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Facts about European Football Championships

Updated on September 25, 2014

When it comes to football championships, there is always room for statistics and interesting facts, famous players and positive or negative impressions by certain teams. Poland and Ukraine host the latest - 14thEuropean Football Championship and we will go down in history and see some interesting details and facts. For four years in France at Euro 2016 in the battle for the title will include 24 national teams.

Here are some interesting facts that will forever go down in the history of European championships.

Di Stefano goal - 1960 European Championship
Di Stefano goal - 1960 European Championship

Different name in the past and top goal scorer

1. The first two tournaments in 1960 and 1964 were known as the European Nations Cup and this name was retained until 1968.

2. The current president of UEFA, Michel Platini, who as a player wore the soccer kit of the national team of France, has record for number of scored goals in one tournament. In 1984, he added nine goals behind his name.

Otto Rehhagel as a coach of Greece.
Otto Rehhagel as a coach of Greece.

Otto Rehhagel - first foreign coach that won the title

3. National team of Germany has played the most matches of the European Championships, 38; second is the Netherlands with 32 while the third is the current champion, Spain with 30 matches.

4. Since all previous winners of the trophy, only the representation of Greece failed to reach the first place with a foreign coach. In 2004, the head of the national team was a German, Otto Rehhagel.

Michael Platini won the European Championship and scored two hat-tricks
Michael Platini won the European Championship and scored two hat-tricks

Michael Platini with two hat tricks in one championship

5. Portugal is the only host that failed to triumph in the final match. In 2004, Portugal lost to Greece.

6. Michel Platini is the only player who achieved two hat tricks in one championship.

7. So far, only six players have had a chance to perform at four European championships.

Peter Schmeichel
1988, 1992, 1996, 2000
Lothar Matthaus
1980, 1984, 1988, 2000
Aron Winter
1988, 1992, 1996, 2000
Alessandro Del Piero
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
Edwin van der Sar
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
Lilian Thuram
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
Players that participated on four European Championships

8. Record visits in one match in the tournament's history was recorded in 1968, when qualifying match between Scotland and England at Hempden Park Stadium was followed by 130,711 spectators.

9. Belgium (1972), Austria and Switzerland (2008) are the only tournament hosts that failed to qualify for the semifinals.

10. David Villa (Spain) is the seventh player, who managed to achieve a hat trick of a championship game. Before him, six players reached this record:

  • Patrick Kluivert (Holland)
  • Sergio Conceicao (Portugal)
  • Marco van Basten (Holland)
  • Michel Platini (France)
  • Klaus Allofs (Germany)
  • Dieter Muller (Germany)

Euro cup quiz

Who scored Poland's first ever goal in a European championship in 2008?

See results
Barcelona players in Spanish kit
Barcelona players in Spanish kit

11. Seven players in the Spanish squad, which played in the World Cup final in 2010, were wearing the shirt of Barcelona. Team of the “Nou Camp” has also an identical number of players at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

12. Iker Casillas has 129 appearances for the national team of Spain and he is the player with the most matches in the national team of all players at the last European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

13. One of the two hosts of the championship, Ukraine participated for the first time in this competition.

14. Poland, which is on 65th place is the worst ranked squad in the FIFA ranking, was a part of the Euro, 2012.


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