Today, football is a sport that is loved globally, with thousands of fans on the stadiums cheering for their nations or teams and millions at home supporting various teams. Entertainment, relaxation, uncertainty, friendship, and more are what the sport has to offer, and for a sport like a football, it just gets better with several leagues and tournaments to keep your eyes fixed on the TV. Among these tournaments, the FIFA World Cup is the most-watched by viewer globally, has the 2016 World Cup recorded more than 300 million viewers. The next watched tournament on the big picture is the European Football Championship.
However, we will be talking more about the European Championship. The European Championship is a football tournament contested by the senior men’s national teams of which all of these teams are members of the Union of European Football Association. The tournament is held to determine the team that will be the continental champion of Europe.
Since the inauguration of the tournament in 1960, it is held every four years, same as the World Cup, also held in the same timeline. In previous years the tournament was called European Nation’s Cup but was later changed in 1968 to European Football Championship. Since that time, the tournament format is “UEFA Euro (year),” which is still applied until date.
The sequence was that the host nations would automatically qualify while other teams would have to participate in a qualifying process. The team that emerges out as the champion will automatically earn a spot to compete at the following year’s FIFA Confederation Cup but was not obliged.
15 European Championship has been held since the tournament’s inauguration in 1960, in which ten national teams won. Some teams had won the tournament more than once while another won the Championship title back to back. Germany and Spain had won the championship three times, while France had claimed the title twice. However, Spain is the only team that has won the title on two occasions in 2008 and 2012 in the tournament’s history.
For the crux, Portugal is the defending champions of the tournament, having claimed the victory against their host France during the Euro Cup 2016. That match ended 1-0 when Elder scored the winning goal in the first half of extra time in Stade de France.
It was a serious battle as Portugal’s main man, Christiano Rolando, had to be substituted due to a heavy tackle from the host defender in just 25 minutes of play. Portugal did manage to find the back of the net when Eder scored the winning goals after 109 minutes of play.