|Number of teams||55 (total)|
|Most successful team(s)|
(5 titles each)
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship is a biennial football competition contested by the European men's under-21 national teams of the member associations of UEFA.
Italy and Spain are the most successful teams in this competition, having won five titles each. Spain are also the current champions.
The competition has existed in its current form since 1978. It was preceded by the Under-23 Challenge Cup which ran from 1967 to 1970. A true Under-23 championship was then formed, starting in 1973.
The age limit was reduced to 21 for the 1978 championship and it has remained so since. To be eligible for the campaign ending in 2019, players need to be born in or after 1996. Many can be actually 23 years old by the time the finals tournament takes place; however, when the qualification process began (2017) all players would have been 21 or under.
Under-21 matches were typically played on the day before senior internationals and where possible, the same qualifying groups and fixtures were played out. This has changed since shortened 2006-2007 Championship.
This tournament serves as qualifier for the Summer Olympics. It has been considered a stepping stone toward the senior team. Players such as 2014 World Cup winner Mesut Özil, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Luís Figo, Petr Čech, 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas, 2006 World Cup winners Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon, Alberto Gilardino and Andrea Pirlo, and Euro 2004 winner Georgios Karagounis began their international careers in the youth teams.
Spain are the reigning champions, defeating Germany 2–1 in the 2019 final. The finals of the 2019 competition were hosted by Italy.
Up to and including the 1992 competition, all entrants were divided into eight qualification groups, the eight winners of which formed the quarter-finals lineup. The remaining fixtures were played out on a two-legged, home and away basis to determine the eventual winner.
For the 1994 competition, one of the semi-finalists, France, was chosen as a host for the (single-legged) semi-finals, third-place playoff and final. Similarly, Spain was chosen to host the last four matches in 1996.
For 1998, nine qualification groups were used, as participation had reached 46, nearly double the 24 entrants in 1976. The top seven group winners qualified automatically for the finals, whilst the eighth- and ninth-best qualifiers, Greece and England, played-off for the final spot. The remaining matches, from the quarter-finals onward, were held in Romania, one of the eight qualifiers.
The 2000 competition also had nine groups, but the nine winners and seven runners-up went into a two-legged playoff to decide the eight qualifiers. From those, Slovakia was chosen as host. For the first time, the familiar finals group stage was employed, with the two winners contesting a final, and two runners-up contesting the third-place playoff. The structure in 2002 was identical, except for the introduction of a semi-finals round after the finals group stage. Switzerland hosted the 2002 finals.
In 2004, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and six best runners-up going into the playoff. Germany was host that year. For 2006, the top two teams of eight large qualification groups provided the 16 teams for the playoffs, held in November 2005. Portugal hosted the finals.
Then followed the switch to odd years. The change was made because the senior teams of many nations often chose to promote players from their under-21s team as their own qualification campaign intensified. Staggering the tournaments allowed players more time to develop in the under-21 team rather than get promoted too early and end up becoming reserves for the seniors.
The 2007 competition actually began before the 2006 finals, with a qualification round to eliminate eight of the lowest-ranked nations. For the first time, the host (Netherlands) was chosen ahead of the qualification section. As hosts, Netherlands qualified automatically. Coincidentally, the Dutch team had won the 2006 competition – the holders would normally have gone through the qualification stage. The other nations were all drawn into fourteen three-team groups. The 14 group winners were paired in double-leg play-off to decide the seven qualifiers alongside the hosts.
From 2009 to 2015, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and four best runners-up going into the two-legged playoffs.
The 2015 finals was to be the last eight teams edition, as UEFA expanded the tournament to twelve teams starting from the 2017 edition.
On 6 February 2019, UEFA's Executive Committee increased the number of participants in the finals to sixteen teams, starting from the 2021 edition.
