Turkey Stun at Euro 2008
Having played in just three European Cups to date, Turkey have held nothing back when they do feature in the continental tournament, reaching the finals stage of two of those competitions.
Their most successful outing came at Euro 2008, when the Crescent Stars, then under the management of Fatih Terim, made their way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Germany, despite putting up an incredible fight.
The likes of Arda Turan, Semih Senturk and Nihat Kahveci were all vital figures as Turkey pulled off comeback after comeback in the group and quarter-final stages of the tournament, before eventually ending their trip in die-hard fashion.
The Tale of Gareth Bale
Jumping firmly atop the Welshman’s bandwagon, Gareth Bale has actually fought against some odds on his journey to being named the world’s most expensive footballer.
The 24-year-old comes from a relatively humble background in Cardiff, but it’s the route Bale’s professional career has taken that really tells his tale of adversity.
Originally a full-back, Bale was all but written off as having a great future at White Hart Lane until he was pushed into a more offensive role circa 2010/11 campaign.
It took the Welsh sensation more than 24 Premier League games before emerging on the winning side of a game, but that’s where the ascent began and Bale hasn’t looked back since.
In total, Tottenham made a £78 million profit from the sale of their star, showing just how much his value has risen since the days he was playing second fiddle to Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Uruguay’s Global Pedigree
As a country with a population of just under 3.4 million, Uruguay really have no business in being one of the world’s football giants.
In this sport, quantity combined with the right coaching platform can often produce quality, meaning the South American nation can never really have one of those factors running in their favour.
However, Uruguay haven’t let that disadvantage affect them too much when competing on the international stage, winning the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, as well as making the semi-finals of the tournament on three other occasions.
Combine that record with another four Copa America wins and numerous semi-final and final appearances and you end up with a minnow nation drawing in way more success than should ever have come their way.