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UEFA European Championship Finals – History, Preview and Top Betting Tips

Welcome to our look at the European Football Championships Finals. Alongside the Copa America, it is the second biggest international competition after the FIFA World Cup.

In this post, we will learn about the history of this famous tournament. How and why it was founded and it’s history since the very first tournament back in 1960.

We’ll also take a look at some of the betting options you can enjoy on the European Championship Finals with sites like bet365 Sport.

Foundation of the European Championships

Bet365 Euros Predictor

The brainchild of the tournament was French Football Federation secretary-general Henri Delaunay. The trophy is named the Henri Delaunay trophy in his honour.

Delaunay first proposed a pan-European tournament back in 1927, but the first qualifiers for a European Finals did not start until 1958. Delaunay died in 1955, and the trophy for the first European Championship Finals tournament named in his honour.

The first final was held in 1960 and only attracted 17 entrants, with four reaching the finals. That remained the case until 1980, when the tournament expanded to eight teams. In 1996 that became 16 teams and in 2016, that increased once again to 24.

The next tournament will be held in Germany in 2024, followed by the 2028 tournament hosted by England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales and in 2032, Italy and Turkey will jointly host the tournament.

European Championship Tournament History

Outlined in the table below is a record of the European Championship Finals since 1960.

YearHostTeamsWinnersRunner Up3rd & 4th PlaceTop Goalscorer
1960France4RussiaYugoslaviaCzechoslovakia & France*Several Players – 2
1964Spain4SpainRussiaHungary & Denmark*Several Players – 2
1968Italy4ItalyYugoslaviaEngland & RussiaDragan Dzajic – 2
1972Belgium4W.GermanyRussiaBelgium & HungaryGerd Muller – 4
1976Yugoslavia4CzechoslovakiaW.GermanyHolland & YugoslaviaDieter Muller – 3
1980Italy8W.GermanyBelgiumCzechoslovakia & ItalyKlaus Allofs – 3
1984France8FranceSpainDenmark & PortugalMichel Platini – 9
1988Germany8NetherlandsRussiaItaly & W.GermanyMarco Van Basten – 5
1992Sweden8DenmarkGermanyNetherlands & Sweden*Several Players – 3
1996England16GermanyCzech Rep.England & FranceAlan Shearer – 5
2000Belgium & Netherlands16FranceItalyNetherlands & PortugalPatrick Kluivert & Savo Milosevic – 5
2004Portugal16GreecePortugalCzech Rep & NetherlandsMilan Baros – 5
2008Austria & Switzerland16SpainGermanyRussia & TurkeyDavid Villa – 4
2012Poland & Ukraine16SpainItalyGermany & Portugal*Several Players – 3
2016France24PortugalFranceGermany & WalesAntoine Griezmann – 6
2020Europe24ItalyEnglandDenmark & SpainPatrick Schick & Cristiano Ronaldo – 5
2024Germany24N/AN/AN/AN/A
2028England, Scotland, Ireland, N.Ireland, Wales24N/AN/AN/AN/A
2032Italy & Turkey24N/AN/AN/AN/A

*The Top Goalscorers when several players (more than two) landed the title were: –

1960 – Francois Heutte, Valentin Ivanov, Viktor Ponedelnik, Milan Galic & Drazan Jerkovic – 2

1964 – Ference Bene, Deszo Novak & Chus Pareda – 2

1992 – Henrik Larsen, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Dennis Bergkamp, Tomas Brolin – 3

2012 – Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gomez, Mario Balotelli, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alain Dzagoev, Fernando Torres – 3

European Championship Finals Records

These records are before teams have competed in Euro 2024. For example, Germany’s record for most appearances is 13 as of Euro 2020. But it will be 14 after Euro 2024.

  • Most Appearances – Germany – 13
  • Most Finals Games Played – Germany – 53
  • Most Finals Games Won – Germany – 27
  • Most Finals Goals Scored – Germany 78
  • Most European Championship Finals Victories – Germany & Spain (3)
  • Hosted Most European Championship Finals – France & Italy (3)
  • Number of European Teams Never to have Qualified for the Finals – 19
  • Top Goalscorer in a Single Finals Tournament – Michel Platini (France – 1984) – 9
  • Most Goals Scored in Finals Tournaments (Total) – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 14
  • Fastest Goal in a Finals Match – Dmitri Kirichenko (for Russia v Greece – 2004) – 67 seconds.
  • Most Frequently Played Fixture – Italy v Spain (7)
  • Most Finals Played In – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 5
  • Youngest Player – Kacper Kozlowski (for Poland v Spain in 2020) – 17 years, 246 days.
  • Oldest Player – Gabor Kiraly (for Hungary v Belgium in 2016) – 40 years, 86 days
  • Biggest Finals Victory – France 5-0 Belgium (1984), Denmark 5-0 Yugoslavia (1984), Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia (2000), Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria (2004), Slovakia 0-5 Spain (2020)
  • Most Goals in a Finals Game – 9 – France 4-5 Yugoslavia – 1960

