The competition has been held every four years since 1960, except for 2020, when it was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Scheduled to be in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was originally called the European Nation's Cup.

* 1960 - European Nation's Cup

Host: France

The 1960 European Nation's Cup was the first edition of the UEFA European Championship, held every four years and organized by UEFA. The first tournament was held in France. It was won by the Soviet Union, who beat Yugoslavia 2–1 in Paris after extra time.

The tournament was a knockout competition; just 17 teams entered with some notable absences, west Germany, Italy and England among them. The teams would play home-and-away matches until the semi-finals, the final four teams would then move on to the final tournament, whose host was selected after the teams became known.

In the quarter-finals, Spain, who were under Francoist rule, refused to travel to the Soviet Union for political reasons. Proposals to play the tie in a one-legged format at a neutral venue were rejected by the Soviets. Spain were disqualified and, accordingly, three of the final four teams were from communist countries: USSR, Czechoslovakia, and SFR Yugoslavia, to go with hosts France.

In the semi-finals, the Soviets made easy work of the Czechoslovaks in Marseille, beating them 3–0. The other match saw a nine-goal thriller as Yugoslavia came on top 5–4 after coming back from a two-goal deficit twice. Czechoslovakia beat the demoralized French 2–0 for third place.

In the final, Yugoslavia scored first, but the Soviet Union, led by legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, equalized in the 49th minute. After 90 minutes the score was 1–1, and Viktor Ponedelnik scored with seven minutes left in extra time to give the Soviets the inaugural European Championship.

Winner: Soviet Union

Runners up: Yugoslavia

* 1964 - European Nation's Cup

Host: Spain

The 1964 European Nation's Cup was the second edition of the UEFA European Championship. The final tournament was held in Spain. It was won by the hosts 2–1 over the defending champions, the Soviet Union.

The tournament was a knockout competition; 29 teams entered (Greece withdrew after being drawn against Albania). The Soviet Union, Austria and Luxembourg received byes to the quarter-finals. The teams played home-and-away matches until the semi-finals; the final four teams would move on to the final tournament, whose host was selected after the teams became known.

Luxembourg proved to be the giant-killers of the qualifying rounds; they beat the Netherlands 3–2 on aggregate (1–1 and 2–1), and then drew with Denmark 3–3 and 2–2, before losing the replay 1–0. Denmark thus became the most surprising of the qualifiers for the final tournament, joining the Soviet Union, Spain, and Hungary.
In the semi-finals, the Soviet Union defeated the Danes 3–0 in Barcelona and Spain beat Hungary 2–1 in extra time in Madrid, the winning goal being scored by Amancio.

Spain had been disqualified for refusing to travel to Moscow in 1960 to play the Soviet Union, but on this occasion, General Franco let his team play the Soviets. In front of more than 79,000 people, including Franco himself, at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, the hosts won 2–1 after a late goal from Marcelino.

Winner: Spain

Runners up: Soviet Union

* 1968: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Italy

The 1968 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in Italy. This was the third UEFA European Championship, an event held every four years and organized by UEFA. The final tournament took place between 5 and 10 June 1968.

It was in this year that the tournament changed its name from the "European Nations' Cup" to the "European Championship".

There were also some changes in the tournament's qualifying structure, with the two-legged home-and-away knock-out stage being replaced by a group phase.

Only four countries played in the final tournament, with the tournament consisting of the semi-finals, a third place play-off, and the final.

The hosts were only announced after the qualifying round, which meant that they had to qualify along with all the others for the final stage.

Winner: Italy

Runners up: Yugoslavia

* 1972: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Belgium

The 1972 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in Belgium. This was the fourth UEFA European Championship, held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. The final tournament took place between 14 and 18 June 1972.

Only four countries played in the final tournament, with the tournament consisting of the semi-finals, a third place play-off, and the final.

The hosts were only announced after the qualifying round, which meant all teams had to participate in the qualification process for the final stage. Belgium was chosen among three candidates; the other bids came from England and Italy, whose teams did not reach the semi-finals.

West Germany won the tournament, beating the Soviet Union 3–0 in the final, with goals coming from Gerd Müller (twice) and Herbert Wimmer at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

Winner: West Germany

Runners up: Soviet Union
 

* 1976: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Yugoslavia

The 1976 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in Yugoslavia. This was the fifth UEFA European Championship, held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. The final tournament took place between 16 and 20 June 1976.

