so they gained a play-off spot. Still following all this? Good. So let’s take a look at who will play whom in the play-offs.

Euro 2024 play-off draw

  • Semi-finals – Path A: Poland v Estonia, Wales v Finland
  • Semi-finals – Path B: Israel v Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina v Ukraine
  • Semi-finals – Path C: Georgia v Luxembourg, Greece v Kazakhstan
  • Final – Path A: Wales/Finland v Poland/Estonia
  • Final – Path B: Bosnia-Herzegovina/Ukraine v Israel/Iceland
  • Final – Path C: Georgia/Luxembourg v Greece/Kazakhstan

This has turned out to be a rather good draw for Wales because they have a home draw for their semi and, if they beat Finland in that, they’ll also be at home for their play-off final (against either Poland or Estonia).

Which Teams Will Be in Which Euro 2024 Groups?

At this stage, we only know the group destination of one team: the hosts Germany are in Group A and are the top seeds in that group. The other teams will discover their fate at the UEFA Euro 2024 final tournament draw on Saturday 2nd December 2023 (which is set to commence at 18.00 CET).

The draw is a rather convoluted process, so it’s not a bad idea to have a look at how it works at the UEFA site. In summary, though, the aforementioned pots come into play: each group will contain one team from each pot which, in theory at least, means each of the groups should contain teams with a mix of standards… but there’s always one Group of Death!

Will There Be a ‘Group of Death’?

Based on the pots, there are various permutations that could result in very tough groups indeed. But this is perhaps the worst-case scenario for the teams involved (based on current FIFA world rankings and historical Euros performances):

Team Pot FIFA Ranking Best Euros Performance
France 1 2 Winners: 1984, 2000
Denmark 2 19 Winners: 1992
Netherlands 3 7 Winners: 1988
Italy 4 9 Winners: 1968, 2020

As you can see, it is possible to have a group containing four sides currently ranked in the top 20 in the world (as of 22 November 2023) and that have each won the Euros at least once before! Good luck to any of the sides if that happens.