European Football Championship 2008

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European Football Championship 2008
Number of nations 16  (of 52 applicants)
European champion SpainSpain Spain (2nd title)
venue AustriaAustria Austria Switzerland
Opening game June 7, 2008 ( Basel )
Endgame June 29, 2008 ( Vienna )
Games 31
Gates 77  (⌀: 2.48 per game)
spectator 1,140,812  (⌀: 36,800 per game)
Top scorer SpainSpain David Villa (4)
Best player SpainSpain Xavi
Yellow card yellow cards 122  (⌀: 3.94 per game)
Red card Red cards (⌀: 0.1 per game)
Application logo

The final round of the 13th European Football Championship (officially UEFA EURO 2008 ) took place from June 7th to 29th, 2008 in Austria and Switzerland . 16 national teams took part in the tournament, initially in groups and then in a knockout system . The national team of Spain won the tournament after a 1-0 victory over Germany in the final in Vienna and thus became European football champions for the second time since 1964 . With midfielder Xavi and striker David Villa , who scored four goals during the tournament, Spain also provided the best player and top scorer of the 2008 European Championship. Defending champions Greece , like both hosts, already failed in the group stage.

The European championship, which was held for the first time in Austria and Switzerland in 2008 and had the motto “Experience emotions”, took place in eight different cities. A total of around 1.14 million visitors watched the 31 matches of the three-week tournament in the stadiums. As the winners of the European Championship in 2008, Spain took part in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa .


Austria and Switzerland were awarded the contract to host the 2008 European Championships on December 12, 2002. A total of 14 nations, combined into seven candidatures, applied to host the 2008 European Championship. The voting procedure to determine the host took two days. On the first day, the seven applicant committees had the opportunity to present themselves to the top of the association one last time at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon .

The final decision on the allocation of the 2008 European Championship was made by the UEFA Executive Committee in Geneva the next day . The application of the two Alpine countries prevailed in the decisive round of elections with 9: 3 votes against Hungary . Before that, the application by Russia , the joint candidacies of Bosnia-Herzegovina / Croatia , Greece / Turkey , Scotland / Ireland and the four-country application from Scandinavia ( Denmark , Finland , Norway and Sweden ) had already failed in the first ballot . The tournament was organized jointly by two countries for the second time after the joint organization of Euro 2000 by the Netherlands and Belgium .



Vienna innsbruck
2008 venues in Austria
Klagenfurt Wals-Siezenheim (Salzburg)
Ernst Happel Stadium Tivoli New Wörthersee Stadium EM stadium
Capacity: 51,428 Capacity: 30,772 Capacity: 30,461 Capacity: 31,063
Ernst Happel Stadium Tivolineu.JPG Wörthersee Stadium EM stadium Wals-Siezenheim for Euro.jpg
3 preliminary round, 2 quarter-finals,
1 semi-final, final
3 preliminary round matches 3 preliminary round matches 3 preliminary round matches

The Vienna Ernst Happel Stadium was the largest stadium in the two host countries with 51,428 seats. A total of seven games including the final were played here, making it the main venue for the European Championship. In the preliminary round it was the stadium of the host Austria, in Group B was. It was the only historic stadium (it opened in 1931), and numerous adaptations were made for the European Championship. In particular, a new VIP club was built, the running track temporarily replaced with additional rows of seats and a second large video screen installed in the third tier. Apart from the European Championship, the Ernst Happel Stadium serves as the home stadium of the Austrian national team and as the venue for European Cup matches .

In Tivoli-Neu in Innsbruck , the home stadium of Bundesliga relegated FC Wacker Innsbruck , three games in Group D of the European Championship took place. The stadium was opened in September 2000 for 17,400 spectators and only shortly before the European Championship in autumn 2007 was it temporarily added a second place on three sides. The capacity during the European Championship was 30,772 spectators.

In Klagenfurt Wörthersee Stadium three matches in Group B were held. The Wörthersee Stadium was built in 1960, but was replaced by a new one for the European Championship. In September 2007, the controversial arena with a capacity of 30,461 was completed. Otherwise, the Bundesliga games of SK Austria Kärnten took place in the stadium, the re-establishment of which (formerly ASKÖ Pasching ) is due to the new building.

In the EM Stadion Wals-Siezenheim in Salzburg neighboring village of Wals-Siezenheim the three group matches found Greece place in the group D. The stadium was completed in the course of 2003 and held 18,850 spectators after the opening. By July 2007, it had been expanded to include a temporary second place to 31,063 places, which was completely opened for the European Championship. The Wals-Siezenheim stadium was the largest stadium in which only group games took place and the only one in which no international match had been played before the European Championship. In league operations, it is used by Bundesliga club FC Red Bull Salzburg .


Basel Bern
2008 venues in Switzerland
Lancy (Geneva) Zurich
St. Jakob Park Wankdorf Stade de Genève Letzigrund
Capacity: 39,730 Capacity: 30,777 Capacity: 29,106 Capacity: 30,585
Basel, St.-Jakob-Park- pic03.jpg Stade de Suisse Euro CZE-POR warmup.jpg Stade du Letzigrund.JPG
3 preliminary round, 2 quarter-finals
1 semi-final
3 preliminary round matches 3 preliminary round matches 3 preliminary round matches

In Basel St. Jakob Park , the home ground of FC Basel , six games were played. Basel was therefore the main venue for the 2008 European Championship in Switzerland. The stadium, built by architects Herzog & de Meuron between 1999 and 2001, was expanded in the 2006/07 season and is now the largest stadium in Switzerland with 38,500 seats. For the finals, it temporarily held 39,730 seats by reducing the distance between the seats. In Basel, Switzerland's three group games (including the European Championship opening game against the Czech Republic) in Group A, as well as two quarter-finals and one semi-final game were played.

A new stadium was built in Bern between 2001 and 2005. The old Wankdorf Stadium was demolished and replaced by the new Stade de Suisse Wankdorf . The construction costs amounted to 350 million Swiss francs , and the stadium had space for 30,777 spectators during the group matches. The three group games of the Netherlands in Group C took place in the home stadium of BSC Young Boys .

In Lancy near Geneva , the only French-speaking venue, three Group A games were played at the Stade de Genève . Servette Geneva , which at that time was playing in the second highest league, the Challenge League , plays its home games here. The stadium had 29,106 seats during the European Championship, making it the smallest venue.

The Hard Tower was originally intended as a venue in Zurich . However, since the new building project was delayed by a citizens' initiative, three group C preliminary round matches took place in the newly built Letzigrund stadium, which was inaugurated in September 2007. There was room for 30,585 visitors at the European Championship.


According to the official UEFA regulations, the competition consisted of a qualifying round in championship mode with home and away legs, as well as the final round, which was played in a group stage and the finals.

In the final round, the 16 participants formed four preliminary round groups with four teams each, of which the first two qualified for the quarter-finals. Teams that played against each other in the preliminary round met again in the semi-finals, provided they reached this. In the group stage, each team played against every other team in its group according to the championship mode, with three points being awarded for a win and one point for a draw.

If several teams have equal points in the group matches, the results from the direct encounters will decide the placement. First the total points, then the goal difference and then the number of goals scored were compared. If this would not have resulted in a placement, the goal difference and the number of goals scored from all group matches should be used. If this still had not made a decision, the placement would have been determined based on the results of the teams in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup and for the 2008 European Championship; if the quotient of points scored and games played (qualification coefficient) were the same, the fair play rating would have counted in the group phase, after all , the drawing of lots would have been used. A special case would have arisen if two teams had faced each other on the last day of the group stage that played a draw after the end of regular time and had the same number of points and the same goal difference. If there hadn't been another team that could score as many points, the decision about placement in the group would have been made on penalties .

From the quarter-finals, the tournament continued through semi-finals and finals in the knockout system, with the winner of a game qualifying for the next round. Games that ended in a draw after regular playing time were extended by 15 minutes twice. The rules of a golden or silver goal used in previous EM tournaments have been abolished. If no decision was made after extra time, the winner of the match was determined on penalties. In the difference z. For example, at the World Championships , there has been no match for third place at European Championships since 1984.