Only four countries played in the final tournament, with the tournament consisting of the semi-finals, a third place play-off, and the final. This was the last tournament to have this format, as the tournament was expanded to include eight teams four years later. It was the only time that all four matches in the final tournament were decided after extra time, either on penalties or by goals scored. This was also the last tournament in which the hosts had to qualify for the final stage.

Czechoslovakia won the tournament after defeating holders West Germany in the final on penalties following a 2–2 draw after extra time. Antonín Panenka gained fame for his delicately chipped penalty which won the tournament for Czechoslovakia, the country's first European Championship title.

Winner: Czechoslovakia

Runners up: West Germany

* 1980: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Italy

The 1980 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in Italy. This was the sixth UEFA European Championship, which is held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. It was the first edition to feature eight teams, taking place between 11 and 22 June 1980. West Germany won the final 2–1 against Belgium for their second title. This was the last European Championship with a third place play-off.

Because of the expanded format, the final tournament went through some changes as well. Two groups of four teams each were created; each team would play all others within their group. The winners of the groups would go straight to the final (there were no semi-finals), while the runners-up disputed the third place play-off.

The tournament generally failed to draw much enthusiasm from spectators and TV viewers. Attendance was generally poor except for matches involving the Italian team. The defensive style of play of many teams led to a succession of dull matches. Hooliganism, already a rising problem in the 1970s, made headlines again at the first-round match between England and Belgium where riot police had to use tear gas, causing the match to be held up for five minutes in the first half. The only bright spots were the emergence of a new generation of talented German stars such as Bernd Schuster, Hans-Peter Briegel, Horst Hrubesch, Hansi Müller and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and the inspirational performance of Belgium (around rising stars such as Jan Ceulemans, Eric Gerets, Jean-Marie Pfaff, and Erwin Vandenbergh) who reached the final, only losing to West Germany (2–1) by a Hrubesch goal two minutes before time.

Winner: West Germany

Runners up: Belgium

* 1984: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: France

The 1984 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in France from 12 to 27 June 1984. It was the seventh UEFA European Championship, a competition held every four years and endorsed by UEFA.

At the time, only eight countries took part in the final stage of the tournament, seven of which had to come through the qualifying stage. France qualified automatically as hosts of the event; led by Michel Platini, who scored nine goals in France's five matches, Les Bleus won the tournament – their first major international title.

After trying out several formats, UEFA finally developed for the 1984 tournament the format that would serve for all subsequent eight-team European Championships. The eight qualified teams were split into two groups of four that played a round-robin schedule. The top two teams of each group advanced to semi-finals (reintroduced after being absent from the 1980 tournament) and the winners advanced to the final. The third place play-off, widely perceived as an unnecessary chore, was dropped. As usual at the time, a win was credited with two points only, teams on equal points were ranked by goal difference instead of head-to-head results, and the sudden-death rule in extra time did not apply.

Fixtures were scheduled according to an innovative rotation schedule in which each team played its three first-round matches in three different stadia. Host France, for instance, played in Paris, Nantes, and Saint-Étienne. This formula had the advantage of exposing residents of a given city to more teams but implied multiple and sometimes costly trips from town to town for fans who wanted to follow their side. In subsequent championships, the organizers reverted to conventional schedules in which teams played in one or two cities only.

Winner: France

Runners up: Spain

* 1988: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: West Germany

The 1988 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in West Germany from 10 to 25 June 1988. It was the eighth UEFA European Championship, which is held every four years and supported by UEFA.

The tournament crowned the Netherlands as European champions for the first time. Euro 88 was a rare instance of a major football tournament ending without a single sending-off or goalless draw, nor any knockout matches going to extra time or penalties. Euro 1988 was the final European Championship to see the West Germany, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia national teams, as the West and East Germans reunified to become Germany in 1990, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries in 1991, and Yugoslavia broke up into six separate nations and one disputed territory in the early 1990s. The tournament was also the first major championship to feature the Republic of Ireland.

Winner: Netherlands

Runners up: Soviet Union

* 1992: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Sweden

The 1992 UEFA European Football Championship was hosted by Sweden between 10 and 26 June 1992. It was the ninth UEFA European Championship, which is held every four years and supported by UEFA.

