Ruud Gullit has been sacked as coach of Terek Grozny.
Come a long way
There have been thirteen European Championships since the tournament’s beginnings in 1960, coming a great distance from an inaugural tournament that was snubbed by the likes of Germany and England to today’s 16-team, two-country extravaganza. This is the last time the Euros will be staged as a 16-team tournament as France 2016 will host 24 teams from across the continent. We take a quick look back at all the winners and all the memories from Europe’s biggest national team showcase.
Hosted by Austria and Switzerland, won by Spain The current defending champions set up their 2010 World Cup win by ending their 44-year title drought at the hands of Germany. Fernando Torres (remember him?) won the whole thing when he beat keeper Jens Lehmann just past the half hour mark. The nucleus of this Spain team – Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Iker Casillas, Carlos Puyol — remains intact today.
Hosted by Portugal, won by Greece Another shock, as the defense-first Greeks rode their luck all the way to an unlikely crown. Hosts Portugal, boasting Luis Figo, Nuno Gomes and the young Cristiano Ronaldo were stunned by a lone goal from Angelos Charisteas in Lisbon. It remains one of Greece’s greatest triumphs in any sport – and one of Portugal’s greatest disappointments.
Hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, won by France The second “golden generation” of France would follow up their 1998 World Cup win with a famous victory over Italy in the finals thanks to David Trezeguet’s extra-time winner. Considered the greatest tournament of the modern era, France boasted one of the best lineups ever: Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Youri Djorkaeff, Thierry Henry, current national team coach Laurent Blanc – and arguably the greatest midfilelder to ever take the field, Zinedine Zidane.
Hosted by England, won by Germany Another expansion saw the Euros go to the current 16-team format, and the collapse of the Soviet Union meant that more teams than ever were vying for the crown in qualifying. Hosts England were ejected on kicks by Germany in the semis, and Oliver Bierhoff (pictured) would win the crown on a “golden goal” in extra time over the Czech Republic.
Hosted by Sweden, won by Denmark One of the great dark horse wins of all-time, the tiny Danes upset mighty Germany 2-0 in Gothenburg to record a famous triumph. Led by Brian Laudrup and keeper Peter Schmeichel (pictured), John Jesen and Kim Vilfort scored the goals to ice a German side boasting Jurgen Klinsmann.
Hosted by West Germany, won by the Netherlands Marco van Baasten and Ruud Gullit (pictured) gave an immensely talented Dutch side their first major prize with a comprehensive 2-0 win over the Soviet Union at Munich’s Olympiastadion. Coached by Rinus Michels, the one-time “clockwork Orange” side finally came good with a side that also boasted Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman.
Hosted by France, won by France The great Michel Platini led France’s first golden generation to an historic win over Spain 2-0 and his tourney haul of nine goals still stands as the mark to beat. The French midfield – Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana, Luis Fernandez and Platini – still stands as one of the greatest ever assembled at the national team level.
Hosted by Italy, won by West Germany The first expanded tournament with eight teams competing in two groups, Karl-Heinz Rumminegge led the Germans to their second European crowd in high style. Horst Hrubesch got the late winner to lead the Germans past Belgium 2-1 in Rome. The tournament was marred by hooliganism as England's fans were tear-gassed in their opening game at Turin.
Hosted by Yugoslavia, won by Chzechoslovakia Considered the greatest of the “early” European championships, this was a slugfest between four fantastic teams of that era: West Germany, Holland, hosts Yugoslavia and the eventual winners, the Czechs. West Germany, again fielding Benckenbauer (pictured) and Muller took the Czechs to PKs after a 2-2 final draw in Belgrade, but Uli Hoeness missed a critical spot-kick, allowing Antonini Paneka to win the tournament with an insouciant chip over keeper Sepp Maier.
Hosted by Belgium, won by West Germany West Germany thrashed the Soviet Union 3-0 in Brussels on a squad led by greats Gerd Muller (pictured) and Franz Beckenbauer. Easily the class of the competition, Muller would finish with 11 goals in the tournament, counting qualifiers.
Hosted by Italy, won by Italy Italy got to the final on a coin toss after their semifinal against the Soviet Union ended 0-0 AET, and Dino Zoff’s (pictured) Azzurri would need a replay to down Yugoslavia 2-0 in Rome after a 1-1 draw two days prior. Pietro Anastasi’s goal in the 32nd ensured that Italy earned their first – and only – European title to date.
Hosted by Spain, won by Spain Spain coach Jose Villalonga became the youngest manager to ever win the Euros when Spain beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in Madrid at the Bernabeu. Marcelino scored the winner with six minutes left to play in front of nearly 80,000 fans.
Hosted by France, won by the Soviet Union. The inaugural European Nations Cup got off to a slow start with only 17 nations entering, and the Franco-led Spain withdrew rather than face the Soviet Union in the quarterfinals. The great Lev Yashin (pictured) backstopped the USSR to the first trophy, 2-1 over Yugoslavia at the Parc des Princes in Paris.