UEFA Euro 2012

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UEFA Euro 2012
Mistrzostwa Europy w Piłce Nożnej 2012
Чемпіонат Європи з футболу 2012
UEFA Euro 2012 official logo
Creating History Together
Tournament details
Host countries Poland
Dates 8 June – 1 July
Teams 16
Venue(s) 8 (in 8 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Spain (3rd title)
Runners-up  Italy
Tournament statistics
Matches played 31
Goals scored 76 (2.45 per match)
Attendance 1,440,896 (46,481 per match)
Top scorer(s) Croatia Mario Mandžukić
Germany Mario Gómez
Italy Mario Balotelli
Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo
Russia Alan Dzagoev
Spain Fernando Torres
(3 goals each)
Best player Spain Andrés Iniesta

The 2012 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2012 or simply Euro 2012, was the 14th European Championship for men's national football teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament, held between 8 June and 1 July 2012, was co-hosted for the first time by Poland and Ukraine, and was won by Spain, who beat Italy 4–0 in the final at the NSK Olimpiyskyi in Kyiv, Ukraine.[1]

Poland and Ukraine's bid was chosen by UEFA's Executive Committee on 18 April 2007.[2] The two host teams qualified automatically while the remaining 14 finalists were decided through a qualifying competition, featuring 51 teams, from August 2010 to November 2011. This was the last European Championship to employ the 16-team finals format in use since 1996; from Euro 2016 onward, it will be expanded to 24 finalists.

Euro 2012 was played at eight venues, four in each host country. Five new stadiums were built for the tournament, and the hosts invested heavily in improving infrastructure such as railways and roads at UEFA's request. Euro 2012 set attendance records for the 16-team format, for the highest aggregate attendance (1,440,896) and average per game (46,481).

Spain became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, and also three straight major tournaments (Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012).[3] Spain had already gained entry to the 2013 Confederations Cup by winning the 2010 World Cup, so runners-up Italy qualified instead.[4] As at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, both 2012 host nations were eliminated in the group stage.[lower-alpha 1]

Bid process

The hosting of the event was initially contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia–Hungary, Greece, Italy, Poland–Ukraine, and Turkey.[5] In November 2005, after an initial consideration of the bid data by UEFA, both the Greek and Turkish bids were eliminated from the process, to leave three candidates.[6]

In May 2006, this was followed by a second round of the selection process, which included visits by UEFA to all candidates.[7] The final decision was due to be announced on 8 December 2006 in Nyon, but this was postponed to "give bidding associations more time for the fine-tuning of their bids".[8] On 18 April 2007, the Poland–Ukraine bid was chosen by a vote of the UEFA Executive Committee, at a meeting in Cardiff.[2]

Poland–Ukraine became the third successful joint bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium–Netherlands (2000) and Austria–Switzerland (2008). Their bid received an absolute majority of votes, and was therefore announced the winner, without requiring a second round. Italy, which received the remaining votes,[2] had been considered favourites to win the hosting, but incidents of fan violence and a match fixing scandal were widely cited as factors behind their failure.[9][10][11]

There were some later alterations from the initial bid plan, regarding the venues, before UEFA confirmed the eight host cities in 2009.[12][13] During the preparation process in Poland and Ukraine, UEFA repeatedly expressed concern about their preparation to host the event, with different candidates reported as being alternative hosts if they did not improve;[14][15] however, in the end, UEFA affirmed their selection.[16]


The draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying competition took place in Warsaw on 7 February 2010.[17] Fifty-one teams entered to compete for the fourteen remaining places in the finals, alongside co-hosts Poland and Ukraine. The teams were divided into nine groups, with the draw using the new UEFA national team coefficient for the first time in order to determine the seedings. As defending champions, Spain was automatically top seeded.[18] The qualifying process began in August 2010 and concluded in November 2011. At the conclusion of the qualifying group stage in October 2011, the nine group winners qualified automatically, along with the highest ranked second placed team. The remaining eight-second placed teams contested two-legged play-offs, and the four winners qualified for the finals.[18]

Twelve of the sixteen finalists participated at the previous tournament in 2008. England and Denmark made their return to the Euro, having last participated in 2004, while Republic of Ireland returned after a twenty-four-year absence to make their second appearance at a European Championship. One of the co-hosts, Ukraine, made their debut as an independent nation (before 1992 Ukraine participated as part of the Soviet Union). With the exception of Serbia – according to UEFA's ranking at the end of the qualifying stage – Europe's sixteen highest-ranked teams all qualified for the tournament.

