UEFA European Championship is one of the most prestigious and most reputed football tournaments around the world. The football tournament was incepted in 1960. The tournament started as the UEFA European Nations Cup but later changed its name. However, it is more popular as the Euros than anything else. This is a prestigious tournament that has viewership and popularity just next to the FIFA World Cup. So far, there have been 14 Euros and the 15th Euro is presently going on in France. The tournament is held for the Men’s senior team of different countries in Europe.
UEFA European Championship
The tournament started with only four teams at the major event. There were only 19 teams that participated in the tournament. However, the political difference kept the tournament within very few teams. However, the teams got expanded with the progress of time. In 980, the main events were increased to 8 teams. However, with the rising popularity of the events, in 1996, the tournament got expanded to 16 teams. This was the tournament where the Euro name was introduced for the tournament. The ongoing Euro 2016 is being hosted by the France. The tournament has been expanded to 24 teams this year. It has also been decided that from the next Euro 2020, there will be no particular host country for the tournament. The UEFA decided that the European Championship will be held across different cities across the different European countries.
Procedure to Main Event
The tournament has a phase for playing at the Main Events. The host gets automatically qualified for the tournament. However, the others have to go through the qualifying rounds of the tournament. Once the final draw is done, some friendly matches are organized for the practice. The main event starts soon after that. The champion of the tournament gets automatically qualified for the FIFA Confederation Cup and it is up to the team to participate in the event.
Winners of UEFA European Championship
Listed below are the winners of UEFA European championship since the year 1960 to present.
USSR – 1960
The inaugural tournament was hosted by France in 1960. However, the tournament was won by the then Soviet Union beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final.
Spain – 1964
Spain went on to win the next tournament in 1964. The host won the final defeating the defending champion the Soviet Union by 2-1.
Italy – 1968
Italy hosted the 1968 Euro. The final was the first time replayed after 1-1 on the first game. Italy defeated Yugoslavia by 2-0 in the replayed match.
West Germany – 1972
Belgium hosted the next tournament. West Germany crushed the Soviet Union by 3-0 in final.
Czechoslovakia – 1976
Yugoslavia hosted the 1976 tournament and Czechoslovakia won the tournament by defeating defending champion West Germany in penalty shootout 5-2. The match was first tied at 2-2.
West Germany – 1980
West Germany defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final in the tournament which was hosted by Italy.
France – 1984
France hosted the next tournament and won it by defeating Spain 2-0 in the final.
Netherlands – 1988
West Germany hosted the next tournament and Netherlands defeated the Soviet Union by 2-0 in the final.
Denmark – 1992
Sweden hosted the next UEFA Euro and Denmark came victorious after defeating unified Germany by 2-0.
Germany – 1996
England was the host for the tournament which brought in 16 teams for the main event. The tournament was won by Germany by defeating Czech Republic 2-1.
France – 2000
For the first time, two nations co-hosted the tournament in 2000. Belgium and Netherlands co-hosted the championship and France defeated Italy 2-1 in the final.
Greece – 2004
Portugal hosted this edition of Euro and Greece shocked the world with a 1-0 win over Portugal in the final.
Spain – 2008
Austria and Switzerland co-hosted the tournament as Spain crashed the German team by 1-0 in the final.
Spain – 2012
Ukraine and Poland co-hosted the 2012 Euro. Spain became the first team to win back to back Euro as they defeated Italy by 4-0 in the final.
So far in the history of UEFA European Championship, nine teams have won the trophy in 14 tournaments held. Germany and Spain have won the titles 3 times each. France managed to win it twice. Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Greece, Denmark, and Netherlands have won the titles one time each.