24 facts: Euro 2016 and the history of the tournament!

UEFA Euro 2016 is set to kick off in France and we can’t wait for it to begin. For the first time there will be 24 teams competing for the chance to be European Champions, expanding from the usual 16 teams. A record 54 countries will have taken part in either qualifying or the tournament itself by the time it all kicks off.

In our excitement for Euro 2016 we’ve put together 24 interesting facts, matching the total number of teams who are all getting ready for their first game!

Euro 2016 facts

 

1. There are 10 venues for this year’s European Championship spreading right across France. These include Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice.

2. This is the third time France will host the tournament, having held the inaugural tournament in 1960 and their second in 1984.

3. France beat Italy and Turkey in the bidding process to secure the right to host on May 28, 2010.

4. The winner of Euro 2016 will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Russia and Germany have automatically qualified already as Russia is the host and Germany won the 2014 World Cup.

5. Super Victor, a caped footballing character, is the official mascot of Euro 2016. The public voted for his name over two others, “Driblou” and “Goalix” after the mascot was unveiled without a name in November 2014.

6. The official slogan of the tournament is Le Rendez-Vous, chosen by UEFA. Jacques Lambert, chairman of the Euro 2016 organising committee explained the slogan was chosen to invite football fans worldwide to meet up and share the tournament.

7. David Guetta was chosen by UEFA to write the official Euro 2016 song.

European Championship history and facts

 

8. The first UEFA European Championship was held in France in 1960 and 17 teams entered. England, the Netherlands, West Germany and Italy were absent from the competition.

9. The Soviet Union won the first European Championship tournament after beating Yugoslavia 2 – 1 in the final in Paris.

10. The winning team is awarded the Henri Delaunay Trophy, named in honour of Henri Delaunay, the first General Secretary of UEFA. He came up with the idea of holding a European competition in 1927 but died five years before the first European Championship was held.

11. Henri Delaunay’s son Pierre was given the responsibility of making the trophy, which is given to the winning team and kept for four years until the next tournament.

12. Originally the tournament was called the UEFA European Nations Cup.

13. Only four teams played in the original tournament and it was kept this way until 1980 when eight teams played. In 1996 it was expanded to 16 teams and now this year there will be 24.

14. In 1968 it was renamed the European Football Championship.

15. Germany and Spain are the most successful teams in the history of the European Championship.

16. Spain is the current Euro champion and the only country to ever have won consecutively – they won in 2008 and 2012.

17. Euro 2000 was hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, the first time a European Championship had ever been co-hosted by two countries.

18. Alan Mullery was the first England player to be sent off in an international game in 1968.

19. To celebrate the 60th birthday of the tournament, Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across 13 European countries, with the semi-finals and final being played in London.

20. England hosted the European Championship in 1996. Germany won the tournament beating the Czech Republic 2-1 after defeating England in the semi-final... on penalties.

21. England’s best result is third place in 1968 when the tournament was held in Italy. They beat the Soviet Union 2 – 0 in the third place match. England has never reached the final match.

22. The 1976 European Championship was won by Czechoslovakia and was the only Euro tournament to date that was won on penalties.

23. The Republic of Ireland has been labelled the worst performing team in the history of the tournament following their second game against Spain in 2012, in which they lost 4 - 0. They finished bottom of their group and therefore failed to progress any further in the tournament. Their tournament equalled the worst performance by a team in European Championship history.

24. Current UEFA president Michel Platini played for France and holds the record for the number of goals scored by one player in the tournament. Platini scored nine goals in the 1984 tournament, held in his native country. He was instrumental in helping to lead his country to the final and scored the first goal in a 2 – 0 finals win versus Spain, in Paris.

Euro 2016 gifts

 

Celebrate international football and treat someone footie-mad to something fun while they enjoy Euro 2016!

Football BBQ Apron

The Euros are the perfect time to get friends around and have a BBQ before watching a game. Prepare the food in style with this personalised apron featuring a football and a message chosen by you! Whether it’s a treat for yourself or a BBQ-loving mate, this is an ideal Euro gift!

No. 1 Footballer Mouse Mat

Treat that devoted football fan to a gift they can use at work! This personalised mouse mat is printed with a personalised message from you to them so they can proudly show everyone they are number one!

Personalised Football Shirt Mug

Choose their surname and make a mug that’s perfect for work or home! The name is printed on the back of the shirt for a fun and special gift they will love to use every day!

Take a look at our full range of Personalised Football Gifts and kick off Euro 2016 in style!