Women's Football

Women's Euros: Previous winners

Jamie Spencer
Netherlands won the last Women's Euros in 2017
Netherlands won the last Women's Euros in 2017 / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The UEFA Women's Championship - otherwise known as the Women's Euros - comes to England for the 13th edition of the tournament in 2022.

It was initially supposed to be played in 2021, but the knock-on impact of delays from the Covid-19 pandemic means it has been five years since the last continental competition.

When it was first created in 1984, it was clunkily dubbed the 'European Competition for Women's Football'. That name remained for the next two tournaments in the remainder of the 1980s, before it became the UEFA Women's Championship in 1993.

By 2005, the last time the finals were played in England, the shortened and snappier name we are more familiar with today was used for the first time to move closer in line with the men's equivalent.

Since just four nations contested a mini-tournament with a host nation in 1984, the Euros have come a long way and become an important part of the international women's football calendar.

UEFA began selecting designated hosts from the second iteration in 1987, while the numbers were expanded to eight teams in 1997, up to 12 in 2009 and 16 as recently as the last one in 2017.

Here's a look back at every former winner...


1. Sweden - 1984

Sweden became Europe's first women's football champions in 1984, beating England on penalties in the final after the the two legs had finished with a tied 1-1 aggregate score-line.

Legendary player Pia Sundhage, who has more recently found global acclaim as a coach, scored four times in four games in the competition - including both Sweden goals in the semi-final second leg against Italy.

2. Norway - 1987

Three years after the original Women's Euros tournament, Norway were the first nation to properly host it and also lifted the title on home soil to underline their status as one of the early international superpowers.

Still only four teams were involved, but the two-legged nature of the previous competition was scrapped. The Norwegians beat Italy in their semi-final and then saw off reigning champions and neighbours Sweden.

3. Germany - 1989

Just prior to national reunification, Germany's dominance of the women's game in Europe began as early as 1989 when they claimed their first continental title in their first time at the fledgling tournament.

The host German side needed penalties to beat a strong Italy side in the semi-finals but were much more comfortable 4-1 winners against 1987 champions Norway in the final in Osnabruck.

4. Germany - 1991

The Germans won the Euro title again in 1991 as the tournament moved to Denmark. In a repeat of 1989, they beat Italy in the semi-finals and prevailed against Norway in the final for a second successive time.

But Germany couldn't take that continental dominance onto the global stage and were beaten by the United States in the semi-finals of the inaugural Women's World Cup in China a few months later.

5. Norway - 1993

Making up for defeat in back-to-back finals, Norway briefly upset the German applecart at the 1993 tournament in Italy and claimed their second European Championship title.

Italy knocked out Germany in the last four, taking their own revenge, but a Norwegian side inspired by Hege Riise, were too strong in the final. Two years later, Riise and Norway also went on to win the World Cup.

6. Germany - 1995

The 1995 competition briefly moved away from having a host nation and reverted to home and away games spread over a longer period of time - the first game took place as much as four months before the final.

Germany prevailed once more, with a teenage Birgit Prinz starting to make her mark on international football. But the final against Sweden was still a tight one, with the Germans edging a five-goal thriller late on.

7. Germany - 1997

The Women's Euros doubled in size for the 1997 tournament, as eight teams competed at the finals for the first time, including first appearances for both France and Spain. This was also the advent of the group stage.

Germany took the title for the second time in a row and fourth overall, despite only winning one of their three group games. They beat Italy in the final in Oslo, signalling the end of the 1980s and 1990s Italian golden era.

8. Germany - 2001

Germany made it a hat-trick of wins in 2001, doing so on home soil. They cruised through the group stage but had to grind out a semi-final win against Norway and then beat Sweden with a golden goal in the final.

For Sweden, this was a fourth appearance in the final over the course of eight tournaments, but their third defeat following their 1984 triumph. Going into 2022, it also still remains their last final appearance.

9. Germany - 2005

Germany became reigning European & world champions simultaneously in 2005
Germany became reigning European & world champions simultaneously in 2005 / PAUL BARKER/GettyImages

Germany's winning run kept going in 2005 as England hosted the tournament for the first time - a fourth title in a row and sixth overall. The final was a repeat of those in 1989 and 1991 against Norway.

The Euros triumph followed their World Cup glory from 2003, meaning that Germany held continental and global titles at the same time. They hadn't been able to make it a clean sweep with Olympic gold in 2004, though.

10. Germany - 2009

Germany won a one-sided final against England in 2009
Germany won a one-sided final against England in 2009 / Ian Walton/GettyImages

Germany secured a fifth consecutive European title in 2009 when they thrashed England 6-2 in a one-sided final in Helsinki. For the Lionesses, it was a first final since getting to the inaugural one in 1984.

Two years earlier in 2007, Germany had also retained their World Cup crown to firmly underline their global dominance in women's international football. But they weren't quite done there...

11. Germany - 2013

Germany made it six Euros wins in a row in 2013
Germany made it six Euros wins in a row in 2013 / John Berry/GettyImages

The 2009 and 2013 tournaments both featured 12 teams, with the latter hosted in Sweden and the scene of Germany's incredible sixth straight European title and eighth overall.

They didn't actually top their group, stumbling to a surprise defeat to Norway in their last game. Yet three successive 1-0 wins in the knockout stages, including revenge over Norway in the final, secured the trophy.

12. Netherlands - 2017

Sherida Spitse, Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens
Netherlands won on home soil in 2017 / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Euro 2017 was the biggest there had been, with Netherlands a fitting and passionate host nation that was rewarded when an emerging golden generation of Dutch players swept to a first ever international trophy.

In the expanded format, there were Euros debuts for Scotland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal, while Germany's reign came to an end at the hands of eventual runners-up Denmark in the last eight.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

facebooktwitterreddit