Euro 2024: What does 'dark horses' mean? Origins and definition explained

Turkey defender Mert Muldur scores against Georgia at Euro 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’re going to hear plenty of talk of ‘dark horses’ as Euro 2024 progresses and some unforeseen nation or other makes it to the quarter-finals or beyond in impressive fashion.

It’s probably a term you’ve heard before: Croatia and Turkey, in particular, seem to attract the tag at practically every major tournament they play in. True to form, Mark Chapman dropped a ‘dark horse’ on the BBC in the build-up to Turkey’s opening game against Georgia.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Steven Chicken

Steven Chicken has been working as a football writer since 2009, taking in stints with Football365 and the Huddersfield Examiner. Steven still covers Huddersfield Town home and away for his own publication, Steven is a two-time nominee for Regional Journalist of the Year at the prestigious British Sports Journalism Awards, making the shortlist in 2020 and 2023.