Participating countries, colored according to placement

Final round draw

The draw for the European Championship finals took place on December 2nd, 2007 at 12 noon in the Culture and Congress Center in Lucerne . The ceremony was broadcast to 138 countries, 37 of which broadcast live; around 120 million television viewers followed the program. Former Miss Switzerland, Melanie Winiger , and ORF sports presenter Rainer Pariasek led through the program of the 52-minute event . The show part was under the motto "Football meets Classical Music" . In addition to the Spanish star tenor José Carreras , the Vienna Boys' Choir , the Bern Bach Choir and a Swiss alphorn player performed.

For the draw, the qualified teams were divided into four pots. In the first pot were the two hosts, Switzerland and Austria, who were the heads of groups A and B, as well as defending champions Greece. The other qualified teams were allocated to the pots according to their European Championship coefficient , which was calculated from the qualifying games for the 2006 World Cup (excluding the relegation games) and the 2008 European Championship as the average number of points per game. An exception was Germany, which as the host did not have to play any qualifying games for the 2006 World Cup and was therefore only included in the ranking with the qualifying games for the 2008 European Championship. The four pots finally contained:

  • Pot 1: Switzerland (hosts), Austria (hosts), Greece (defending champions), Netherlands (best coefficient: 2.417)
  • Pot 2: Croatia (2.409), Italy (2.364), Czech Republic (2.333), Sweden (2.273)
  • Pot 3: Romania (2.250), Germany (2.250), Portugal (2.192), Spain (2.182)
  • Pot 4: Poland (2.167), France (2.091), Turkey (1.958), Russia (1.958)

The draw itself was carried out by the captains of previous European championship teams or their representatives. The teams were drawn from the individual pots to the respective groups. A second ball was drawn to determine the team position within the group used to create the game board.

The draw resulted in the following group allocation:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland ( squad ) AustriaAustria Austria ( squad ) NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands ( squad ) GreeceGreece Greece ( squad )
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic ( squad ) CroatiaCroatia Croatia ( squad ) ItalyItaly Italy ( squad ) SwedenSweden Sweden ( squad )
PortugalPortugal Portugal ( squad ) GermanyGermany Germany ( squad ) RomaniaRomania Romania ( squad ) SpainSpain Spain ( squad )
TurkeyTurkey Turkey ( squad ) PolandPoland Poland ( squad ) FranceFrance France ( squad ) RussiaRussia Russia ( squad )


The squads of the participating teams each comprised 23 players and were named by the respective team bosses by May 28, 2008.

In the Russian squad with 22 players, most of them were active in a club in their home country, in the Croatian and Czech squad with 3 players each, the fewest. German clubs provided most of the 368 players. Most of the “legionnaires” among the players played in an English league, followed by the German, Spanish, Italian and French leagues. The club that provided the most players was Olympique Lyon (eleven).

Preliminary round

Group A

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. PortugalPortugal Portugal  3  2  0  1 005: 300  +2 06th
 2. TurkeyTurkey Turkey  3  2  0  1 005: 500  ± 0 06th
 3. Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic  3  1  0  2 004: 600  −2 03
 4th SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland  3  1  0  2 003: 300  ± 0 03
For positions 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4, the direct comparison is decisive (see mode ).
June 7, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in Basel
Switzerland - Czech Republic 0: 1 (0: 0)
June 7, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Geneva
Portugal - Turkey 2: 0 (0: 0)
June 11, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Geneva
Czech Republic - Portugal 1: 3 (1: 1)
June 11, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Basel
Switzerland - Turkey 1: 2 (1: 0)
June 15, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Basel
Switzerland - Portugal 2: 0 (0: 0)
June 15, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Geneva
Turkey - Czech Republic 3: 2 (0: 1)
Encounter between Portugal and the Czech Republic on June 11, 2008; with the 3: 1 Portugal qualified early for the final round

Portugal moved into the quarter-finals of the tournament as group winners. In the first game, Turkey was defeated 2-0; In the second game against the Czech Republic it was harder, but still won 3-1. Since Portugal were already the group winners with these two wins, several regulars were spared in the final game against hosts Switzerland, which ultimately led to a 2-0 defeat.

Turkey's progress was remarkable in that the team was able to turn a game twice in the closing stages. If you had no chance in the first game, you had an open exchange of blows against Switzerland in pouring rain. Turkey were ultimately the more efficient team and won with a goal in stoppage time 2-1 after the Swiss team had not been able to use good opportunities for the decisive goal. The last group game against the Czech Republic was practically the "round of 16" of the European Championship, as both teams had the same number of points and the same number of goals scored and met each other directly in the last game. The Czech Republic dominated the game for long stretches and led 2-0 into the final stages. About a quarter of an hour before the end of the match, the Turks scored the goal and a mistake by Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech in the 87th minute to equalize - a draw would have meant a penalty shoot-out. Nihat gave Turkey the win just two minutes after the 2-2 win. The game was later voted one of the ten best games in European Championship history.

The Czech Republic could not quite build on the performance of the EM 2004. In the first game against hosts Switzerland, the team was unsettled and happily won 1-0 through a single action by substitute Václav Svěrkoš in the closing stages. They showed a lot better against Portugal, but it shouldn't be enough to win a point. Against Turkey, the team was able to convince again over long stretches, but gambled away the victory that was believed to be certain in the final minutes and ended the preliminary round in third place.

Host Switzerland could not survive the preliminary round and were already bottom of the group after two match days. A defensive mistake and a poor exploitation of chances gave the host's team an unfortunate 0-1 opening defeat against the Czech Republic. In addition, there was the injury to team captain Alexander Frei , for whom the tournament was prematurely ended shortly before the half-time break of the opening match due to an inner ligament torn off his knee. In the second game, the necessary win against Turkey was within reach, but they again lost a good game with 1: 2. With the win against Portugal on the last day of the match, Switzerland said goodbye to the tournament, a brace from Hakan Yakin made it 2-0.

Group B

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. CroatiaCroatia Croatia  3  3  0  0 004: 100  +3 09
 2. GermanyGermany Germany  3  2  0  1 004: 200  +2 06th
 3. AustriaAustria Austria  3  0  1  2 001: 300  −2 01
 4th PolandPoland Poland  3  0  1  2 001: 400  −3 01
* The goal difference from all group matches is decisive for the placement (see mode ).
June 8, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Vienna
Austria - Croatia 0: 1 (0: 1)
June 8, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Klagenfurt
Germany - Poland 2: 0 (1: 0)
June 12, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Klagenfurt
Croatia - Germany 2: 1 (1: 0)
June 12, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna
Austria - Poland 1: 1 (0: 1)
June 16, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Klagenfurt
Poland - Croatia 0: 1 (0: 0)
June 16, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna
Austria - Germany 0: 1 (0: 0)
Modrić's penalty in the match between Austria and Croatia

Croatia was the first to qualify for the quarter-finals with a total of three wins. In the first game, an early goal through a penalty from Luka Modrić was enough for a narrow 1-0 opener win against Austria, although the Croatians were lucky that the Austrians did not use their chances in the second half. In the second game against Germany, the team performed much better and deservedly won 2-1 through goals from Darijo Srna and Ivica Olić. With that Croatia was already certain as group winners before the last game against Poland and played with the second guard, but was able to convince here too and beat Poland.

For the first time since 1996, Germany survived the preliminary round of a European Championship. The first game against Poland was overshadowed by an inhuman article in the Polish tabloids. In this article, the German players were portrayed with their heads severed. Germany delivered a promising performance against Poland. Lukas Podolski scored both goals in the 2-0 win and did not celebrate the goals out of respect for his native Poland. Then the German team suffered a defeat against Croatia, but it was followed by a 1-0 win against Austria. One of the few highlights in this game was Michael Ballack's free kick goal, which was voted Goal of the Year in Germany .

