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UEFA in 2021: Part 2 – Full speed ahead

In the second part of our review of events in 2021, from July to December, we look back at how UEFA brought UEFA EURO 2020 to a successful conclusion – defended football’s key values – and worked tirelessly to promote the game’s well-being, in particular as a force for social good.

Watch every EURO 2020 goal


Italy are crowned UEFA EURO 2020 champions thanks to a 3-2 penalty shoot-out win over England in the final at London’s Wembley Stadium, after the two teams had finished deadlocked at 1-1 over 120 minutes.

As a memorable EURO comes to an end, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin hails a tournament to remember.

 Members of the UEFA EURO 2020 Team of the Tournament
 Members of the UEFA EURO 2020 Team of the TournamentUEFA

The UEFA EURO 2020 Team of the Tournament, chosen by UEFA’s technical observers, features five Italy players, three from England and one each from Belgium, Denmark and Spain.

The UEFA EURO 2020 referee and video assistant referee (VAR) teams earn widespread praise for their performances at the tournament.

UEFA's comprehensive UEFA EURO 2020 anti-doping programme reaches a successful conclusion, with all urine and blood samples collected from players negative.

UEFA reviews measures against potential match-fixing at UEFA EURO 2020, with the organisation also pledging to increase resources in the fight against match manipulation.

Supporting vulnerable children through the UEFA Foundation for Children
Supporting vulnerable children through the UEFA Foundation for ChildrenUEFA

The 2021 UEFA Foundation for Children awards see 19 European organisations rewarded with a share of €1m for their daily support of vulnerable children.

UEFA and the European Commission commit to enhancing their long-term cooperation in the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion across all of Europe.


The Danish heroes – winners of the UEFA President’s Award
The Danish heroes – winners of the UEFA President’s AwardUEFA

Danish medics and Denmark’s national team captain Simon Kjær receive the 2021 UEFA President’s award for their role in saving the life of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the EURO 2020 match against Finland.

Jorginho and Alexia Putellas – UEFA Players of the Year
Jorginho and Alexia Putellas – UEFA Players of the YearUEFA

Chelsea FC midfielder Jorginho and FC Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas are voted UEFA Players of the Year. Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) and Lluís Cortés (Barcelona) win the 2020/21 UEFA Men's and Women’s Coach of the Year awards respectively.

Four players are honoured with UEFA Champions League positional awards: Edouard Mendy (Senegal, Chelsea), Rúben Dias (Portugal, Manchester City), N'Golo Kanté (France, Chelsea) and Erling Haaland (Norway, Borussia Dortmund) are named Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Forward of the Season respectively.

The UEFA Women’s Champions League positional awards see Sandra Paños (Spain, FC Barcelona), Irene Paredes (Spain, FC Barcelona), Alexia Putellas (Spain, FC Barcelona) and Jennifer Hermoso (Spain, FC Barcelona) respectively crowned Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Forward of the Season.

Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno is voted 2020/21 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season.

Chelsea win the UEFA Super Cup
Chelsea win the UEFA Super CupGetty Images

Chelsea add the UEFA Super Cup to the UEFA Champions League title they captured in May, overcoming UEFA Europa League winners Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes in Belfast.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin welcomes UEFA’s new club competition, the UEFA Europa Conference League, as an opportunity to give more players the chance to fulfil their dreams of playing football at the highest level.

The UEFA Women’s EURO trophy
The UEFA Women’s EURO trophyUEFA via Getty Images

UEFA Women's EURO 2022 pre-sale ticket targets are smashed, with more than 140,000 tickets already sold a year before the tournament kicks off in England.


UEFA and European football’s major stakeholders hold positive discussions on the Convention on the Future of European Football – starting a landmark consultation process to unite European football and strengthen the game for the future.

The Executive Committee releases a statement warning of the dangers associated with the FIFA proposals to play the World Cup every two years.

The UEFA Executive Committee approves a substantial increase in the amount distributed to participating teams at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, as well as a new distribution model.

UEFA and South American continental confederation CONMEBOL announce the expansion of their existing cooperation, including a match between UEFA EURO 2020 champions Italy and CONMEBOL Copa América 2021 winners Argentina in summer 2022.

