** The first finals, in France in 1960, featured four teams, who played knock-out semi-finals, the final and a third place match. That formula continued until 1980 when the finalists were increased to eight, split into two groups of four. The group winners contested the final. The top two in each group contested semi-finals from 1984, when the third place play-off was discontinued. The number of finalists was increased to 16 for Euro 1996, divided into four groups of four. The top two in each group reached the last eight knock-out stages. In 2016, in France, the number of finalist nations will be increased, for the first time, to 24.
** The popularity of the European Championship means there is never any shortage of countries with hosting ambitions. The 2016 finals will take place in France and already three potential bids are being prepared for 2020: Turkey, Azeerbaijan and Georgia plus Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
THE HOSTS: 2 – Belgium (1972, 2000 with Holland), France (1960, 1984), Italy (1968, 1980) — 1 – Austria (2008 with Switzerland), England (1996), Germany (1988), Holland (2000 with Belgium), Portugal (2004), Spain (1964), Sweden (1992), Switzerland (2008 with Austria), Yugoslavia (1976)
** Portugal in 2004 were the first host nation to reach the final since France 20 years earlier. They were also the first hosts to lose the final, going down 1-0 to Greece in Lisbon on July 4. France (1984) and Spain (1964) had previously won on home ground.
** Italy were the first country to host the finals twice – in 1968, then in 1980. They were awarded the finals in 1968 in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Italian football federation. On each occasion the final match itself was staged in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Belgium have also hosted the finals twice: first, alone, in 1972, then in partnership with Holland for Euro 2000.
** The record attendance for a European Championship final was the 120,000 who saw Spain beat the Soviet Union 2-1 at Real Madrid’s
** The 1968 finals in Italy were used as the backdrop to a famous English-language film – The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine – about a British gang who use the cover of the finals to stage a daring gold robbery in Turin. The film was released in England on June 2, 1969.
** France have hosted the finals twice and each time the final has been played in the Stade de France. However the inaugural 1960 final (between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) was staged in the original stadium of that name while the 1984 showdown (between France and Spain) was hosted in the successor venue on an adjacent site. The first international football occasion in the stadium was the European Champions Cup final of 1975 in which Bayern Munich beat Leeds United 2-0.
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