Euro 2024 - European Championship History

1960 Withdrew With a team packed with stars such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Luis Suarez and Ladislao Kubala, Spain defeated Poland 4-2 away (Di Stefano 2, Suarez 2) and 3-0 at home (Di Stefano, Gensana, Gento). In the next round they were drawn against the Soviet Union, but Franco decided to withdraw for political reasons.

1964 Champions Spain eliminated Romania in the first round with a 6-0 victory at home (Guillot 3, Veloso, Amancio, Nunweiler og) despite losing 3-1 away (Veloso). They were paired with Northern Ireland in the next round, and after only drawing 1-1 at home (Amancio) coach Villalonga called on two players who were playing in the Italian league (Del Sol and Suarez) and Spain won 1-0 in Belfast, with Gento scoring the only goal. In the quarter finals, Spain beat the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in Sevilla (Amancio 2, Fusté, Marcelino 2) in a match which saw the debut of the legendary goalkeeper, Jose Angel Iribar. The return match was also won (2-0 in Dublin) with both goals from Zaballa. The final matches were in Spain. The semi final was against Hungary, with Spain running out winners by 2-1 with goals from Pereda and Amancio. The great final was Spain vs Soviet Union, bringing together the two best goalkeepers in the world, Lev Yashin and Iribar. Pereda scored the first goal for Spain, but Jusainov equalized. Then Marcelino scored the most important goal in Spain's history to claim the trophy with a 2-1 scoreline. The winning team was Iribar, Rivilla, Olivella, Calleja, Zoco, Fuste, Amancio, Pereda, Marcelino, Suarez and Lapetra.

1968 Quarter-finalist Spain won their qualifying group (with Rep.Ireland, Turkey and Czechoslovakia) and the quarter finals were against England. The first leg at Wembley was 1-0 for England with the winner scored by Bobby Charlton. In Madrid, Amancio scored to level but England rallied with goals from Martin Peters and Norman Hunter for a final score of 2-1 to England and elimination for Spain.

1972 Failed to qualify In the qualifying group Spain finished second and were thus out of the competition. They beat Cyprus 2-0 away (Pirri, Violeta) and 7-0 at home (Pirri 2, Quino 2, Aguilar, Lora, Txetxu Rojo) but Spain lost and drew with the Soviet Union 2-1 (Rexach) and 0-0, and after beating Northern Ireland 3-0 in Sevilla (Rexach, Pirri, Luis), could only draw 1-1 (Txetxu Rojo) in Northern Ireland. The coach Kubala blamed their failure on the high number of foreign and Spanish nationalised players who were playing in the Spanish league at the time, preventing youngsters from coming through.

1976 Quarter finals Spain won their qualifying group with wins against Denmark, 1-2 away (Claramunt pen, Roberto Martínez) and 2-0 at home (Pirri, Capón), draws against Romania 1-1 (Velázquez) at home and 2-2 away (Villar, Santillana), and a win and a draw against Scotland, 1-2 away (Quini 2) and 1-1 at home (Megido). In the quarter finals they had to play World Cup holders, West Germany. The home leg finished 1-1 (Santillana) but the return game saw the Germans run out 2-0 winners.

1980 Qualified Again Spain won their qualifying group with the following results:

Yugoslavia: 0-1; 1-2 (Juanito, Santillana)
Romania: 1-0 (Asensi); 2-2 (Dani 2)
Cyprus: 5-0 (Santillana 2, Asensi, Ruben Cano, Del Bosque); 1-3 (Villar, Santillana, Saura)

This gave them the passage through to the final stage in Italy. However they were drawn in a strong group and they finished last with the following results: Italy 0-0 Spain; Belgium 2-1 Spain (Quini); England 2-1 Spain (Dani pen). Coach Ladislao Kubala was fired after 11 years with a record of 31 wins, 21 draws and 16 defeats.