As one of the hosts, Austria showed good morale and was able to convince playfully in phases in the first two games, but was ultimately too harmless to progress. There was a narrow defeat against Croatia. In the next game, the Poles took the lead after the referees wrongly did not recognize offside. After further criticism of the exploitation of the chances, Ivica Vastić was able to equalize at the last minute with a penalty kick. Before the last game, Austria still had the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals, but a “second Cordoba ” - as it was evoked in the media - did not want to succeed against Germany. In a moderate game, Austria lost 0-1 to Ballack's free-kick goal.

Poland left the group last. The team was able to keep up against Germany at times, but lost 2-0. The 1-1 draw against Austria was followed by a defeat against the Croatian team, in which many regular players were spared. Overall, the team could not build on the performance from the qualification, in which the team was even able to beat Portugal in one game.

Group C

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands  3  3  0  0 009: 100  +8 09
 2. ItalyItaly Italy  3  1  1  1 003: 400  −1 04th
 3. RomaniaRomania Romania  3  0  2  1 001: 300  −2 02
 4th FranceFrance France  3  0  1  2 001: 600  −5 01
June 9, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Zurich
Romania - France 0-0
June 9, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Bern
Netherlands - Italy 3: 0 (2: 0)
June 13, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Zurich
Italy - Romania 1: 1 (0: 0)
June 13, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Bern
Netherlands - France 4: 1 (1: 0)
June 17, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Bern
Netherlands - Romania 2: 0 (0: 0)
June 17, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Zurich
France - Italy 0: 2 (0: 1)
Free kick in the match between the Netherlands and Italy on June 9, 2008

The Netherlands became one of the tournament favorites in "Death Group C". Fast-paced attacking and counter-attacking football led to two clear victories against world champions Italy and vice-world champions France. The defense of the two teams, which was highly praised before the tournament, was largely overwhelmed against the Dutch strikers and could even have received significantly more hits. With the fast game forward, the Netherlands were able to hide their own weaknesses on the defensive. The clear results resulted from the fact that the opposing strikers missed numerous good chances and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar played very safely. Since the Netherlands could not take the group win after the first two games, a B-team came up in the last game against Romania. Against a disappointing Romanian team that lacked the absolute will to win, the "Elftal" deservedly won 2-0.

Italy got off to a catastrophic false start to the tournament. The failure of Fabio Cannavaro meant a significant weakening of the defense, which was still the Italian showpiece at the 2006 World Cup . The numerous mistakes were exploited by the Dutch in the first game. After a controversial but correct offside decision to make it 0-1 and the 2-0 break, they had several chances in the second half, but the Italians lacked the necessary calm and cleverness to overcome van der Sar. However, the experienced team quickly recovered from this defeat and presented themselves a few days later in the game against Romania. The high-class game ended in a draw; Keeper Buffon fended off a penalty from Adrian Mutu in the closing stages . The final game against France was won 2-0; especially the Italian defense found its way back to its old strength against a weak French team.

After the strong qualification and some good friendlies, Romania also showed some respectable performances at the EM. Against a passive, uninspired French team, the Romanian side had little trouble to secure a 0-0. Against Italy they were an equal opponent and even had a chance of victory with a penalty in the closing stages, which Gianluigi Buffon parried. In the final game against the second guard of the Dutch, however, the team disappointed and suffered a deserved defeat, although they would not have been able to take second place if they had won.

France was one of the biggest disappointments of the European Championship. After the catastrophic 2002 World Cup and the hardly better 2004 European Championship, they reached the final of the 2006 World Cup, where they only lost on penalties. But the vice world champion did not succeed in a good tournament again. Overall, the team was too passive, harmless and unimaginative, practically never sprayed goal danger and was severely punished for their mistakes on the defensive.

Group D

Pl. country Sp. S. U N Gates Diff. Points
 1. SpainSpain Spain  3  3  0  0 008: 300  +5 09
 2. RussiaRussia Russia  3  2  0  1 004: 400  ± 0 06th
 3. SwedenSweden Sweden  3  1  0  2 003: 400  −1 03
 4th GreeceGreece Greece  3  0  0  3 001: 500  −4 00
June 10, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Innsbruck
Spain - Russia 4: 1 (2: 0)
June 10, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Salzburg
Greece - Sweden 0: 2 (0: 0)
June 14, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in Innsbruck
Sweden - Spain 1: 2 (1: 1)
June 14, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Salzburg
Greece - Russia 0: 1 (0: 1)
June 18, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Salzburg
Greece - Spain 1: 2 (1: 0)
June 18, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Innsbruck
Russia - Sweden 2: 0 (1: 0)
Fernando Torres scored 1-0 for Spain in the match between Spain and Sweden on June 14, 2008

Spain got off to a successful start against Russia. David Villa scored three goals in the first game. Much more difficult was the team in the second game against Sweden. The Spaniards secured victory with a goal in stoppage time. Spain's B team played successfully against Greece in the last group game.

Russia quickly recovered from their opening defeat and rehabilitated themselves with a safe win against Greece. Due to the worse goal difference, the last game against Sweden had to be won, which was achieved with a strong performance. With this, Russia secured second place in the group.

Sweden could not convince in the opening game against Greece and won as the stronger of two weak teams with 2-0. The defeat against Spain was followed by a bad performance against Russia, which the team paid for when they were eliminated.

Defending champion Greece was eliminated in the preliminary round. A disastrous performance against Sweden was followed by a hardly better performance against Russia and in the end even a defeat against the Spanish B-team. The Greeks were the first defending champions to leave the tournament without points, even though they scored more points in qualifying than any other team.

Final round

Quarter finals Semifinals final
June 19 - Basel        
 PortugalPortugal Portugal  2
June 25 - Basel
 GermanyGermany Germany  3  
 GermanyGermany Germany  3
June 20 - Vienna
     TurkeyTurkey Turkey  2  
 CroatiaCroatia Croatia  1 (1)
June 29 - Vienna
 TurkeyTurkey Turkey  21 (3) 2  
 GermanyGermany Germany  0
June 21 - Basel    
   SpainSpain Spain  1
 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands  1 (1)
June 26th - Vienna
 RussiaRussia Russia  11 (3) 1  
 RussiaRussia Russia  0  
June 22nd - Vienna
     SpainSpain Spain  3  
 SpainSpain Spain  20 (4) 2
 ItalyItaly Italy  0 (2)  

1 win after extra time
2 win on penalties

Quarter finals

Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Basel ( St. Jakob-Park )
PortugalPortugal Portugal - GermanyGermany Germany 2: 3 (1: 2)
Fri., June 20, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna ( Ernst Happel Stadium )
CroatiaCroatia Croatia - TurkeyTurkey Turkey 1: 1 n.V. (0: 0, 0: 0), 2: 4 i. E.
Sat., June 21, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Basel (St. Jakob-Park)
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands - RussiaRussia Russia 1: 3 a.d. (1: 1, 0: 0)
Sun., June 22, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna (Ernst Happel Stadium)
SpainSpain Spain - ItalyItaly Italy 0: 0 a.d., 4: 2 i. E.

National coach Löw was suspended in the first quarter-finals and was represented by Hansi Flick. The teams from Portugal and Germany started a very tactical, but nevertheless fast game, which was largely played in midfield. In the 22nd minute, Germany took a 1-0 lead after a one-two in midfield and a cross from Lukas Podolski with a goal from Schweinsteiger . The 2-0 by Klose followed in the 26th minute after a free kick from Schweinsteiger. This was followed by a period of urgency for the Portuguese, which led to the connection goal in the 40th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo appeared half left in front of the German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann , who was initially able to parry his shot, but had no more defense when Nuno Gomes shot it. Even after the break, Portugal started with a lot of pressure. Nevertheless, the German team managed to make it 3-1 in the 61st minute with a ballack header - again prepared by a Schweinsteiger free kick. The German team was a little lucky that a push by Ballack in the run-up to his header goal, which could have been interpreted as a foul on Ferreira , was not punished by the referee. The Portuguese started several attacks on the German goal. In the 87th minute, Postiga finally managed to cut it back to 3-2 with a header from close range. Germany brought the narrow lead in the dramatic and hectic final phase over time and qualified for the semifinals.

