We find many names for those we love, which is a fact for The UEFA European Football Championship, UEFA European Championship, or UEFA euro. However, many fans, including the associated press of the event, have simply chosen to refer to it as the Euro. The competition as such is contest pinning the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) against each other every 4th year. That started in 1960, revealing an important clue, it will happen this year, 2020. That basically will let us know what nation is on top of its football game in Europe for that year. And is one of the most anticipated football event in Europe, we will even stretch so far and say it stand shoulder to shoulder with the FIFA World Cup. With that information at hand, let’s get you all caught up with the championship before it goes down.

Quick history

The Euro might not be officially as old as the FIFA World Cup (1930). However, the seed to the championship was planted in 1927 by Henri Delaunay. Although, it was not until September 28th 1958 the inaugurating season took place in France. That lasted for 22 months and crowned its first winner July 10th, 1960, USSR after beating Yugoslavia with 2 to 1. With its first final out of the way it became an instant success and grew quick from there. Where the following nations have hosted the event, Spain 1964, Italy 1968, Belgium 1972, Yugoslavia 1976, Italy 1980, France 1984, West Germany 1988. And Sweden 1992, England 1996, followed by a first when Belgium and the Netherland’s co-hosted in 2000. Then by Portugal 2004, Austria and Switzerland 2008, Poland and Ukraine 2012, France 2016. Leading us to the 2020 edition that will happen across 12 different countries.

How many teams include in the Euro?

We already hinted that the Euro had seen some growth throughout the years. Where it went from only 4 teams in the final in 1960. That increased by twice its size for the 1980’s tournament to 8. That once more doubled for the 1996 competition to 16. Yet, the former UEFA Michel Platini believed that there was room for more teams in the contest, and proposed an increase in 2007. Although, he was overruled, or strongly advised against expanding by the UEFA’s Executive Committee. But in hindsight, they the Committee was wrong as we saw the Euro 2016 finishing up with 24 teams competing for the trophy named after the founding and idea father, Henri Delaunay. By which is still the case to this day and we will see the 2020’s final stages contain 24 teams. All fighting for the 2008 updated version of Henri Delaunay Trophy.

A season of Euro

In broad strokes, this is how a “season looks. First, the teams need to go through a series of group matches to qualify. The groups as such determine in a seed draw, conducted by the UEFA. Which we previously covered in, Champions League topic. The group then take on a normal League format. Suggesting that they play each other once at home and once away. Which will, at the end of the group stage tell us 2 things. If a team go directly to the tournament or to further play-offs. All depending on the position in the group. Where the winner and runner-up alongside the top 4 best 3rd placed teams face off in a knockout system. Resulting in that the winners of the quarter-finals proceed to play in the semi-finals. And yes you guessed it, the 2 teams going victorious in that outcome will consequently play the final.

Who owns the League?

The almighty and overseeing organisation of football across the world is the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). And part of this Billion £ industry is the Union of European Football Association (UEFA). Meaning that UEFA is the organiser of all vital football competition in Europe, under the supervision of FIFA. Where they make most of their revenue from broadcasting rights, marketing, and ticket sale, to mention a few. So, in the end, the true owner of the Euro is FIFA.Euro

Euro competition champions

Although the country was divided into 2, Germany is one of the countries that has won the Euro most times, more precise 3 times, West Germany (1972, 1980) and once as a united nation, Germany (1996). Even though Spain raised the trophy 3 times (1964, 2008, 2012) as well. The first place goes to Germany for having Spain beaten with more runner-up positions. In fact, Germany has ended up 3 times on 2nd place (1976, 1992, 2008) against Spain’s 1 second-place position (1984). In third place, we find the hosting country for the very first Euro championship, France. That triumphed on 2 occasions (1984, 2000). Which conclude the list of multi-time winners. If the list will expand with a nation that won more than one time, well for that we have to wait for Euro 2020 to tell us.

Extraordinary moments in Euro

One nail biter and amazing football moment was in Euro 1984s semi-final and the game between France and Portugal. That went into extra time after the full-time result ended in 2 to 2. And with the dreadful penalty shoot-out approaching, Michel Platini managed to connect in the 119th minute taking France further in the competition and proved to be the turning point for France. That went on and won after beating Spain with 2 to 0. Another moment that is etched on football fans retina is the outstanding performance of Portugal’s goalkeeper, Rui Patricio had in Euro 2016. Where Portugal returned the favour to France. And Rui Patricio maintained a clean sheet in the final and won over France with 1-0.

Top goal scorers and record keepers in Euro

There is a couple of ways we could present the top goal scorer in the Euro. So why not include both most goals including qualifying and final tournament. Let’s start with the final tournament. That has two players on the number one position with 9 goals each, Michel Platini (France) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal). And the second place goes to Alan Shearer (England) and his 7 goals. Now, should we include the qualifier, we see a familiar face, Cristiano Ronaldo and his 40 goals. Followed by Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) and his 25. With third-place given to Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) and his 23 finishes.

Live viewership and the home audience

When it comes to audience, live, and home, there are not that many football competitions that beat this. The only real competitor is the FIFA World Cup. Anyhow, according to UEFA’s research reports the latest finished tournament (2016), estimates to have drawn a crowd of 5 billion views. But keep in mind its spread across all platforms. Which distributes in 130 different countries. Also worth to take into consideration, as technology has come leaps and bounce since 2016 we should expect that the final figures for 2020 will have its predecessor beaten.

Can you place bets on Euro?

Without a doubt, all bookmakers are well away in planning stages months before the final rounds kick-off. Meaning, not only will you find a complete market and bet types you can think of. As this is a huge football moment, there will also be a continues flow of ongoing promotions, like free bets, and other betting bonuses. All in combination with a fully-stocked live betting library. As such, plan your betting ahead and make sure that you utilise all available bookmakers to really benefit on all offers.