Euro 2012: Numbers tell a tale


Spain has become the first team in history to win three major international tournaments in a row (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012).

Spain is also the first team to successfully defend their European Championship title.

Spanish players celebrate after winning the Euro 2012 football championships final match. Pic/AFP

13 members of the Spanish squad have become the first players to play in and win two Euro finals.

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas equalled Dutch goalie Edwin van der Sar's record for clean sheets at the European Championship (9).

La Roja’s 4-0 win over Italy was the biggest final win in European Championship history.

In terms of passing, La Roja was way ahead of the rest. Spain averaged 681.6 passes per 90 minutes at Euro 2012. This was the most passes by a team in the history of the European Championship since 1980.

Player of the tournament, Andrés Iniesta has had more shots on target without scoring than any other player in the history of the Euros (11).

Spanish mid-fielder Xavi overtook France’s Zinedine Zidane (843) as the footballer to have made the most passes in Euro history (949) during the game against Portugal.

Spanish mid-fielder Xavi is the first player to register two assists in a final. 

Spain has conceded just one field goal during their successful title defence, fewer than any winner since 1980 (when the format changed).

Fernando Torres, who came on as a substitute in the final, is the only player to have scored in two Euro finals – 2008 and 2012.

Captain Iker Casillas is the first player to reach 100 international wins, with his 509 minutes without conceding a goal in this year’s European Championship also breaking the longstanding tally of 494 set by Italian keeper Dino Zoff. 

A handout picture taken on July 1 and released on July 2 by the Spanish football federation shows Spain's national football team players celebrating with Spain Prince Felipe (back-C) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (3rd L) after winning the Euro 2012 football championships final. Pic/AFP 

Spain were the second European side to reach the final of three consecutive major tournaments, after West Germany (Euro 72, World Cup 74, Euro 76).

Vicente del Bosque has become only the second coach to lead sides to glory at both the UEFA European Championship and the FIFA World Cup after Germany's Helmut Schön. Schon guided West Germany to European and global glory in 1972 and 1974, respectively.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque becomes first manager to have won a Champions League, World Cup and European Championship

Spain had 75.9% possession during their group game against the Republic of Ireland – the highest in a Euro match since 1980.

Against the Republic of Ireland, Spain made 860 passes and completed a record 788 passes – unprecedented numbers in a Euro match.

Xavi made 136 passes and completed 127 of those in the game against Ireland – also a European Championship finals record.


Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to the semi-finals of the Euro 2012. Pic/AFP

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo attempted a total of 12 shots against the Netherlands, the most by a single player in a single game in the Euros.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the woodwork four times at Euro 2012, no other player has ever hit the goal frame more in European Championship history (tournaments combined).

Ronaldo has had a total of 70 shots from outside the box at major tournaments, but has never scored from distance.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Helder Postiga joined Nuno Gomes, Thierry Henry, Vladimir Smicer and Jurgen Klinsmann as players to have scored at three different European Championship finals.

Portugal and Germany equalled the Netherlands as the only sides to have made it through the group stages six times at the Euros.

Portugal have now made it to the knockout stages of the European Championships every time they have been present (six times).


Mario Balotelli
Italian forward Mario Balotelli cries after the Euro 2012 football championships final match. Pic/AFP

Maverick striker Mario Balotelli’s the first Italian player to score three goals in a European Championship.

Italy attempted 36 shots (including blocked) in their quarter-final tie against England. No side has ever managed more without scoring in Euro Championship finals history.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) scores against France. Pic/AFP

This was the first time no player scored more than three goals at the European Championship since 1992.

Five of the past seven host nations have exited the European Championship at the group stage (including each of the last four co-hosts – Austria & Switzerland in 2008 and Poland & Ukraine in 2012).

Only two of the nine teams to previously win all of their Euro group games have gone on to win the tournament (France 84 & Spain 08).

Greece skipper Giorgos Karagounis picked up eight yellow cards in only 10 appearances at the European Championships, more than any other player.

The Dutch failed to win a group stage game at the Euros for the first time.

Ireland finished the group stage having conceded nine goals, only Yugoslavia in 1984 let in more goals in the group stage (10).

Wayne Rooney ended a run of 673 minutes without a goal at major tournaments when he scored against Ukraine.

Interestingly, four of England's five goals at Euro 2012 came from crosses.

Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic with six goals in the Euros is only behind two greats - Michel Platini (nine) and Alan Shearer (seven) - in terms of goals scored at the tournament.

Poland’s Przemyslaw Tyton became the first substitute goalkeeper to save a penalty at the European Championship.

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