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How Many Host Nations Have Won the Euros?

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Brief History of the European Championships

The European Championships await this summer as Europe’s finest contest to see who the best national side in Europe will be. The first European Championships were held in 1960 and since then there have been different adaptations to the tournament over its 64-year history.

The origin of the tournament can be dated back to 1927 when the French Football Federation’s administrator Henri Delaunay suggested a pan-European football tournament. This idea was proposed three years before the inaugural FIFA World Cup.

The first five editions of the tournament were only exclusive to four teams through a qualifying system and in the first tournament, the winners were the Soviet Union which France hosted. The tournament phase changed for the first time in 1980 when UEFA expanded the teams competing from four to eight.

From 1996 the tournament was expanded to 16 teams from which people would most recognise the competition. In the last two tournaments, UEFA expanded the teams by a further eight teams, to allow for a round of 16 to take place and for other European nations to compete.

Spain and Germany have won the most Championships with three, in which Spain is the only nation to successfully defend their title after winning in 2008 and 2012. Germany has played the most matches (53) and has scored the most goals with 28. France is the only side to have won all their games in a single tournament when they won their maiden title in 1984 on home soil.

France has hosted the most European Championships as a single country with three tournaments (1960, 1984 and 2016). There have been four tournaments where a tournament has had more than one host including the previous tournament where it was hosted across Europe with the final being at Wembley.

There have only been three occasions where the sole host of the tournament has gone on to win the competition. Here we look at those nations and how we think Germany will fare in the summer.


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Germany to Win a penalty shoot-out @ 5/1

Spain - 1964

Spain was the first host winner of the tournament in 1964. Interestingly, this was Spain’s first participation in the tournament after they refused to face the Soviet Union in the previous tournament because of political reasons.

The tournament hosts were one of four alongside the Soviet Union, Hungary and Denmark competing for the Henri Delaunay Trophy. Spain reached the final tournament phase of four teams in which they faced Hungary in the semi-final.

The hosts were 2-1 winners in extra time which set up a final against the Soviet Union, four years after the Spaniards withdrew. Spain beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in the final to capture their first major international trophy. Barcelona midfielder Chus Pereda was the top scorer for Spain with two goals in the tournament.

Italy - 1968 & 2021

Four years later from Spain’s debut triumph, Italy became the second debutant team to capture the European Championship. Italy qualified for the tournament from a 31-team qualifying process and were in the final four of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and recent World Champions England.

Italy was drawn against the inaugural European Champions Soviet Union and in what could be a rarity in football history, the game was decided via a coin toss after extra time. Italy then faced Yugoslavia in the final in a two-game final, after the first game ended in a 1-1 draw. Italy won the replay at the Stadio Olimpico 2-0 to pick up their maiden European Championship.

It's worth mentioning that Italy also repeated this feat at the last European Championships. Italy was chosen as one of the host countries for the tournament, despite beating England in the final at Wembley. For a single host country, Italy only achieved this in 1968.

France - 1984

France became the third and final team to win the tournament as a single host country in 1984. The tournament was the second instalment of the eight-team phase in which seven had to qualify with France excluded due to them being the hosts.

France was faultless throughout the whole tournament, having achieved maximum points in the Group Phase thanks in large part to performances from Michel Platini. Platini’s performances for club and country earned him three consecutive Balon d’Or and France’s achievement in 1984 was his crowning moment.

Platini scored nine goals in a single tournament, which is a record yet to be broken by anyone at the European Championships. France won all their tournament games that summer as they won their first European Championship. They would have to wait 16 years for their next triumph.

How will Germany fare at the Tournament?

Germany will be hosting their third European Championship this summer after hosting in 1988 and being one of the nations who were multiple hosts at the last European Championships. Julian Nagelsmann will be entering his first international tournament as Germany's manager after replacing Joachim Low after the last World Cup in 2022.

The host nation has been given odds of 11/2 which makes them third favourites in their home tournament, behind the likes of France and tournament favourites England. Germany is in a group consisting of Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland.

Nagelsmann will have a plethora of talent to choose from in terms of personnel this summer as he has chosen a squad mixed with youth and experience. Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller will more than likely be competing in their final European Championships, meanwhile, the likes of Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz will be eager to impress on the international stage.

Wirtz will be of interest to many clubs this summer, as the midfielder was pivotal to Bayer Leverkusen’s title-winning campaign with 22 goal contributions in 31 games.

For us Germany will be strong contenders for the tournament and with odds of 11/2, the bookmakers seem to think so. If Germany were to win the Championships on home soil it would be their first tournament win since 1996 and they would be the first sole nation since France to win the tournament in their own country.

Germany's Group Fixtures/ TV Schedule

  • 14-Jun Germany v Scotland 8 pm ITV
  • 19-Jun Germany v Hungary 5 pm BBC
  • 23-Jun Switzerland v Germany 8 pm BBC