European Championships History
The first European Championships was held in 1960 with France playing host to the tournament. Only four teams participated in the first European Championships after 17 teams entered a knock-out tournament to determine the finalists. Russia were the eventual winners with Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and France making up the order.
The four team European Championship format remained for the formative years of the competition up until Italy '80 when the number of teams playing in the finals was increased to eight.
The eight team format version of the European Championship remained up until Euro 96 - held in England - which for the first time; saw the introduction of the sixteen team format involving four groups of four teams in the preliminary rounds before eight teams progressed to the quarter-final knock-out stages.
This format has since remained in place and will be used for the current European Championships. However, Euro 2016 in France the format will be expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams.