Wed, 20 Mar, 2019

The Evolution of EURO

By Saras Karanjit

Picture Courtesy: http://www.uefa.com/

With the 15th edition (Euro 2016) off and running, the history of EURO Cup dates back to 1960. Being the second most watched football event in the world after FIFA World Cup, it has successfully completed its 14 editions. EURO Cup is a football tournament that comprises of teams from the European continent. This event is held every four years, in the even-numbered year between the World Cup. Till date, this tournament has been won by 9 different teams with Germany and Spain having won it most number of times (3). France has two titles, and the Soviet Union, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece have won one title each.

The first ever edition of this tournament was held in France. It was called the UEFA European Nations Cup back then, changing to the current name in 1968. USSR was the very first country to ever lift this trophy followed by Spain. Many things have changed and expansion of teams have been made since then but the love for football from the fans has not fallen a bit. The global audience multiplied in an enormous rate since the first few editions and around 300 million people watched the Euro 2012 final.

Though this tournament includes only the teams from Europe, that has never been a cause for the decrement in the audience.  Tournaments like the AFC Champions League and Copa América have not been able to gather as much audience as the EURO Cup.

Germany won their first Euro title in 1972 beating USSR in the finals while France managed to do so in 1984 on their home soil. The format of one county host changed in the year 2000 when the tournament was held for the first time in two countries, Netherlands and Belgium. This edition was won by France again.

After 14 editions of this tournament, Spain is the only team to have won the tournament consecutively, in 2008 as well as in 2012. Spain is the defending champions of the current edition which is being held in France. With Germany having the confidence of winning the World Cup, France backed up with home support and Spain eyeing on a third straight Euro title, this edition has been evenly poised and has promised to be more competitive than ever.