With Euro 2024 in full swing, brush up on all the major European Championship records.

European Championship Records: Contents

Team Records
••• Past Winners ••• Host Nation Performances ••• Highest Scoring Games ••• Biggest Wins ••• Penalty Shootouts •••

Player Records
••• Top Scorers ••• Most Goals at One Tournament ••• Most Appearances ••• Oldest Scorers ••• Oldest Players ••• Youngest Scorers ••• Youngest Players ••• Hat-Tricks ••• Fastest Goals •••

Team Records

Which Teams Have Won the European Championship?

Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Euro 2020 final to become just one of four nations to have won the European Championship more than once. Those nations are Spain and Germany (3 each) and Italy and France (2 each).

In total, 10 countries have won Europe’s biggest international prize – Russia (as the Soviet Union) were the inaugural champions in 1960, beating Yugoslavia 2-1 after extra-time in the final, though several major countries didn’t enter that competition, which wasn’t a ‘tournament proper’ until the semi-final stage.

It wasn’t until 1980 that the European Championship introduced a group stage to the tournament proper and West Germany went on to win it, that being their second title after 1972. They’ve added one other title since, in 1996 – they are one of just two countries to win the competition three times.

The others are Spain, whose 1964 success was belatedly followed by the glory of their Golden Generation in 2008 and 2012, either side of also winning the 2010 World Cup. La Roja’s success in 2012 saw them become the first team to win consecutive European Championships and three major international tournaments in a row.

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Spain at Euro 2012

Host Nation Performances at the European Championship

Only three European Championship host nations have gone on to win the trophy, with the most recent being France way back in 1984. Italy (1968) and Spain (1964) enjoyed glory on home territory in successive tournaments.

Otherwise, however, being the host nation hasn’t necessarily brought success – though the notion of success is relative. Sweden reached the semi-finals as hosts in 1992, their first participation in the tournament, and have never gone as far since, only getting to the last eight in 2004.

Prior to 2024, Germany last hosted the Euros in 1988 as West Germany and enjoyed a run to the semi-finals but ultimately lost 2-1 to Rinus Michels’ Netherlands, even though Lothar Matthäus had given them the lead from the spot. A Ronald Koeman penalty levelled matters and Marco van Basten’s effort on the stretch sealed a late win for the Oranje en route to what remains their only major international success.

This time, however, Germany only went as far as the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Spain.

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Lothar Matthaus of Germany at Euro 1988

Highest Scoring European Championship Games

Incredibly, the highest-scoring European Championship game in history was also the opening match of the inaugural 1960 tournament as Yugoslavia beat hosts France 5-4. No Euros game since has seen as many as nine goals scored by the two teams.

What made that scoreline even more astonishing was the fact it was 1-1 at half-time. Seven goals were scored in the second period; only one other game in Euros history has ever had more than seven in a whole match.

Of the top five highest-scoring matches, Yugoslavia feature three times, though this instance was the only one of the three in which they came out victorious.

The only other game to feature more than seven goals occurred at Euro 2020, when Spain beat Croatia 5-3 in a thriller at Parken in Copenhagen.

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Biggest European Championship Win

As joint hosts of Euro 2000, the Netherlands gave the home crowd in Rotterdam a performance to savour in a 6-1 thrashing of Yugoslavia, which remains the only time in European Championship history that a side has scored six or more goals.

Four other teams have won 5-0, including Spain at Euro 2020.

Netherlands vs Yugoslavia at Euro 2000

A quarter-final tie, Netherlands-Yugoslavia was as one-sided as the scoreline suggested, with Patrick Kluivert giving the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break, having been supplied by assists from Dennis Bergkamp and Edgar Davids. An own goal effectively put the game to bed, but Kluivert completed his hat-trick before Marc Overmars added two of his own. Savo Milošević got the consolation.

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European Championship Penalty Shootouts

There have been 22 penalty shootouts in European Championship history ahead of the Euro 2024 knockout stages.

The first ever, in the 1976 final, included one of the most iconic penalties of all time as Antonín Panenka disguised a delicate chipped effort into the goal to secure Czechoslovakia the title.

The only other shootout to occur in the final was also the most recent instance of penalties at the Euros; Italy defeated England 3-2 in a penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium to win Euro 2020.

England vs Italy at Euro 2020

But those two examples only scratch the surface of the history of penalty shootouts at the European Championship.

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Player Records

European Championship Top Scorers

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most goals in Euros history with his haul of 14 – it’s a record he was unable to extend in Germany, though the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still at least five goals clear of anyone else.

Ronaldo has scored at five European Championships in total. He got a couple when Portugal hosted the competition in 2004 before also netting in 2008 (1), 2012 (3), 2016 (3) and 2020 (5), finishing as joint-top scorer with Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick in the latter.

Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2020

Curiously, the player closest to Ronaldo is former France star Michel Platini, who scored all nine of his European Championship goals in a single edition, and that remains the most anyone has ever scored in a single Euros tournament. Those were all scored as France won the tournament as hosts in 1984.

