The five countries with the most European Championship final showings

The European Championship takes this summer in Germany. This is not the first time Germany hosted a major international tournament this millennium as the 2006 World Cup took place in the country. The Euros is potentially the second biggest international tournament after the World Cup. Unlike the World Cup the Euros has produced some shock winners such as Greece in 2004 and Portugal in 2016.

Other nations have etched their name in history with repeated appearances in the final, showcasing their prowess and determination on the grandest stage. In this article, we explore the top five countries with the most appearances in European Championship finals, delving into their triumphs and heartbreaks.

France – 3 times

It comes as no surprise that France have been to three European Championship finals as they always churn out talented players. Like the World Cup Les Bleus first European Championship triumph was on home soil. Michel Platini scored his ninth goal of the finals and Bruno Bellone added gloss in the final minute as France defeated Spain 2-0 in Parc Des Princes (Euro 84). The Euro 2000 final will be remembered for ages as it was the first one decided by golden goal. David Trezeguet scored the decisive goal in extra time as France beat Italy 2-1.

In 2016 , under the stewardship of Didier Deschamps, France got to the final of a home European Championship for the second time. There was little to separate these two sides before Eder’s shot outside the box won the game for Portugal in extra time.

Russia – 4 times

Russia, a nation that is not known football, has graced European Championship finals four times, leaving an indelible mark on the tournament’s history. The first final was in 1960 , when they defeated Yugoslavia  2-1 in extra time.

Russia got to the final again four years later but this time tasted defeat as they lost 2-1 to the hosts Spain. They didn’t have to wait long for their next final in (1972) which came against a supreme West Germany side. Russia didn’t have any answers for West Germany who destroyed them 3-0. It wasn’t third time lucky in their fourth final which was a 0-2 defeat to Netherlands in 1988.

Italy – 4 times

Italy, a nation celebrated for its defensive solidity and tactical acumen, has graced European Championship finals four times, clinching the trophy on two occasions. A Riva-Mazzola masterclass crowned Italy European champions  in a home tournament (Euro 68). David Trezeguet’s golden goal in Euro 2000 ensured Italy tasted defeat in their second European Championship final. The Italians were overwhelmed by Spain’s golden generation in their third European final.

The infamous final against England at the last Euros will be remembered for the penalty misses by Saka, Rashford and Sancho which ensured Italy were European champions at Wembley.

Spain – 4 times

Spain became European champions as hosts in 1964 after narrowly defeating Soviet Union. La Roja had to wait two decades for their next final which was a 2-0 defeat to hosts France. Prior to their golden generation (2008-12) Spain were known as the great underachievers in world football as they had not won a major trophy since 1964. They rectified this tag with two successive European Championships against Germany and Italy in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Germany – 6 times

Germany, a nation known for its efficiency and resilience, holds the record for most appearances in European Championship finals, with six entries into the grand stage. Die Mannschaft’s journey began in 1972, when they comprehensively dispatched  Soviet Union 3-0. The 1976 final saw West Germany face heartbreak on penalties to Czechoslovakia. West Germany returned to the final in the next edition, securing the title with a narrow victory over Belgium. The 1992 final ended in defeat , but Germany rectified this in the next edition when they overcame Czech Republic in extra time . Die Mannschaft’s last final (Euro 2008) was a narrow 1-0 defeat to Spain who were just beginning their golden generation.

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