Football has always seen its fair share of shocking stories with overwhelming favourites succumbing to losses. Many would say the odds of such an event occurring are one in a thousand.

Yet, they do happen more often that one may think and that is the charm of the beautiful game. It is such a dynamic event. There are so many internal factors and external factors that influence sports. The human error can never be ruled out and that just adds to the thrills and is a major reason why sports creates for the biggest spectacle in the world.

“Upsets” by huge underdogs have cemented places in the history of sports and are always remembered. Let us look at some of the biggest fairy tale stories in football that have been a fantasy come true for sports betting.

1992 – Denmark Win the Euros

Denmark Euro 1992

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – JUNE 26, 1992: Denmark players celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Euro 1992 Final between Denmark and Germany at the Ullevi on June 26, 1992 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Denmark won 2-0. Back row (left-right): Henrik Andersen, Morten Bruun, Unknown, Unknown, Henrik Larsen, Lars Elstrup, Kent Nielsen, Torben Piechnik, Claus Christiansen, Kim Christofte, Unknown, Unknown and Mogens Krogh. Front row: Peter Schmeichel, John Jensen, Kim Vilfort, Flemming Povlsen, Lars Olsen, John Sivebaek and Brian Laudrup. (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Euro 1992 was held in Sweden and it made for one of the most unbelievable stories in football history. The Danes had failed to qualify for the final tournament but were fortunate enough to participate as Yugoslavia were removed from the competition following United Nations sanctions at the time.

In the group stages, Denmark drew 0-0 against England and lost to hosts, Sweden by a solitary goal. In the do-or-die game against the mighty French, the Danes forced a major upset by defeating them 2-1 to make it through the group stage.

Denmark had another uphill task as they were pitted against the reigning champions back then – the Netherlands. Denmark managed to take the game to penalties after 2-2 in the 120 minutes of regulation time and extra time. The mighty Manchester United legend – Peter Schmeichel, was the hero for his nation before he was for the club as his performance guaranteed the Danes a passage into the final as they beat the Dutch in the shootout.

You’d have thought that there was no way that Denmark could upset one more team after overcoming France and the Netherlands especially when that team happens to be “Die Mannschaft” – Germany. Germany won the FIFA World Cup in 1990 so were overwhelming favourites in the final with players like Jurgen Klinsmann, Rudi Voller and many more stars.

However, the “Great Danes” overcame all odds to beat the Germans 2-0 and win the European Championships! It has to still be one of the most incredible stories in all of sport.

2004 – Greece Win the Euros

Greece - Euro 2004

Trainos Dellas of Greece celebrates with team mates during the Euro final match between Portugal and Greece at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal on July 4th, 2004. (Photo by Alain Gadoffre / Onze / Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2004) was held in Portugal as 16 teams contested the tournament. The tournament saw Latvia secure their first-ever participation in a major football competition. Greece made a comeback to the competition for the first time since 1980.

It was a tournament of upsets as Germany, Spain and Italy were all knocked out in the group stages of the tournament itself! Looking at the results, one would have thought that Greece was the best team in the tournament. The Greeks beat hosts Portugal in the group stage and then went on to upset the mighty France who were the defending champions, in the quarterfinals. On the other side of the bracket, Portugal knocked out England and the Netherlands on their route to the final.

Greece faced off against the hosts Portugal in Lisbon in the final – a repeat of the first group stage match in the competition. The odds were completely stacked against the Greeks as they were not only the weaker team on paper as the Portuguese featured the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Maniche and Ricardo Carvalho.

The early signs were there, however, from the Greeks that this could be their year. Everyone thought that the Portugal game in the first matchday of the groups was a fluke or a one-off, but they managed to hold Spain to a 1-1 draw too. There were many doubters still because they lost to Russia in the last group stage match. People started talking about the Greeks after they beat the French in the first round of the knockouts as they beat them with a gritty 1-0 win. The “Galanolefki” were outstanding on the defensive end. They did not concede a single goal in the knockout stages as they beat the highflying Czech Republic led by Milan Barros 1-0 and completed a double over the Portuguese with another 1-0 victory.

Extremely hard to break down, parking the bus, teams could not find a way through the Ethniki. It was not the prettiest ways of winning but ugly 1-0 victories are also remarkably difficult to achieve so credit where it is due. Greece captain, midfielder Theodoros Zagorakis was awarded the Player of Tournament. They won the tournament in what was just their second-ever appearance in the Euros and third in all major competitions.

Whoever placed their money on Greece before the competition would have become rich. Even those who bet on them just in the final, they would have also made bucketloads of money.

2016 – Leicester City Win The Premier League Title

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 07, 2016: Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City lift the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016, in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

If you do not believe in dreams coming true, then the story of Leicester City will certainly make you believe in them. The 2015/16 season was not only a fairy tale in basketball but also in football as “The Foxes” achieved the unthinkable in England’s first division of football, the Barclays Premier League.

Leicester City won the Premier League title in 2016 under former Chelsea manager, Claudio Ranieri but what makes this a dream is the fact that Leicester was just promoted to the Premier League in 2014/15, the season before. A major reason for the Foxes’ success was their star striker, England’s Jamie Vardy. He had a historic start to the season netting 13 goals in 11 consecutive games, which was a Premier League record as he beat Ruud van Nistelrooy who had scored in 10 consecutive games for Manchester United.

Leicester’s victory was so unlikely that the odds were 5,000–1 at the start of the season. This resulted in the largest pay-out in British sports history with total winnings of £25 million! They finished ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool to just put into perspective. Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante along with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, were all massive contributors to the team’s success alongside Jamie Vardy.

It is crazy that just 7 years back, they were relegated to League One from the Championship and to be lifting the Premier League title in 2015/16 is surreal. You could have never written a better story in football than this.

These are just three of several such sports stories over history and it is a certainty that there will be many more such incidents in the future as well. These are stories that truly suggest that betting on underdogs may have risks but when you hit, the returns are like winning the jackpot.