The history of European Championship
The UEFA European Championship (commonly known as Euro and not to be confused with European Cup) has existed since 1960. It ranks next to FIFA World Cup as the most prestigious completion for national teams.
The first edition of the UEFA European Championship included only four teams (Czechoslovakia, France, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia), but it would be expanded to eight teams in 1980. Since when, the tournament has been expanded with more teams on two additional occasions.
Though the first European Championship was held in 1960, the idea behind it is much older. It dates back to 1927, when the French Football Federation’s administrator Henri Delaunay first proposed a pan-European football tournament. Despite the fact that he later became the first General Secretary of UEFA, Delaunay had already passed away by the time the tournament was officially started. In his honor, the tournament trophy was named after him.
The Henri Delaunay trophy contains a figure of a juggling boy on the back and the words "Championnat d'Europe,” and "Coupe Henri Delaunay" on the front. In 2008, it was remodeled to make it larger and more in line with UEFA’s more modern trophies. The new trophy is made of sterling silver, weighs 8 kilograms (18 lb), and is 60 centimeters (24 in) tall. The names of the winning countries are now engraved on the back.
The two most successful nations in the tournament’s history are Germany and Spain, with three titles each. Spain is the only nation to successfully defend its title, having done so in 2012. Germany has played the most matches (49), scored the most goals (72) and recorded the most victories (26). In 1984, France became the only nation to win all of its matches at a tournament (5 out of 5). In 1992, Denmark won the title with only two victories in five games.
Over the years, the European Champions has gotten more popular with TV audiences. In 2016, the total live audience for the expanded 51-match tournament grew to 2 billion viewers. When compared to Euro 2012, this amounted to an increase of 100 million. These totals were mostly raised by audiences in Brazil and China, where the 1300 GMT slot had a big impact. The final match between Portugal and France attracted 600 million people.
1988: West Germany
2000: Belgium and Netherlands
2008: Austria and Switzerland
2012: Poland and Ukraine
Statistics of all national teams that have won or played a final together with numbers of participation in European Championship.
In addition, Belgium, Czechoslovakia (2), England, Hungary and Netherlands have won bronze. Since 1984, no match of third place game have been played.
All finals including winners and runners-up of Euro 1960-2016.
|Year||Home team*||Away team*||Result|
|1976||Czechoslovakia||West Germany||5-3 (pen.)|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||3-0|
|1960||Soviet Union||Yugoslavia||2-1 (a.e.t.)|
The following table shows the numbers of participating team in all European Championships. The numbers in the second column concerns the final stage and the third column all teams that took part in the qualification. In addition, you can see the numbers of games (qualification games excluded) in the fourth column.
2016: The final phase included group play with six groups, which two or three teams each did advance from. The knockout stage consisted of round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.
1996-2012: The final phase included group play with four groups, which two teams each did advance from. The knockout stage consisted of quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.
1984-1992: The final phase included group play with two groups, which two teams each did advance from. The knockout stage consisted of semi-finals and a final.
1980: No semi-finals were played. The group winners played each other in the final and the second placed teams in the groups played a third-place match.
1960-1976: The final tournament phase consisted of semi-finals, third place game and final (five games were played in 1968 since the final were decided on a replay).
Highlights from 2012 Euro Final:
Highlights from 2000 Euro Final:
These players have made most goals in European Championship.
Michel Platini (9 goals), Christiano Ronaldo (9 goals), Alan Shearer (7 goals), Henry Thierry (6 goals), Zlatan Ibrahimović (6 goals), Patrick Kluivert (6 goals), Nuno Gomez (6) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (6 goals).References: