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Next summer Austria and Switzerland will be the center of the European soccer world. It is the second time in the history of the competition that two countries will host the event together (Netherlands and Belgium hosted Euro 2000). From June 7 to June 29 eight cities (four from Austria and four from Switzerland) will welcome 16 nations that won that privilege to compete for the best European soccer nation.

Throughout an extensive series of qualification rounds that started in September 2006 only 14 nations among all European countries earn the right to play for the European trophy. Austria and Switzerland, as host nations, receive automatic participation in this elite soccer competition. The countries are divided in four groups of four teams. The best two from each group will go to the quarterfinals. From there the winners progress to the semifinals and then the final, which will be played on June 29 at a beautiful Prater Stadium in Vienna, Austria.

Host cities from Austria: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Klagenfurt.
Host cities from Switzerland: Basel, Berne, Zurich, and Geneva.

  1. Switzerland
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Portugal
  4. Turkey

  1. Germany
  2. Poland
  3. Croatia
  4. Austria

  1. Netherlands
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Romania

  1. Spain
  2. Russia
  3. Greece
  4. Sweden

Greece is the reigning European champion, winning Euro 2004 in Portugal. In my opinion it will be very hard for this country to win again. One of the nations that are a preliminary favorite is the reigning World Cup champion, Italy. With its star players like power forward Francesco Totti, magnificent goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and genius midfielder Andrea Pirlo, this nation is already claiming victory. However this is not always enough and Italy, like the rest of the nations, needs to put a lot of effort in to win Euro 2008. Among other competitors, I will emphasize France and Netherlands as potential favorites, and we must not forget Germany as a usual contender. Personally, I will be supporting Russia and Czech Republic as representatives of the Eastern European school of soccer since my homeland Serbia did not qualify.


The competition began in 1960 as the European Nations Cup, and it’s played every four years. The first host nation was France (hosted Euro in 1984 as well) and the first winner was the Soviet Union with their legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin. Since then, 10 nations have hosted the European Championship: Spain (1964), Italy (1968, 1980), Belgium (1972), Yugoslavia (1976), Germany (1988), Sweden (1992), England (1996), and Belgium and Netherlands.

Germany won three European titles (1972, 1980, and 1996), France is in second place     
with two titles (1984, 2000), and the rest of the countries won the title only once: Spain (1964), Italy (1968)*, Czechoslovakia (1976), Netherlands (1988), Denmark (1992)*, and Greece (2004).

* Yugoslavia should have won the title in 1968 and 1992 but unfortunate circumstances prevented this nation to be the best in Europe. In the 1968 finals game, Yugoslavia played against Italy and had a 1-0 lead with ten minutes left in the game and then the referee made numerous horrible calls to help Italy win the first of its European Championships. Because of civil war in Yugoslavia, it was forbidden to participate in Euro 1992 and Denmark was sent instead and won the title.


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One Comment

  1. Stephanie Latkovic

    You should keep personal thoughts about Yugoslavia/Serbia out of your reports and keep it factual. There was no civil war in Yugoslavia…more like genocide.