Germany's semi-final opponent was determined in the game between Croatia and Turkey . In an initially low-chance game for Turkey, however, Croatia had major problems using the opportunities presented. In the second half the teams were more balanced but also more defensive, so that they went into overtime with a score of 0-0. After everything looked like a penalty shoot-out in the 119th minute, Luka Modrić used a mistake by Rüştü to pass on Klasnić , who headed 1-0 for Croatia. But only three minutes later, shortly before the end of extra time, the ball came to Semih after a long tee shot by Rüştü and a few touches of the ball by various players , who scored the equalizer. In the penalty shootout, the Croatians failed their nerves. While all the Turkish shooters scored, Modrić and Rakitić shot wide . Rüştü finally parried against Mladen Petrić .

In the third quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Russia , the Russians had significantly more of the game in the first half, but could not use their scoring chances. After the break, the Dutch made the game much more open, but had to accept the 0-1 through Roman Pavlyuchenko after a quick move in the 56th minute . After the lead, the Russians let the Netherlands team come into play less and less and had more chances to score after quick counterattacks. In the 86th minute, the Netherlands managed to make it 1-1 after a Sneijder free-kick with a header from Ruud van Nistelrooy , which was also the result after the end of regular time. Even in extra time, the Russian team continued to dominate the game. In the 112th minute they managed to make it 2-1 through Torbinski . Four minutes later the game was finally decided by Arshavin's goal to make it 3-1.

Spain and Italy met in the last quarter-finals . On the side of the Italians, the absence of the yellow-banned Andrea Pirlo had a negative impact. After a tactical game with few highlights, the penalty shoot-out had to decide. Here Spain prevailed 4-2. Cesc Fàbregas converted the decisive penalty . He ended the Spanish "quarter-final curse" (the Spanish team had previously been eliminated from World and European Championship tournaments on June 22, 1986, 1996 and 2002 in the quarter-finals following penalties) and after 24 years the Spanish national team returned Semi-finals (most recently the final in 1984).

It was noteworthy that only one of the four group winners, Spain, made it into the semi-finals. No team from what was supposedly the strongest Group C reached the next round, the Netherlands and Italy failed to Russia and Spain respectively. All group winners were already determined after the second match day, so that the coaches no longer had to use their best players in the third game, whereas the group runners-up were only determined on the last match day of the group stage.


Wed., June 25, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Basel ( St. Jakob-Park )
GermanyGermany Germany - TurkeyTurkey Turkey 3: 2 (1: 1)
Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna ( Ernst Happel Stadium )
RussiaRussia Russia - SpainSpain Spain 0: 3 (0: 0)

Germany started relatively nervous in the semi-final match against Turkey. The Turks got into the game better at first, and that resulted in Uğur Boral opening goal in the 22nd minute . Four minutes later Germany equalized when Lukas Podolski crossed from the left to Bastian Schweinsteiger , who hit from close range. In the second half the game became more fierce, but clear scoring chances remained. Eleven minutes before the end of the game, Miroslav Klose made it 2-1 with a header from Philipp Lahm's cross . In the closing stages, Turkey equalized with a goal from Semih Şentürk in the 86th minute. Philipp Lahm made the final score 3: 2 in the 90th minute after a one-two with Thomas Hitzlsperger with a hit in the top left corner of the goal.

Due to thunderstorm-related power fluctuations in the millisecond range and a faulty emergency power supply at the UEFA International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Vienna , the international television signal for the game was interrupted twice worldwide, as the computers in the Master Control Room in the IBC were interrupted for each of these switched off brief fluctuations and only had to be restarted. In the meantime, ZDF only broadcast a live commentary, which was transmitted to the studio by telephone. During the second picture failure, ZDF and ORF broadcast material from the Swiss broadcaster SF , which received a direct broadcast signal from the stadium in Basel. On ZDF, the picture was offset from the sound by about three seconds, so that a goal was already commented on while it was not yet visible in the picture. The public viewing presentations outside of Switzerland were also affected by the image interference. The storm with accompanying storms over 80 kilometers per hour in Vienna also caused the public viewing to be stopped prematurely.

The second semi-final between Russia and Spain began the following day in Vienna, while another severe storm with pouring thunderstorms broke over the Austrian capital. The poor space conditions prevented compelling actions during the first half; at break it was 0-0. In the 50th minute - the rain had meanwhile subsided - the Spanish midfielder Xavi completed an assist from Iniesta to make it 1-0. In the 72nd minute, Güiza , who had been substituted a few minutes earlier, lifted the ball over Russian goalkeeper Akinfejew to make it 2-0. Silva made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute.


Germany Spain Lineup
Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. in Vienna ( Ernst Happel Stadium )
Result: 0: 1
Spectators: 51,428 (sold out)
Referee: Roberto Rosetti ( Italy ) ItalyItaly 
Line up Germany against Spain
Jens Lehmann - Arne Friedrich , Per Mertesacker , Christoph Metzelder , Philipp Lahm (46th Marcell Jansen ) - Torsten Frings , Thomas Hitzlsperger (58th Kevin Kurányi ) - Bastian Schweinsteiger , Michael Ballack , Lukas Podolski - Miroslav Klose (79th Mario Gómez ) Trainer: Joachim Loew(C)Captain of the crew
Iker Casillas - Sergio Ramos , Carlos Marchena , Carles Puyol , Joan Capdevila - Marcos Senna - Andrés Iniesta , Xavi , Cesc Fàbregas (63rd Xabi Alonso ), David Silva (66th Santi Cazorla ) - Fernando Torres (78th Daniel Güiza ) coach : Luis Aragonés(C)Captain of the crew
goal 0: 1 Fernando Torres (33.)
yellow cards Michael Ballack (43.), Kevin Kurányi (88.) yellow cards Iker Casillas (43.), Fernando Torres (74.)
Player of the Match: Fernando Torres (Spain)

The Spanish team started nervously and Germany started comparatively strong, but after ten minutes Spain dominated and came up with some chances, while the German team made a few bad passes. In the 15th minute, Metzelder deflected a shot from Iniesta , so that he almost missed an own goal. Sergio Ramos crossed in the 23rd minute to Torres , whose header hit the post. The weak phase of the German team led in the 33rd minute of the game to 0: 1 by Fernando Torres. In the 35th minute of play, Iniesta crossed and David Silva shot, but the ball went over the goal. In the second half Spain gained more and more game shares, had the chance to increase in the 55th minute through Xavi, when Torres passed Xavi and he just missed the far corner. Spain, which was characterized by a fast style of play and exerted pressure on the German team, created even more opportunities. In the end it stayed 1-0.

European Champion Spain

Press comments on the final of the European Championship 2008
“Campeones !!! Spain seduces Europe! It was glorious, just and necessary. ”
AS, Spain

“Finally champions! There are many ways that lead to success - but seldom has a success been as deserved as this time. ”
El Pais, Spain

“What a shame, Jogi! Cheer up guys! The Spaniards were better “
Express, Germany

“Ten minutes don't bring the title. After a strong start, the orientation was lost: Germany deserves to be defeated by Spain. ”
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

“Spain crowned. This is the team that has played the best football in a long time “
L'Equipe, France

“Ballack, a cursed captain.”
Le Parisien, France

“Aragonés has really made a masterpiece.”
Gazetta dello Sport, Italy

“A great era could begin for Spain.”
The Mirror, England

With the final whistle of the final in Vienna on June 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm, Spain became European champions for the second time since 1964. The squad of the team coached by coach Luis Aragonés included a total of 23 players, 22 of whom played the tournament.

The following players were used during the EM 2008:

goalkeeper Defense midfield striker

Iker Casillas
Pepe Reina

Carlos Marchena
Carles Puyol
Raúl Albiol
Fernando Navarro
Joan Capdevila
Sergio Ramos
Álvaro Arbeloa

Marcos Senna
Cesc Fàbregas
Andrés Iniesta
Santi Cazorla
Xabi Alonso
David Silva
Rubén de la Red

Fernando Torres
David Villa
Sergio García
Daniel Güiza

In addition, the third goalkeeper Andrés Palop was in the squad, but did not play a game.

