5 interesting facts of the UEFA European Championship you may not know

 Italy were lucky to win the coin toss against the Soviet Union
Neelabhra Roy
Modified 10 Jun 2016
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It’s only a matter of hours now before the 15th edition of the Euros commences. A total of 24 teams will fight it out in France to lift the coveted Henri Delaunay Trophy. Since its inception in 1960, the Euros has witnessed plenty of excitement, drama and controversy which haven’t been forgotten.

However, there have been some incidents as well which may have escaped your notice. With only hours to go before the opening match of the tournament gets underway, let’s take a look at five interesting Euro facts which you may not know.

#1 The cruel coin toss of Euro 1968

The third edition of the Euros in 1968 was remembered for a number of events. One of them occurred during the opening game of the tournament between hosts Italy and the Soviet Union at Naples.

Italy were not having the best of outings against the Soviets as they had lost to them in their last two meetings at a major tournament. After an impressive defensive display by both teams, the score was tied at 0-0 at the end of regular as well as extra time.

Since the concept of a penalty shootout hadn’t been invented at that time, the match would be decided by a coin toss between Italian captain Giacinto Facchetti and his Soviet counterpart Albert Shesternyov. Facchetti called tails which turned out to be correct and Italy were through to the final.

After a really good performance against Italy, the Soviets were eliminated from the tournament by the cruelest way possible. As for Italy, they went on to win the tournament. To date, this is the only match in the Euros to have been decided by the toss of a coin.

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Published 10 Jun 2016
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