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2008 UEFA European Football Championship

Jul 12, 2008
Better known as Euro 2008, the UEFA European Football Championship was an exciting end to an eventful season. Qualification for the final began in August 2006 after the FIFA World Cup. Groups A, B, C and D, consisting of 16 teams, battled it out on the field to find out who would be going to Vienna for Euro 2008. Spain became the first team to win all matches in the group stage since France's accomplishment in 1984.

In terms of international competitions, Germany is considered one of the most successful teams. They have won six distinguished titles, three World Cups and three European championships. Germany is also the only nation to have both men's and women's teams win World Cups.

In the Euro 2008 final, Spain and Germany faced off at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, Austria on June 29. Full of confidence and excitement, both teams were welcomed by grandstands full of cheering fans. In the final, Spain defeated Germany 1-0. Adidas produced the ball used in the final and named it Europass Gloria. Europass Gloria is a version of Europass which was the 14-panel match ball used during qualifying games.

Spain's David Villa injured his right thigh muscle during the semi-final win over Russia and was unable to compete in Euro 2008. "I'm a little sad that I won't be there to take part, but it's better that a teammate who is fit plays instead of me, particularly as my injury has left me limping quite badly," Villa said before the game.

New Euro 2008 Trophy Style

The new trophy awarded to the winning team was almost an exact replica of the original that was designed by Arthus-Bertrand. The revised design no longer has the small figure juggling a ball on the back or the marble plinth. The new trophy is made of sterling silver, weighs 8 kilograms and is 60 centimeters tall. The silver base was enlarged, and the names of the winning countries were engraved on the back.

Euro 2008 Entertainment and Closing Ceremony

The championship's closing ceremony featured Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias, who sang the tournament's official song "Can You Hear Me" composed by Rollo Armstrong. Iglesias is a Madrid native with 18 No. 1 Spanish singles on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks.

Some of the nearly 400 artists and performers included Shaggy, Christina Sturmer, Rawbau, The White Stripes and others. The German dance group Bellini performed after each goal scored during the competition. Euro 2008 official mascots were named Trix and Flix after the names won 36% of the vote.

Welcome Home Celebrations

The Euro 2008 champions Spain were greeted by thousands of still-excited fans as they returned home. The team was paraded through town in an open-top bus as fans lined the streets, cheering them on. Coach Luis Aragones describes his team as "the best team in the world."

Euro 2008 was Spain's first European championship since 1964. A fitting official end to the celebration, a rendition of "We Are The Champions" was played over loudspeakers while red and yellow confetti showered party-goers.
About the Author
A series of informative guides for Spain are produced by Tribune Properties, and includes reviews for Barcelona hotels

They also have airport information and flights to Menorca and for those taking a trip to Menorca hotels in Menorca
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