Ranking Top Three UEFA Euro Championships of All-Time

Football fans worldwide were looking forward to this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament, which would have taken place across Europe before culminating in a final in London.

Of note, the tournament has been delayed until the Summer of 2021 due to the virus confusion before the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the postponement, 2020 will be a milestone for the Euros since it will be 60 years after the first tournament in France in 1960.

Since then we have had 15 tournaments and many developments and a lot of champions. With the 60th anniversary nearing and not expecting Euro 2020, this is an attempt to rank the competition’s best three editions since its inception.

Portugal - Euro 2016

Portugal – Euro 2016

The tournament was expanded to 24 teams for the first time in 2016, but four to six groups’ transition did more harm than good. It’s been a thrill to see European Giants take part in a tournament, such as Wales, Iceland and Albania. Still, it was also surprising to see Northern Ireland advance to the knockout stages with just one victory.

Another sign of the expansion’s problems, eventual winners Portugal won the tournament after beating hosts France 1-0 in the final. They’d managed to get there by winning only one game in regular time. Their three draws in the group stage would have disqualified them under normal circumstances!

There were a few exciting games in the competition, including Hungary vs. Portugal, England vs. Wales, and Italy vs. Belgium. Nevertheless, the knockouts were mostly one-sided (Belgium 4-0 Hungary, Germany 3-0 Slovakia) or apprehensive (Belgium 4-0 Hungary, Germany 3-0 Slovakia, Germany) before the knockout stages began (Croatia 0-1 Portugal, Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland).

Iceland and Wales fans, who shocked everyone with their performance, will most likely remember Euro 2016 fondly. However, for the vast majority of fans, the tournament served only to rekindle memories of the 16-team format.

Denmark - Euro 1992

Denmark – Euro 1992

Euro 1992 was the final edition of the Euros to be held with just eight participants, and it saw a massive shock as Denmark won the tournament despite failing to qualify. However, less than two weeks before the competition began, they replaced Yugoslavia, which had been disqualified due to the continuing Yugoslav Wars.

After progressing to the knockout stages by edging out a group that included France, England, and hosts Sweden, Richard Moller Nielsen’s team was pitted against the holders, the Netherlands. After 2-2, the Danes advanced to the final with a penalty shooting out triumph – Peter Schmeichel saved Marco van Basten’s shot – and then the winner of the tournament will be Germany 2-0.

Despite the vast entertainment value of this underdog triumph, Euro 1992 was far from a classic tournament. The knockout stages were great – especially Germany’s 3-2 win over Sweden – but the group stages were marred by poor results, particularly from two favorites, England and France.

The back-pass rule was enforced shortly after this negative play, and all subsequent tournaments saw teams awarded three points instead of two for a victory. However, since only three teams scored more than three goals in the group stage, it’s difficult to give this edition the first prize, even with probably the biggest surprise of all time.

France - Euro 2000

France – Euro 2000

Euro 2000, like the 1998 World Cup two years ago, occurred before the Champions League’s domination and was arguably the last international competition in what can be known as a golden age of sorts. Euro 2000, held in the Netherlands and Belgium, had an immense amount of drama from start to finish and comfortably topped this list.

The squad stage saw a few impressive matches from Portugal’s three-2 win against England and Yugoslavia’s 3-3 draw, Slovenia’s 3-2 win against France and Spain’s 4-3 victory against Yugoslavia.

You could ask what was Euro 2000’s best thing?

The presence of a maverick playmaker on virtually every team on the field was probably the best thing. It included post-2000 stars such as Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, and Francesco Totti and old-school legends like Dragan Stojkovic, Pep Guardiola, and Gheorghe Hagi. Negative strategies did not shine through this edition as they had in previous Euros editions thanks to these inventive superstars.

Both semi-finals of the tournament went to extra time in the end. France beat Portugal 1-0 thanks to Zinedine Zidane’s penalty in the 117th minute, while Italy and the Netherlands drew 0-0. The hosts missed two spot-kicks during the regular time before the Azzurri prevailed in a penalty shootout, crushing the Dutch’s hearts.

Roger Lemerre will be victorious in the competition with a 103rd-minute “Golden Goal” by David Trezeguet, which would be 2-1 in extra-time victory in Italy. Overall, Euro 2000 is probably the best Euros edition to date – and perhaps the most incredible international tournament of all time.

Final Words:

Euros’ coming edition could also be ranked in some excellent editions considering the competition in Europe, with teams like England, France, and Belgium being in red-hot form and possessing some natural talent.

It’s challenging to ignore France, the reigning World Cup champions, and perhaps the best football team in football. When considering the French squad, the term “stacked” comes to mind. Since the squad is so filled with top players, some fantastic footballers cannot even make the team. This French team is strong in goal, defense, midfield, and attack.

Another favorite is Belgium. However, Belgium’s golden generation has undoubtedly disappointed by never winning a major tournament. In every position, this was a team with world-class potential.

With Eden Hazard’s continued demise signaling a new age, it appears the generation is slowly coming to an end. In other words, it seems that this young team’s chances of making history and winning a tournament are dwindling unless there is some KDB magic in store for us.

So who you have as favorites to win the coming Euros? Let us know your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu