The UEFA European Football Championship is the main football competition of men's national football teams governed by UEFA since 1960. It was originally called the UEFA European Nations Cup but changed to its current name in 1968. Since the 1996 tournament, specific championships are referred to as 'Euro 2012' or whichever year is applicable.
The national teams participating in this particular event must compete in the qualifying stages which is not applicable for host nations (which qualify automatically). The winners of this tournament qualify automatically in the following FIFA Confederations Cup, which takes place one year prior to FIFA World cup.
Nine different national teams have won during the 13 European Championships held so far. Germany is the most successful team in the history of the tournament, winning it three times in 1972, 1980 and 1996. France and Spain have won the tournament twice while Italy, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece and inaugural winners Soviet Union have won it once.
Spain were crowned champions of Euro 2008, co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria. The 2012 European Championship is currently being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July.