UEFA Euro 2008

UEFA Euro 2008

Infobox International Football Competition
tourney_name = UEFA Euro 2008
year =
other_titles = Fußball-Europameisterschaft 2008 "de icon"
Championnat d'Europe de football 2008 "fr icon"
Campionato europeo di calcio 2008 "it icon"
Campiunadi d'Europa da ballape 2008 "rm icon"

size = 300px
caption = UEFA Euro 2008 official logo
country = Austria
country2 = Switzerland
dates = 7 June – 29 June
num_teams = 16
venues = 8
cities = 8
champion = ESP
count = 2
second = GER
third_other = fb|TUR
matches = 31
goals = 77
attendance = 1140902
top_scorer = flagicon|ESP David Villa (4 goals)
player = flagicon|ESP Xavi
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. The tournament, which was hosted by Austria and Switzerland, began on 7 June 2008, and concluded with the final at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna on 29 June 2008. The second jointly-hosted edition 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—a milestone also achieved 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 edition of the competition. However, they recorded amongst the worst finishes in Euro 2008, collecting the least amount of prize money and gaining no points in their only 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. [Spain will not be obliged to participate in the Confederations Cup. 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.
cite web |url=http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/releases/newsid=95756.html |title=2005/2006 season: final worldwide matchday to be 14 May 2006 |date=19 December 2004 |publisher=FIFA.com |accessdate=2008-06-14


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. Austria fared slightly better in Group B, managing to set up a decisive final game against Germany, dubbed "Austria's final".fact|date=June 2008 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, Dani 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, [cite web |url=http://www.euro2008.uefa.com/tournament/matches/match=301696/statistics/index.html |title=Match statistics |accessdate=2008-06-30 |date=2008-06-29 |publisher=euro2008.uefa.com ] 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 2012 competition in Poland and Ukraine is scheduled to become 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. [cite web |url=http://www.fussballtempel.net/em2008/stadien.html |title=UEFA EURO 2008 |accessdate=2008-06-08 |publisher=fussballtempel.net ] 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 Zürich 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. [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/organisation/venueguide/city=16/newsid=312773.html |title=Zurich - Letzigrund Stadion ]

Match officials

Twelve referees and twenty four assistants were selected for the tournament: [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/news/kind=1/newsid=639895.html |title=UEFA Euro 2008 referees ]

;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 records are identical.

Group C

;Golden Boot
*flagicon|ESP David Villa (4 goals)

;UEFA Player of the Tournament
*flagicon|ESP Xavi


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. [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/multimediafiles/download/regulations/uefa/others/69/90/33/699033_download.pdf |title=Directives on yellow cards in the EURO 2008 competition |accessdate=2008-06-20 |date=2006-07-11 |publisher=UEFA ]

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. [cite news |title=Volkan Demirel banned |url=http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/magazine/edition=721617/newsid=721557/ |publisher=euro2008.uefa.com |date=2008-06-19 |accessdate=2008-06-20 ]

The following players were suspended for one or more games as a result of red cards or yellow card accumulation:


Television coverage failure

Three times in the second half of the semi-final between Germany and Turkey, nearly the entire global television coverage of the game was interrupted. A thunderstorm over Vienna caused technical difficulties in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), which relayed the television feed from the match in Basel, Switzerland, resulting in one or more goals being missed by various audiences. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/euro_2008/7474598.stm |title=Uefa may face action over outage |date=2008-06-25 |accessdate=2008-06-26 |publisher=BBC News] Various national broadcasters took emergency contingency measures such as reverting to radio broadcasting (for example, the BBC used coverage from Radio 5 Live). [cite news |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/26/bbc.television1?gusrc=rss&feed=technologyfull |title=Euro 2008 semi-final thriller hit by TV blackouts |accessdate=2008-06-26 |publisher=guardian.co.uk ] Only the Swiss public broadcaster SRG maintained full coverage since it used a direct signal other than the IBC's. [cite news |first=Eric |last=Pfanner |url=http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/26/business/storm.php |title=Euro broadcasters scramble in storm |date=2008-06-26 |accessdate=2008-06-27 |publisher=International Herald Tribune ]

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, [cite web |url=http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/history/background/trophy/ |title=New trophy announced at UEFA site ] 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 convert|8|kg|lb|1 and is convert|60|cm|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. [cite news |title=adidas "EUROPASS" – the match ball with "goose bumps" for UEFA EURO 2008 |url=http://www.press.adidas.com/DesktopDefault.aspx/tabid-11/16_read-8454/ |publisher=adidas |location=Lucerne/Herzogenaurach |date=2007-12-02 |accessdate=2007-12-04 ] A version named the "Europass Gloria" was used in the final. [cite news |title=Final ball rolled out in Vienna |url=http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/news/kind=2097152/newsid=688323.html |publisher=euro2008.uefa.com |date=2008-04-30 |accessdate=2008-05-30 ]

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. [cite news |title=Cech concerned by Euro 2008 ball |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/euro_2008/czech_republic/7439862.stm |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2008-06-06 |accessdate=2008-06-06 ] 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.cite web |url=http://www.euro2008.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/PressConference/Competitions/MediaServices/66/52/88/665288_DOWNLOAD.pdf |title=The official UEFA EURO 2008™ music |date=2008-02-28 |publisher=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. [cite web |url=http://www.euro2008.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/MediaRelease/Competitions/MediaServices/69/80/81/698081_DOWNLOAD.pdf |title=Official UEFA EURO 2008™ Song: "Can You Hear Me" by Enrique Iglesias |date=2008-05-20 |publisher=UEFA |accessdate=2008-06-20 ]

As well as the official song, 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" by Baschi, [ [http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/MediaRelease/Competitions/MediaServices/69/80/81/698081_DOWNLOAD.pdf Official UEFA EURO 2008 Song: "Can You Hear Me" by Enrique Iglesias] ] Christina Stürmer sings the official tournament song of Austrian ÖFB, "Fieber" ("Fever"). [ [http://sport.orf.at/?href=http%3A%2F%2Fsport.orf.at%2Fticker%2F283601.html Christina Stürmers offizieller EM-Song heißt "Fieber"] on "orf.at"] Croatia manager, Slaven Bilić has 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. [ [http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/06/is_seven_nation_army_the_indie.html Seven Nation Army: the indiest football anthem ever?] , "The Guardian", 18 June 2008] A remix of "Samba de Janeiro" by German dance group Bellini is played after each goal scored in the competition. [ [http://euro2008.worldcupblog.org/news/whats-that-song-they-play-after-the-euro-goals.html What's That Song They Play After the Euro Goals?] , Euro 2008 Championships on World Cup Blog]


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. [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/mascot/index.html |title=Official Mascot Naming ]


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." [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/news/kind=1/newsid=498653.html |title=Expect Emotions at Euro 2008 ]

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

UEFA announced that total of €184 million has been offered to the 16 teams competing in this tournament, increasing from €129 million in the previous tournament. The distributions as below: [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/news/kind=1/newsid=630838.html |title=UEFA raises 2008 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

Many of the world's national broadcasters have secured broadcasting rights of the tournament, as of 16 January 2008. [cite web |url=http://www.uefa.com/newsfiles/634586.pdf |title=UEFA Euro 2008 Broadcasting Rights |format=PDF ]


External links

* [http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/index.html UEFA Euro 2008 Official Site]

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