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The final in Paris 2016 did not provide the happy ending for the host country. May be Euro 2016 was a tournament that had the odd highlights and big moments. Portugal’s win over France was mediocre for long periods, but rarely sprinkled with the stardust to elevate it above the ordinary. As a matter of fact, it can be concluded that this European Championship will not be remembered with huge affection by many countries other than winners Portugal and perhaps Wales and Iceland.
Held under the UEFA banner, European Championship takes place every four years. Undoubtedly this is the second biggest international event not only in Football but sports in general. FIFA World Cup is the only other event with more viewership, marketability and prize money.
European Championship winners list:
Started in 1960, only 4 teams would play in the competition. Those past editions were marred by some of the big nations withdrawing from different events. In 1980, the tournament was expanded to 8 teams with two groups each containing 4. Group winners would directly qualify for final. In 1996 England hosted the first 16 team European Championship tournament. And finally this time, the last 2016 Euros in France was the biggest in history with 24 teams playing in main draw.
Out of the 14 editions so far taken place since 1960, 9 different countries has won the Euros. Spain and Germany are the most successful winners with 3 titles each. Apart from Germany and Spain only France has won the competition more than once. Again we can count Germany as the most successful team in European Championship as they had already appeared in six finals (3 wins and 3 runners-up).
Here we take a look at the European Championship winners list so far.
|1960||Soviet Union (USSR)||Yugoslavia||France|
|1964||Spain||Soviet Union (USSR)||Spain|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union (USSR)||Belgium|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union (USSR)||West Germany|
|2000||France||Italy||Belgium & Holland|
|2008||Spain||Germany||Austria & Switzerland|
|2012||Spain||Italy||Poland & Ukraine|
At the beginning time the cup was called the European nations cup. The first final went into extra time after a 1-1 draw between the Soviet Union and their opponents, Yugoslavia. At the second half, Viktor Ponedelnik found the net with a header and won the first event at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Again they got to defend their title four years later, reaching the finals of the tournament. This time they had to loose against the host nation, Spain.
Also Read: World Cup winners list
One more time, the host nations qualified for the final. Italy was to battle it out with Yugoslavia in the 1968 European Football Championship final. Italy won their first title after the final went for a rematch and ended 2-0 in their favor. The performance of the Soviet Union team was still outstanding as they made it to the finals for the third time in 1972. West Germany won the match 3-0.
West Germany also got the chance to defend their title in 1976. They forced the match against Czechoslovakia into extra time and finally the winner was to be determined through a penalty shoot-out. Czechoslovakia won the shoot-out 5-3. But West Germany was at the finals for a third consecutive time in 1980. And they were crowned the European Champions for the second time.
The 1984 European Football Championship final was a match between Spain and the host nation France. Michel Platini achieve a nine-goal record in the tournament and France outscored Spain 2-0 to win their first win. The most memorable moment of the match is the spectacular second goal by Marco van Basten in 1988. Netherlands were playing in the final for the first time.
In 1992, Germany had been unified and they got into the finals once again. This time their opponents were the newcomers Denmark. The Danes took the lead in the first half through a shot by John Jehsen to seal a 2-0 win. The 1996 final also went into extra time after Germany and the Czech Republic still tied 1-1 at the 90th minute. The European Football Championship saw golden goal first time in history.
France met Italy in the 2000 final. They came into the competition having won the World Cup two years earlier. The final was determined by a golden goal 13 minutes later after David Trezeguet pushed France to win the match. In 2004, Greece made it to the final of the tournament for the first time and won against the host nation Portugal.
Also Read: Top 10 richest European football teams
Germany faced Spain in the 2008 final held in Vienna, Austria. Spain was in great form as they won the tournament unbeaten. Again the World Champions, Spain, came to defend their title in Ukraine 2012 and won. This made Spain the only team that has defended the European Championship title so far.
Here we build another list of most European Championship wins by country.