EURO 2020 leaves its mark in viewership history and breaks live streaming records along the way, impressing with a 5.2 billion cumulative global live audience.

Football greats Luís Figo (centre) and Nadine Kessler (right) playing at the Chişinău grassroots event
Football greats Luís Figo (centre) and Nadine Kessler (right) playing at the Chişinău grassroots eventUEFA via Getty Images

A school football festival in Moldova featuring football legends launches UEFA Grassroots Week – UEFA and national associations’ annual celebration of grassroots football.


France triumph in the UEFA Nations League
France triumph in the UEFA Nations LeagueUEFA via Getty Images

France win the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League title, coming from behind to beat Spain 2-1 in the final in Milan.

The UEFA EURO 2024 logo is unveiled with a spectacular light show at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Watch the full EURO 2024 logo launch light show

… and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin predicts a 'uniting and sustainable' EURO tournament in Germany.

The road to UEFA EURO 2028 begins with the bidding process for potential tournament hosts.

As the final tournament draw takes place in Manchester, UEFA pledges that next year's Women's EURO 2022 in England will raise the bar for women's football.

Watch a re-run of the Women's EURO 2022 draw

A joint statement from UEFA, the ECA and several of Europe's top women's leagues outline their issues with FIFA proposals to stage the men's and women's World Cups every two years.

UEFA and the European Commission (EC) kick off #EveryTrickCounts – a new public awareness campaign in which football stars and freestylers mobilise against climate change.


Following vocal support for the European sports model from both the European Parliament and the European Commission, the UEFA governance model is reinforced by an EU sports ministers’ resolution backing values-based organised sport in Europe, as well as protection from threats such as closed competitions.

The European Parliament adopts a resolution on EU Sport Policy and calls for action to protect European sport from the threat of breakaway competitions. It also opposes proposals to hold the World Cup every two years, calling for the existing frequency of major international sporting events to be respected.

Eagerly awaiting the UEFA Women’s EURO
Eagerly awaiting the UEFA Women’s EUROUEFA via Getty Images

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 is set for a new record attendance after unprecedented demand for tickets – over 268,000 tickets have been requested from 118 countries in the public ballot window.

Record interest is shown in hosting the Women’s EURO in 2025 – with five potential bidders initially in the frame.


UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin urges protection of football's key values
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin urges protection of football's key valuesUEFA

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin reviews an eventful year for UEFA and European football – and emphasises that key values that lie at the very heart of the game must be preserved and protected for the future.

UEFA and CONMEBOL sign a renewed and extended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) lasting until 30 June 2028. UEFA EURO 2020 winners Italy will face CONMEBOL Copa América 2021 winners Argentina in a "Finalissima" in June 2022.

UEFA invites bids to stage the UEFA EURO 2032 finals. The process is to run concurrently with bids to host EURO 2028.

An independent study requested by UEFA on the impact of a biennial World Cup reveals negative economic effects for football and fans, while UEFA highlights important sporting and player health issues in having final tournaments every year.

UEFA's new long-term Football Sustainability Strategy
UEFA's new long-term Football Sustainability StrategyUEFA

The UEFA Executive Committee approves a new Football Sustainability Strategy 2030 – ‘Strength through Unity’ – a long-term commitment by UEFA enabling the body to inspire, activate and accelerate collective action on socially responsible and environmentally friendly practices within the context of European football.

The Executive Committee is updated on the European Club Football Recovery Plan – which seeks to use UEFA club competition revenues as security to allow European clubs access to liquidity over years to come.

UEFA #EqualGame Awards
UEFA #EqualGame AwardsUEFA

Khalida Popal, Juan Mata and the German Football Association (DFB) are honoured by UEFA with #EqualGame Awards to celebrate outstanding work in promoting inclusion and diversity in football.

UEFA kicks off a health and well-being campaign that aims to mobilise the European coaching community to educate young people about nutrition, physical activity, mental health and substance abuse.

The UEFA Foundation for Children announces support for 67 new humanitarian projects worldwide – giving even more children in need the promise of a better life.

The 2022 European football calendar