Euro 2008 Online Betting
The UEFA European Football Championship is recognised as the most important footballing event in Europe. Its origins date back to as early as 1927. A European Championship was proposed by the secretary of the French Football Federation, Henri Delaunay. However, his ideas suffered a setback as FIFA (the sport's World governing body) was involved in organising the inaugural World Cup tournament. Delaunay was appointed as the first general secretary of UEFA (the European governing body) in 1954. Henri Delaunay died in 1955. However, Delaunay's son Pierre was to see his father's ideas through to fruition and the first European national football championship was organised in 1957. The competition started as the European Nations' Cup. The qualifying rounds began in 1958 with seventeen countries. A two-leg match between Eire and Czechoslovakia was required to reduce the number of teams to sixteen.
Championship Hosts and Winners
For the first tournament, the semi-finals and final were held as the finals in France in 1960. The final itself, involving the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia ended in a draw, with the Soviet Union winning 2-1, after extra time.
Spain hosted the finals, and their national team became European Champions, beating the U.S.S.R. 2-1 in the final in Madrid. There was something of a crisis during these finals, with Greece refusing to play Albania. However, this was not altogether surprising, as the two countries were technically still at war!
The European Nations' Cup was renamed the UEFA European Football Championship. The format of the tournament was also changed. Teams were seeded into eight groups, and played each other twice. The eight group winners qualified for the quarter-finals, played over two legs. Italy was the host nation for the semi-finals and final. Again the hosts won, with Italy beating Yugoslavia 2-0 in the final replay, after an initial 1-1 draw.
Belgium hosted the finals in 1972. The final was contested by West Germany and the Soviet Union, with the German side running out convincing 3-0 winners.
Yugoslavia played host to the tournament. In the final, Czechoslovakia held a two-goal lead against West Germany. However, the Germans "came back from the dead," winning on penalties.
1980 saw a new format for the finals. Eight teams qualified for the finals, hosted by Italy. The teams played each other in two groups, with the group winners qualifying for the final. A brace from Horst Hrubesch saw West Germany retain the title, beating Belgium 2-1.
The two groups of four teams were kept, but the top two from each group qualified for the semi-finals. The French hosts played Spain in the Paris final, winning 2-0.
West Germany hosted Euro 1988, with the competition in the same format. The Netherlands won the title, defeating a (luckless since 1960) Soviet Union 2-0.
The European Championship was held in Sweden. Yugoslavia was excluded from the finals due to its civil war. Denmark replaced them in the tournament and won it, beating Germany 2-0 in the final.
The breakup of the U.S.S.R. resulted in an emergence of new eastern European nations. This resulted in some forty-eight teams entering the tournament. Sixteen teams contested the finals in England. The teams were seeded into four groups of four, with the winners and runners-up qualifying for the quarter finals.
In the final a seemingly omnipresent Germany played the Czech Republic. An extra-time "golden-goal" from Oliver Bierhoff secured a German title, 2-1.
Euro 2000 co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. Portugal won all of their qualifying games but suffered an extra-time loss to France in the semi-final. France beat the Italians in the final with a 2-1 golden-goal victory.
Euro 2004 was hosted by Portugal. This was a tournament of upsets, with the Germans, Italians and Spaniards all failing to qualify from their respective groups. The final was thought to be a foregone conclusion, with Portugal considered certainties to beat Greece. However, the "turn ups" continued, with Greece winning 1-0.
Fifty two teams competed for fourteen qualification places in the finals, of the 13th Championship, Euro 2008, with host nations Switzerland and Austria qualifying automatically.
Betting on Euro 2008
Most online betting sites already have prices on the outright winners of Euro 2008. Current prices are:
4/1 Germany, 15/2 Spain, Portugal, Italy, 12/1 Croatia, Czech Republic and Holland, 25/1 BAR. Each-way terms are 1/2 the odds a place 1, 2.
Teams are divided into four groups of four teams for the initial stages of the finals, with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter-finals. Several of the online betting sites have prices on teams to (a) win their group, and (b) qualify for the quarter-finals.
A trophy is awarded for the player scoring most goals in the finals. Prices will be available for the winner of this trophy. Each-way terms are generally 1/5 the odds, 1, 2, 3 at the outset.
Betting on Individual Matches
Online betting prices for individual matches are generally based on 90 minutes play. Effectively, this means that each "match" becomes a 3-horse race, as a price for the draw is also included. In the knockout stages, "to qualify" prices are also available, covering the possibilities of extra time and penalties.
Predict the correct score for the match. 90 minutes play, win only.
First / Last Goalscorer
Predict the match's first / last goalscorer, 90 minutes play. Some online bettors offer each-way terms of 1/5 the odds, 1, 2, 3.
Predict the result of a match at half-time and full-time, 90 minutes play. The draw is included, making nine possible permutations.
Time of First Goal
Predict the time of the first goal. Dependent on the match, this is usually before / after 27 minutes, 10/11 each selection.
Euro 2008 - Further Information
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