It was Austria and Switzerland who hosted the 2008 Euro. Both of them were holding the tournament for the first time and this was the second jointly hosted tournament in the history of the European Championship.
The Euro 2004 was held in Portugal who hosted the tournament for the first time. Rival bids from Spain and Austria-Hungary were rejected. Portugal were the default qualifiers while 50 teams were divided into ten groups, with each team playing the others in their group twice, once at home and once away.
The Finals of the Euro 2000 were co-hosted by Belgium and Netherlands. The other bidders were Spain and Austria. As the hosts the two teams were the default entrants into the final stage. Nine teams qualified by the virtue of being the top seed in their individual groups in the qualifying phase.
Qualifying for the UEFA Euro 1996 final tournament, took place throughout 1994 and 1995. Forty-seven teams were divided into eight groups. The winner of each group along with the six best runners-up automatically qualified, while the two worst runners-up were involved in a play-off at a neutral venue. England qualified automatically as hosts of the event.
Sweden were chosen over Spain to host the 1992 European Championship as Spain had already been chosen to host the EXPO 1992 and the 1992 Summer Olympics. Again, the host nation got a default entry into the final stage while seven other teams had to qualify for it.
West Germany, as the hosts of the Euro 1988, qualified for the tournament by default. Euro 88 witnessed some rare feats - a major football tournament that ended without a single sending-off or a goalless draw, nor any knockout matches going to extra time or penalties.
Euro 1980 saw a few changes done to the format again. The qualifying round consisted of 31 teams divided into 7 groups. The 7 teams which qualified by the virtue of maximum points in their individual group and hosts Italy were the teams that took part in the final tournament. It was England, Belgium, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Greece and West Germany that qualified for the knock-outs.
1976 was the first and only time that all four matches in the final tournament were decided after extra time, either on penalties or by goals scored. Czech player Antonin Panenka gained fame for innovating the "Panenka penalty", now commonly known as the chip shot in the tournament's final against West Germany.
The fourth European Championship was held in 1972, the year of the infamous Munich Olympics. The final tournament was held in Belgium. This was to be the year when West Germany made their mark on the world stage and a certain Gerd Müller, one of the most prolific goal scorers of all time, came to the fore on the big stage with a bang.