Euro-winning captains

Bobbie Jackson
April 12th 2021, 3:25 pm
Last Updated 3 years ago
Euro-winning captains

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Ten different nations have won the European Championships since its inception in 1960, with 14 captains having the privilege of lifting the trophy after a successful campaign.

One-club man lifts inaugural title

The European Nations’ Cup, as it was known when hosted in France in 1960, was the first edition of the continental competition.

The Soviet Union, captained by Igor Netto, won the tournament, beating Yugoslavia 2-1 after extra-time in the final in Paris.

Netto spent his entire domestic career with Spartak Moscow, making 368 appearances between 1949 and 1966, while he earned 54 caps with the Soviet Union. The midfielder also captained his nation to the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics before making history at the Euros.

Casillas leads Spain through golden era

Goalkeeper Ilker Casillas is the only player to have twice captained his nation to glory at the European Championships.

Spain, thanks largely to the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid at domestic level, enjoyed a hugely successful period between 2008 and 2012.

They won the European Championships in each of those years, whilst also going all the way at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

La Roja’s 2008 triumph, when the tournament was jointly hosted by Austria and Switzerland, was their second success in the competition, having also tasted glory in 1964 when Ferran Olivella wore the captain’s armband.

Olivella was a regular fixture in Barcelona’s ranks, but Real have the bragging rights as their legendary goalkeeper was pictured lifting the trophy on two occasions.

Three nations; Germany, Spain and France have won the Euros more than once, but Casillas is the only man to have captained his country during two successful campaigns.

Three is the magic number for Germany

Germany have won the Euros on three occasions, each with a different captain, and have reached the final on a further three occasions.

They first won the competition in 1972 when entering as West Germany when Franz Beckenbauer was skipper.

West Germany saw off the Soviet Union 3-0 in the final in Brussels as Gerd Muller, who won the Golden Boot, netted twice.

Beckenbauer was also the captain in 1976 when West Germany reached the final, but Czechoslovakia won courtesy of a penalty shootout.

They had to wait until 1980 to claim their second title and this time it was Bernard Dietz who assumed the leadership role when West Germany beat Belgium in the final.

The most recent captain to raise his arms with the trophy was Jurgen Klinsmann in 1996 after Die Mannschaft beat the Czech Republic in the final at Wembley.

Deschamps hoping to join elite company

Only one man has won the Euros as a player and a manager; Berti Vogts was part of the Germany squad in 1972 and he was in the dugout when they won in 1996.

Didier Deschamps has a fantastic opportunity to become just the second person to go all the way on and off the field.

The former midfielder wore the captain’s armband in 2000 when France downed Italy in the final and Les Bleus are among the favourites to win the Euros this summer.

The 52-year-old went close in 2016 on home soil when France lost in the final to Portugal, but they went on to show their class by prevailing at the 2018 World Cup.

With the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Kingsley Coman, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann at his disposal, Deschamps looks well placed to secure his place in the history books.

Bobbie Jackson

Bobbie is another of our editorial team that has a number of years’ experience across all forms of media, providing written, audio and visual content.