Qualified teams

The following sixteen teams qualified for the finals:[19]

Country Qualified as Qualified on Previous appearances in tournament[n 1]
 Poland Co-hosts 18 April 2007 1 (2008)
 Ukraine Co-hostsA 18 April 2007A 0 (debut)
 Germany[n 2] Group A winner 2 September 2011 A10 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Russia[n 3] Group B winner 11 October 2011 9 (1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2008)
 Italy Group C winner 6 September 2011 7 (1968, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 France Group D winner 11 October 2011A 7A (1960, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Netherlands Group E winner 6 September 2011A 8 (1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Greece Group F winner 11 October 2011B 3 (1980, 2004, 2008)
 England Group G winner 7 October 2011 7B (1968, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)
 Denmark Group H winner 11 October 2011C 7C (1964, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)
 Spain Group I winner 6 September 2011B 8A (1964, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Sweden HBest runner-up 11 October 2011D 4 (1992, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Croatia[n 4] Play-off winner 15 November 2011 3A (1996, 2004, 2008)
 Czech Republic[n 5] Play-off winnerA 15 November 2011A 7D (1960, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Portugal Play-off winnerB 15 November 2011B 5A (1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008)
 Republic of Ireland Play-off winnerC 15 November 2011C 1A (1988)
  1. Bold: winner, Italics: host.
  2. From 1972–88, Germany competed in the European Championship final tournament as West Germany
  3. From 1960–88, Russia competed in the European Championship final tournament as the Soviet Union and in 1992 as the Commonwealth of Independent States
  4. Participated as part of  Yugoslavia before 1996
  5. From 1960–80, Czech Republic competed in the European Championship final tournament as Czechoslovakia

Final draw

The draw for the final tournament took place on 2 December 2011 at the Ukraine Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine.[20][21] The hour-long ceremony was hosted by Olha Freimut and Piotr Sobczyński, television presenters from the two host countries.

As was the case for the 2004 and 2008 finals, the sixteen finalists were divided into four seeding pots, using the UEFA national team coefficient ranking.[22][23] The pot allocations were based on the UEFA national team coefficient rankings of the sixteen finalists at the end of the qualifying competition in November 2011.[24] Each nation's coefficient was generated by calculating:

Aside from the coefficient, three teams were automatically placed in Pot 1. Ukraine and Poland were both assigned to Pot 1 as the two host nations, despite the fact that their rankings were the two lowest in the tournament; this also occurred in 2008 when the co-hosts Switzerland and Austria were also ranked below all other qualified teams. As defending champions, Spain were also automatically assigned to Pot 1, though their UEFA ranking at the time of the draw was coincidentally also the best.

In the draw procedure, one team from each pot was drawn into each of the four groups. The draw also determined which place in the group teams in pots 2–4 would take (e.g. A2, A3 or A4) to create the match schedule. With Poland automatically assigned in advance to A1, and Ukraine to D1, Pot 1 only had two teams as Spain and the Netherlands were to be drawn into position one in either group B or C.[23][25] The balls were drawn by four former players who had each been part of European Championship winning teams: Horst Hrubesch, Marco van Basten, Peter Schmeichel and Zinedine Zidane.[26]

Pot 11
Team Coeff Rank
 Spain2 43,116 1
 Netherlands 40,860 2
Pot 2
Team Coeff Rank
 Germany 40,446 3
 Italy 34,357 4
 England 33,563 5
 Russia 33,212 6
Pot 3
Team Coeff Rank
 Croatia 33,003 7
 Greece 32,455 8
 Portugal 31,717 9
 Sweden 31,675 10
Pot 4
Team Coeff Rank
 Denmark 31,205 11
 France 30,508 12
 Czech Republic 29,602 13
 Republic of Ireland 28,576 14
1 Co-hosts Poland (coefficient 23,806, rank 28) and Ukraine (coefficient 28,029, rank 15) were automatically assigned to A1 and D1, and therefore were not in the draw.
2 Defending champions were automatically assigned to Pot 1.


