The European Football Championship (the Euro) is an important tournament between national teams held under the auspices of UEFA. The finals are held once in four years between the World Cups. The exception was the year 2020 when the championship was postponed to 2021 because of the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, and a total quarantine regime.
The championship is more than just a ball kicked by two teams. It is historical and spectacular victories, surprising and sensational events, as well as wild and vivid emotions of all football fans. The well-known Internet resource Scores24.live offers its visitors the latest and most relevant news about all the matches, historical data, and a lot of other useful information.
Briefly about the Championship
The championship was founded in 1960. The main idea came from the general secretary of the Football Federation, Henri Delaunay. After lengthy negotiations, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to hold the first championship in France. In the final, the USSR and Yugoslavia played, where the Soviet players won.
The cup awarded to the winner is named after its founder, Delaunay. The team keeps the won trophy for four years, until the next Championship. The original format of the game was completely different from that of today. The final consisted of four matches: two semi-finals, the game for third place, and the final stage.
The modern format has transformed in many ways since then. Now all national clubs undergo qualification before the start of the tournament, except the host country. It enters the competition automatically. In qualifying matches, as a rule, national teams take part, the final tournament reaches 23 teams based on the results of the qualifying tournament and the host team.
In order to reduce the number of participants and to select the strongest teams — participants of the finals, the qualification games are held. The start of the qualification period is at the end of the World Cup and lasts for two years until the start of the finals. Groups are formed by drawing, using the teams’ seeds. The process is led by a UEFA committee.
The qualification round for the World Cup and the previous European Championship is the basis for selection. The position of a team is formed according to the principle: the number of points received by a team is divided into the number of games and the average number of points is derived. In the case of teams scoring an identical number of points, the committee then determines the position of teams in the ranking, taking into account certain criteria:
- the ratio of games played;
- the average difference between goals per game;
- the average effective game;
- the average effective game abroad;
- drawing procedure.
The qualification stage takes place in a group format, teams are determined by drawing, which is carried out after the qualification stage of the World Cup.
A qualification group is a so-called small league with several teams with a fairly high rating. They play against each other at home and away, competing for the final. The distribution of points goes according to the principle: 3 points for victory, 1 for a draw, and 0 for defeat. After all matches are played the winner of the group is determined, it goes to the final. In the case of the same set of points by the teams, certain criteria are applied to select the strongest:
- The highest number of points the team scored in games.
- The difference in goals in games.
- Goals scored.
- The number of goals scored as guests.
- Goal difference in all matches in the group stage.
- Goals scored in all group stage matches.
- Goals scored in all away matches in the group stage.
- Fair play rating.
Only four of all groups make it to the final tournament. The format of the game is the same as in the League, the only difference is that the match with an opponent is played only once. The scoring is done according to an identical principle (3 points for victory, 1 for a draw, and 0 for defeat). The timing of the games in the group can be divided, but the last two games must be played in parallel. The teams that take the first and second places qualify for the 1/8 finals. And the winners of 1/4 go to the semifinals, where the finalists are determined, one of which takes the place of the champion and gets a cup. The team, which took second place in the semifinals, becomes the silver medalist. In the case of a score draw between the teams, the referee sets an extra time, and if the score does not change, a penalty shootout is held.
The other tournament — Euro 2020
Finally, the waiting of all the football fans for this event was over. It was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was worth it — we got the game in the final, Italy versus England at Wembley Stadium in London. Both teams were at their best. The English showed their top players on their field and felt confident at home. The Italians, with an equally strong team, were also full of confidence. They showed first-rate play from the very beginning. But the game was unpredictable, and the intrigue was provided by the English defender Kieran Trippier, who made a wonderful pass, and Luke Shaw scored a goal. The Italians were confused, but not for long. The game revealed more and more unexpected twists.
Nothing was decided in 90 minutes — extra time went by, and here the unpredictable began. The teams dashingly took the initiative from each other, time stopped, then flew with crazy speed, but even here the score did not change. The penalty shootout came. Italy won its place in the sun in a bright, intense, spectacular game and became the European champion for the second time in history.
Football tournaments are not just about selecting the best, top-ranked, and professional teams. Football is the lifestyle of many fans, which brings bright intense emotions, unpredictable situations, entertainment, excitement. It is a beautiful cheer, shared by millions of fans around the world.