Held only three times before it was relabelled by UEFA.
|Year||Host||Final||Losing semi-finalists||Number of teams|
|2–2 / 3–1|
5–3 on aggregate
|2–3 / 4–0|
6–3 on aggregate
|1–1 / 2–1|
3–2 on aggregate
(or third place match)
|Number of teams|
|1–0 / 4–4|
5–4 on aggregate
|0–0 / 1–0|
1–0 on aggregate
|3–1 / 2–3|
5–4 on aggregate
|1–0 / 2–0|
3–0 on aggregate
|1–2 / 2–1|
3–3 on aggregate
3–0 ( p )
|0–0 / 3–0|
3–0 on aggregate
|4–2 / 3–1|
7–3 on aggregate
|2–0 / 0–1|
2–1 on aggregate
( a.e.t. )
4–2( p )
3–1( p )
Serbia and Montenegro
( a.e.t. )
4–3 ( p )
Only under-21 championships are included in the table.
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Third-place||Fourth-place||Semi-finalists||Total (Top Four)|
|5 (1986, 1998, 2011, 2013, 2019)||3 (1984, 1996, 2017)||2||10|
|5 (1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004)||2 (1986, 2013)||5||12|
|2 (2009, 2017)||2 (1982, 2019)||1||5|
|2 (1982, 1984)||1 (2009)||6||9|
|2 (2006, 2007)||1||2||5|
|2 (1980, 1990)||1||3|
|1 (1988)||1 (2002)||1||1||2||6|
|1 (2015)||1 (1992)||1||2||5|
|1 (2002)||1 (2000)||1||3|
|1 (1978)||1 (1990)||2||4|
|2 (1994, 2015)||1||3|
|2 (2004, 2007)||1||3|
|2 (1978, 1980)||2|
|2 (1988, 1998)||2|
|Part of USSR||×||•||•||•||•||GS||•||•||GS||3rd||•||•||•||•||TBD||3|
|Part of Yugoslavia||×||×||•||•||GS||•||GS||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||GS||TBD||3|
|Member of OFC||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||GS||•||•||GS||•||•||•||TBD||2|
|Part of Yugoslavia||×||×||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||GS||•||TBD||1|
|Part of Czechoslovakia||•||•||4th||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||GS||•||TBD||2|
|Part of Yugoslavia||×||×||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||q||1|
|Part of USSR||×||•||•||•||•||•||2nd||•||•||GS||•||•||•||•||TBD||2|
Since 2013 an official Player of the Tournament has been selected by the UEFA Technical Team.
|2015 Czech Republic|
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship adidas Golden Boot award will be handed to the player who scores the most goals during the tournament. Since the 2013 tournament, those who finish as runners-up in the vote receive the Silver Boot and Bronze Boot awards as the second and third top goalscorer players in the tournament respectively.
|Tournament||Golden Boot||Goals||Silver Boot||Goals||Bronze Boot||Goals||Ref(s)|
|2015 Czech Republic||3||2||2|
On 17 June 2015, UEFA revealed an all-time best XI from the previous Under-21 final tournaments.
The UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as the UEFA European Championship and informally as the Euros, is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was originally called the European Nations' Cup, changing to the current name in 1968. Starting with the 1996 tournament, specific championships are often referred to in the form "UEFA Euro [year]"; this format has since been retroactively applied to earlier tournaments.
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in international men's football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal.
The Bulgaria national football team represents Bulgaria in international football and is administered by the Bulgarian Football Union, a member association of UEFA. The team's home venue is the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, and is currently managed by Georgi Dermendzhiev.
The UEFA European Women's Championship, also called the UEFA Women's Euro, held every four years, is the main competition in women's association football between national teams of the UEFA confederation. The competition is the women's equivalent of the UEFA European Championship.
The UEFA European Under-19 Championship is an annual football competition contested by the European men's under-19 national teams of the member associations of UEFA.
England's national under-21 football team, also known as England under-21s or England U21(s), is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team.
The Albania national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Albania and is controlled by the Football Association of Albania. The team competes in the European Under-21 Football Championship, which is held every two years.
