European Championship Stories

In the run-up to the 2012 European Championships, we opted for a different way of telling the story of this particular competition, choosing a story related to each tournament.

European Championship Stories: 2008 – The End Of Politics

In Vienna in June of 2008, Fernando Torres broke free from his marker and shot the only goal in the final of that summers European Championships. It was a goal that ended almost half a century without a major tournament win for Spain, and it marked the calcification...

European Championship Stories: 2004 – Greek Economies Of Scale

As football entered the twenty-first century its race towards full industrialisation had more or less been completed. Resource management had become everything. In club football, scouting networks had diversified in order to fall quickly upon any young player spotted...

European Championship Stories: 2000 – Belgium, The Nearly Men

On the sixth of December 2011, Belgium finally ended a record-breaking run of five hundred and forty-one days without a formal government when new Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in by King Albert II in Brussels. Following the general election of June 2011, the...

European Championship Stories: 1996 – A Whole New Ball Game

It almost goes without saying that the near-death - and very much beyond - experiences suffered by English football during the 1980s shaped the game that we watch today. There was a time - a period from the middle to the end of that decade - when the definite feeling...

European Championship Stories: 1992 – A New Europe, But Old Enmities

This, perhaps, was not the new Europe that the leaders of the continents nations had envisaged when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in November 1989. The years between the European Championships of 1988 and 1992 were the most politically tumultuous since the end of...

European Championship Stories: 1984 – Le Veritable Roi Michel

They've been playing for one hundred and nineteen minutes on this balmy Mediterranean evening at le Stade Velodrome in Marseille and nothing, so far, has been able to separate the two teams. France, who sailed through the group stages of the 1984 European...

European Championship Stories: 1968 – A Rhapsody In Blue

In December of 1970, the Italian playwright Dario Fo released a play entitled "Morte Accidentale Di Un Anarchico" ("The Accidental Death Of An Anarchist"). Based on the aftermath of the 1969 Piazza Fontana Bombing in Milan, which killed seventeen people, it was a play...

European Championship Stories: 1964 – A Battle Of Ideologies

If the early history of the European Championships can be seen as explicitly wrapped up in the politics of the time, then Spain's victory on home ground in 1964 European Nations Cup could be regarded as one of international football's ultimate flashes in the pan. This...

European Championship Stories: 1960 – Cold War Football

There are plenty of people, not least within the governing bodies of football itself, who would have it that football and politics don't mix. This is, of course, bunkum, whether we like it or not. The game holds such influence over so many people that it sometimes...

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