The Germany Euro 2024, the 17th edition of the competition is just around the corner. Italy were the previous competition winners beating England 3-2 on penalties at Wembley. The 24 qualified teams, some will say the best national teams in Europe will be in Germany with the goal of winning the competition with some fans will controversially say its better than the FIFA the World Cup in terms of the quality of the teams and football played. Euro 2024 will be the second time Germany is hosting it.

The first time Germany hosted this competition was in 1988 where the tournament was played in West Germany. Early favourites for title contenders are England (where the nation often tends to build the expectations that Football is Coming Home at the start of the World Cup and Euro competitions), Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.

One will be wise to not write-off the host nation, Germany as Gary Lineker once saidĀ ā€œFootball is a simple game – 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always winā€.Ā Dark horses of the competition willĀ probably be Croatia, Netherlands, Belgium and Slovenia who as a nation tends to punch above its weight in the world sporting stage.Ā 

Don’t underestimate Turkiye, the competitionā€™s most populous nation causing a few upsets.Ā Ay-YıldızlılarĀ (The Crescent-Stars) qualified for the EuroĀ competitionĀ after finishing ahead ofĀ Croatia in qualifying, which is by no means an easy feat. They have been playing someĀ scintillating football sinceĀ appointingĀ former Roma and Italy striker Vincenzo Montella as their manager.

Which Countries Have Won the Euro Competition?

Spain and Germany have won 3 times each. Italy and France have both won twice. Italyā€™s 2nd Euro title came when it beat England in the Euro 2020 series. (The 16th editionĀ of the competition was played in 2021 due to Covid-19).Ā In aggregate, 10 countries have won European competitionā€“ Russia (as the Soviet Union) were the maiden titleĀ holders in 1960, overcoming a doggedĀ Yugoslavia 2-1 after extra-time.

West Germany went on to win it, in 1972 in Belgium and 1980 in Italy. Theyā€™ve added one other title since in 1996 where Germany played its group stages in Old Trafford and topped the group. In the finals against England, played in Wembley, Alan Shearer scored in the 3rd minute before Stefan Kuntz, current Sporting Director for Hamburger SV and former head coach for Turkey scored the equaliser in the 16th minute.

Germany won 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out with current England Manager, Gareth Southgateā€™s penalty kick was saved by Eintracht Frankfurtā€™s Andreas Kopke, the German national team goalkeeping coach from 2004-2021 and current South Korea national team goalkeeping coach.

The other team apart from Germany to win the competition three times is Spain. Spainā€™s maiden win was in 1964 when it played host to the competition. Spain beat Soviet Union 2-1 in Santiago BernabĆ©u, the home of Real Madrid. The La Rojaā€™s Golden Generation with the spine of the team coming from FC Barcelonaā€™s Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol won the Euro competition in 2008 and 2012. 

La Rojaā€™s dominant 4-0 win against Italy in the finals in 2012 saw them become the first team to win consecutive European Competitions and three major international tournaments in a row where they won the 2010 World Cup.

Home Nation Performances at the Euro Competition

Only 3 home nations have won the prestigious competition in their home soil.  The most recent being France in 1984 where Michel Platini not only captained the team but scored the first goal in the 2-0 victory against Spain. Italy won the competition when they overcame Yugoslavia by 2 goals (2-0) in 1968, the final was played in Stadio Olimpico, Rome. Spain won the title in 1964 with players from FC Barcelona and Real Zaragoza players scoring one goal each in the finals. 

Euro Competition Top and Youngest Marksman

The top marksman title belongs to Franceā€™s Michel Platini, who scored 9 goals in a single edition of the competition in 1984, the Les Bleus captainā€™s 9 goals remains the most any player have scored in a single Euro competition. To date, no player have scored more than 6 goals in a single Euro competition. 

Portugalā€™s Cristiano Ronaldo, the five times Ballon dā€™Or winner  has scored the most goals in the Euro competition history with 14 goals to date, a tally he will be keen to add in Germany. 

The youngest marksman title to date belongs to Johan Vonlanthen, he was 18 years and 141 days young when he scored for Switzerland against France in Euro 2004. Switzerland lost the game to France 1-3, where Zinedine Zidane score a goal and Thierry Henry scored two goals.  

Lamine Yamal of FC Barcelona (born on 13 July 2007), who plays as a right winger forĀ FC Barcelona andĀ the Spanish national team, when he steps on the pitch for Euro 2024 will become the youngest player in the competitionā€™s history. If Lamine Yamal scores, he willĀ eclipseĀ Johan Vonlanthenā€™s record. Yamal has already scored two times for Spain. To date, Yamal has played 10 champions league games and has moreĀ senior caps than 9 playersĀ in the Spanish team. – By Alejandro Arturo Fangio

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