Follow the World Cup from past to present with 1800-WorldCup - Part of

European Football

1800-WorldCup World Cup Finals World Cup Qualifying European Football Fantasy Football World Football WWW

The World of Football: AFC - CAF - CONCACAF - CONMEBOL - OFC - UEFA.
Home: European Football

The English, French, German, Italian and Spanish leagues are considered the 5 major leagues in Europe.

Quick Links

Major Leagues in Europe - European Championships, Champions League, UEFA Europa League.

The home of football in Europe.

Major Leagues in Europe

These football leagues have the highest viewers and are the biggest spenders when it comes to securing the services of some of the world's best footballers and managers.

Follow these leagues and others as the teams battle to be the best in Europe.

European Championships

Held once every four years, the European Championships are almost as important as the World Cup; to the Europeans.

France France 1960: (Winner USSR)
Brainchild of Henri Delaunay, secretary of the French Football Federation, France hosted the first ever European Nations' Cup Finals; where USSR beat Yugoslavia 2:1aet in Paris.

Spain Spain 1964: (Winner Spain)
USSR again made the final but this time they were beaten by Spain, in Madrid.

Italy Italy 1968: (Winner Italy)
The knockout stage was replaced by a series of qualifying groups. World Cup Winners, England, were beaten by Yugoslavia (in the Florence semi-final) who were in turn beaten by the hosts, in Rome (after a replay).

Belgium Belgium 1972: (Winner West Germany)
The 1972 European Championships tournament was all about Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer and Gunther Netzer as West Germany beat England at Wembley, in the quarter-finals; the hosts Belgium, in the semi-finals; and USSR in the final.

Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 1976: (Winner Czechoslovakia)
Czechoslovakia beat USSR in the quarter-finals (4:2 agg), Holland in the Zagreb semi-final (3:1) and holders West Germany (on penalties) in the Belgrade final.

Italy Italy 1980: (Winner West Germany)
In 1980, the European Championship Finals tournament increased from four to eight teams; with Italy qualifying as hosts. The teams were divided into two groups of four; with the group winners, Belgium and West Germany, meeting in Rome for the final. Hrubesch scored both goals in Germany's 2:1 victory.

France France 1984: (Winner France)
Group winners and runners-up now progressed to the semi-final. Home advantage, along with Michel Platini's goals from midfield, saw France crowned champions of Europe; after beating Portugal in the semi-final (3:2aet) and Spain in the final (2:0).

Germany Germany 1988: (Winner Holland)
Holland finished runners-up to USSR in Group 2 but beat the Soviets in the Munich final (2:0); after coming back from a goal down, against Germany, to beat the hosts (2:1) in the Hamburg semi-final.

Sweden Sweden 1992: (Winner Denmark)
Denmark qualified for the finals through the back-door, as runners-up to Yugoslavia; who had United Nations sanctions imposed on them. Denmark then finished runners-up to Sweden in Group 1 (ahead of England and France) then went on to beat Holland on penalties in the semi-final and Germany in the final (2:0).

England England 1996: (Winner West Germany)
Thirty years after their World Cup win on home soil, England thought they had a real chance to win the European crown. The tournament had grown to 16 teams in four groups of four, with a quarter-final stage after the group phase.

England topped Group A, ahead of Holland, Scotland and Switzerland); beat Spain on penalties and then went out to West Germany in the semi-final (on penalties). Germany then beat Czech Republic (2:1) in the final at Wembley; with Oliver Bierhoff scoring the 95th minute Golden Goal.

Belgium Netherlands Belgium-Holland 2000: (Winner France)
The tournament was co-hosted for the first time, by Belgium and Holland, but not one of the hosts made it to the final; Belgium didn't get out of their group and Holland lost to Italy in the Amsterdam semi-final (on penalties).

World Champions France also won the European title; with a 2:1 win over Italy, in Rotterdam. Substitute David Trezeguet scored the Golden Goal, after Sylvain Wiltord (also a substitute) equalised in the 90th minute; to take France into extra-time.

Portugal Portugal 2004: (Winner Greece)
Greece surprised everybody in Portugal by beating the hosts (1:0) in the Lisbon final; a feat they'd already achieved in the Group Stage, with a 2:1 win in Porto.

Austria Switzerland Austria-Switzerland 2008: (Winner Spain)
Spain were the best team throughout a very attacking tournament, with David Villa ending up as the top scorer; even though he was injured for the final against Germany.

Poland Ukraine Poland-Ukraine 2012: (Winner Spain)
Spain were once again in a class of their own, beating Italy (4:0) in the 2012 Kiev final.

France France 2016: (Winner Portugal)
The tournament expands from 16 to 24 teams.

Euro 2020 - Around Europe

Marketed as a 'EURO for Europe', the Euro 2020 finals (eventually played in 2021, due to the Covid pandemic) were staged in eleven cities around Europe.

Three Group Games & One Round of 16 Game

Travel to Holland Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Travel to Romania Bucharest, Romania.
Travel to Hungary Budapest, Hungary.
Travel to Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark.
Travel to Scotland Glasgow, Scotland.
Travel to Spain Seville, Spain.

Three Group Games & One Quarter-Final

Travel to Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan.
Travel to Germany Munich, Germany.
Travel to Italy Rome, Italy.
Travel to Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia.

London 2020

Hosts for the Euro 2020 final and semi-finals.

Travel to England London, England.

Italy beat hosts England on penalties.

Euro 2024

Germany The Euro 2024 competition was the third time that European Championship matches were played on German territory and the second time in reunified Germany.

Spain Spain won the European Championship for a record fourth time.

Champions League

Previous Winners of The Champions League

UEFA Champions League

Organised by UEFA, the group stage of the Champions League is the money-spinner that all premier clubs in the European leagues aspire to.

Nowadays, some teams don't even need to be a champion to qualify but they'll need to finish near the top of their domestic league to enter the qualifying rounds.

Clubs like Sturm Graz (Austria) and FC Basle (Switzerland) might never dream of winning the trophy, or even make the final, but six games in the group stage can make a big difference to their profit and loss account at the end of the season.

UEFA Champions League 2025

The UEFA Champions League 2025 will feature a new format, which will be the first season under this new structure. In the league phase, each team will play eight games against different opponents, and all 36 teams will be ranked in a joint group.

The final match of the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League will be held on May 31st, 2025, at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.

Cup Winners Cup

Previous Winners of The European Cup Winners Cup.

The 1999 Final between Real Mallorca and Lazio, at Villa Park, was the last UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final to be staged.

UEFA Cup - UEFA Europa League

Previous Winners of The UEFA Cup and Fairs Cup.

UEFA Europa League

The UEFA Cup replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in the 1971/72 season.

In 2009-2010, the competition became known as the UEFA Europa League.

UEFA Europa League 2025

The UEFA Europa League 2025 will be played under a new format, which replaces the 32-team group stage with a 36-team league phase.

The final match of the 2024/25 UEFA Europa League will be played on May 21, 2025, at San Mams Stadium in Bilbao, Spain.

Join Travel Notes on Facebook Please take a moment to like us on Facebook and share with your friends on social media.

Travel Notes Meta Search:  

World Cup Appearances:
How many times each country has made it to the World Cup Finals.

Custom Travel Search

Car Hire Cruises Flights Hostels Hotels RTW Tours Vacations Weather Web Reservations
World Cup Home: European Football