Top European Championship Betting Markets

Fancy having a wager on the European Championships? Here are some of the top betting markets you can consider: –

  • To Win Outright
  • To Reach the Final
  • Top Goalscorer
  • To Reach Semi-final/Quarter-final
  • Group Betting
  • Individual Match Betting
  • In Play Betting

Tips For Euro 2024 – The Latest European Championship

  • Host Nation – Germany
  • Holders – Italy
  • Start Date – 14th June 2024
  • Final Date – 14th July 2024 (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

The European Championships 2024 (Euro 2024) qualifying campaign took place in 2023. The final set of playoff games were then held in March 2024 to decide the final three places in the tournament.

Out of the home nations, only England and Scotland managed to qualify for the finals in Germany this summer. Northern Ireland were eliminated in the group stage, while Wales were eliminated in their final playoff game against Poland.

Italy are the current holders of the Henri Delaunay Trophy. The Italians beating England on penalties at Wembley in the Euro 2020 Final (played in 2021) after a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time.

The finals will take place across ten different venues across Germany. They are as follows:

European Championship 2024 – Venues

  • Berlin – Olympiastadion (71,000)
  • Cologne – Cologne Stadium (43,000)
  • Dortmund – BVB Stadion (62,000)
  • Dusseldorf – Dusseldorf Arena (47,000)
  • Frankfurt – Frankfurt Arena (47,000)
  • Gelsenkirchen – Arena AufSchalke (50,000)
  • Hamburg – Volksparkstadion (49,000)
  • Leipzig – Leipzig Stadium (40,000)
  • Munich – Munich Football Arena (66,000)
  • Stuttgart – Stuttgart Arena (51,000)

Let’s now take a closer look at how the groups will line up and the fixtures in each of the six groups for the Euro 2024 Finals tournament.

European Championship 2024 – Groups & Fixtures

Group A

  • Germany
  • Scotland
  • Hungary
  • Switzerland

Fixtures

  • 14th June – 8pm – Germany v Scotland (Munich)
  • 15th June – 2pm – Hungary v Switzerland (Cologne)
  • 19th June – 5pm – Germany v Hungary (Stuttgart)
  • 19th June – 8pm – Scotland v Switzerland (Cologne)
  • 23rd June – 8pm – Switzerland v Germany (Frankfurt)
  • 23rd June – 8pm – Scotland v Hungary (Stuttgart)

Group B

  • Spain
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Albania

Fixtures

  • 15th June – 5pm – Spain v Croatia (Berlin)
  • 15th June – 8pm – Italy v Albania (Dortmund)
  • 19th June – 2pm – Croatia v Albania (Hamburg)
  • 20th June – 8pm – Spain v Italy (Gelsenkirchen)
  • 24th June – 8pm – Albania v Spain (Dusseldorf)
  • 24th June – 8pm – Croatia v Italy (Leipzig)

Group C

  • Slovenia
  • Serbia
  • Denmark
  • England

Fixtures

  • 16th June – 5pm – Slovenia v Denmark (Stuttgart)
  • 16th June – 8pm – Serbia v England (Gelsenkirchen)
  • 20th June – 2pm – Slovenia v Serbia (Munich)
  • 20th June – 5pm – Denmark v England (Frankfurt)
  • 25th June – 8pm – Denmark v Serbia (Munich)
  • 25th June – 8pm – England v Slovenia (Cologne)

Group D

  • Poland
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • France

Fixtures

  • 16th June – 2pm – Poland v Netherlands (Hamburg)
  • 17th June – 8pm – Austria v France (Dusseldorf)
  • 21st June – 5pm – Poland v Austria (Berlin)
  • 21st June – 8pm – Netherlands v France (Leipzig)
  • 25th June – 5pm – France v Poland (Dortmund)
  • 25th June – 5pm – Netherlands v Austria (Berlin)

