The last five winners of the European Championships

The European Championships, one of the most prestigious tournaments in international football, has seen a series of unforgettable triumphs and plenty of shock results in the football bets markets over the past two decades.  

From stunning upsets to the dominance of footballing powerhouses, each edition has added a new chapter to the rich history of the competition. Here, we take a look at the last five winners of the European Championships, celebrating their journeys to glory and the impact of their victories. 

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

2004 – Greece 

The 2004 European Championships in Portugal produced one of the biggest surprises in football history. Greece, managed by Otto Rehhagel, defied all odds to win their first major international trophy. Known for their disciplined and resilient defensive strategy, Greece shocked the footballing world with a series of unexpected wins. 

After emerging from the group stage, Greece defeated reigning champions France in the quarter-finals and edged past the Czech Republic in the semi-finals with a silver goal.  

In the final, they faced hosts Portugal, who had already beaten them in the group stage. However, a header from Angelos Charisteas secured a 1-0 victory, sealing Greece’s place in history as one of the most remarkable underdog stories in the sport. 

2008 – Spain 

Spain’s triumph in the 2008 European Championships marked the beginning of a golden era for La Roja. Managed by Luis Aragonés, Spain showcased a style of play that emphasised possession, quick passing, and technical brilliance, which came to be known as “tiki-taka.” 

Spain breezed through the group stage and overcame Italy in the quarter-finals via a penalty shootout. A convincing 3-0 win over Russia in the semi-finals set up a final clash with Germany.  

In the final, a goal from Fernando Torres secured a 1-0 victory, giving Spain their first major trophy since 1964. This victory laid the foundation for their dominance in world football over the next few years. 

2012 – Spain 

Spain continued their dominance in international football by winning the 2012 European Championships, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Euros, and adding to their 2010 World Cup triumph. 

Under the management of Vicente del Bosque, Spain once again displayed their masterful tiki-taka style. 

Spain topped their group and defeated France in the quarter-finals before overcoming Portugal in a tense semi-final decided by a penalty shootout.  

In the final, Spain delivered a masterclass performance against Italy, winning 4-0 with goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres, and Juan Mata. This emphatic victory cemented Spain’s status as one of the greatest teams in football history. 

2016 – Portugal 

The 2016 European Championships in France saw Portugal claim their first major international title. Led by manager Fernando Santos and talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s journey to the title was marked by resilience and determination. 

Portugal progressed through the group stage without winning a match, drawing all three games. However, they found their stride in the knockout rounds, defeating Croatia in the round of 16, Poland in the quarter-finals via a penalty shootout, and Wales in the semi-finals.  

In the final against hosts France, Portugal faced a significant setback when Ronaldo was forced off due to injury. Despite this, a stunning extra-time goal from Eder secured a 1-0 victory, delivering a historic triumph for Portugal. 

2020 – Italy 

The 2020 European Championships, postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw Italy reclaim their place at the pinnacle of European football. Under the guidance of Roberto Mancini, Italy played an attractive and effective brand of football, characterised by solid defence and dynamic attacking play. 

Italy topped their group with three wins and went on to defeat Austria in extra time in the round of 16. A thrilling 2-1 victory over Belgium in the quarter-finals and a dramatic semi-final win against Spain on penalties set up a final against England at Wembley Stadium.  

After a tense 1-1 draw, Italy triumphed 3-2 in the penalty shootout, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma playing a crucial role. This victory marked Italy’s first European Championship win since 1968 and signalled a remarkable revival for the Azzurri. 


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