UEFA Euro 2008
|Fußball-Europameisterschaft 2008 (German)
Championnat d'Europe de football 2008 (French)
Campionato Europeo di calcio 2008 (Italian)
Official logo of UEFA Euro 2008
|Dates||7 June – 29 June|
|Venue(s)||8 (in 8 host cities)|
|Champions||Spain (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||77 (2.48 per match)|
|Attendance||1,140,902 (36,803 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||David Villa (4 goals)|
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Austria and Switzerland (both hosting the tournament for the first time) from 7 to 29 June 2008. The second jointly-hosted finals in the competition's history, the tournament was eventually won by Spain, defeating Germany 1–0 in the final; becoming only the second nation to win all their group stage fixtures and win the European Championship itself; an accomplishment matched by France in 1984. Spain were also the first team since Germany in 1996 to win the tournament undefeated.
Greece were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won UEFA Euro 2004, the previous competition. They recorded the worst finish in Euro 2008, collecting the least amount of prize money and gaining no points in their three group fixtures. Throughout 31 matches, the participating nations totalled 77 goals, the same as the previous tournament. Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified as hosts; the remaining 14 teams were determined through qualifying matches, which began in August 2006. As European champions, Spain earned the right to compete for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Qualification for Euro 2008 started in August 2006, just over a month after the end of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The qualifying tournament was contested by national teams from each of UEFA's member associations, with the exceptions of Austria and Switzerland, who had automatically qualified for the finals tournament as hosts and Montenegro, who came into existence too late to be admitted to UEFA. England was the only seeded team not to qualify for the tournament proper, whereas Russia was the only unseeded one to qualify.
The draw for the finals tournament took place on 2 December 2007, and saw Group C immediately labelled as the "group of death", with Italy, France, Romania and the Netherlands competing for the two qualifying places. In contrast, Germany and Portugal were deemed to have an easy draw, as the tournament structure meant they could not meet Italy, France, the Netherlands or Spain until the final.
In the group stage, Croatia, Spain and the Netherlands all qualified with maximum points. Austria and Switzerland were not expected to progress, despite the advantage of being the hosts. In Group A, the Swiss lost their captain, Alexander Frei, to injury in their first game and became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, after losing their first two matches. Switzerland managed to beat the group winner Portugal in their last game. In Group B, Austria managed to set up a decisive final game against Germany, dubbed "Austria's final". However, they lost by one goal, making Euro 2008 the first European Championship not to have one of the host nations present in the knockout stage. In an exciting final game in Group A, an injury- and suspension-hit Turkey came back from 2–0 down to beat the Czech Republic 3–2, after an uncharacteristic handling mistake by Petr Čech, in the last few minutes, left Nihat Kahveci with the simplest of finishes. In the same game, goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was shown a red card for pushing Czech striker Jan Koller to the ground. The Turks joined Portugal as the qualifiers from Group A. France were the high-profile victims of Group C, recording just one point from a goalless draw against Romania in their opening game. Italy beat the French, on the final day, to finish on four points and joining the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Finally, in Group D, Greece failed to reproduce the form of their shock 2004 win, and ended the tournament with no points. Russia qualified at the expense of Sweden, after beating them in a final game decider, joining Spain in the knockout stage.
In the quarter-finals, the Portuguese team was unable to give their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, a fitting send-off – following the mid-tournament announcement that Scolari would be leaving to join English club Chelsea – losing in an exciting game against Germany. Turkey continued their streak of last-gasp wins, equalising at the end of extra-time against Croatia and advancing on penalties. Coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink, Russia eliminated the Netherlands with two extra-time goals. The last quarter-final match saw Spain defeat Italy on penalties, after a goalless draw in regular time.
Turkey's progress was halted by Germany at the semi-final stage. Turkey entered the game with nine of their squad members missing due to injury or suspension, but still scored the first goal. Later, they leveled the score at 2–2, before Germany scored the winning goal in the final minute. The world television feed of the match was intermittently lost during the match, which prevented the broadcast of Germany's second goal. This was due to a thunderstorm at the broadcasting relay station in Austria, despite the game being played in Switzerland. Spain won the second semi-final against Russia by three goals to nil, through second-half goals from Xavi, Daniel Güiza and David Silva, earning Spain their first appearance in a major final for 24 years.