Warsaw fan zone, view during a game, 16 June

Eight cities were selected by UEFA as host venues. In a return to the format used at Euro 1992, Euro 1996 and Euro 2008, each of the four groups' matches were played in two stadiums. Host cities Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Poznań, Kiev, and Lviv are all popular tourist destinations, unlike Donetsk and Kharkiv, the latter of which replaced Dnipropetrovsk as a host city in 2009.[27]

In order to meet UEFA's requirement for football infrastructure improvements, five new stadiums were built and opened in advance of the tournament. The remaining three stadiums (in Kiev, Poznań and Kharkiv) underwent major renovations in order to meet UEFA's infrastructure standards.[28][29] Three of the stadiums are categorised as UEFA's highest category stadiums. The transport infrastructure in Poland and Ukraine was also extensively modified on the request of UEFA to cope with the large influx of football fans.[30]

UEFA organised fan zones in the eight host cities. They were located in the centre of each city, with all 31 matches shown live on a total of 24 giant screens. The zones enabled supporters to come together in a secure and controlled environment. The Warsaw Fan Zone occupied 120,000 square meters and accommodated 100,000 visitors. In all, the fans zones had a 20% increase in capacity compared to Euro 2008.[31]


A total of 31 matches were played during Euro 2012, with Ukraine hosting 16 of them and Poland 15.

Warsaw Gdańsk Wrocław Poznań
National Stadium
Built for tournament
Capacity: 58,145[32]
PGE Arena
Built for tournament
Capacity: 43,615[33]
Municipal Stadium
Built for tournament
Capacity: 42,771[34]
Municipal Stadium
Capacity: 43,269[35]
3 matches in Group A
(incl. opening match),
1 quarter-final and
1 semi-final
3 matches in Group C and
1 quarter-final
3 matches in Group A 3 matches in Group C
Stadion Narodowy w Warszawie 20120422.jpg PGE Arena.jpeg Stadion Miejski we Wrocławiu2.JPG Stadion Miejski Poznan, 2011-08-23.jpg
Kiev Donetsk Kharkiv Lviv
Olympic Stadium
Capacity: 70,050[36]
Donbass Arena
Built for tournament
Capacity: 52,187[37]
Metalist Stadium
Capacity: 40,003[38]
Arena Lviv
Built for tournament
Capacity: 34,915[39]
3 matches in Group D,
1 quarter-final and
the final
3 matches in Group D,
1 quarter-final and
1 semi-final
3 matches in Group B 3 matches in Group B
Фінал Євро-2012. НСК «Олімпійський». 3 хвилини після фінального свистка.JPG 2014. Донбасс Арена (14072322363).jpg MetalistCharkow.png Arena Lviv 2012.jpg


Tickets for the venues were sold directly by UEFA via its website, or distributed by the football associations of the 16 finalists. Applications had to be made during March 2011 for the 1.4 million tickets available for the 31 tournament matches.[40] Over 20,000 were forecast to cross the Poland–Ukraine border each day during the tournament.[41] Over 12 million applications were received, which represented a 17% increase on the 2008 finals, and an all-time record for the UEFA European Championship.[42] Owing to this over-subscription for the matches, lotteries were carried out to allocate tickets. Prices varied from €30 (£25) (for a seat behind the goals at a group match) to €600 (£513) (for a seat in the main stand at the final). In addition to individual match tickets, fans could buy packages to see either all matches played by one team, or all matches at one specific venue.[43]

