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EURO hosts: how successful are they? Does home advantage matter?

Spain, Italy and France all lifted the EURO trophy on home soil, something England could not emulate.

Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse celebrate France's 1984 final win
Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse celebrate France's 1984 final win Popperfoto via Getty Images

England became the sixth host nation to reach the UEFA European Championship final from 16 attempts but they could not add their name to the list of three previous home sides to have won the trophy – Spain (1964), Italy (1968) and France (1984).

That means that the last three host teams to have played the final came up short when it mattered most: Portugal (2004) and France (2016) both lost 1-0 in the showpiece match, then the Three Lions succumbed to Italy on penalties.

Whenever a EURO has been staged in a single country, the hosts have made the semi-finals at least. By contrast, in past tournaments prior to 2020 that were co-hosted – Belgium and the Netherlands (2000), Austria and Switzerland (2008), and Poland and Ukraine (2012) – just one home side survived even the group stage, the Dutch going on to lose in the EURO 2000 semis.

So, in the context of a jointly hosted UEFA European Championship, Gareth Southgate's men now occupy a unique place in competition history despite their painful penalties defeat by Italy.

How have the EURO hosts fared?

Four teams competed in the finals from 1960–76 inclusive, eight from 1980–92, and 16 from 1996–2012. Since 2016, however, 24 countries have participated per EURO. Here's how the hosts have fared.

Highlights: Watch winning EURO hosts
Highlights: Watch winning EURO hosts

1960: France (fourth)
1964: Spain (winners)
1968: Italy (winners)
1972: Belgium (third)
1976: Yugoslavia (fourth)
1980: Italy (fourth)
1984: France (winners)
1988: West Germany (semi-finals)
1992: Sweden (semi-finals)
1996: England (semi-finals)
2000: Belgium (group stage), Netherlands (semi-finals)
2004: Portugal (runners-up)
2008: Austria (group stage), Switzerland (group stage)
2012: Poland (group stage), Ukraine (group stage)
2016: France (runners-up)
2020: England (runners-up)

Who have been the hosts' top scorers at every EURO?

Home nations have produced the top or joint-top scorer on seven occasions: François Heutte (France, 1960), Jesús María Pereda (Spain, 1964), Michel Platini (France, 1984), Tomas Brolin (Sweden, 1992), Alan Shearer (England, 1996), Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands, 2000) and Antoine Griezmann (France, 2016).

Harry Kane ended UEFA EURO 2020 with four goals
Harry Kane ended UEFA EURO 2020 with four goalsUEFA via Getty Images

1960: François Heutte* (France, 2)
1964: Jesús María Pereda* (Spain, 2)
1968: Pietro Anastasi, Angelo Dominghini, Luigi Riva (Italy, 1)
1972: Raoul Lambert, Odilon Polleunis, Paul Van Himst (Belgium, 1)
1976: Dragan Džajić (Yugoslavia, 2)
1980: Francesco Graziani, Marco Tardelli (Italy, 1)
1984: Michel Platini* (9)
1988: Andreas Brehme, Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthäus, Olaf Thon (West Germany, 1)
1992: Tomas Brolin* (Sweden, 3)
1996: Alan Shearer* (England, 5)
2000: Bart Goor, Émile Mpenza (Belgium, 1), Patrick Kluivert* (Netherlands, 5)
2004: Rui Costa, Maniche, Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 3)
2008: Ivica Vastić (Austria, 1), Hakan Yakin (Switzerland, 3)
2012: Jakub Błaszczykowski, Robert Lewandowski (Poland, 1), Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine, 2)
2016: Antoine Griezmann* (France, 6)
2020: Harry Kane (England, 4)

*top or joint-top scorer for the tournament