The Spanish team was considered to be by far the best team at the 2008 European Championship. Spain, which had already been undefeated 16 times in a row before the European Championship finals, was able to win all six games during the tournament. Responsible for the success was mainly the technical quality of the Spanish players, their short passing game called " Tiki-Taka " and the ability to hold the ball even under enormous pressure.

Iker Casillas was a surefire support in the Spaniard's goal . Before that, the two central defenders Puyol and Marchena , as well as Ramos and Capdevila on the outside, were mostly used in defense .

The midfield around the best tournament player, Xavi , who set the pace in the Spanish game, was the team's highlight. In addition to Xavi, Senna , Fàbregas and Iniesta also played in the UEFA all-start team . Then came David Silva .

Also in attack, Spain was the best team of the tournament with Fernando Torres and David Villa .

The Spanish team at their reception in Madrid

The victory of the national team was exuberantly celebrated in Spain and in all parts of the country. The day after the final, the Spanish team returned home that evening, where hundreds of thousands gave them a triumphant welcome. From Madrid 's Barajas Airport, the team drove in an open bus on the streets lined with countless fans to the Plaza de Colón in the center of the Spanish capital. There the new European champion was celebrated by 65,000 fans.

The next day, the “Selección” was received in the Zarzuela Palace by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía and then honored by the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in his official residence.

For winning the European championship, each Spanish player received 214,000 euros from the Spanish Football Association.

List of goalscorers (final round)

The top scorer at this European Championship was the Spaniard David Villa , who was the only player to score four goals in the entire tournament and who also won the final against Germany to become European champion with Spain. The four goals scored meant the lowest number of goals scored by a European Championship top scorer since the European Championship was increased to 16 teams in 1996. It was noteworthy that Villa scored all of his tournament goals in the first two games. He scored three of the four goals in the 4-1 opening match of Group D against Russia. The fourth he succeeded in the second game against Sweden, when he scored the decisive goal for the 2-1 win in stoppage time.

With three goals each during the tournament, the German international Lukas Podolski , the Swiss Hakan Yakin , Roman Pavlyuchenko from Russia and Semih Şentürk from Turkey made it into second place.

There were also 13 players who scored twice and 35 players who scored one. Among them were the Germans Michael Ballack , Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger with two goals each and Philipp Lahm with one goal. The only Austrian goal scored Ivica Vastić , who was 38 years and 257 days old at the time, making him the oldest European Championship scorer of all time. All three Swiss goals were scored by Hakan Yakin.

rank player Gates
1 SpaniardsSpaniards David Villa 4th
2 GermanGerman Lukas Podolski 3
RussianRussian Roman Pavlyuchenko 3
SwissSwiss Hakan Yakin 3
TurkTurk Semih Şentürk 3
6th GermanGerman Michael Ballack 2
GermanGerman Miroslav Klose 2
GermanGerman Bastian Schweinsteiger 2
CroatianCroatian Ivan Klasnić 2
DutchDutch Wesley Sneijder 2
DutchDutch Ruud van Nistelrooy 2
DutchDutch Robin van Persie 2
RussianRussian Andrei Arshavin 2
SwedeSwede Zlatan Ibrahimović 2
SpaniardsSpaniards Daniel Güiza 2
SpaniardsSpaniards Fernando Torres 2
TurkTurk Arda Turan 2
TurkTurk Nihat Kahveci 2
19th GermanGerman Philipp Lahm 1
FrenchmanFrenchman Thierry Henry 1
GreekGreek Angelos Charisteas 1
ItalianItalian Daniele De Rossi 1
ItalianItalian Christian Panucci 1
ItalianItalian Andrea Pirlo 1
CroatianCroatian Luka Modrić 1
CroatianCroatian Ivica Olić 1
CroatianCroatian Darijo Srna 1
rank player Gates
19th DutchDutch Giovanni van Bronckhorst 1
DutchDutch Dirk Kuyt 1
DutchDutch Arjen Robben 1
DutchDutch Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 1
AustrianAustrian Ivica Vastić 1
PolePole Roger Guerreiro 1
PortuguesePortuguese Deco 1
PortuguesePortuguese Nuno Gomes 1
PortuguesePortuguese Raúl Meireles 1
PortuguesePortuguese Pepe 1
PortuguesePortuguese Hélder Postiga 1
PortuguesePortuguese Ricardo Quaresma 1
PortuguesePortuguese Cristiano Ronaldo 1
RomanianRomanian Adrian Mutu 1
RussianRussian Konstantin Syrjanow 1
RussianRussian Dmitri Torbinski 1
SwedeSwede Petter Hansson 1
SpaniardsSpaniards Cesc Fàbregas 1
SpaniardsSpaniards Rubén de la Red 1
SpaniardsSpaniards David Silva 1
SpaniardsSpaniards Xavi 1
CzechCzech Libor Sionko 1
CzechCzech Václav Svěrkoš 1
CzechCzech Jan Koller 1
CzechCzech Jaroslav Plašil 1
TurkTurk Ugur Boral 1

The top scorer of the entire competition was the Northern Irishman David Healy with 13 goals, which he only scored in the qualification , as Northern Ireland could not qualify for the finals.

UEFA All Star Team

Since the European Championship in 1996 , a UEFA expert committee has put together an all-star team with the 23 best players in the tournament. The technical study group consisting of experienced coaches is responsible for the choice of the official team for the tournament , which analyzes the technical developments during the European Championship finals and compiles a final report. The criteria for choosing the All-Star-Team are team spirit, technique, defensive or goal scorer qualities. The expert commission chaired by Scotsman Andy Roxburgh included Jean-Paul Brigger , Roy Hodgson and Holger Osieck .

The Spaniard Xavi was named the best player of the tournament . The choice of the FC Barcelona midfielder appeared to the technical committee, whose decision also included voting results on the Internet, as a logical consequence of the performance of the Spaniards, who were successful in all six European championship games. Xavi best represented the style of the successful Spanish team. "He was very influential" and "set the pace in the Spanish game," said Andy Roxburgh from Scotland, explaining the choice.

In addition to Xavi, there were eight other European champions in the tournament's official team of 23 players:

goalkeeper Defense midfield striker Best player

SpainSpain Iker Casillas Gianluigi Buffon Edwin van der Sar

SpainSpain Carlos Marchena Carles Puyol Philipp Lahm José Bosingwa Pepe Juri Schirkow

SpainSpain Marcos Senna Xavi Cesc Fàbregas Andrés Iniesta Michael Ballack Lukas Podolski Hamit Altıntop Konstantin Syrjanow Luka Modrić Wesley Sneijder

SpainSpain Fernando Torres David Villa Andrei Arshavin Roman Pavlyuchenko

SpainSpain Xavi


Massimo Busacca (center) with his assistants

On December 19, 2007, the 2008 European Football Championship officials were announced. The UEFA Referees Committee appointed 12 referees and 24 assistant referees . In order to cooperate in the best possible way, the teams were made up of referees and assistants from the same country, as was the case at the 2004 European Championships. There were also eight fourth officials .

The semi-finals were chaired by Massimo Busacca and Frank De Bleeckere . In the final, Roberto Rosetti was the referee.

The selected 44 officials took part in a preparatory seminar from April 14 to 17, 2008, during which they took a fitness test and received special instructions regarding the European Championship finals. During the European Championship 2008, the referees stayed in the Mövenpick Hotel in Regensdorf , Switzerland, until the first semi-final on June 25, 2008 . Those referees who were used in the second semifinals and the final moved to the Hotel Renaissance Penta in Vienna on June 26th .

