England became only the sixth side to complete EURO qualifying with a 100% record. We profile the other five and see whether success was translated to the finals.
Article top media content
England gained entry to an exclusive club boasting perfect campaigns by winning their final UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania. UEFA.com takes a look at the other five members and learns what happened next for them.
France – EUR0 '92
P8 W8 F20 A6 GD+14
France failed to qualify for EURO '88 and the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but under former captain Michel Platini they ended that run in style, becoming the competition's first perfect qualifiers. They did so from arguably the toughest of the seven groups, too, facing Spain, Czechoslovakia, Iceland and Albania.
Jean-Pierre Papin contributed nine of the team's 20 goals, including winners away to Czechoslovakia (in the 89th minute) and Spain – the hosts' first loss in Seville in 30 games, a sequence spanning 68 years. Eric Cantona scored twice in the closing 3-1 home victory over Iceland that sealed the team's unprecedented feat.
It was a different story at the finals. Les Bleus failed to win a game, drawing against hosts Sweden (1-1) and England (0-0) before bowing out at the group stage with a shock 2-1 defeat by eventual champions Denmark. Mr Platini quit soon after the team's exit.
Czech Republic – UEFA EURO 2000
P10 W10 F26 A5 GD+21
Runners-up at EURO '96, the Czech Republic missed out on the 1998 World Cup but redeemed themselves in flawless fashion in qualification for UEFA EURO 2000. Jozef Chovanec's team made light work of a relatively straightforward section, sealing progress with three matches to spare and then winning them, too – without conceding a goal.
The highlights were two successes over Scotland. First came a 2-1 win at Celtic Park – the Scots' first home qualifying defeat for 12 years and 26 matches. Then there was a majestic 3-2 triumph in Prague, coming from 2-0 down with goals from Tomáš Řepka, Pavel Kuka and Jan Koller in the last 25 minutes.
Like France eight years before, qualifying form was not replicated in the finals. Handed a tough draw, Chovanec's side were out after two matches following luckless defeats by co-hosts the Netherlands (1-0) and eventual winners France (2-1). They bowed out with a farewell 2-0 win against Denmark.
France – UEFA EURO 2004
P8 W8 F29 A2 GD+27
By common consent, holders France had an easy ride to the finals after being drawn with Cyprus, Israel, Malta and Slovenia. The so-called 'Groupe du Soleil' (Group of Sunshine) was the perfect tonic following a disastrous World Cup defence and, under new coach Jacques Santini, Les Bleus repeated their feat of 12 years earlier.
With Thierry Henry and Zinédine Zidane going strong, France were hot favourites to retain the Henri Delaunay Cup in Portugal. Zidane struck twice late on as France came from behind to beat England in their opener, and they went on to top their group. They were on the receiving end in the quarters, though, losing 1-0 to eventual champions Greece.
Germany – UEFA EURO 2012
P10 W10 F34 A7 GD+27
Bronze medallists at the 2010 World Cup, Joachim Löw's Germany breezed into the UEFA EURO 2012 finals. Twenty-two of their 34 goals came in five home fixtures, including a 6-2 battering of neighbours Austria in Gelsenkirchen that secured their place as the first qualifiers for Poland/Ukraine. Miroslav Klose ended with nine goals.
Germany began the finals among the favourites, a status done no damage by group wins against Portugal (1-0), the Netherlands (2-1) and Denmark (2-1). They overcame Greece 4-2 in the quarter-finals, but were once again undone by bogey side Italy, who defeated them 2-1 in the semi-finals. Mario Balotelli did much of the damage.
Spain – UEFA EURO 2012
P8 W8 F26 A6 GD+20
The all-conquering Spanish bandwagon careered on following triumphs at UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. Vicente del Bosque's side scored at least three per game, but they needed to show their mettle a couple of times. First in Scotland, where Fernando Llorente earned victory after the hosts had come from 2-0 down to level. Then David Villa struck twice as Spain came from behind to defeat the Czech Republic 2-1.
The success continued for Del Bosque's men at the finals, even if they rode their luck at times en route to a glorious 4-0 final victory over Italy in Kyiv. The Roja needed penalties to see off Portugal after a goalless semi-final but, underpinned by five successive clean sheets, they became the first nation to successfully defend their EURO title.
England – UEFA EURO 2016
P10 W10 F31 A3 GD+28
England responded to their group stage exit at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the best manner possible. Roy Hodgson's side did not look back after starting with a 2-0 victory away to Switzerland, conceding just three goals in the next nine matches.
A 5-0 demolition of San Marino at Wembley followed before a 1-0 success in Estonia maintained their unblemished Group E record. The Three Lions eventually secured safe passage to France by putting a further six goals past San Marino in September 2015.
Wayne Rooney soon grabbed the headlines as the Manchester United man became England's 50-goal all-time leading scorer during a routine 2-0 victory against the Swiss. Rooney sat out the last two matches, against Estonia and Lithuania, as Hodgson tinkered with his lineup ahead of the finals next summer.
"This is an achievement," said Hodgson after the campaign-ending triumph in Lithuania. "I am very proud of the players' performances. I thought it was excellent, in the first half especially. There was a lot of hard work put in, the quality of play was good and ten wins out of ten is very satisfying – we've got to take a lot of pride in that."