In the final, held at Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Spain became European champions for the second time after Fernando Torres' first-half goal proved enough to defeat Germany. Though Germany had a strong start, Spain started to look more dangerous after they had settled. After half an hour, Xavi played a pass in behind the Germany back line towards Torres, who outmuscled a hesitant Philipp Lahm and clipped the ball over the diving Jens Lehmann and just inside the far post. That goal proved to be the only goal of the game, which Spain dominated despite Germany having the majority of the possession, and Spain were crowned UEFA Euro 2008 champions.
Bid process 
Austria and Switzerland jointly bid to host the games, and faced major competition from Greece/Turkey, Scotland/Republic of Ireland, Russia, Hungary, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina and a 4-way Nordic bid from Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Finland. Austria had previously bid to host Euro 2004 with Hungary, but they eventually lost out to Portugal.
Austria/Switzerland, Greece/Turkey, and Hungary were recommended before the final vote. Greece and Turkey were rejected and let Hungary and Austria/Switzerland battle for the win.
The Austria/Switzerland bid is the second successful joint bid in the competition's history, following the UEFA Euro 2000 hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. The following tournament, held in Poland and Ukraine, became the third jointly-hosted tournament.
The tournament was played at eight venues throughout the two host nations; four in Austria and four in Switzerland. Each venue had a capacity of at least 30,000 for the tournament; the largest stadium was Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna with a capacity of 53,295. It was for this reason that Ernst-Happel-Stadion hosted the final. Switzerland played all of their group stage matches at St. Jakob Park in Basel, which also hosted the opening match of the tournament as a compromise for the final being held in Vienna. Austria played all of their group stage matches at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
In 2004, the Zurich venue became a problem for the organisers. Originally, the Hardturm stadium was to be renovated and used as the city's venue, but legal challenges delayed the plan to a point that would not have allowed the ground to be used in 2008. This created a problem, as the agreement between UEFA and the organizers stipulated that four venues would be used in each country. The problem was solved when the organizers proposed renovating Letzigrund instead; UEFA approved the revised plan in January 2005. The Letzigrund stadium hosted its first football match on 23 September 2007.
|3 matches in Group B
1 semi-final and
|3 matches in Group B||3 matches in Group D||3 matches in Group D|
|Stade de Genève
|Stade de Suisse
|3 matches in Group A||3 matches in Group A
(incl. opening match),
2 quarter-final and
|3 matches in Group C||3 matches in Group C|
The qualifying process commenced a month after the 2006 World Cup. Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified for the tournament finals as host nations.
The qualifying format was changed compared to previous tournaments. The winners and runners-up from seven groups automatically qualified for the Championship, with the hosts filling the other two slots in the 16-team tournament. The change means there were no play-offs between teams finishing in second place in the groups – they qualified directly for the finals. Teams that finished in third place had no opportunity to qualify. Six of the qualifying groups contained seven teams, and the other, Group A, contained eight.