The following twelve referees and their assistants were used in the 31 games:

referee Games Games
(4th opening)
Yellow card.svg Yellow-red card.svg Red card.svg Assistant 1 Assistant 2
Frank De Bleeckere BelgiumBelgium 3 1 13 0 1 Alex Verstraeten Peter Hermans
Massimo Busacca SwitzerlandSwitzerland 3 1 6th 0 0 Matthias Arnet Stephane Cuhat
Herbert Fandel GermanyGermany 3 0 10 0 0 Carsten Kadach Volker Wezel
Peter Fröjdfeldt SwedenSweden 3 2 16 0 1 Stefan Wittberg Henrik Andren
Manuel Mejuto González SpainSpain 2 1 7th 0 0 Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez Jesús Calvo Guadamuro
Ľuboš Micheľ SlovakiaSlovakia 3 0 17th 0 1 Roman Slyško Martin Balko
Tom Henning Øvrebø NorwayNorway 2 0 8th 0 0 Geir Åge Holen Erik Ræstad
Konrad Plautz AustriaAustria 2 0 8th 0 0 Egon Bereuter Markus Mayr
Roberto Rosetti ItalyItaly 4th 0 14th 0 0 Alessandro Griselli Paolo Calcagno
Cyrus Vassaras GreeceGreece 2 2 4th 0 0 Dimitiris Bozartzidis Dimitiris Saraidaris
Pieter Vink NetherlandsNetherlands 2 0 6th 0 0 Adriaan Inia Hans Ten Hoove
Howard Webb EnglandEngland 2 0 10 0 0 Darren Cann Mike Mullarkey

Referees whose associations did not provide any of the twelve referees were considered as fourth officials. However, these referees were only used in the preliminary round, in which everyone participated in 3 games as the fourth official. From the quarter-finals onwards, referees who had already whistled games at the European Championship were used. The following eight fourth officials were nominated:


For the first time in the history of an international tournament, the documentary filmmakers Yves Hinant, Eric Cardot and Lehericey Delphine were able to portray the referees at work on and off the field during the EM 2008, with the documentary film Referees at Work - Referees in focus . The film is particularly explosive because of the events surrounding Howard Webb. After Austria's game against Poland (1-1), the Polish media rushed against the referee and his team because of alleged wrong decisions. This went so far that Webb's family had to be placed under police protection.

Organization and environment

Euro 2008 SA

Euro 2008 SA , a wholly owned subsidiary of UEFA with headquarters in Nyon and tournament offices in Vienna and Bern, was responsible for the overall organization of the 2008 European Football Championship . The highest governing body of the public limited company, which was founded on December 17, 2004, is the Board of Directors, which is composed of representatives from UEFA and the two host associations. Until the end of 2006, SFV President Ralph Zloczower was president of the nine-member Board of Directors of Euro 2008 SA . Friedrich Stickler , the President of the ÖFB, then took over the function.

The management around the Swiss Martin Kallen was responsible for the operational management of the European Championship 2008 SA. In addition, Switzerland and Austria each had a tournament director, Christian Schmölzer (Austria) and Christian Mutschler (Switzerland), who were responsible for organizing the tournament. Both associations signed a framework agreement in Vienna in November, and in January 2005 the newly established Euro 2008 board of directors met for the first time. The tournament organization office was based in Nyon, Switzerland.

The budget for organizing the 2008 European Football Championship was 235 million Swiss francs (around 147 million euros). The most significant part of the income resulted from the sale of the one million tickets, which were calculated with a revenue of 138 million euros. The eight host cities were provided with material and financial benefits totaling 18.6 million euros. In addition, each city received a grant of 375,000 euros from UEFA to cover the costs of organizing the fan zones.

The organization of the tournament was based heavily on the 2006 World Cup . Numerous fan miles , public viewing screens and other public zones were created again.

Audiovisual appearance

The logo of the European Football Championship 2008 showed the stylized mountain landscape of the two host countries Switzerland and Austria, with a football in the middle. The emblem is mostly in red and white, the national colors of the two hosts. The green core of the ball should reflect the importance of nature in the region. The logo, which was presented for the first time on June 7, 2005 during a festive ceremony in the Vienna Hofburg , was designed by the London-based design and branding company English & Pockett .

The official mascots of the European Championship 2008 were Trix and Flix . The twins , who were obviously enthusiastic about football , depicted the host countries in their national colors, red and white. Their jersey numbers were “20” and “08” to produce the lettering “2008” when standing next to each other. The figures were developed by Warner Bros. Entertainment Consumer Products and were visually and in particular very reminiscent of Fix and Foxi . The bright red, jagged hairstyles were reminiscent of the Euro 2008 logo and the mountain ranges of the Alpine countries . The names Zagi & Zigi , Flitz & Bitz and Trix & Flix were available . 36.3 percent of the 67,406 people who voted decided - since September 27, via the Internet, telephone hotline and in all McDonald’s restaurants in both countries - for the names announced on October 10, 2006 in the historic town hall of Innsbruck . Before the friendly between Austria and Switzerland, which took place two days later, the two officially entered a football stadium for the first time. Austria won the game 2-1.

For the first time, an acoustic brand was composed as a distinguishing feature for a European championship. This jingle ran like a thread through all media coverage. The piece was composed by Rollo Armstrong from the Faithless group . The Spaniard Enrique Iglesias sang Can You Hear Me, the official song for the European Championship. The mascots songs (Mascot songs) of the 2008 European Championship were called Feel the Rush and Like a Superstar and were greeted by Shaggy sung. Christina Stürmer sang the official song of the Austrian national soccer team for the EM . In March 2008 at the international match of the Austrian national team against the Netherlands, the song Fieber was presented, which was also used by ZDF. The Swiss EM anthem was a remix version of Baschi's Bring en hei . At the same time, High German versions of the song by Mario Lang and Oliver Pocher were published in Austria and Germany . The DFB had declared the song Helden 2008 by the Hamburg band Revolverheld to be the song of the German national soccer team . The Russian European Championship anthem was composed by Duma chairman Boris Gryslow . The general fan chant played at the stadium at the start of each game was a derivative of the White Stripes song Seven Nation Army . In addition, the chorus of the song Samba de Janeiro by Bellini was played after every goal scored .

Cue ball

The match ball of the tournament was the EUROPASS manufactured by Adidas in collaboration with Bayer MaterialScience . On the one hand, the name was supposed to symbolize the “Euro” passport of the two host countries and the fans, and on the other hand it stood for the feed of the protagonists on the lawn. It was officially presented during the final draw on December 2, 2007 in Lucerne.

The design of the basic white color with black dots was reminiscent of footballs from past decades. The two national flags of the host countries were also integrated with eight circles. The twelve black dots contained individual graphic elements that UEFA had developed to accompany the Euro logo. The elements should stand for passion, friendship, action, training and fans as well as the winning goal and they were found as watermarks in the black dots of the Europass. For each game there were special prints such as the names of the two opponents, the EM group, the date, the name of the city and the stadium.

New compared to the 2004 European Championship in Portugal , where the ball was smooth and almost entirely in silver, was not only the color, but also the fine structure of the surface, which the manufacturer called "goose bumps", which made the ball better in flight should help better controllability.

However, the Europass has been criticized by some goalkeepers and players. The Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech and the German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann described the ball as unpredictable and its trajectory was extremely difficult to calculate.


Interview wall with the sponsor logos

The European Football Championship was largely financed by sponsors . The 17 official main sponsors alone paid around 370 million euros and thus made up a substantial part of the 900 million profit that UEFA was expecting overall.

The UEFA sponsorship program had various sponsorship packages:

  • Initially, there were six UEFA-EUROTOPS partners: Mastercard , Carlsberg , McDonald’s , Coca-Cola , JVC and Hyundai , who already received rights packages in autumn 2005 for various UEFA national team competitions - including the 2008 European Championship - for a total of 257 million euros had acquired.
  • In addition to the six EUROTOPS partners, there were the four event sponsors Continental , Adidas , Castrol (in Germany, the BP affiliate Aral also advertised ) and Canon , who also had global rights to the event and each paid an estimated 19 million euros.
  • In addition, UEFA worked with four national sponsors from each of the host countries. The companies UBS , Swisscom and Ferrero in Switzerland, as well as Telekom Austria , the Austrian Post and Unicredit in Austria signed sponsorship contracts for up to 5.1 million euros (Supporter Switzerland) and 3.2 million euros (Supporter Austria) . The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Hublot played a special role, having acquired the rights as a national sponsor for both host countries and as the official timepiece for all European Championship games in Austria and Switzerland.

