As the Euro 2016 begins, Spain starts their campaign with a chance to be the first team to win the tournament three consecutive times. For the first time, the tournament is being contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996. Qweekly quickly looks back the various trivia from the previous editions –
- The last hat-trick at Euro Cup was in 2008 by Spaniard David Villa, against Russia. Back in 1984, which Frenchman became the only player to score two hat-tricks in a single Euro Cup?
- Twelve players from Spain holds the unique distinction of possessing two Euro Cup Champion’s medals, as Spain won back to back tournament in 2008 and 2012. Who is the only other player to win a Euro Cup Champion’s medal twice?
- Till its beginning in 1960, every Euro Cup winning team had their coaches from their respective countries, except one. Which country won the Euro under a coach of different nationality from their own? Also, who was this legendary coach?
- What first did this years’ Albania vs Switzerland match witness, with a similar feat happening in the Ghana vs Germany match back in World Cup 2014?
- Euro 1992 was special as Denmark went to win the tournament with a wild card entry as Yugoslavia was disqualified due to Yugoslav wars. It was also the last tournament to award the winner of a match with only two points. However, it was also the last tournament before the beginning of which important rule, which was introduced mainly because of time wasting and overly defensive display by the Irish team against Egypt in World Cup 1990?
- “We went down to the dressing rooms together, accompanied by two administrators from the two teams. The referee pulled out an old coin and I called tails. It was the right call and Italy were through to the final. I went racing upstairs as the stadium was still full and about 70,000 fans were waiting to hear the result. My celebrations told them that they could celebrate an Italian victory.” – Who was the speaker?
- Six years after missing a crucial penalty in the shootout of the 1990 World Cup semi-finals against Germany that would send his time packing, he finally stepped up to take another kick in the Euro 1996 quarter-finals penalty shootout against Spain. He converted his attempt and celebrated with an emotional screaming outburst in front of an ecstatic Wembley crowd. Who?
- Which player scored 13 goals in the Euro 2016 Qualifying, matching the record of most goals by David Healy of Northern Ireland?
- Which rule eliminated Czech Republic from semi-finals of Euro 2004 as Greek defender Traianos Dellas scored in the extra time?
- What connects Manuel Amoros and Basile Boli, in terms of Euro cup? The list would famously include a legendary Frenchman if we’re considering the World Cup as well.
- Michel Platini. He remains the only player to score two hat-tricks in Euro Cup, let alone be it in a single edition. Platini was the top scorer of Euro ’84 with 9 goals to his name, the next best being 5 goals which was achieved three times – by Marco Van Basten in ’88, and jointly by Patrick Kluivert and Savo Milošević in 2000.
- Rainer Bonhof. He remains the only player with three medals, two golds in ’72 and ’80, and a silver in ’76, however he did not play a single game in either ’72 or ’80.
- Greece in 2004. They have made the one of the biggest upset and went on to lift the Euro Cup, their only trophy in International Football, under the coaching of German Otto Rehhagel.
- Taulant Xhaka and Granit Xhaka became the first siblings in the entire history of Euro to play against each other. Taulant played for Albania while Granit played for Switzerland. In the World Cup 2014, Jérôme Boateng of Germany played against his brother Kevin Prince Boateng from Ghana.
- Back-pass rule. Euro Cup 1992 was the last major tournament to be played before the introduction of back-pass rule, which prohibits a goalkeeper from touching a backpass with his hands.
- Giacinto Fachetti. As the Italy vs Soviet Union match ended goalless after extra time, the match was decided by a coin toss. Fachetti called it correctly and Italy progressed to final. Italy ended up winning the tournament, after the final was replayed because the first one ended in a draw.
- Stuart Pearce. The whole of England had their eyes closed and prayed, but Pearce scored a powerful kick in the right bottom corner. He was contorted with joy and relief, with all the agony pouring out of him.
- Robert Lewandowski. David Healy of Northern Ireland scored 13 goals in Euro 2008 Qualifiers.
- Silver Goal Rule. Dellas remains the only player to score a silver goal in an international football match. Eight years before that, Oliver Bierhoff of Germany scored the first golden goal in the history of football in the Euro ’96 Final.
- Head-butt. Amoros was sent off for head-butting Danish midfielder Jesper Olsen in 1984, while Basile Boli of France head-butted Stuart Pearce of England behind the referee’s back. He did not receive a booking.