Qualified teams 
|Country||Qualified as||Date qualification was secured||Previous appearances in tournament1|
|Austria||Co-hosts||12 December 2002||0(debut)|
|Switzerland||Co-hosts||12 December 2002||21996, 2004)(|
|Poland||Group A winner||17 November 2007||0(debut)|
|Portugal||Group A runner-up||21 November 2007||4 (1984, 1996, 2000, 2004)|
|Italy||Group B winner||17 November 2007||61968, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004)(|
|France||Group B runner-up||17 November 2007||61960, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)(|
|Greece||Group C winner||17 October 2007||21980, 2004)(|
|Turkey||Group C runner-up||21 November 2007||21996, 2000)(|
|Czech Republic||Group D winner||17 October 2007||619603, 19763, 19803, 1996, 2000, 2004)(|
|Germany||Group D runner-up||13 October 2007||9 (19724, 19764, 19804, 19844, 19884, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)|
|Croatia||Group E winner||17 November 2007||21996, 2004)(|
|Russia||Group E runner-up||21 November 2007||8 (19605, 19645, 19685, 19725, 19885, 19926, 1996, 2004)|
|Spain||Group F winner||17 November 2007||71964, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004)(|
|Sweden||Group F runner-up||21 November 2007||31992, 2000, 2004)(|
|Romania||Group G winner||17 October 2007||31984, 1996, 2000)(|
|Netherlands||Group G runner-up||17 November 2007||71976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)(|
1 Bold indicates champion for that year
2 Italic indicates host for that year
3 as Czechoslovakia
4 as West Germany
5 as Soviet Union
6 as CIS
In a return to the format used at Euro 92 and Euro 96 the games in each group were held at just two stadia, with the seeded team remaining in the same city for all three matches. As was the case at the 2000 and 2004 finals, the finalists were divided into four seeding pots, based on average points per game in the qualifying phases of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2008, with each group having one team from each pot. Switzerland and Austria, as co-hosts, and Greece, as defending champions, were seeded first automatically. The Netherlands were seeded based on their UEFA coefficient in the Euro 2008 finalists ranking.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
Impact of seedings 
This seeding affects the teams that countries will face in the tournament proper i.e. teams with high coefficients are put in the draw in separate pots and will avoid equally-matched teams until the latter stages. Switzerland and Austria (as hosts) and Greece (as defending champions) had the three highest coefficients, followed by the Netherlands.
Ranking table 
|Rank||Team||Coefficient||Recent matches||Average goal difference|
|7||Czech Republic||2.333||2.417||+ 1.875|
2 Defending Champions
UEFA came under heavy criticism from Raymond Domenech, manager of France, who was not satisfied with his team's position in the draw  and was also in favour of having 2006 FIFA World Cup winners Italy as top seed.  On November 22, 2007, Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA's professional football director announced a review of the coefficient ranking system is under way for future Euro competitions. 
For the list of all squads that played in the tournament, see UEFA Euro 2008 squads.
Match officials 
Twelve referees and twenty four assistants were selected for the tournament:
Group stage 
Tie-breaking criteria 
For the three game group stage of this tournament, where two or more teams in a group tied on an equal number of points, the finishing positions were determined by the following tie-breaking criteria in the following order:
- number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question
- goal difference in the matches among the teams in question
- number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points)
- goal difference in all the group matches
- number of goals scored in all the group matches
- coefficient from the qualifying competitions for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2006/08 UEFA European Football Championship (points obtained divided by the number of matches played)
- fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament)
- drawing of lots
However, these criteria would not apply if two teams tied on points and goals scored played against each other in their final group match and no other team in group finishes with same points; in that case, the tie would be broken by a penalty shootout.
Group A 
|7 June 2008|
|11 June 2008|
|15 June 2008|
- Notes on the tie-breaking situation
- Portugal and Turkey are ranked by their head-to-head records
- Czech Republic and Switzerland are ranked by their head-to-head records
Group B 
|8 June 2008|
|12 June 2008|
|16 June 2008|
- Notes on the tie-breaking situation
- Austria and Poland are ranked by goal difference in all of their group games as their head-to-head result was a 1–1 draw.
Group C 
|9 June 2008|
|13 June 2008|
|17 June 2008|
Group D 
|10 June 2008|
|14 June 2008|
|18 June 2008|
Knockout phase 
The knockout stage was different from that of past tournaments. Teams in groups A and B were separated from teams in groups C and D until the final. This increased the chance of a group fixture being replayed in the knockout stage, and rendered impossible a final between two teams drawn in the same half of the tournament. Also, in another major change, for the first time in a European Championship, only two venues (St. Jakob-Park, Basel and Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna—the two largest of the eight stadiums used) were used for the seven matches in the knockout stage of the tournament.
