European Championship History in Numbers
The first ever competition took place in 1960 with the Soviet Union winning 2-1 against Yugoslavia after extra time. The original idea of holding a competition for European nations was put forward by a Frenchman Henri Delaunay, so it was fitting that France hosted this inaugural tournament. After a set of home and away qualifiers in the last eight, the semi-finals took place in Paris with hosts France falling to Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia losing out to eventual winners the USSR.
The 2012 tournament in Ukraine and Poland was the 14th to have taken place and remarkably there have been 9 different winners which shows the strength in depth of European sides. Germany and Spain have won it three times each, France have managed to capture the title twice and in addition to the USSR’s win in 1960 there have been wins for Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Holland and Denmark.
The number of times that France’s Lilian Thuram and Holland’s Edwin van der Sar have played in the competition – that’s a record. Spain keeper Iker Casillas and Portuguese striker Ronaldo currently both have 14 appearances so they will be hoping to move ahead of Thuram and Van der Sar – though both Spain and Portugal still have to qualify for France 2016.
The number of matches that Germany have played in the finals – that’s a record. They also hold the record for most wins (23) and most goals scored (65). In addition to winning the title three times they have been losing finalists on three other occasions – clearly the dominant team in the region.
The 2000 tournament held in Belgium and Holland, which was the first to be co-hosted, is often regarded as one of the most exciting and the 85 goals scored throughout the competition bears this out.
The number of teams that will take part in the 2016 finals in France – a far cry from the 4 who took part in the first tournament in 1960. With 53 teams involved in the qualifying stages expect some new faces at the 15th tournament in 2016.
after extra time: 90 minutes of ‘regular’ time followed by 30 minutes of extra time (sometimes written as aet)
was put forward: Recommended
it was fitting: It was appropriate
inaugural: The first, debut
falling to: Losing to
to capture the title: To win
dominant: The strongest
bears this out: Demonstrates this
a far cry from: A long way from, very different from