On 7th June 2008 the 13th UEFA European Championships? kicked off to huge fanfare. The tournament's first game took place in Basel and saw joint hosts Switzerland take on the Czech Republic in an action packed game that set the scene for a magical month of football. The group stages that followed provided some unforgettable action with teams like Portugal, Holland and Spain setting the pace and showing the rest of Europe how free scoring football should be played.
The slogan of the tournament; 'Expect Emotions' certainly delivered on its promise with game after game of non-stop action and breathtaking goals. Who can forget Croatia's heart breaking defeat by Turkey in the quarter final penalty shoot-out or Turkey's last minute exit at the hands of Germany following their brave campaign? Russia's excellent performances surprised and impressed many culminating in an awesome display that left Holland's European dreams in tatters.
As the tournament reached a climax on Sunday 29th June, two teams were left to battle it out at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna for the biggest prize in European football. Germany, perhaps not a surprising finalist and Spain, reaching this stage for the first time in over 20 years. A fantastic match followed filled with passion and drama with both teams struggling to gain dominance, perhaps fittingly for such a final it was decided by a sublime strike from Fernando Torres, who gave Spain their second European Championships and their first trophy in 44 years.