|19 June – Basel|
|25 June – Basel|
|20 June – Vienna|
|29 June – Vienna|
|Turkey (p)||1 (3)|
|21 June – Basel|
|26 June – Vienna|
|22 June – Vienna|
|Spain (p)||0 (4)|
|19 June 2008
|Portugal||2–3||Germany||St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Referee: Peter Fröjdfeldt (Sweden)
|Nuno Gomes 40'
|20 June 2008
|Croatia||1–1 (a.e.t.)||Turkey||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)
|Klasnić 119'||Report||Semih 120+2'|
|21 June 2008
|Netherlands||1–3 (a.e.t.)||Russia||St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Referee: Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovakia)
|Van Nistelrooy 86'||Report||Pavlyuchenko 56'
|22 June 2008
|Spain||0–0 (a.e.t.)||Italy||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna
Referee: Herbert Fandel (Germany)
|25 June 2008
|Germany||3–2||Turkey||St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)
|26 June 2008
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
|29 June 2008
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
The UEFA Technical Team was charged with naming a squad composed of the 23 best players over the course of the tournament. The group of nine analysts watched every game at the tournament before making their decision after the final. Nine players from the winning Spanish team were named in the team of the tournament, while no players knocked out in the group stage were included. The UEFA Technical Team also had to pick a Player of the Tournament, taking fans' votes into account. The player chosen was Spain midfielder Xavi. The Golden Boot was awarded to yet another Spaniard, David Villa, who scored four goals, three of which came in his side's 4–1 win over Russia (the only hat-trick scored in the tournament).
- UEFA Team of the Tournament
- Golden Boot
- David Villa (4 goals)
- UEFA Player of the Tournament
At UEFA Euro 2008, players may be suspended from playing in subsequent matches upon the collection of a certain number of yellow or red cards. If a player is shown a red card – whether as a result of two bookable offences or a straight red – that player is suspended from playing in his team's next match. If his team is eliminated from the competition before the end of his suspension, the games carry over to the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches. A player is also suspended for one match for picking up two yellow cards in separate matches. However, any yellow cards accumulated are annulled once a team is eliminated from the tournament or reaches the semi-finals.
In extreme cases of ill-discipline, UEFA may choose to have a disciplinary panel examine the incident in order to determine whether or not further suspension is required. One case of this at Euro 2008 was the suspension of Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel for two matches for pushing Czech striker Jan Koller.
The following players were suspended for one or more games as a result of red cards or yellow card accumulation:
|Andrei Arshavin||in Euro qualifying v Andorra||Group D v Spain
Group D v Greece
|Suspension due to red card in
last game of qualifying Group E
|Bastian Schweinsteiger||in Group B v Croatia||Group B v Austria|
|Sebastian Prödl|| in Group B v Croatia
in Group B v Poland
|Group B v Germany|
|Dorin Goian|| in Group C v France
in Group C v Italy
|Group C v Netherlands|
|Mehmet Aurélio|| in Group A v Switzerland
in Group A v Czech Republic
|Quarter-final v Croatia|
|Volkan Demirel||in Group A v Czech Republic||Quarter-final v Croatia
Semi-final v Germany
|Suspension increased to two
games for serious violent conduct
|Éric Abidal||in Group C v Italy||World Cup qualifying v Austria||Suspension to be served in World Cup
qualifying Group 7
|Andrea Pirlo|| in Group C v Romania
in Group C v France
|Quarter-final v Spain|
|Gennaro Gattuso|| in Group C v Netherlands
in Group C v France
|Quarter-final v Spain|
|Tuncay Şanlı|| in Group A v Switzerland
in Quarter-final v Croatia
|Semi-final v Germany|
|Arda Turan|| in Group A v Czech Republic
in Quarter-final v Croatia
|Semi-final v Germany|
|Emre Aşık|| in Group A v Czech Republic
in Quarter-final v Croatia
|Semi-final v Germany|
|Denis Kolodin|| in Group D v Sweden
in Quarter-final v Netherlands
|Semi-final v Spain|
|Dmitri Torbinski|| in Group D v Greece
in Quarter-final v Netherlands
|Semi-final v Spain|
Penalty kicks 
Not counting penalty shoot-outs, there were five penalty kicks awarded during the tournament. For the first time since tournament expansion for Euro 96, no penalties were awarded during the knockout stage. Romanian Adrian Mutu provided the sole penalty miss, late in the match against world champions Italy; had he scored and Romania held on for the win, the Italians would have been knocked out.