1984 Finalist Spain were drawn with Holland, Eire, Iceland and Malta in the qualifying stage. After five wins and a draw, with 11 goals for (Maceda 2, Señor 2, Santillana, Rincón, Pedraza, Víctor, Carrasco, Gordillo and an own goal) and only five against, they lost narrowly to Holland by 2-1, with Houlman and Gullit scoring for the Dutch and Santillana for Spain.

They therefore went into the last match needing to score 11 goals more than Malta to reach the finals at the expense of the Netherlands. With the half-time score 3-1 in Spain's favour, this looked unlikely but a second half barrage produced a final scoreline of 12-1 (Santillana 4, Rincón 4, Maceda 2, Sarabia and Señor) and Spain had booked their ticket.

In the finals in France, two draws with Romania 1-1 (Carrasco pen) and Portugal 1-1 (Santillana) didn't bode well given that the third match was against West Germany, but Spain won 1-0 thanks to Maceda's last minute goal after Carrasco had missed a penalty. The semi final was against Denmark and after a 1-1 draw (Maceda), the game went to penalties. Sarabia scored the crucial kick for a 5-4 victory and Spain had reached their first final in 20 years.

Spain played well in the final despite key players Goikoetxea, Maceda and Gordillo missing from the side. France had all the luck though as a dubious penalty scored by Platini gave them the lead and a last minute own goal by keeper Arconada flattered the hosts with a 2-0 victory.

1988 Qualified Spain were lucky to qualify in a relatively weak group. Results were as follows:

Romania: 1-0 (Michel); 3-1 (Calderé)
Albania: 5-0 (Bakero 3, Michel, Llorente); 1-2 (Arteche, Joaquín)
Austria: 2-0 (Michel pen, Sanchís); 2-3 (Eloy 2, Carrasco)

Their performance in the finals in Germany was disappointing. In the first game of the group, Spain beat Denmark 3-2 (Michel, Butragueño, Gordillo), but the second goal was clearly offside and the third was a terrible error from the Danish goalkeeper. Spain then lost 1-0 to Italy and 2-0 to West Germany. It was a very poor performance and coach Miguel Munoz was fired.

1992 Failed to qualify Spain failed to qualify in a group with France, Czechoslovakia, Iceland and Albania. Results were as follows:

France: 1-2 (Abelardo); 3-1 (Bakero)
Czechoslovakia: 2-1 (Abelardo, Michel pen); 3-2 (Roberto, Carlos)
Iceland: 2-1 (Butragueño, Carlos); 2-0
Albania: 9-0 (Butragueño 4, Carlos 2, Amor, Hierro, Bakero)

The last match at Albania was never played due to political trouble in that country, but it didn't matter. Spain failed to qualify, and yet another coach, this time Luis Suarez, fell.

1996 Quarter finals Spain came up against some old faces, and some totally new. They qualified well for the finals in England, with these results:

Cyprus: 6-0 (Guerrero, Alfonso, Pizzi 2, Hierro, Caminero); 1-2 (Higuera 2)
Macedonia: 3-0 (Kiko, Manjarín, Caminero); 0-2 (Salimas 2)
Denmark: 3-0 (Nadal, Donato, Luis Enrique); 1-1 (Hierro pen)
Belgium: 1-1 (Guerrero); 1-4 (Hierro, Donato pen, Salinas, Luis Enrique)
Armenia: 1-0 (Hierro pen); 0-2 (Amavisca, Goekoetxea)

In the finals, Spain played all their group B matches in Leeds as a top seed. The first game was against Hristo Stoichkov's Bulgaria, and they put up a disappointing performance to draw 1-1. Bulgaria took the lead in the second half through a Stoichkov penalty after Sergi brought down Kostadinov. Clemente brought on Alfonso with 20 minutes to go, and the Betis striker scrambled in an equaliser. The second match was against France, and again Spain came back from behind to draw, this time Caminero scoring five minutes from the end. In the third group game, they finally got the victory they needed, beating Rumania 2-1 with goals from Manjarín and Amor. In the quarter final they came up against hosts England, and after a heart stopping 120 minutes without goals, including a golden goal extra time, it went to a penalty shoot out. Hierro's first kick rebounded off the bar, and although Amor and Belsué scored, Nadal's shot was saved by Seaman, and England went through 4-2.

