Euro 1996, England
England was chosen as the host nation of the 1996 European Championship after beating bids from Austria, Portugal and the Netherlands, and therefore had automatic entry into the tournament.
The tournament had yet another change in its format, in that the teams that were able qualify in the finals was increased from 8 to 16 teams. The teams were split into 4 tables, each containing 4 teams, the winners and runners up of each group went through to the quarter final round. Winners of the quarters then went to the semis then ultimately the final.
The 16 teams that gained qualification out of the 47 teams that took part in the qualifying stages:
- Bulgaria (First appearance)
- Croatia (First appearance)
- Czech Republic (First appearance, since break up of Czechoslovakia)
- Denmark (Holders)
- England (Hosts)
- Russia (First appearance since break of Soviet Union)
- Switzerland (First appearance)
- Turkey (First appearance)
1996 European Championship Final
After beating the host nation, England on penalties during the semi finals Germany progressed to the final to meet the Czech Republic who also defeated France on penalties.
The final between Germany and the Czech Republic took place at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of 73,611 supporters.
There was hope amongst the Czech fans that they could repeat Euro 1976 where they defeated West Germany and when Patrick Berger scored in the 59th minute it looked as if this could become a possibility. However in the 73rd minute Germany's Oliver Beirhoff who had been brought on as a sub levelled the game. The game went into extra time and again Beirhoff scored a goal in the 95th minute for the first ever golden goal of the tournament and Germany won for the first time as a unified country.
Goal scorers of the tournament
The top goal scorer of the tournament was England's Alan Shearer who bagged 5 goals in the tournament.
Scorers of three goals
- Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
- Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)
- Davor Suker (Croatia)
- Brian Laudrup (Denmark)
As well as claiming the most goals of the tournament Alan Shearer was also able to record the fastest goal of the tournament in 3 minutes in the England versus Germany game. This time was equalled by Hristo Stoichkov who scored in the Bulgaria versus Romania match.