Uefa Euro Champs Past winners
2008 – Germany 0 Spain 1
Spain's UEFA EURO 2008 triumph did not merely end the Roja's 44-year wait for a major title, it ushered in a new era, where brain prevailed over brawn, when smaller players found a way of combating physicality. At 1.70m, Xavi Hernández embodied the rise of the little guy: his metronomic passing and superb reading of the game made him a critical part of Spain's triumph – and ultimately player of the tournament.
2004 – Portugal 0 Greece 1
After losing their first two UEFA EURO 2004 qualifiers, the idea that Greece would even make it to Portugal seemed far-fetched. They won six straight matches to reach the finals, and once there defeated the hosts in the opener and again, memorably, in the showpiece to lift the trophy. Theodoros Zagorakis captained Otto Rehhagel's side and was named Player of the Tournament for his stubborn performances in a midfield that kept Greece's superb defence well protected.
2000 – France 2 Italy 1
In the brief era of the golden goal, two men were fortunate enough to win a UEFA European Championship by such a method – Oliver Bierhoff and David Trezeguet. The latter's goal edged France to UEFA EURO 2000 glory, yet their progress through the competition had been magisterial, the first reigning world champions to collect the European title.
1996 – Czech Republic 1 Germany 2
After reunification Germany initially struggled to match the exploits of their former western section, but that changed at EURO '96. Having moved through the semi-finals, they came from behind to edge out hosts England on penalties then defeated the Czech Republic with a golden goal. Playing in a libero role first filled by Franz Beckenbauer, former East Germany international Matthias Sammer scored the quarterfinal winner against Croatia and was inspirational throughout as his nation won the title for the third time.
1992 – Denmark 2 Germany 0
The story is so famous it barely needs retelling. Denmark were eliminated in EURO '92 qualifying before Yugoslavia's expulsion gave them a finals place. Once in Sweden they knocked out England and France in the group stage, the Netherlands on penalties in the last four and Germany 2-0 for the trophy. Peter Schmeichel, then a year into his spell at Manchester United, kept goal for Denmark in that competition.
1988 – USSR 0 Netherlands 2
Before the 1988 UEFA European Championship, 23-year-old Netherlands striker Marco van Basten was one of the most promising talents in the game. A hat-trick against England, a semi-final winner versus West Germany and a spectacular volley from an acute angle to see off the Soviet Union in the final, and he was already in football's hall of fame. Not bad for someone who had just had his debut season at AC Milan interrupted by an ankle injury, and indeed, who only started the opening match against the USSR on the bench.
1984 – France 2 Spain 0
Few major tournament wins have captured the imagination like France's 1984 UEFA European Championship success on home soil. In an all-star team, the inspiration was captain Michel Platini whose nine-goal tally, including two hat-tricks, remains a finals record, capped by his opener in the decider against Spain. It was a special moment for Michel Hidalgo's side after penalty heartbreak by West Germany in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals two years earlier.
1980 – Belgium 1 West Germany 2
Lateness defined Horst Hrubesch's career. At 23 he was still plying his trade in the lower rungs on the German football ladder; six years later, however, he was spearheading the national team's attack at the 1980 UEFA European Championship in Italy – after an inevitably last-minute call-up. Without a goal during the group stage, his place in the 1980 UEFA European Championship final against Belgium was in doubt but West Germany coach Jupp Derwall "made the right choice" and retained the burly forward. Hrubesch responded with two goals, including the last-gasp winner.
1976 – Czechoslovakia 2 West Germany 2 (5-3 pen.)
There have been many penalty shoot-outs in major tournaments over the years, but perhaps the most famous was the very first: in the 1976 UEFA European Championship showpiece in Belgrade. Twice Czechoslovakia led; twice world and European champions West Germany equalised, the second in the last minute. A half-hour later penalties were needed, and after Uli Hoeness had struck West Germany's fourth effort over the bar, Antonín Panenka sensationally chipped the ball past Sepp Maier to seal a 5-3 shoot-out win.
1972 – West Germany 3 USSR 0
The 1972 UEFA European Championship was pivotal for West Germany. Beforehand they had won just one international trophy and played in two finals; since their triumph in Belgium they have won two FIFA World Cups, EURO crowns in 1980 and 1996, and reached six other major finals. The hero of 1972 was Gerd Müller, who scored both goals in the 2-1 semi-final win against the hosts and two more as West Germany beat the Soviet Union 3-0 for the title.
1968 – Italy 2 Yugoslavia 0
The defining moment of Dino Zoff's career may have been lifting the 1982 FIFA World Cup for Italy aged 40, but 14 years earlier he had been part of another major triumph as the Azzurri won the 1968 UEFA European Championship on home soil. The goalkeeper made his Italy debut in the two-legged quarter-final versus Bulgaria and kept a clean sheet in the semi-final against the Soviet Union at the home of his club side SSC Napoli, the Azzurri going through on the toss of a coin. Zoff was beaten in the 1-1 final draw with Yugoslavia in Rome, yet two days later Italy triumphed 2-0 in the replay to land the trophy.
1964 – Spain 2 USSR 1
For so long regarded as international football's great underachievers, Spain could always hold up their 1964 UEFA European Championship triumph as an argument to the contrary. Nearly 80,000 fans turned out at the Santiago Bernabéu to watch the hosts defeat holders the Soviet Union 2-1 in the final. Chief among the Spain team was talismanic midfielder Luis Suárez, who had already helped FC Internazionale Milano to the first of back-to-back European Cups that season and later went on to coach his nation at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
1960 – USSR 2 Yugoslavia 1
The Soviet Union were the first winners of what was to become the UEFA European Championship in 1960, coming from behind against Yugoslavia in Paris to prevail 2-1 in extra time. Viktor Ponedelnik, aged 23, scored the winner seven minutes from the end but even half a century on, after a long career in journalism, the memory remained fresh.