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From International Youth Tournament to U19 EURO

The UEFA European Under-19 Championship is the successor to the FIFA junior tournament, which began in 1948 as a U18 event and was taken over by UEFA seven years later.

Spain have dominated at this level
Spain have dominated at this level ©Sportsfile

The UEFA European Under-19 Championship is the successor to the FIFA junior tournament, which began in 1948 as a U18 event and was taken over by UEFA seven years later. This International Youth Tournament was played in a number of different formats in the first 32 years of its existence, with England enjoying success on eight occasions while the Soviet Union triumphed in the competition four times and Bulgaria three.

In 1980, the tournament was changed to the UEFA European Under-18 Championship, reflecting one of UEFA's main priorities, which is to promote youth football and to encourage the development of young footballers. The inaugural European U18 Championship was held in 1980/81, before the competition was changed to a U19 event ahead of the 2001/02 season because of changes in player eligibility dates.

France were the most successful team in the European U18 Championship, lifting the trophy on four separate occasions, with Portugal and the Soviet Union each prevailing twice. Spain have dominated since the switch to U19s, triumphing eight times, while France and Germany have won the title three and two times respectively.

U19 records and roll of honour

Some future stars who played at U18 and U19 final tournaments:

England: Michael Owen, Gary Neville, Sol Campbell, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho

France: Mikaël Silvestre, William Gallas, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Paul Pogba, Antoine Giezmann, Kingsley Coman, Kylian Mbappé

Czech Republic: Petr Čech

Germany: Mesut Özil, Joshua Kimmich, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm

Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Francesco Totti, Andrea Pirlo

Netherlands: Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf, Frank de Boer, Frenkie de Jong

Norway: Erling Braut Haaland

Portugal: Luís Figo, Bernando Silva

Republic of Ireland: Roy Keane, Robbie Keane

Spain: Andrés Iniesta, Fernando Torres, David Silva, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Juan Mata,Thiago Alcantara