UEFA's official magazine looks back at the events of the 1950s that led to the birth of the European Football Championship in 1958.
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Sixty years ago this summer, the UEFA European Championship was born. A story brought to life in the latest edition of UEFA’s official publication UEFA Direct.
The dream had been nurtured by UEFA’s first General Secretary, Frenchman Henri Delaunay, since the 1920s – and UEFA’s foundation in 1954 finally set the wheels in motion for that dream to become reality with the green light for the competition and the first matches, both in 1958.
UEFA Direct describes how the EURO took shape and took flight six decades ago to become one of the most illustrious sports events on the planet.
Look back through the history books at UEFA’s youth competitions over the years, and discover just how many young players who took part in them went on to become world stars and capture major trophies. UEFA Direct’s coaching and technical supplement, The Technician, provides the details.
Two shining examples are Spain and Germany - a host of Spanish players who competed in UEFA youth tournaments went on to star with the country’s national team in two EURO triumphs in 2008 and 2012, and lift the FIFA World Cup trophy in 2010. Back in 2009, Germany won the European Under-21 and Under-17 titles – several players from the Under-21 triumph would go on to be part of the Germans’ 2014 World Cup-winning team, and Mario Götze, scorer of the winning goal in that World Cup final four years ago, was a member of the successful Under-17 squad.
UEFA Direct explains why players’ experiences and “positive baggage” acquired in youth tournaments clearly stand them in good stead for the step up into senior national teams.
UEFA vice-president Michele Uva relaxes away from football by writing – and has now published six books. In a wide-ranging interview, the CEO of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) speaks about how he is inspired to write in the middle of the night, and how it is impossible for a young boy in Italy not to be a football fan.
Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 179
• How UEFA is promoting grassroots football in schools
• Reviews of the recent UEFA club finals and youth tournaments
• Previews of the UEFA Super Cup and men’s and women’s U19 finals
• The importance of revenue growth for associations to help develop their domestic game
• News from the UEFA member associations