1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship
|Dates||13 March – 31 May|
|Teams||8 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||1 (in 1 host city)|
|Champions||Italy (3rd title)|
|Goals scored||28 (2.33 per match)|
|Best player||Fabio Cannavaro|
The 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, which spanned two years (1994–96), had 44 entrants. After the quarter-finals stage, Spain were chosen as the hosts of the final stages, consisting of four matches in total. Italy U-21s won the competition for the third consecutive time.
The exclusion (for political reasons) of the team from Serbia and Montenegro, then known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia continued. Croatia, Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia were three former states of Yugoslavia who did compete though.
The 44 national teams were divided into eight groups (four groups of 5 + four groups of 6). The group winners played off against each other on a two-legged home-and-away basis to determine the final four, one of whom would host the last four matches. The top five nations qualify for the Atlanta '96 Olympics.
Third Place Match
- France, Italy and Spain qualify for Olympic Games finals.
- Best losing quarter-finalists Hungary and Portugal also qualify.
- Scotland do not compete in the Olympic Football Tournament (See Great Britain Olympic football team).