Denmark won the 1992 championship having qualified only after Yugoslavia was disqualified as a result of the breakup of the country and the ensuing warfare there. Eight national teams contested the finals tournament.

Also present at the tournament was the CIS national football team (Commonwealth of Independent States), representing the recently dissolved Soviet Union, whose national team had qualified for the tournament. It was also the first major tournament at which the reunified Germany (who were beaten 2–0 by Denmark in the final) had competed.

It was to be the last tournament with only eight participants, the last to award the winner of a match with only two points, and the last tournament before the introduction of the back-pass rule, which was brought in immediately after the tournament was completed. When the next competition was held in 1996, 16 teams were involved and were awarded three points for a win.

Winner: Denmark

Runners up: Germany





* 1996: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: England

The 1996 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 96, was the 10th UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations and organized by UEFA. It took place in England from 8 to 30 June 1996. It was the first European Championship to feature 16 finalists, following UEFA's decision to expand the tournament from eight teams.

Matches were staged in eight cities and, although not all games were sold out, the tournament holds the European Championship's second-highest aggregate attendance (1,276,000) and average per game (41,158) for the 16-team format,[1] surpassed only in 2012.

The tournament was the first European Championship where three points were awarded for a win during the qualification and finals group stages, as opposed to the old system of two points for a win, reflecting the growing use of this system in domestic leagues throughout the world during the previous decade.

Germany won the tournament, beating the Czech Republic 2–1 in the final with a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff during extra time; this was the first major competition to be decided using this method. This was also Germany's first major title won as a unified nation, adding to the two European Championship titles won by West Germany prior to reunification.

Winner: Czech Republic

Runners up: Germany

* 2000: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Belgium & Netherlands

The 2000 UEFA European Football Championship, also known as Euro 2000, was the 11th UEFA European Championship, a football tournament held every four years and organized by UEFA, the sport's governing body in Europe.

The finals tournament was played between 10 June and 2 July 2000, and co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, the first time the tournament had been held in more than one nation. Spain and Austria also bid to host the event. The finals tournament was contested by 16 nations; except the hosts, Belgium and the Netherlands, the finalists had to go through a qualifying tournament to reach the final stage. France won the tournament by defeating Italy 2–1 in the final, via a golden goal.

The finals saw the first major UEFA competition contested in the King Baudouin Stadium (formerly the Heysel Stadium) since the events of the 1985 European Cup Final and the Heysel Stadium disaster, with the opening game being played in the rebuilt stadium.

A high-scoring tournament with many exciting matches and a very high standard of play, Euro 2000 is often named by football writers as one of the greatest international tournaments ever.

Winner: France

Runners up: Italy

* 2004: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Portugal
The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2004 or simply Euro 2004, was the 12th edition of the UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial football competition contested by the men's national teams of UEFA member associations. The final tournament was hosted for the first time in Portugal, from 12 June to 4 July 2004. A total of thirty-one matches were played in ten venues across eight cities – Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Lisbon, and Porto.

As in 1996 and 2000, the final tournament was contested by 16 teams – the hosts plus the 15 teams that came through the qualifying tournament, which began in September 2002. Latvia secured their first participation in a major tournament after overcoming Turkey in the play-offs, while Greece returned to the European Championship after 24 years.

The tournament was rich in surprises and upsets: Germany, Spain and Italy were eliminated in the group stage, while defending champions France were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Greece. Portugal recovered from an opening defeat against Greece to reach the final, eliminating England and the Netherlands along the way. For the first time in a major European football tournament, the last match featured the same teams as the opening match. Portugal were defeated by Greece with a goal from Angelos Charisteas. Greece's triumph was unexpected, considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments, the UEFA Euro 1980 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they failed to win a single match. As winners, Greece earned the right to represent Europe at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.

During the opening ceremony, one of the tableaux depicted a ship – symbolizing the voyages of the Portuguese explorers – sailing through a sea that transformed into the flags of all competing countries. In the closing ceremony, Portuguese-Canadian singer Nelly Furtado performed her single and official tournament theme song, "Força".

Winner: Greece

Runners up: Portugal

* 2008: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Austria & Switzerland

The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2008 or simply Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by the member nations of UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations). It took place in Austria and Switzerland (both hosting the tournament for the first time) from 7 to 29 June 2008.

