2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship
|Mistrovství Evropy ve fotbale hráčů do 21 let 2015|
|Host country||Czech Republic|
|Dates||17–30 June 2015|
|Teams||8 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||4 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Sweden (1st title)|
|Goals scored||37 (2.47 per match)|
|Attendance||162,994 (10,866 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Jan Kliment (3 goals)|
|Best player(s)||William Carvalho|
The 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship was the 20th edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, a biennial international football competition for men's under-21 national teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament was hosted for the first time in the Czech Republic from 15 to 30 June 2015, after their bid was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee on 20 March 2012 in Istanbul.
Players born on or after 1 January 1992 were eligible to participate in the competition. Fifty-two teams participated in a qualification tournament, taking place between March 2013 and October 2014, to determine the seven teams that would join the final tournament hosts. Holders Spain were not able to defend their title after being eliminated in the qualification play-offs by Serbia.
In the final, played at the Eden Arena in Prague, Sweden defeated Portugal 4–3 in a penalty shootout, after a goalless draw at the end of extra-time. In doing so, the Swedish team won their first title in this competition, having previously lost the 1992 final, and secured their first-ever title in UEFA youth competitions on the men's side.
Qualification for the final tournament of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship consisted of two rounds: a group stage and a play-off round. The group stage draw took place on 31 January 2013 in Nyon, Switzerland, and distributed 52 national teams into ten groups of five or six teams. Each group was contested in a double round-robin system, where teams played each other twice, at home and away. The ten group winners and the four best second-placed teams advanced to the play-off round, where they were paired by draw into seven two-legged ties. The play-off winners joined the Czech Republic in the final tournament.
The following teams qualified for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament:
|Country||Qualified as||Previous appearances in tournament1|
only U-21 era (since 1978)
|Czech Republic||Hosts||11 (19785, 19805, 19885, 19905, 19925, 19945, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011)|
|Denmark||Playoff winner (against Iceland)||5 (1978, 1986, 1992, 2006, 2011)|
|England||Playoff winner (against Croatia)||12 (1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)|
|Germany||Playoff winner (against Ukraine)||11 (19822, 19842, 19882, 19902, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013)|
|Italy||Playoff winner (against Slovakia)||17 (1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013)|
|Portugal||Playoff winner (against Netherlands)||6 (1994, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007)|
|Serbia||Playoff winner (against Spain)||8 (19783, 19803, 19843, 19903, 20044, 20064, 2007, 2009)|
|Sweden||Playoff winner (against France)||6 (1986, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2009)|
- 1 Bold indicates champion for that year. Italic indicates host for that year.
- 2 As West Germany
- 3 As Yugoslavia
- 5 As Czechoslovakia
|Eden Arena||Generali Arena||Andrův stadion||Stadion Miroslava Valenty|
|Capacity: 20,800||Capacity: 19,784||Capacity: 12,566||Capacity: 8,121|
Six refereeing teams took charge of matches at the final tournament:
|Country||Referee||Assistant referees||Additional assistant referees|
|France||Clément Turpin||Frédéric Cano
|Greece||Anastasios Sidiropoulos||Damianos Efthymiadis
|Netherlands||Danny Makkelie||Mario Diks
|Poland||Szymon Marciniak||Paweł Sokolnicki
|Russia||Sergei Karasev||Anton Averyanov
|Spain||Javier Estrada Fernández||Miguel Martínez Munuera
Teodoro Sobrino Magán
|Alejandro Hernández Hernández|
Jesús Gil Manzano
|Czech Republic||Jan Paták|
The draw for the final tournament took place at 18:00 CET on 6 November 2014, at the Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague. England, the highest-ranked team according to the competition coefficient rankings, and the host team, Czech Republic, were seeded and automatically assigned to separate groups. The second and third-ranked teams in the coefficient rankings, Italy and Germany, were also seeded and drawn into separate groups, while the four unseeded teams were drawn into the remaining positions of the two groups.
|Top seeds||Second seeds||Unseeded|
Each national team had to submit a squad of 23 players, three of whom had to be goalkeepers. If a player was injured or ill severely enough to prevent his participation in the tournament before his team's first match, he could be replaced by another player.
Format of competitions
The eight finalists were drawn into two groups of four teams. As hosts, Czech Republic were seeded in group A, while England, the best-ranked team in the UEFA coefficient ranking, were seeded in group B. In each group, teams played matches against each other in a round-robin system, and the top two teams advanced to the semi-finals.
After the conclusion of the group stage, the following four teams from UEFA qualified for the Olympic football tournament.