- Luka Modrić for Croatia v Austria
- Ivica Vastić for Austria v Poland
- Andrea Pirlo for Italy v France
- Hakan Yakin for Switzerland v Portugal
New trophy 
A new trophy was awarded to the winners of the Euro 2008 tournament. The new version of the Henri Delaunay Trophy, created by Asprey London, is almost an exact replica of the original designed by Arthus-Bertrand. A small figure juggling a ball on the back of the original has been removed, as has the marble plinth. The silver base of the trophy also had to be enlarged to make it stable. The names of the winning countries that had appeared on the plinth have now been engraved on the back of the trophy, which is made of sterling silver, weighs 8 kilograms (17.6 lb) and is 60 centimetres (24 in) tall.
Match ball 
The match ball for the finals was unveiled at the draw ceremony. Produced by Adidas and named the Europass, it is a 14-panel ball in the same construction as the Teamgeist, but with a modified surface design. A version named the Europass Gloria was used in the final.
There were concerns raised about the match ball, which was claimed to deviate unpredictably in flight, making it difficult to judge for goalkeepers. Notable players to criticise were Germany's Jens Lehmann and the Czech Republic's Petr Čech. These claims were disputed by the ball's designer, Oliver Kahn.
The official melody was composed by Rollo Armstrong of Faithless on behalf of UEFA. The official Euro 2008 song was "Can You Hear Me" by Enrique Iglesias, which was performed live during the official closing ceremony prior to the final in Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna on 29 June.
Two soundtracks, "Like a Superstar" and "Feel the Rush," were recorded by Jamaican reggae artist Shaggy as mascot songs for Euro 2008. They formed a musical background to video clips featuring the twin mascots Trix and Flix.
The official Swiss song for the tournament was a new version of "Bring en hei" (Bring him Home) by Baschi. Christina Stürmer sang the official tournament song of Austrian ÖFB, "Fieber" (Fever). Croatia manager Slaven Bilić recorded his country's official Euro 2008 song, "Vatreno ludilo" ("Fiery Madness"), with his rock group, Rawbau.
"Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes was played when players walked out before kick-off, and a remix of "Samba de Janeiro" by German dance group Bellini was played after each goal scored in the competition.
The two official mascots for UEFA Euro 2008, were named after a vote from the public of the two host nations from the following options:
- Zigi and Zagi
- Flitz and Bitz
- Trix and Flix
After receiving 36.3% of the vote, Trix and Flix were chosen. "I am sure the mascots and their names will become a vital part of the understanding of the whole event," said Christian Mutschler, who is the tournament director for Switzerland.
The slogan for UEFA Euro 2008 was chosen on 24 January 2007: Expect Emotions.
The UEFA President Michel Platini stated "It describes in a nutshell what the UEFA Euro 2008 has to offer: all kinds of emotions – joy, disappointment, relief or high tension – right up to the final whistle."
Commemorative coins 
To celebrate this occasion, some countries in Europe issued special commemorative coins. Among them were the Austrian €5 2008 European championship commemorative coins (two coins). One coin shows players dribbling, while the other coin shows a striker trying to reach the ball. In the pieces, all eight venues of the 2008 finals, are depicted.
Prize money 
- Prize for participating: €7.5 million
Extra payment based on teams performances:
- Winner: €7.5 million
- Runner-up: €4.5 million
- Semi-finals: €3 million
- Quarter-finals: €2 million
- Group stage (per match):
- Win: €1 million
- Draw: €500,000
Spain, as winners of the tournament and winners of all three of their group stage matches, received a total prize of €23 million, the maximum possible prize money. Greece on the other hand, being the only team to lose all three of their group matches, were the only team to receive nothing more than the €7.5 million participation prize.
Broadcasting rights 
- Spain was not obliged to participate in the Confederations Cup, but chose to do so. Prior to 2004, the European and South American champions were obliged to participate in the Confederations Cup, but a FIFA ruling changed this in 2004.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 2008 European Football Championship|
- Official Euro 2008 Site Archived
- UEFA Euro 2008 at the Official UEFA Site
- UEFA Euro 2008 Coverage at BBC
- UEFA Euro 2008 Coverage at ESPN