2000 Quarter finals Spain were drawn in a relatively easy qualifying group for the 2000 championships, but a surprise defeat against Cyprus in the opening match cost manager Javier Clemente his job. Camacho took over and they didn't look back, winning the remaining seven games with a record breaking aggregate of 40-2. That made them one of the favourites for the finals in Holland, but a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Norway in their first group C match got them off to a bad start. They won their second game 2-1 against Slovenia, but again struggled in their last fixture against Yugoslavia, and only two injury time goals from Mendieta and Alfonso took them through 4-3 to the quarter finals. There they met France, but they couldn't repeat the miracle and were beaten 2-1 after Raúl missed a last minute penalty. See Euro 2000 link for reports and other details.

2004 Qualified Spain had some problems reaching the finals, finishing second to Greece in their qualifying group and having to face a tricky play-off against Norway. Once through though Iñaki Sáez's side appeared to be in a relatively easy group, with Greece again, plus Russia and hosts Portugal. A strike by substitute Valerón gave them a 1-0 win in their opening game against Russia, but they were then held to a 1-1 draw by Greece, a first half goal from Morientes being cancelled out by a strike from Charisteas. That meant that they went into a sudden death last match with Portugal, with only one of the two to go through to the quarter finals. And a single goal from Nuno Gomes was enough to keep the locals in the competition and send Spain packing. Sáez weathered the storm for a short while, but he was eventually replaced by Luis Aragonés. See Euro 2004 link for reports and other details.

2008 Champions Spain got off to a bad start in their qualifiers, defeats against Northern Ireland and Sweden putting their chances of reaching the finals in jeopardy. But in the end a run of eight wins and a draw took them to the top of their group, where they qualified together with Sweden. Luis Aragonés´s side won all three of their group games, against Russia (4-1), Sweden (2-1) and Greece (2-1), and went on to play Italy in the quarter finals. The game ended without goals, but two saves by Casillas in the penalty shoot-out took Spain through to a semi-final against Russia, who they had already met at the group stage. Strikes from Xavi, Güiza and Silva gave them a 3-0 win to set up a final against Germany, and a single goal by Fernando Torres in Vienna gave them their first title since 1964. After the tournament ended Luis Aragonés decided to call it a day, and ex Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque took over. See Euro 2008 link for reports and other details.

2012 Champions Spain came in to the finals in Poland & Ukraine as reigning World and European champions, and they were favourites to win once again, especially after a perfect eight wins out of eight in their qualifying group. Although they only drew their opening game against Italy, victories against Eire and Croatia gave them top spot in their group and a quarter final tie against France, which they won 2-0 with goals by Xabi Alonso. A tense semi-final against Portugal ended without goals, but Del Bosque’s side won through in the penalty shoot out, with Fàbregas converting the last spot kick. That took them through to a final meeting with Italy again, but this time Spain produced a brilliant performance to win 4-0, with goals by David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata. See Euro 2012 link for reports and other details.

2016 Round of 16 Spain finished top of their qualifying group, and were paired with the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey in group D. Del Bosque’s side won their first two games, but a defeat in their last match against Croatia meant they finished second in their group. Consequently they had to play Italy in the first qualifying round, and were beaten 2-0. See Euro 2016 link for reports and other details.

2020 Semi-finals Spain finished top of their qualifying group in a competetion delayed by the Coronavirus health crisis, and were paired with Sweden, Slovakia and Poland in group E. They reached the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Italy in the semi-finals after a penalty shoot out, bowing out of the competition without losing a single game. See Euro 2020 link for reports and other details.