The UEFA Championship is one of the oldest and most exciting football events, keeping fans on the edge of their seat since 1960. The tournament has taken place every 4 years since, apart from 2020. Last year’s tournament, which was postponed due to the restrictions, will take place this summer in a new format across multiple nations. All prior tournaments were held in a maximum of two nations at a time until now.
The brain behind this new competition was Henri Delaunay, who first proposed this idea to FIFA in 1927. Revisiting the proposal in 1954 after being elected as General Secretary of UEFA. Unfortunately, he passed away a year later with his son making his father’s dream a reality soon after. The new competition was initially named the Henri Delaunay Cup, with the fee of just 200 francs for the teams who wished to participate in the first edition.
So far 15 championships have taken place, won by 10 different nations, with Germany and Spain leading the way with 3 titles a piece. France follows suit with 2 championship wins with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the Soviet Union having their names etched in the history of this tournament at least once so far as well. Portugal is the current title holder having won the EURO 2016 championship in France, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s antics on the touchline in the final. A well-deserved victory for a nation who missed out on the trophy in 2004, beaten on home soil by underdogs Greece who had started that tournament at 80/1 odds.
The True Euro Legends
Throughout history, this tournament has delivered moments that have withstood the test of time. Instances like Marco Van Basten’s incredulous volley from a seemingly impossible angle in the 1988 final against the Soviet Union comes to mind. Just as Denmark’s unexpected 1992 triumph. The latter replaced Yugoslavia before the start of that tournament. Yugoslavia were disqualified from the competition due to ongoing Balkan wars. The best player they have ever produced, Michael Laudrup, opting out because of their style of play. And of course, nobody can forget the horrible multicoloured shirt worn by the great goalkeeping legend, Peter Schmeichel.
The 1996 edition remains famous for England’s iconic ‘Football is coming home’ anthem. And the Euro 2000 edition cementing its name in the history books for the last ever final to be decided by the ‘Golden Goal’ rule where David Trezeguet scored a great volley 13 minutes into extra time against Italy. We cannot fail to mention Michel Platini’s astonishing 9 goals scored in the 1984 edition, a tournament record that still holds to this day.
The Present – Euro 2020/2021
With that background in mind, we head into the Euro 2020 expecting great things from the current crop of World Class players. We will be looking forward to seeing the next generation of youngsters in their first-ever international tournament. For the very first time, England head into an International tournament as favourites, alongside France, with Belgium completing the podium as far as the bookies are concerned. Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe are currently the top 3 favourites to finish the tournament with the most goals scored with assist king, Kevin De Bruyne, tipped to create most goals.
We will be offering a detailed preview of each group, building up towards our ‘Daily Match Previews’. Make sure to follow us and get all the information you need for every single match. After so much preparation, we cannot wait for Friday with the opening ceremony taking place in Rome. One of the 12 cities hosting the Euro 2020, with the first match of the tournament between Turkey and Italy to be played at the famous Stadio Olimpico. The clock is ticking!