The UEFA European Championship is a soccer competition that was founded in 1960. It is held every four years and is contested by UEFA's men's national teams. The Soviet Union won the inaugural final, defeating Yugoslavia 2-1 in extra time in Paris. Portugal won the most recent final, which was held in Paris in 2016, defeating France 1-0 after extra time.
The European Championship final is the competition's last match, and the outcome decides which country's team is crowned European champion. If the result is a tie after 90 minutes of regular play, a further 30-minute phase of play, known as extra time, is added. If a game is still tied after extra time, a penalty shoot-out is held. The squad that wins the penalty shoot-out is crowned champion.
The champions receive a copy of the trophy - the original is kept by UEFA - while the runner-ups and semi-finalists receive a plaque. The players of the winning and losing finalists get gold and silver medals, respectively. Germany and Spain are the tournament's most successful teams, having won it three times each.
Euro 2020: List by year of past UEFA European Championship winners
The UEFA Euros been contested by 10 different countries. Spain and Germany, who won the championship three times, are the most successful teams in the tournament. While Germany was the European champion in 1972, 1980, and 1996 (the first two as West Germany), Spain became the champion in 1964, 2008, and 2012. Spain is also the only team to have won the championship in back-to-back years. Spain's victory in the 2012 UEFA European Championship final saw the most goals scored in a UEFA European Championship final. They defeated Italy 4-0.
Germany, on the other hand, has competed in a record six Euro finals. Portugal, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Greece, and the Czechoslovak Republic are the other European heavyweights to win the championship. While the UEFA European Championship is usually hosted by one or two countries, the 2020 edition was different, as the tournament took place in 11 different European locations.
This decision was made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to commemorate the tournament's 60th anniversary. It was a one-time charge, as the following edition will be hosted by a single country (Germany for Euro 2024). France was the last national team who have won the UEFA European Championship on their own turf in 1984.
Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, were the defending champions of Euro 2020, but they failed to repeat their success after crashing out in the Round of 16. Italy and England fought for the crown in the most recent UEFA European Championship, the 2020 edition, as Italy finally broke their 53-year wait for another Euro title. England played in their first final ever, but they didn't win it.