Group E

  • Belgium
  • Slovakia
  • Romania
  • Ukraine

Fixtures

  • 17th June – 2pm – Romania v Ukraine (Munich)
  • 17th June – 5pm – Belgium v Slovakia (Frankfurt)
  • 21st June –  2pm – Slovakia v Ukraine (Dusseldorf)
  • 22nd June – 8pm – Belgium v Romania (Cologne)
  • 26th June – 5pm – Slovakia v Romania (Frankfurt)
  • 26th June – 5pm – Ukraine v Belgium (Stuttgart)

Group F

  • Turkey
  • Georgia
  • Portugal
  • Czechia

Fixtures

  • 18th June – 5pm – Turkey v Georgia (Dortmund)
  • 18th June – 8pm – Portugal v Czechia (Leipzig)
  • 22nd June – 2pm – Georgia v Czechia (Hamburg)
  • 22nd June – 5pm – Turkey v Portugal (Dortmund)
  • 26th June – 8pm – Georgia v Portugal (Gelsenkirchen)
  • 26th June – 8pm – Czechia v Turkey (Hamburg)

Qualification & Knockout Phase

The top two teams in each group, plus the four best third-placed teams will qualify for the knockout phase.

The dates for the knockout phase are as follows:

  • Round of 16 (8 matches) – 29th June to 2nd July
  • Quarter-finals (4 matches) – 5th & 6th July
  • Semi-finals (2 matches) – 9th & 10th July
  • Final (1 match) – 14th July

Ten Euro 2024 Superstars To Watch

Outlined below are ten of the biggest football superstars who, barring injury or a dramatic loss of form, will likely shine at Euro 2024 in Germany.

  1. Kylian Mbappe – (Striker – France)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo – (Striker – Portugal)
  3. Harry Kane – (Striker – England)
  4. Kevin De Bruyne – (Midfielder – Belgium)
  5. Virgil van Dijk – (Defender – Netherlands)
  6. Robert Lewandowski – (Striker – Poland)
  7. Rodri – (Midfielder – Spain)
  8. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia – (Winger – Georgia)
  9. Joshua Kimmich – (Fullback/Midfielder – Germany)
  10. Gianluigi Donnarumma – (Goalkeeper – Italy)

Ten Euro 2024 Young Superstars To Watch

Outlined below are a number of the younger players (23 and under) who will likely play a starring role for their team this summer.

  1. Jude Bellingham – (Midfielder – England)
  2. Jamal Musiala – (Striker – Germany)
  3. Robert Hlozek – (Striker – Czechia)
  4. Phil Foden – (Midfielder/Winger – England)
  5. Bukayo Saka – (Winger – England)
  6. Florian Wirtz – (Midfielder – Germany)
  7. Warren Zaire Emery – (Midfielder – France)
  8. Xavi Simons – (Midfielder – Netherlands)
  9. Lamine Yamal – (Winger – Spain)
  10. Nico Williams – (Winger – Spain)

Winner & Runner Up Tip

European Championship

Bet365 Sport currently have England as the slight favourites (4.33) over France (4.50) to win the tournament, with hosts Germany at 7.00 and Spain and Portugal both 9.00.

Personally, I think France and Germany are the picks here. I am not convinced by England and their recent performances have been far from impressive. France reached the 2022 World Cup Final and will have a hugely talented squad with real depth. Germany are hosts and have beaten France twice, home and away, in recent times.

I’d go for France to win at 4.50 and back Germany each way at 7.00 to reach the final with them.

Top Goalscorer at the 2024 European Championship

European Championship 2024

There’s lots of big names here including the top goalscorer at the 2022 World Cup (Kylian Mbappe) and the top goalscorers at Euro 2020 (Cristiano Ronaldo & Patrick Schick) not to mention Harry Kane.

For me though, Belgian Romelu Lukaku is the man to watch. Belgium have a relatively easy group and their star striker has scored 14 goals already in qualifying for the tournament. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne teeing him up, Lukaku should be set for a solid tournament.

You can back Romelu Lukaku for top goalscorer at the European Championship 2024 with bet365 Sport at 21.00.

Bet365 will be covering all games in the European Championships. So, remember to tune in to check out the latest prices on all the forthcoming games.

It certainly promises to be a very exciting summer of football!

*All AI & Vector images used under authors license from Freepik

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