When it comes to equipping the national teams with jerseys, football boots and gloves, the manufacturers Adidas , Nike with Umbro and Puma dominated . The manufacturers had the exclusive contracts with the professional players cost between 100,000 and over a million euros in order to use them as a worldwide advertising medium.

In the run-up to and during the Euro, UEFA was repeatedly criticized for over-emphasizing the commercial aspects of the tournament. For example, UEFA demanded an additional fee from the hosts and all operators of private public viewings as well as exclusive rights for their sponsors. The Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled shortly before the euro that UEFA was not entitled to do so and that only the usual copyright fees were to be paid to SUISA .

Largely unsuccessful, UEFA fought ambush marketing and unsuccessfully demanded the introduction of a law prohibiting it.

The exclusive sales rights in the official fan zones also gave rise to criticism. Among other things, restaurant owners in the fan zones were banned from serving other drinks than those of the UEFA sponsor, which in Basel, for example, led to three restaurants on the Kleinbasel bank of the Rhine that continued to serve local beer being hermetically sealed from the official fan zone by means of a fence were cordoned off.

Spectators, stadiums and tickets

In the run-up to the European Championship, the stadiums in which the games took place were rebuilt, expanded or newly built for a total of around 900 million euros. Overall, the 31 final round matches in the eight stadiums were followed by around 1.14 million viewers. All the encounters were sold out.

Of the available tickets, 870,100 (77 percent) were intended for public sale. The remaining 259,900 tickets were reserved for sponsors, representatives of the 52 UEFA member associations , the media, UEFA and the hospitality program. Around 169,500 of these cards were allocated to the official EURO 2008 advertising partners.

Of the admission tickets that went on sale to the public, 418,100 tickets were raffled at the end of April 2007 among all interested parties who had applied via the official website during the first sales phase in March 2007. Here, 8,467,919 order requests were registered, whereupon an originally planned second sales phase in June 2007 was dispensed with due to the massive overbooking of tickets. The remaining 226,000 freely available tickets went to the national associations of the qualified teams, who received 20 percent of the tickets for each of their games in order to be able to sell them on to the fans.

The regular prices for the cheapest tickets for the European Championship were 45 euros for a visit to a preliminary round at a place in the lowest price category. For the cheapest final ticket 160 euros had to be paid, for the most expensive seats 550 euros. Although the UEFA wanted to prevent the resale of the tickets, among other things with personalized tickets, the black market prices were many times the regular ticket prices.

public viewing

Public viewing in the Bergisel fan zone , Innsbruck
Public viewing in Vienna

At all venues, parts of the city centers were converted into fan miles for the EM, where millions of fans came to the public viewing . In Switzerland, so-called UBS arenas have also been created as additional fan miles in 16 cities (but not in the venues) . In Liestal , under the name 9th Stadium, the largest provisional stadium in Switzerland with 8,000 seats and additional standing room was built, in which the games could be watched on a large screen and the fans could spend the night.

Prize money

A total of 184 million euros in prize money was distributed to all 16 participating nations, over 40 percent more than in 2004. Each nation that qualified received an entry fee of 7.5 million euros. Each association received one million euros for a win in the group stage and half a million for a draw. The eight quarter-finalists each received an additional two million euros, the semi-finalists another three million euros. Both teams received 4.5 million euros for reaching the final, and the European champions received an additional three million euros. Overall, after winning all group games, the European champion received prize money of 23 million euros, 5.3 million euros more than in 2004.

In addition, the clubs that posted players for the European Championship received a subsidy from UEFA; UEFA wanted to pay out a total of 43.5 million euros to the clubs. This was agreed in January 2008 between UEFA and the Association of European Football Clubs (ECA). The longer a player stayed in the tournament, the more money the clubs should receive. A club only received the full amount if the player had been under contract for at least two years, otherwise the previous club received a partial amount. In Germany, the clubs also received 3,000 euros per player and game. The clubs also used these payments to insure themselves against injuries to players during the European Championship.


For four years, the European champions received the trophy donated by UEFA, on which the name of the winning team is engraved. A new cup was awarded for the 2008 European Championship, replacing the previous Henri Delaunay Cup . The trophy was presented on January 27, 2006 and, like its predecessor, is named after the former French general secretary of UEFA Henri Delaunay . The new trophy was designed by the London-based jewelry company Asprey . The cost was 50,000 Swiss francs .

The trophy presented for the first time is similar in design to the upper part of its predecessor, but is 22 centimeters higher. It is 60 centimeters high, consists largely of sterling silver and weighs 7.6 kilograms. The upper and lower ends of the cup are chased . The UEFA logo and the words UEFA EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP are engraved on the front . On the back, under the name COUPE HENRI DELAUNAY, there are the names of the previous European champions.

The trophy remains the permanent property of UEFA and cannot be permanently won by any country. The reigning European champion will keep the trophy until the next European Championship and may have a copy made, which must clearly contain the remark “replica” and must not exceed four fifths of the original size of the trophy. A team that has become European champions three times in a row or five times in total receives a faithful replica of the new EM trophy.


Reporting on the sidelines
Picture loss during the game Turkey-Germany
Media representatives in the Salzburg stadium

UEFA presented the 2008 European Football Championship as the third largest media sporting event in the world and the largest in Europe. According to the European Football Association, each of the 31 final round matches was watched live on television by at least 155 million people, which meant an increase in the average audience rating of 165 percent compared to the 2000 European Football Championship .

The European television broadcasting rights to the tournament were awarded in January 2005 to the sports rights marketer Sportfive . UEFA had previously checked various offers and shortlisted two applicants - Sportfive and UEFA's long-standing partner, the European Broadcasting Union . UEFA justified this step in order to strive for a tailor-made solution for each individual market. The income from the sale of the broadcast rights amounted to 780 million euros.

The main condition of the contract was that the majority of the broadcasts should take place on free-to-air television. In Switzerland, Swiss television (SF) broadcast all 31 games, as did Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) in Austria, and in Germany the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF broadcast all games. In addition, a separate radio station was set up in Austria for the period from May 24th to July 13th, which was allowed to broadcast at the venues with a time-limited event radio license.

For the first time, UEFA monopolized television broadcasting of the matches and required all television stations to use the television signal produced by UEFA itself. Only Swiss and Austrian television were allowed to set up additional cameras in their own country's stadiums. Some incidents in the stadiums, such as the burning of pyrotechnic torches or people storming the lawn, were not shown via UEFA's own television signal , whereupon UEFA accused of censorship by SRG boss Armin Walpen and public television in Austria has been.

All over the world, television viewers felt the effects of the monopoly, especially during the semi-final broadcast between Germany and Turkey, as there was no picture available to any of the television stations for six minutes and ten seconds. The live images could not be processed in Vienna due to a power failure. Only the SF 1 transmitter , which was the only one to have its own fiber optic cable in the stadium, could still transmit images that were taken over by some television stations.


The Vienna Ferris Wheel during the European Championship 2008, with a picture of the Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech

The 13th European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland was largely rated positively by organizers, hosts and experts and viewed as a tournament that met the high expectations. UEFA President Michel Platini praised the organizers above all for the excellent conditions in terms of transport, accommodation, stadiums and security.

In contrast to the 2006 World Cup , which was held in Germany two years earlier , the audience was friendly but not as euphoric. In addition to the early elimination of the two hosts, this was also due to the bad weather and the persistent rain at the beginning of the tournament. The weather was also responsible for the biggest mishaps of the tournament. For example, the lawn in Basel's St. Jakob-Park had to be completely re-laid after the rain battle between Switzerland and Turkey, and a thunderstorm over Vienna caused an almost worldwide loss of images at the German-Turkish semifinals. The forecasts made before the tournament about the expected flow of tourists initially turned out to be far exaggerated, the fan arenas were often underutilized. In the further course of the tournament this balance was better. With the onset of mild and warm weather, record numbers were reported, depending on the game, especially when the Netherlands, Germany or Russia participated.

