Gary | Mon 25/07/2016 - 15:19 EDT

Euro Cup History Winners

Euro Cup Winners List 

By Matt Pitt

Portugal are the 2016 European Championships after defeating host nation France in the final, but how was Euro 2016 as a spectacle? Who lit up the tournament, and who were dull as dishwater?

After reaching seven European Championships, including two finals, Portugal were finally crowned champions of Europe when the beat France 1-0 in Saint-Denis on July 10, 2016.

Portugal’s record at in the Euro Cup is most impressive, almost as impressive as Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to make women swoon. 

Portugal

They reached the semi-finals in 1984, which happened to be their first appearance at the Euros, the quarter-finals in 1996 and 2008, the semi-finals again in 2000 and 2012, and now a victory in their second final appearance.

Although they are Europe’s champions, Portugal were less than impressive in France, winning only one game during 90-minutes, that being a 2-0 win against Wales in the semi-final. I think it makes a mockery of the competition when a team can win only one game in regulation time and be crowned champions.

If Portugal were disappointing, several teams were their polar opposites and super exciting.

I personally loved seeing Wales, Northern Ireland, and Iceland reach the knockout stages at their first ever European Championships finals, even if that meant that my beloved England side were shown up by the latter, and it also having the knock-on effect of every soccer fan in the world replicating the famous Iceland clap and chant; it’s going to get boring quickly, guys and gals!

Clap

My tip at the start of Euro 2016 was a Germany versus France final, and Germany to win what would have been their fourth title in 12 tournaments (from six finals). However, these teams met in the semi-finals where France beat a sub-par Germany team by two goals to nil.

Two of the shocks of the Euro 2016 tournament were how poor both Spain and Russia were. 

The Spanish were playing in their tenth tournament, and looking to win their fourth title, but they were caught having a siesta in their Round of 16 game against Italy where they crashed out 2-0.

infographic

Russia, who only trail Germany in European Championships qualified for with 11, were not fancied to set the world alight in France, but nobody expected them to be, well, absolutely appalling. I do not think I have ever seen a national soccer team perform as badly as Russia did, and was quite surprised that Vladimir Putin did not arrange a public flogging for his hapless stars, and I use that term loosely, when they returned to Mother Russia.

And we cannot mention flops without talking about England. Their record now stands at nine Euros qualified for, two quarter-finals, and one semi-final appearance. Against lowly Iceland, England lacked ideas and conviction, and it was no surprise to anyone when manager Roy Hodgson fell on his sword shortly after the humiliating 2-1 defeat.

Griezmann

The next European Championships are not until 2020 so this means the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo have likely played in their last Euro finals.

Ibrahimovic will still be in love with himself, but at 38-years-old at the next tournament is unlikely to add to his six goals in Euro finals, therefore will not be troubling Michel Platini’s all-time goalscoring record of nine goals in Euro finals.

Likewise Ronaldo, who will be 35-years-old at Euro 2020. There is no doubt Ronaldo will still be parading around in only a pair of tighty whiteys and putting us mere mortals to shame when Euro 2020 comes around, but it seems unlikely that he will add to his goals tally, and therefore remains tied with Platini on nine goals.

One player who should break Platini’s long-standing record is France’s Antoine Griezmann. He scored six goals at Euro 2016, and will only be 29-years-old at Euro 2020, meaning he has a legitimate chance of becoming the all-time leading goalscorer. He may have the build of a Kenyan marathon runner, but the boy has some serious skills.