The European Championship is a prestigious event for soccer teams from Europe. The tournament has been held every four years since 1960, and it includes 16 countries divided into four groups of 4, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the knockout stages. Here’s a look at all six of the winners so far.
Their star-studded squad, including Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, and David Trezeguet, managed to overcome Italy and Holland before beating Portugal 2–1 in the final with two goals from Sylvain Wiltord. France lifted their second European Championship trophy after 1982
The Greek national team recorded one of the biggest upsets seen in recent football history by beating hosts Portugal 1–0 in the opening game thanks to a single goal scored by Angelos Charisteas. They followed this win up with another famous victory against Spain, who were then considered as one of Europe’s soccer superpowers but could only manage a goalless draw at that match, prompting widespread celebrations throughout Greece.
The big-spending Spanish national team won their first European Championship as they beat Germany 1–0 in the final thanks to a goal from Fernando Torres. Spain beat countries like Russia, Italy, and the Netherlands in the knockout stages of the tournament to be crowned champions.
Having won the World Cup two years earlier, Germany was seen as one of the favorites to win Euro 2012 since it was co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. The team managed by Joachim Löw duly delivered as they defeated European giants Italy 4–0 in the semi-final with Mario Gómez scoring a hat-trick and then narrowly beat Spanish 2–1 in the final thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodríguez. This marked Germany’s first international football title since Euro 1980 when they beat Belgium 2–1 at home in Munich.
The 2016 champions, as you may already know, are the current holders of the European Championship title. They defeated France 1-0 in extra time with a goal from Eder, which was scored just seven minutes before the end of normal time and a few seconds after he came on to replace Nani, who had been put off by an injury earlier during the game. It was also the first European Championship final to go into extra time thanks to two goals being canceled out late in regulation time (by Antoine Griezmann for France and Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal).
The 2020 champions are Italy. They qualified for the tournament after beating Sweden 2–0 on 10 October 2018 in Italy’s capital of Rome. This will be the fourth time it has been held in Italy. They won their first tournament when they hosted the tournament as well as winning on foreign soil in 1968, and finishing runners-up at home in 1980 after beating West Germany 3–1.
The European Championship tournament has been dominated by teams from Western Europe except for Greece, who was able to upset the odds and win the title in 2004 when the tournament was hosted on their continent. The Europeans Championship occurs only every four years, and it is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Winning takes a lot of luck, timing, good management, and teamwork.
The tournament always provides a lot of entertainment and drama, and it is always worth watching, no matter which team you support. It is also an excellent opportunity for sports bookmakers. Although they cannot do anything to change the outcome of matches, they have access to a wide range of markets which allows them to make as much money from Europe’s biggest tournament as possible.