The UEFA European championship popularly known as the “Euro” is a national football competition between European Countries. Euros take place in different European countries every four years. Nine different nations have won the tournament. Germany and Spain hold an edge over others with three titles. France has two titles to their name. Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Greece have one title each. Spain is the only nation to win two consecutive titles (2008, 2012). We will focus on the list of Euro cup winners in the past 20 years starting from the year 2000.
Euro 2000 ( Winner: France)
Belgium and the Netherlands jointly hosted the Euro cup in the year 2000. The recent World cup champions (1998) France were in great form ahead of the competition. France had their golden squad in that era with the likes of Zidane, Henry and others. They looked great and performed well both in group and knockout stages. They defeated mighty Italy 2-1(asdet) at the finals. Finally, France was the Euro cup winner that season after 16 long years. Thierry Henry was the top scorer of the team with three goals and Zidane was the best player in the tournament.
Golden Boot: Savo Milošević (Serbia) and Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands) – 5 goals
UEFA Player of the tournament: Zinedine Zidane (France)
Euro 2004 (Winner: Greece)
The UEFA Euro 2004 provides one of the best stories in history. It was a fairy tale finish in Portugal that hosted the tournament for the first time. The tournament was rich in surprises and upsets. Germany, Spain and Italy were eliminated in the group stage. While defending champions France were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Greece. Portugal recovered from an opening defeat against Greece to reach the final. They eliminated England and the Netherlands along the way. Greece qualified for the European championship after 24 years and went on to win it. They completed a double in Portugal after they beat them 1-0 in the finals. Greece re-wrote history and its triumph in the tournament will always remain as one of the greats.
Golden Boot: Milan Baroš (Czech Republic) – 5 goals
UEFA Player of the tournament: Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece)
Euro 2008 (Winner: Spain)
Austria and Switzerland hosted the tournament for the first time in their history. Spain were the Euro cup winners that season. It was complete domination from Spain, as they won the competition undefeated. They were also the first team in Germany in 1996, to win the tournament undefeated. Spain defeated Germany 1-0 in the finals and won the Euro for the first time in 54 years. The Spanish side continued their good run and went on to win the World cup in 2010.
Golden Boot: David Villa (Spain) – 4 goals
UEFA Player of the tournament: Xavi (Spain)
Euro 2012 (Winner: Spain)
Poland and Ukraine jointly hosted the 14th edition of the Euro Cup. The recent World cup winners Spain (2010) were looking favourites to win the Euro Cup this year as well. This would be the first time when a team has won the tournament twice in a row. Spain became the 2012 Euro Cup winners by beating Italy 4-0 in the finals. They became the first team to win three consecutive major international trophies (2008,2010,2012). This was the last season when 16 teams played in the Euro finals, 24 teams will be starting the finals from 2016. The Spanish national team was at their peak for a long time. After that things started to fall apart and the 2014 World cup was a nightmare for them.
Golden Boot: Fernando Torres (Spain) – 3 goals
UEFA Player of the tournament: Andres Iniesta (Spain)
Euro 2016 (Winner: Portugal)
This was the first time when 24 teams would contest in the Euro finals rather than 16 since 1996. France hosted the 15th edition of Euro for the third time in its history. The defending champions Spain were knocked out by Italy in the round of 16. France looked clear favourites in the tournament till they lost to Portugal 1-0 at the extra time in the final. Portugal won the championship for the first time under the leadership of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Golden Boot: Antoine Griezmann (France) – 6 goals
UEFA Player of the tournament: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Euro 2020 (Winner: Italy)
The Euro 2020 was initially scheduled from mid-June of 2020, but it was postponed till 2021 because of the global pandemic. There was no fixed host of the Euro 2020 as the tournament revolved around 11 cities of Europe. Italy won the tournament after defeating England in penalty shootouts in the final. Italy came as the dark horse in the tournament and went on to win it.
Golden Boot: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 5 goals
Young player of the tournament – Pedri (Spain)
Player of the Tournament – Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)