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Most Goals at a Single European Championship (Player)

Michel Platini holds the record for the most goals scored at a single edition of the Euros after netting nine times as France won Euro 1984 as the hosts.

In fact, that’s the only European Championship tournament Platini ever scored in and this feat is made even more impressive considering only eight teams contested the Euros in 1984.

Six of his nine strikes at Euro 84 consisted of back-to-back hat-tricks in the group stage, inspiring the 5-0 thrashing of Belgium and a 3-2 win over Yugoslavia after also getting the only goal of the game in Les Bleus’ opener. Platini was then decisive in the semi-final against Portugal, netting a 119th-minute extra-time winner; he also scored in the final win over Spain, meaning he found the net in all five matches.

No one else has ever scored more than six at a single European Championship tournament.

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Michel Platini at Euro 1984

Most European Championship Appearances

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most appearances by a player at the Euros with 30 after competing at Euro 2024.

He first appeared in the European Championship during the 2004 edition when Portugal were hosts, reaching the final before losing to surprise champions Greece.

Ronaldo did go on to enjoy Euros success eventually, however, helping Portugal to the title in 2016. Euro 2024 is his sixth Euros tournament.

Ronaldo’s teammate Pepe also claimed outright second place after featuring prominently at Euro 2024. He has made 23 appearances at the tournament, three more than Manuel Neuer.

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Ronaldo and Pepe at Euro 2016

Oldest Scorers at a European Championship

Luka Modric’s became the oldest scorer in Euros history thanks to his close-range strike against Italy in Croatia’s final group game.

Coming just 33 seconds after having a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, Modric was 38 years and 289 days old and thus saw him break a record that had stood since Euro 2008.

Back then, Ivica Vastic slotted home a stoppage-time penalty for co-hosts Austria, rescuing a 1-1 draw against Poland. Vastic was aged 38 years and 257 days old at the time.

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Oldest Players at a European Championship

This record changed hands at Euro 2024, with Pepe (41 years, 113 days) overtaking former Hungary goalkeeper Gábor Király as the oldest player to have ever played at a European Championship when he started for Portugal against Czech Republic on Matchday 1.

The Portuguese defender then extended his own record with every game he played; he was 41 years, 130 days old when Portugal played France in the quarter-finals. He was more than two years older than Lothar Matthäus – the previous record holder for oldest outfielder – had been when he featured at Euro 2000.

Matthäus held the record for 16 years before Király broke it at Euro 2016.

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Pepe Portugal v Czechia

Youngest Scorers at a European Championship

Every European Championship has its breakout talents, some even leave indelible marks in the record books; Lamine Yamal is the one this time.

It had been a while since the record for youngest scorer changed hands, though Yamal took the honour for himself with his stunning long-range strike in Spain’s 2-1 semi-final win over France.

Yamal was 16 years, 362 days old when he curled beyond Mike Maignan, and it’s difficult to imagine that record ever being broken.

Johan Vonlanthen was the previous record holders for the youngest goalscorer in European Championship history; he was 18 years and 141 days old when he netted for Switzerland against France at Euro 2004.

Bixente Lizarazu and Johan Vonlanthen at Euro 2004

That came just a few days after Wayne Rooney (18y, 237d) had broken the record for England, coincidentally against Vonlanthen’s Switzerland.

Rooney was the first 18-year-old to score at the Euros. Before him, the record had stood for two days shy of 20 years.

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Youngest Players at a European Championship

Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal became the youngest player in Euros history at Euro 2024, featuring against Croatia aged 16 years and 338 days. The young winger was given a start by Spain boss Luis de la Fuente after a productive 2023-24 campaign in La Liga for the Catalan giants.

Lamine Yamal v Croatia

He surpassed Poland’s Kacper Kozlowski, who was the second player to break the record at the delayed Euro 2020 after it had stood for nine years since June 2012. In fact, three of the six youngest players in Euros history made their bows at Euro 2020.

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European Championship Hat-Tricks

This will almost certainly come as a surprise, but in 674 European Championship matches (pre-Euro 2024) since its inception in 1960, there have only been eight hat-tricks scored at the finals, and just one of those has come since Euro 2000.

Michel Platini vs Belgium at Euro 1984

Michel Platini is the one player to score more than a single hat-trick at the Euros, netting trebles in successive matches at Euro 84 as his record haul of nine goals led France to the trophy on home territory.

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Fastest Goals in European Championship History

Dmitri Kirichenko’s goal for Russia against Greece clocked in at 65 seconds (01:05) and stood as the fastest goal in Euros history for 20 years until Albania’s Nedim Bajrami netted at Euro 2024.

He took advantage of a poor throw from Italy left-back Federico Dimarco to score against the Azzurri after just 23 seconds. Italy came back to win 2-1, but Bajrami had the record in the bag as a consolation.

But there are plenty more fastest-goal records at the European Championship. How about the quickest goal in a final? Or the fastest penalty to be awarded? Check them all out here.

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Bajrami goal v Italy

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