Team base camps

Each team had a "team base camp" for its stay between the matches. From an initial list of thirty-eight potential locations (twenty-one in Poland, seventeen in Ukraine),[44] the national associations chose their locations in 2011. The teams trained and resided in these locations throughout the tournament, travelling to games staged away from their bases.[45] Thirteen teams stayed in Poland and three in Ukraine.[45]

Team Arrival Last match Base camp Group stage venues QF venues SF venues Final venue
 Croatia 5 June 18 June Warka
Near Warsaw
Gdańsk and Poznań
 Czech Republic 3 June 21 June Wrocław Wrocław Warsaw
 Denmark 4 June 17 June Kołobrzeg Kharkiv and Lviv
 England 6 June 24 June Kraków Kiev and Donetsk Kiev
 France 6 June 23 June Donetsk Kiev and Donetsk Donetsk
 Germany 3 June 28 June Gdańsk Kharkiv and Lviv Gdańsk Warsaw
 Greece 3 June 22 June Jachranka
Near Warsaw
Warsaw and Wrocław Gdańsk
 Republic of Ireland 5 June 18 June Sopot
Near Gdańsk
Gdańsk and Poznań
 Italy 5 June 1 July Kraków Gdańsk and Poznań Kiev Warsaw Kiev
 Netherlands 4 June 17 June Kraków Kharkiv
 Poland 28 May 16 June Warsaw Warsaw and Wrocław
 Portugal 4 June 27 June Opalenica
Near Poznań
Kharkiv and Lviv Warsaw Donetsk
 Russia 3 June 16 June Warsaw Warsaw and Wrocław
 Spain 5 June 1 July Gniewino
Near Gdańsk
Gdańsk Donetsk Donetsk Kiev
 Sweden 6 June 19 June Kiev Kiev
 Ukraine 6 June 19 June Kiev Kiev and Donetsk
  •    Poland
  •    Ukraine


According to UEFA requirements, TP ensured approximately 2х70 Gbit/sec data communication speed from Polish stadiums and 2х140 Gbit/sec between Poland and Ukraine. This was required due to the fact that the matches were broadcast in HD quality.[46] The multilateral production utilised 31 cameras to cover the action on and around the pitch at every match, with additional cameras following activities around the game, such as team arrivals at the stadiums, interviews, and media conferences.[47] The official Euro 2012 broadcasting centre was located at the Expo XXI International Centre in Warsaw.[46] The tournament was broadcast live by around 100 TV channels covering the whole world.[48] 150,000,000 people were expected to watch the matches each day.[49]

Match ball

Monumental Adidas Tango 12 in Kiev

The Adidas Tango 12 was the official match ball of UEFA Euro 2012.[50] The ball is named after the original Adidas Tango family of footballs; however, the Tango 12 and its variations have a completely new design. Variations of the ball have been used in other contemporary competitions including the Africa Cup of Nations and the Summer Olympics. It is designed to be easier to dribble and control than the reportedly unpredictable Adidas Jabulani used at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[51]


For the list of all squads that played in the tournament, see UEFA Euro 2012 squads.

Match officials

On 20 December 2011, UEFA named twelve referees and four fourth officials for Euro 2012.[52] On 27 March 2012, UEFA issued the full list of 80 referees to be used in Euro 2012, including the assistant referees, the additional assistant referees, and the four reserve assistant referees.[53] Each refereeing team consisted of five match officials from the same country: one main referee, two assistant referees, and two additional assistant referees. All of the main referees, additional assistant referees, and fourth officials were FIFA referees, and the assistant referees (including the four reserve assistant referees) were FIFA assistant referees.[54][55] For each refereeing team, a third assistant referee from each country was named to remain on standby until the start of the tournament to take the place of a colleague if required.[55] In two cases, for the French and Slovenian refereeing teams, the standby assistant referees took the place of one of the assistant referees before the start of the tournament. Continuing the experiments carried out in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the two additional assistant referees were used on the goal line for the first time in European Championship history with approval from the International Football Association Board.[52]

