Which Country Has Won the European Championships the Most Times?

The European Championship is a quadrennial football tournament that crowns the kings of the continent.

Many of Europe’s finest ever players have made their mark on the competition – from the French flair of Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane, to legendary Dutch duo Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit and Spanish midfield orchestrators Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

New legends will be born at the 2024 edition in Germany, where the hosts are aiming to win a fourth European Championship title since the tournament was first played in 1960.

But who has won this competition the most times?

Fabulous Fourth

Euro 2024 Odds

The EURO 2024 odds make England the 3/1 favourites to lift the famous trophy, which would see them coronated as a first-time winner – going one better than 2020, when they lost in the final to Italy.

The football betting guides will no doubt make persuasive cases for France, the World Cup 2022 finalists, and host nation Germany too – they are just behind England in the pre-tournament odds.

Germany could make history on home soil. They could become the first host nation since France in 1984 to get their hands on the trophy, but in doing so would also land a fourth European Championship title – the most of any nation in the tournament’s history.

They won their first at EURO 1972, when the outstanding Gerd Muller scored three goals in the semi-finals and final to power them to victory – the Soviet Union brushed aside 3-0 in the final.

Belgium were the beaten finalists in 1980, before Germany broke English hearts at Euro ’96 – defeating the host nation on penalties in the semis, before defeating the Czech Republic in the final at Wembley Stadium courtesy of a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff.

So, can they finally get their hands on a fourth European Championship title some 28 years after their last?

Spanish Inquisition

The only other nation with three European Championship wins to their name is Spain, although there has been something of an inquisition in the footballing hotbed as their Euros drought now extends to 12 years.

They won the 1964 edition, although there’s something of an asterisk against that victory – the tournament was then called the European Nations’ Cup, with a straight knockout format used instead of the group phase we know today.

And then the Spaniards achieved the remarkable feat of winning back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012 – no other nation has done that in more than 60 years of trying.

A goal from Fernando Torres secured the win in 2008 – Germany, ironically, the beaten finalists, while four years later the final against Italy became a procession: David Silva and Jordi Alba giving Spain a 2-0 half-time lead, before further goals from Torres and Juan Mata completed the rout.

France and Italy, two other heavyweights of European football, have won this tournament twice apiece, while there’s even been opportunities for a shock triumph or two – Denmark triumphed against all odds in 1992, before Greece’s famous victory in 2004 when absolutely nobody gave them a chance of lifting the trophy.

So, will we have a repeat victor in 2024, or will a new name be etched onto the trophy?