The Iceland men's national under-21 football team is a national under-21 football team of Iceland and is controlled by the Football Association of Iceland. The team is considered to be the feeder team for the senior Icelandic men's national football team. Since the establishment of the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in 1978, the team has reached the Euro Championship finals on one occasion in 2011 where they were knocked out in the group stages.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2011 was the 18th staging of UEFA's European Under-21 Championship. The final tournament was hosted by Denmark between 11 and 25 June 2011.
2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship was the 19th staging of UEFA's European Under-21 Championship. The final tournament was hosted by Israel between the 5–18 June 2013.
The 2013 UEFA Women's Championship, commonly referred to as Women's Euro 2013, was the 11th European Championship for women's national football teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament, held in Sweden from 10 to 28 July 2013, became the most-watched in the history of the Women's Euros. It concluded with Germany, the defending champions, winning their sixth consecutive and eighth overall Women's Euro title after defeating Norway in the final.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process is a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams that will play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Qatar qualifying automatically as hosts. All 210 remaining FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process.
The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification was a series of parallel association football competitions held over 2011 and 2012 to decide the qualifiers for 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, to be held in Israel. The draw for the qualifying rounds was held on 3 February 2011 in Nyon, with matches played between March 2011 and September 2012.
The 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship was the 20th edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, a biennial international football competition for men's under-21 national teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament was hosted for the first time in the Czech Republic from 15–30 June 2015, after their bid was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee on 20 March 2012 in Istanbul.
The 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship was the 21st edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, a biennial international youth football championship organised by UEFA for the men's under-21 national teams of Europe. The final tournament was hosted in Poland for the first time, after their bid was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee on 26 January 2015 in Nyon, Switzerland. The tournament took place from 16–30 June 2017. Players born on or after 1 January 1994 were eligible for the tournament.
The 2015 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship was the 14th edition of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship, the annual European youth football competition contested by the women's under-19 national teams of the member associations of UEFA. Israel hosted the tournament. Players born on or after 1 January 1996 were eligible to participate in this competition.
The 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship was the 17th edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, the annual international youth football championship organised by UEFA for the men's under-19 national teams of Europe. Finland hosted the final tournament, between 16 and 29 July, after being selected by UEFA on 26 January 2015. A total of eight teams competed in the tournament, with players born on or after 1 January 1999 eligible to participate.
The 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship was the 22nd edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, the biennial international youth football championship organised by UEFA for the men's under-21 national teams of Europe. The final tournament was hosted by Italy in mid-2019, after their bid was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee on 9 December 2016 in Nyon, Switzerland.
The 2020 UEFA European Under-19 Championship will be the 19th edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, the annual international youth football championship organised by UEFA for the men's under-19 national teams of Europe. Northern Ireland, which were selected by UEFA on 9 December 2016, will host the tournament. Northern Ireland previously hosted the tournament 15 years previously in 2005.
The 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship will be the 23rd edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, the biennial international youth football championship organised by UEFA for the men's under-21 national teams of Europe. The tournament will be co-hosted by Hungary and Slovenia and was scheduled to take place from 9 to 26 June 2021. However, the tournament was rescheduled following the postponement of UEFA Euro 2020 to June/July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new dates to be decided initially on 27 May 2020, but then postponed to 17 June 2020, where the UEFA Executive Committee meeting discussed the calendar and format of the tournament. On 17 June 2020, UEFA announced the tournament would be played in two stages; the group stage, which would take place from 24 to 31 March 2021, and the knockout stage, which would take place from 31 May to 6 June 2021.
2013 Under-21 finals top scorers
Golden Boot: Álvaro Morata, Spain – 4 goals, 1 assist
Silver Boot: Thiago Alcántara – 3 goals, 1 assist
Bronze Boot: Isco, Spain – 3 goals
Golden Boot: Saúl Ñíguez (Spain) – 5 goals, 1 assist
Silver Boot: Marco Asensio (Spain) – 3 goals, 1 assist
Bronze Boot: Bruma (Portugal) – 3 goals