Country Referee Assistant referees Additional assistant referees Matches refereed
England England Howard Webb Michael Mullarkey
Peter Kirkup[56]
Stephen Child (standby)
Martin Atkinson
Mark Clattenburg
Russia–Czech Republic (Group A)
Italy–Croatia (Group C)
Czech Republic–Portugal (Quarter-final)
France France Stéphane Lannoy Frédéric Cano
Michaël Annonier
Eric Dansault (standby)
Fredy Fautrel
Ruddy Buquet
Germany–Portugal (Group B)
Greece–Czech Republic (Group A)
Germany–Italy (Semi-final)
Germany Germany Wolfgang Stark Jan-Hendrik Salver
Mike Pickel
Mark Borsch (standby)
Florian Meyer
Deniz Aytekin
Poland–Russia (Group A)
Croatia–Spain (Group C)
Hungary Hungary Viktor Kassai Gábor Erős
György Ring
Róbert Kispál (standby)
István Vad
Tamás Bognár
Spain–Italy (Group C)
England–Ukraine (Group D)
Italy Italy Nicola Rizzoli Renato Faverani
Andrea Stefani
Luca Maggiani (standby)
Gianluca Rocchi
Paolo Tagliavento
France–England (Group D)
Portugal–Netherlands (Group B)
Spain–France (Quarter-final)
Netherlands Netherlands Björn Kuipers Sander van Roekel[56]
Erwin Zeinstra
Norbertus Simons (standby)
Pol van Boekel
Richard Liesveld
Republic of Ireland–Croatia (Group C)
Ukraine–France (Group D)
Portugal Portugal Pedro Proença Bertino Miranda
Ricardo Santos
Tiago Trigo (standby)
Jorge Sousa
Duarte Gomes
Spain–Republic of Ireland (Group C)
Sweden–France (Group D)
England–Italy (Quarter-final)
Spain–Italy (Final)
Scotland Scotland Craig Thomson Alasdair Ross
Derek Rose
Graham Chambers (standby)
William Collum
Euan Norris
Denmark–Portugal (Group B)
Czech Republic–Poland (Group A)
Slovenia Slovenia Damir Skomina Primož Arhar
Matej Žunič
Marko Stančin (standby)
Matej Jug
Slavko Vinčić
Netherlands–Denmark (Group B)
Sweden–England (Group D)
Germany–Greece (Quarter-final)
Spain Spain Carlos Velasco Carballo Roberto Alonso Fernández
Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez
Jesús Calvo Guadamuro (standby)
David Fernández Borbalán
Carlos Clos Gómez
Poland–Greece (Group A)
Denmark–Germany (Group B)
Sweden Sweden Jonas Eriksson Stefan Wittberg
Mathias Klasenius
Fredrik Nilsson (standby)
Markus Strömbergsson
Stefan Johannesson
Netherlands–Germany (Group B)
Greece–Russia (Group A)
Turkey Turkey Cüneyt Çakır Bahattin Duran
Tarık Ongun
Mustafa Emre Eyisoy (standby)
Hüseyin Göçek
Bülent Yıldırım
Ukraine–Sweden (Group D)
Italy–Republic of Ireland (Group C)
Portugal–Spain (Semi-final)
  •    Final referee; only referee assigned to four matches.

Four match officials, who served only as fourth officials, and four reserve assistant referees were also named:[52][53]


UEFA announced the schedule for the 31 matches of the final tournament in October 2010,[57] with the final confirmation of kick-offs times being affirmed following the tournament draw in December 2011.[58]

Group stage

The teams finishing in the top two positions in each of the four groups (highlighted in tables) progressed to the quarter-finals, while the bottom two teams were eliminated from the tournament.[59]


If two or more teams were equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following tie-breaking criteria were applied:[60][61][lower-alpha 2]

  1. Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
  2. Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
  3. Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;[lower-alpha 3]
  4. Superior goal difference in all group matches;
  5. Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
  6. If two teams tie alone (according to 1–5) after having met in the last round of the group stage their ranking is determined by penalty shoot-out.
  7. Position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system;
  8. Fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
  9. Drawing of lots.