EURO holders' title defences: Portugal beware!
Wednesday, 1 January 2020
EURO holders haven't fared too well in the past, with just one team successfully defending their crown.
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According to the oft-repeated mantra, teams learn how to win; they develop that winning mentality and titles snowball. Success, they say, breeds success. Or does it?
The EURO has long been a stubborn outlier that bucks the trend. Over the 15 previous editions, just one team has successfully defended their crown – Spain in 2012. La Roja reverted to type four years later, failing to make it past the round of 16. Over to you, Portugal.
France fans may be pleased to hear that runners-up have fared slightly better four years on, with Germany dusting themselves off to win in 1980 and 1996.
EURO title defences
|Year||Winners||How they fared next time|
|1980||West Germany||Group stage|
|1984||France||Did not qualify|
|2012||Spain||Round of 16|
*Two-legged qualifier for four-team final tournament
World Cup holders have fared somewhat better at EUROs. France (2000) and Spain (2012) both won the continental crown, while Germany reached the 1976 and 1992 finals and England achieved a third-place finish in 1968 that remains their best performance.
World Cup holders at a EURO
|World Cup/EURO||World champions||How they fared at EURO|
|1982/1984||Italy||Did not qualify|
**Won 1990 World Cup as West Germany, entered EURO '92 as Germany