The tournament was won by Spain, who defeated Germany 1–0 in the final. Spain were only the second nation to win all their group stage fixtures and then the European Championship itself, matching France's achievement from 1984. Spain were also the first team since Germany in 1996 to win the tournament undefeated.

Greece were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won UEFA Euro 2004. They recorded the worst finish in Euro 2008, losing their three group fixtures and collecting the least amount of prize money. Throughout 31 matches, the participating nations totaled 77 goals, the same as the previous tournament.

Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified as hosts; the remaining 14 teams were determined through a qualifying tournament, played between August 2006 and November 2007. As European champions, Spain earned the right to compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Winner: Spain

Runners up: Germany

* 2012: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Poland & Ukraine

The 2010-12 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as 2012 UEFA European Championship, UEFA Euro 2012 or simply Euro 2012, was the 14th European Championship for men's national football teams organized by UEFA. The final tournament, held between 8 June and 1 July 2012, was co-hosted for the first time by Poland and Ukraine, and was won by Spain, who beat Italy 4–0 in the final at the Olympic Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine.

Poland and Ukraine's bid was chosen by the UEFA Executive Committee on 18 April 2007. The two host teams qualified automatically while the remaining 14 finalists were decided through a qualifying competition, featuring 51 teams, from August 2010 to November 2011. This was the last European Championship to employ the 16-team finals format in use since 1996; from Euro 2016 onward, it was expanded to 24 finalists.

Euro 2012 was played at eight venues, four in each host country. Five new stadiums were built for the tournament, and the hosts invested heavily in improving infrastructure such as railways and roads at UEFA's request. Euro 2012 set attendance records for the 16-team format, for the highest aggregate attendance (1,440,896) and average per game (46,481).

Spain became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, and also three straight major tournaments (Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012). Spain had already gained entry to the 2013 Confederations Cup by winning the World Cup, so runners-up Italy qualified instead. As at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, both 2012 host nations were eliminated in the group stage.

Winner: Spain

Runners up: Italy

* 2016: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: France

The 2016 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2016 or simply Euro 2016, was the 15th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Europe organized by UEFA. It was held in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016. Spain were the two-time defending champions, having won the 2008 and 2012 tournaments, but were eliminated in the round of 16 by Italy. Portugal won the tournament for the first time, following a 1–0 victory after extra time over the host team, France, in the final played at the Stade de France.

For the first time, the European Championship final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996. Under the new format, the finalists contested a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout phase including three rounds and the final. Nineteen teams – the top two from each of the nine qualifying groups and the best third-placed team – joined France in the final tournament, who qualified automatically as host; a series of two-legged play-off ties between the remaining third-placed teams in November 2015 decided the last four finalist spots.

France was chosen as the host nation on 28 May 2010, after a bidding process in which they beat Italy and Turkey for the right to host the 2016 finals. The matches were played in ten stadiums in ten cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille Métropole, Décines-Charpieu, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Étienne, and Toulouse. It was the third time that France hosted the finals, after the inaugural tournament in 1960 and the 1984 finals.

As the winners, Portugal earned the right to compete at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

Winner: Portugal

Runners up: France

* 2021: UEFA Euro Cup

Host: Europe

The 2018–20 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as 2020 UEFA European Championship, UEFA Euro 2020, or simply Euro 2020, is scheduled to be the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Europe organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The tournament, to be held in 11 cities in 11 UEFA countries, was originally scheduled from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and rescheduled for 11 June to 11 July 2021. The tournament will still retain the name "UEFA Euro 2020".

UEFA President Michel Platini said in 2012 that the tournament was to be hosted in several nations as a "romantic" one-off event to celebrate the 60th "birthday" of the European Championship competition.[5] Having the largest capacity of any of the stadiums entered for the competition, Wembley Stadium in London is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final for the second time, having done so before at the 1996 tournament in the stadium's former incarnation. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome was chosen to host the opening game, involving Turkey and hosts Italy. Originally to be played at 13 venues, two hosts were later removed: Brussels in December 2017 due to delays with the building of the Eurostadium, and Dublin in April 2021 as there was no guarantee for spectators to attend. Spain also changed their host city from Bilbao to Seville to allow an audience at matches.

Portugal are the defending champions, having won the 2016 competition. The video assistant referee (VAR) system will make its debut at the European Championship in this tournament.

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