5 Euro records that will probably never be broken
Football is an ever-evolving sport incorporating new rules, new formats and young blood eager to make their mark on the beautiful game. The fact that this summer’s Euros in France will be the first to involve a ‘Last 16’ phase only heightens such a sentiment, as UEFA look to hand more opportunities for excitement and success to a larger pool of nations.
Amidst these rapid changes and fresh faces remains a host of records and achievements engraved in time, borderline-impossible to break. Here’s a look at five records in the European Championships that will probably never be bettered.
#1 Fewest Number of Goals Conceded in a Single Finals Tournament – Spain – 1
In 2012, the most recent edition of the prestigious European Championships, the Spaniards cemented their place in the history books, becoming the first nation to win the Euros back-to-back, following victory in 2008. Iniesta, Casillas and co. were fresh from bulldozing a myriad of sides at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when they rolled into Ukraine and Poland to defend their European crown two years later.
They would be joined by Italy, Republic of Ireland and Croatia in Group C, the former (Italy) being the only side in the entire tournament to breach the Spanish defence, courtesy of Antonio Di Natale’s cool finish in the opening round of fixtures. After demolishing Ireland and easing past Croatia, Spain went on to dispatch France and Portugal before asserting their revenge over the Azzurri in the final.
While the nation’s clockwork midfield and free-flowing attacks captured the imagination of football fans, it was their defence that played the most crucial role. They conceded just 1 goal in the 2012 European Championships, the smallest tally of goals conceded by a team in a final Euro tournament and one which is incredibly unlikely to ever be broken, given the developing emphasis teams are placing on attacking football in the modern era.