Ahead of Euro 2008 we look back at the ten greatest teams to grace the finals of the European Championships.
This side was not quite a match for the 1974 World Cup side, but where the team spearheaded by Johan Cruyff fell at the final hurdle, the 1988 model claimed European glory.
Much of that was down to the AC Milan trio of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, but veteran midfielder Arnold Muhren, the classy Ronald Koeman and the hard-working Jan Wouters formed an excellent supporting cast.
SOVIET UNION 1960
The USSR were the winners of the inaugural competition. The star of the team was goalkeeper Lev Yashin, who had also been part of the side which won Olympic gold in Melbourne four years earlier. Many of the team were members of the famous Dynamo Moscow team which won the national championship four times in the 1950s.
Hopes were high that France, who were desperately unlucky to lose their World Cup semi-final to West Germany two years earlier, could win their first major silverware on home soil. They lived up to expectations and won the event in style. Michel Platini was the star and top goalscorer, ably assisted by the likes of Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse and Dominique Rocheteau. The win over Portugal in the semi-final was breathtaking and Spain were seen off at the Parc des Princes as Platini held aloft the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
Many thought the Danes' best chance of winning a major international title had
passed them by when age caught up with the 'Dynamite' side of the 1980s. The team that arrived in Sweden had not even qualified for the Euro finals in 1992 and the players were all set for their summer holidays when it emerged that Yugoslavia were to be barred from competing as part of ongoing sporting and political sanctions. However, they put down the tanning lotion and claimed a highly unlikely piece of silverware.
Terry Venables' side may not have ended the 30 years of hurt built up since the 1966 World Cup triumph, but they came mighty close with a number of players hitting their international peak in the tournament. David Seaman's hands were at their safest, Stuart Pearce was the heart and soul of the team, Steve McManaman and Paul Gascoigne were unafraid to take on the opposition and, in Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham, England had their best strike pairing since Gary Lineker and Peter Beardsley.
WEST GERMANY 1972
One of the strongest line-ups in European Championships history, they stormed to the European title with a 3-0 win over the USSR in the final and followed up by becoming world champions two years later. The team was encrusted with jewels all over the pitch - goalkeeper Sepp Maier, Berti Vogts and Franz Beckenbauer at the back, the outrageously-gifted Gunther Netzer in midfield and goal-poacher Gerd Muller up front.
The unheralded Czechs caused a major stir by winning the competition as they first prevented a rematch of the 1974 World Cup final by beating Holland 3-1 in the semi-finals and then beat West Germany 5-3 on penalties in the final.
Goalkeeper Ivo Viktor was a star performer but it was Antonin Panenka who will best be remembered for his nonchalant chipped penalty to win the shoot-out.
In the summer of 1966 the Azzurri stars were pelted with rotten tomatoes when they returned from that year's World Cup in England with their tails between their legs after a 1-0 defeat to North Korea. Just two years later however they were European champions as Gigi Riva inspired them to a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia in a replayed final. Another man who was part of the success was Dino Zoff, who captained the Italians to World Cup glory in 1982.
So often Spain have arrived at major championships tipped as possible winners but only the 1964 squad have so far lived up to the expectation. Luis Suarez and Amaro Amancio were the stars of the team. Marcelino Martinez scored the decisive goal as the USSR were beaten 2-1 in the final in Madrid.
France were already world champions when they arrived at Euro 2000 and their eventual triumph came after minimal tinkering by Roger Lemerre, who succeeded World Cup-winning coach Aime Jacquet. Zinedine Zidane was the midfield orchestrator, Marcel Desailly the rock at the back while a star was truly born in the final when David Trezeguet scored the golden goal winner against Italy.