Winning Teams

Review of the Winning Teams of the Last Five European Championships

The 2024 European Cup will soon reignite the flames of competition in Germany, offering another feast for global football enthusiasts. Do those moments of passionate celebration with the trophy in hand still flash back in your mind? How many of those warriors who fought for national glory do you still remember?

Euro 2004 Champions: Greece

In 2004, another "super dark horse" emerged in the competition. The "Greek Myth" defeated the host Portugal in the final, while Portugal ultimately returned home with regrets.

Greece, who qualified for the European Championship finals, was classified as a fourth-tier team. The 2004 European Championship was filled with powerful teams, and Greece was clearly a weaker team. Greece was grouped with Portugal, Spain, and Russia in the group stage.

In their first match against the host Portugal, Greece surprisingly defeated them 2-1 in the opening game. They then drew 1-1 with Spain in the second match and lost 2-1 to Russia in the third match, qualifying as the second-place team in the group.

In the quarter-finals, Greece defeated France 1-0, and in the semi-finals, they defeated the Czech Republic 1-0. Ultimately, they faced Portugal again in the final. The outcome was the same as the opening game, with Greece lifting the European Championship trophy 1-0 in Portugal's home of Lisbon, staging the Greek Myth, which remains the biggest upset in European Championship history.

Euro 2008 Champions: Spain

Winning the 2008 European Championship marked the beginning of a "dynasty" for the Spanish national team, officially announcing the return of the powerful Spain. In the final, Spanish star Torres scored the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute, helping Spain defeat Germany 1-0 and win the European Championship after a 44-year absence.

Euro 2012 Champions: Spain

In 2012, as the defending champions of the European Championship, Spain had just won the 2010 World Cup two years earlier. This all-star lineup, which best represents Spain's possession-based system, swept Italy 4-0 in the final, becoming the champions of three European Championships, tying with Germany.

Euro 2016 Champions: Portugal

In 2016, Portugal's absolute star Cristiano Ronaldo was fouled by an opponent in the final and had to leave the field due to injury, affecting Portugal's entire attacking rhythm. They were forced into extra time by France, but ultimately relied on a game-winning goal from Eder to defeat the host France 1-0 in extra time, successfully helping Portugal win the European Championship for the first time. It was also the team's first major championship.

Euro 2020 Champions: Italy
The European Championship originally scheduled for 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. The final was contested between Italy and England, ending in a 1-1 draw after regular time. Neither team scored in extra time, and the final was ultimately decided by a penalty shootout. Italy ultimately emerged victorious with a 3-2 win in the penalty shootout.

This was England's closest brush with the European Championship title. The tournament was held in a host-less format, with the final held at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Unfortunately, football did not "come home," and England lost to Italy in their first-ever final appearance.

England, a perennial favorite and powerhouse, has fallen short in the European Championship year after year. However, with the Premier League, one of Europe's top leagues, England is believed to be only a matter of time before winning the European Championship.

The past is history, and the charm of football lies in its uncertainty. Any team has the potential to create miracles at the European Championship. The emergence of dark horses, the on-field performance of key players, injuries, and other factors can all affect the ultimate championship.

In this summer filled with passion and variables, let us look forward to the exciting performances of each team and witness the birth of a new champion.
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