Here's Paddy Power's mathematical experiment which proves which is the biggest one-man team at Euro 2016
Wales, Sweden and Portugal were key contenders
We’re very sorry Aaron Ramsey, but our suspicions that Wales’ team is simply ‘Gareth Bale plus 10 others’ has finally been confirmed. In a very scientific and completely bombproof process, we roped in the brains in Paddy Power’s trading room to help us out with a quick formula. Taking each team’s price to win the tournament outright, we then asked the traders to redo the prices without each team’s star man – the difference in price equating to the importance of the player.
And the results show undoubtedly, that Wales are the biggest one-man team in France this summer.
Chris Coleman’s side are 80/1 shots to win Euro 2016, but without Gareth Bale that price becomes 200/1 – a whopping difference of 60 per cent. Our traders clearly don’t fancy the chances of success for Wales without their Champions League winning superstar – as Bale knocked in seven of Wales’ 11 goals in qualifying.
Closely following Wales in the one-man team stakes is Portugal. Bale’s Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t need much excuse to hog the limelight, but love him or hate him Portugal desperately need him. Portugal are 14/1 to win Euro 2016, but without Ronaldo in their squad they’d drift all the way out to 33/1 – a difference of 56 per cent without CR7 in the team.
It’s a close call to make the top three, with Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski fighting it out. Without Zlatan Sweden’s price doubles to 200/1 from 100/1, while Poland’s price change is almost as significant, going from 40/1 to 80/1 without Lewandowski.
There isn’t too much of a reliance on any one player in the England set-up which will keep Roy Hodgson happy. The Three Lions are 8/1 to win the tournament at the moment, and our traders priced them up at 9/1 if Harry Kane wasn’t there. With Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford waiting patiently for their chance to shine on the big stage, Kane’s value to the side might be as important as fans would believe.
It’s even better news for Ireland – better in the sense that they’re not reliant on one player rather than anything else. Martin O’Neill’s men are 100/1 outsiders for the tournament, and in a world without Irish hero Jonathon Walters they are still 100/1. After several questioning looks towards the trading lads, we’re taking that as a sign that Ireland’s team spirit is so strong that everyone is of equal importance, rather than a belief of ‘No chance with, no chance without’.
Elsewhere home nation France will want to keep Juventus superstar Paul Pogba wrapped in cotton wool, as the traders moved their price out to 5/1 from 3/1 without the four-time Serie A winner. Similarly Switzerland’s price moved from 50/1 to 66/1 in our experiment once Xherdan Shaqiri was removed from the equation. His hips don’t lie and neither does our maths.
So there it is, official proof. Wales are the biggest one-man team at Euro 2016 – the weight of a country rests on Gareth Bale’s shoulders…