Every venue of the European Championship finals (part 1)

The European Championships is one of the, if not the most celebrated and the most glorious football events in Europe. It produces some of the most iconic images and greatest football players of all time. These momentous scenes in football found its home in every venue that staged the action. Here is every venue of the European Championship finals:

Stade Vélodrome du Parc des Princes, Paris (EURO 1960, 1984)

The first ever European Championship, formerly known as the European Nations’ Cup, were held in 1960. The Soviet Union won the inaugural title, beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in extra-time thanks to a 113th-minute goal from Victor Ponedelnik at the Stade Vélodrome du Parc des Princes, now known as Parc des Princes. The stadium, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators, was inaugurated on July 18, 1897.

From only 3,000 seats during its inauguration, the stadium capacity was increased to 20,000 by the start of the 1924 Summer Olympics, held in Paris. In the 1930s, L’Auto founder Henri Desgrange and his business partner Victor Goddet revamped the Parc des Princes and expanded it to45,000 capacity arena. It has been the home of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974. Euro returned to Paris in 1984. 

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Spain (EURO 1964)

From 17 teams who entered the inaugural year, with the likes of England, West Germany and Italy all missing, the tournament had grown to 29 countries. Soviet Union once again made it to the finals against Spain. At the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Spain clinched the victory on home soil, and prevents the USSR winning back-to-back titles. It is regarded as one of the world’s most famous football venues.

The stadium was initially still called Nuevo Estadio Chamartin, but received the name of the club-president eight years later. Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is the 2nd-largest stadium in Spain and the largest in the Community of Madrid. With a current seating capacity of 81,044, it has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since its completion in 1947.

Stadio Olimpico, Italy (EURO 1968, 1980)

Aside from officially calling the tournament “European Championship”, formerly “European Nations’ Cup”, the fairest way to declare a semi-finals winner through a toss coin happened for the first and only time in history of Euro. Two days later, Luigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi scored in a 2-0 win for the Azzurri. It is currently the main and largest sports facility of Rome.

It was the first edition of Euro with group stage, the last that features a third-place play-off and also for the first time, the hosting nation has automatic qualification for the finals. StadioOlimpico underwent a last refurbishment in 2007 to keep it eligible to host future Champions League finals.  Shared by Roma and Lazio, the Stadio Olimpico has undergone several renovations since officially opening in 1953.

Heysel Stadium, Belgium (EURO 1972)

Another significant format made happened in the 1972 edition of the Euro, with 32 teams qualified and eight groups each sending a winner into the quarter-finals to determine the final four. The Soviet Union made it to another thrilling final, but the Germans emerged in the finals and thrashed the USSR to claim their maiden title in Brussels. 

Formerly known Jubilee Stadium, renamed as Heysel Stadium in 1946, Stade Roi Baudouin, or King Baudouin Stadium in English, is the largest stadium of Belgium and the stadium where the Belgian national team play most of their home matches. By the mid-1980s the state of the stadium had severely deteriorated, contributing to the Heysel stadium disaster of 1985.