If two or more teams were equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following tie-breaking criteria were applied:
- Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
- Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
- Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
If, after having applied criteria 1 to 3, teams still had an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 3 were reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure did not lead to a decision, criteria 4 to 6 were applied.
- Superior goal difference in all group matches;
- Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
- Position in the UEFA under-21 coefficient ranking used for the final draw.
If only two teams were tied (according to criteria 1–5) after having met in the last match of the group stage, their ranking would have been determined by a penalty shoot-out.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Group stage result|
|1||Denmark||3||2||0||1||4||4||0||6||Advance to knockout stage and 2016 Summer Olympics|
|3||Czech Republic (H)||3||1||1||1||6||3||+3||4|
|Kadeřábek 35'||Report||Vestergaard 56'
|Can 17'||Report||Đuričić 8'|
|Report||Kliment 7', 21', 56'
|Volland 32', 48'
|Krejčí 66'||Report||Schulz 55'|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Group stage result|
|1||Portugal||3||1||2||0||2||1||+1||5||Advance to knockout stage and 2016 Summer Olympics|
|Berardi 29' (pen.)||Report||Guidetti 56'
Kiese Thelin 86' (pen.)
|Report||João Mário 57'|
|Redmond 90+3'||Report||Belotti 25'
Benassi 27', 72'
|Paciência 82'||Report||Tibbling 89'|
|27 June – Prague|
|30 June – Prague|
|Sweden (p)||0 (4)|
|27 June – Olomouc|
|B. Silva 25'
João Mário 46'
|Bech 63'||Report||Guidetti 23' (pen.)
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Martin Frýdek
- Pavel Kadeřábek
- Ladislav Krejčí
- Uffe Bech
- Rasmus Falk
- Viktor Fischer
- Pione Sisto
- Jannik Vestergaard
- Jesse Lingard
- Nathan Redmond
- Emre Can
- Matthias Ginter
- Nico Schulz
- Andrea Belotti
- Domenico Berardi
- Ivan Cavaleiro
- Ricardo Horta
- Gonçalo Paciência
- Bernardo Silva
- Filip Đuričić
- Oscar Hiljemark
- Isaac Kiese Thelin
- Robin Quaison
The Golden Boot is given to the player who scored the most goals during the tournament.
|Golden Boot||Silver Boot||Bronze Boot|
(2 goals, 1 assist)
(2 goals, 1 assist)
Note: Assists and then minutes played (with the player boasting the better goals to minutes on the pitch ratio taking precedence) are used to separate players with the same goal tallies.
Player of the tournament
After the tournament the U21 EURO Player of the Tournament is selected by the UEFA Technical Observers.
|Player of the tournament|
Team of the tournament
After the tournament the Under-21 Team of the Tournament is selected by the UEFA Technical Observers.
|5||Czech Republic (H)||3||1||1||1||6||3||+3||4||Eliminated in|
Qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics
Same as previous Under-21 Championships that were held one year prior to the Olympics, UEFA used the tournament to determine which men's under-23 national teams from Europe qualify for the Olympic football tournament. The four teams which advanced to the semi-finals qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. However, England are ineligible for the Olympics and they are not an Olympic nation. Had England reached the semi-finals, the last Olympic spot would go to the winner of an Olympic play-off match between the two group third-placed teams, which was scheduled to be played on 28 June 2015, 18:00, at Stadion Miroslava Valenty, Uherské Hradiště. However, when England failed to advance out of the group stage, this was cancelled.[n 1]
|Team||Qualified on||Previous appearances in tournament1|
|Denmark||23 June 2015||8 (1908, 1912, 1920, 1948, 1952, 1960, 1972, 1992)|
|Germany||23 June 2015||8 (1912, 1928, 1936, 1952, 19562, 19722, 19842, 19882)|
|Portugal||24 June 2015||3 (1928, 1996, 2004)|
|Sweden||24 June 2015||9 (1908, 1912, 1920, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1988, 1992)|
- 1 Bold indicates champion for that year. Italic indicates host for that year. Statistics include all Olympic format (current Olympic under-23 format started in 1992).
- The Football Association had originally declared on 2 March 2015 its intention to enter and run teams on behalf of the British Olympic Association at the 2016 Olympics should England qualify. However, following objections from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations, as well as a commitment from FIFA that they would not allow entry of a British team unless all four Home Nations were in agreement, the Football Association announced on 30 March 2015 that they would not seek entry into the Olympic tournament. Great Britain had competed in the Olympics prior to the 1970s, and also in 2012 as the host nation.
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