Economically, the European Championship could not meet all expectations. For UEFA, the tournament brought a record European Championship income of 1.3 billion euros, which meant an increase in sales of 56 percent compared to EURO 2004 in Portugal. The profit was around 700 million euros, also an increase of five percent compared to 2004. The profit generated will be used to finance development projects in all 53 UEFA member associations over the next four years. At the same time as sales and profits increased, however, there was also an increase in costs compared to 2004 from EUR 313 million to EUR 618 million. Above all in the catering sector, however, the European Championship tournament had been hoped for higher profits, which among other things led to the premature closure of some stalls in the fan zones. The number of overnight stays in both Austria and Switzerland also fell short of expectations, as some of the tourist areas did not have regular guests and football fans did not spend the night as expected.

From a sporting point of view, the 2008 European Championship was at a high level. UEFA was very satisfied with the quality of the games. In particular, the offensive football played by most of the teams with 77 tournament goals scored could inspire. In addition, the tournament, in which only three red cards were shown, was characterized by great fairness. As expected, no new game systems were developed, but the intensity and speed of the game increased. Andy Roxburgh , a member of UEFA's technical study group, described the games he saw as “an incredible mix of dynamism and high technical standards” . Defensive teams, such as the Greeks who were successful four years earlier and who were eliminated after three defeats in the preliminary round, did not play a decisive role in this tournament.

In addition to the Greeks, the hosts' teams were particularly disappointing. Both Austria and Switzerland did not get beyond the preliminary round. France and Italy had also hoped for more and were eliminated in the preliminary round and in the quarter-finals. The tournament for Portugal and the Netherlands also ended in the quarter-finals after both teams had played their way into the role of the title favorites in the preliminary round. The teams from Russia and Turkey in particular surprised positively. The young "Sbornaja" trained by Guus Hiddink around Andrei Arshavin and Roman Anatoljewitsch Pavlyuchenko showed attractive football.


  • Volker Backes, et al .: UEFA EURO 2008: Austria - Switzerland. The official book for the tournament . Chronik Verlag, Gütersloh, Munich, 2008, ISBN 978-3-577-16412-2 .
  • kicker sportmagazin (ed.): EM 2008 Austria-Switzerland: reports - analyzes - comments . Copress Verlag, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7679-0961-8 .
  • UEFA (Ed.): UEFA EURO 2008 ™ Technical Report ( Download PDF )

Web links

Commons : UEFA Euro 2008  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. UEFA (Ed.): Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2008 , p. 6.
  2. UEFA (Ed.): Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2008 , p. 8 f .; see. Explanations in the FAZ .
  3. The greatest games in European Championship history ( Memento from March 6, 2010 on WebCite ) (Page accessed on June 25, 2008; in the WebCite archive)
  4. Article in The Guardian
  5. Article in DIE WELT
  6. Italy cannot complain about Holland's 1-0., June 10, 2008, accessed on July 22, 2017 .
  8. MSN Sport: Portugal - Germany 2: 3 - Schweinsteiger remains Portugal's nightmare - section game information
  9. Dramatic victory in Basel: Schweinsteiger remains Portugal's nightmare , kicker-online from June 19, 2008
  10. Turkey in the semi-finals against Germany: Last-minute goal by Semih , kicker-online from June 20, 2008.
  11. Orange fireworks did not ignite: Tor-binskiy and Arshavin with the fatal blow , kicker-online from June 21, 2008.
  12. Turkey bitterly punished: Lahm shoots Germany into the final . On: kicker-online, June 25, 2008.
  13. TV glitch image disruption due to power failure ( memento from February 22, 2014 in the web archive ), dpa June 25, 2008. On: news, June 25, 2008.
  14. Press comments on the European Championship summarized by ARD. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008 ; Retrieved January 25, 2009 .
  15. Roxburgh explains Spain's success ( Memento from January 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  16. "Spain has gone mad" , June 30, 2008
  17. meister.html Triumphant reception: Hundreds of thousands celebrate the European champions  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , June 30, 2008@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  18. EM 2008 - record bonus for DFB soccer players. (No longer available online.) June 30, 2008, archived from the original on July 14, 2008 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  19. Technical Study Group. Experts analyze technical trends. (No longer available online.) June 25, 2005, archived from the original on February 12, 2006 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  20. EM balance sheet: Xavi best player, three Germans in the all-star team
  21. Roberto Rosetti: The man for the final ( memento from March 6, 2010 on WebCite ) on (page from June 28, 2008; in the WebCite archive)
  22. UEFA EURO 2008 ™: Accommodation for teams and referees, headquarters hotels
  23. : Referee nominated for EURO. (No longer available online.) December 19, 2007, archived from the original on January 30, 2008 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  24. - Tournament - E08 matchofficials ( Memento from May 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (in the Internet Archive )
  25. Euro 2008 SA (Ed.): EURO-Macher from UEFA EURO 2008 , p. 44 ff.
  26. Other sources speak of a budget of 215 million euros, e.g. B. RP Online: Löw-Team threatens the hammer group .
  27. EM-OK increases budget to 147 million euros ( Memento from August 1, 2012 in the web archive )
  28. UEFA EURO 2008 logo unveiled. (No longer available online.) June 7, 2005, archived from the original on December 27, 2007 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  29. Christina Stürmer sings EM song for ÖFB .
  30. Overview of the EM songs: Official Euro song. An Iberian sings the Alpine anthem ( Memento from May 30, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). On:, May 20, 2008. Cf. Florian Bahrdt: EM song by the Revolverheld group. "Sing along, catchy and with that stadium feeling" ( archive). On:, May 16, 2008.
  31. Politician Gryslow composes EM song. "Forward, Russia, forward" ( archive). On:, May 24, 2008.
  32. UEFA EURO 2008 match ball with a revolutionary surface structure ( memento of December 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). Press release, December 2, 2007.
  33. Financial Times Deutschland: Cech criticizes flutter balls . Article dated June 6, 2008
  34. Trademark protection and sponsors at the EM 2008 ( Memento from October 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  35. EUROTOP program completed. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on May 15, 2007 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  36. a b Estimate by the newspaper Bilanz / Cash
  37. HUBLOT official timepiece and official clock of the UEFA EURO 2008
  38. EURO 2008 - No law against free rider advertising
  39. EURO GUIDE 2008 ( Memento of the original from May 1st, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  40. Over 500,000 ticket buyers. (No longer available online.) April 2, 2007, archived from the original on January 28, 2008 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 .
  41. Ticket prices ( Memento from March 25, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  42. Horrifying EM ticket prices on the black market
  43. ^ The 9th stadium in Liestal / Bubendorf ( Memento from February 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). On:
  44. Mark Chaplin: UEFA increases prize money for EURO ( Memento from June 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) . On: , December 2, 2007.
  45. ^ Paymaster Uefa . In: Frankfurter Rundschau , 14./15. June 2008, p. S10.
  46. You won't find a superior trophy. (No longer available online.) January 27, 2006, archived from the original on March 14, 2007 ; accessed on May 31, 2020 (English).
  47. Euro 2008 SA (Ed.): The trophy from inside August 2, 2006 , p. 18 f.
  48. Euro 2008 SA (Ed.): Euro 2008 SA takes stock . ( Memento from March 17, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  49. Golden donkey should learn manners .
  50. “Fanradio” goes on air on May 24th .
  51. Micro failure with macro effect
  52. Trembling and fear: image failures in the EM semifinals
  53. UEFA generates EUR 700 million in profit from the European Championship , June 28, 2008.
  54. EM 2008. Accessed May 31, 2020 .
  55. Hotels expect guest minus during EM
  56. Hotels: Regular guests stay away because of the EM
  57. Arne Richter: Platini draws positive EM balance sheet. June 27, 2008, accessed on May 31, 2020 (German).
  58. Balance before the final: tops and flops of Euro '08 ( memento from September 11, 2012 in the web archive ), June 28, 2008.