The list of 24 teams that will compete in Euro 2016 is complete, with five nations (Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Wales) making their first appearance in the European Championship, while six of the eight former champions (France the hosts, Germany, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic and Italy) made it in.
The Albanians qualify for a major tournament for the first time in history, finishing second behind Portugal in Group I of the qualifier, in a campaign that included an away win at Portugal and a 3-0 techincal win over Serbia. No player scored more than 1 goal in the campaign, and when you cancel the win against the Serbs, they scored just 7 times in 7 matches.
Surprisingly, this is only the second time Austria make the Euro, and the first through the qualifying group having been co-hosts in 2008. They have been to the World Cup 7 times, but none since 1998. Austria finished first in their group, above Russia, Sweden and Montenegro. Marc Janko of FC Basel was their top scorer through the campaign with 7 goals.
This is the fifth time for Belgium in the European Championship, although their previous one, in 2000, was due to hosting the tournament. They were runners up in 1980, also the last time they made it out of the group stage. They qualified through winning group B ahead of Wales, Bosnia and Israel. Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard scored 5 goals each to lead their scoring efforts.
This is the fifth Euro for Croatia, and a fourth time in a row that they’ve made it in. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Italy, ahead of Norway and Bulgaria. Ivan Perisic led the goalscoring with 6, as Croatia hope to at least be part of the final 8, their top achievement (twice) in the Euros.
This is the ninth tournament the Czech Republic will be in, including the ones as Czechoslovakia, when they won it in 1976. As the new nation, they peaked in 1996, making the final. They finished first in Group A, ahead of Iceland, Turkey and the Netherlands. Bořek Dočkal of Sparta Prague was their top scorer with 4 goals.
A perfect qualifying campaign for England, winning all 10 matches to finish first in their group with Switzerland, Slovenia and Estonia among others. Wayne Rooney was the top scorer with 7 goals. It’s the ninth tournament for England, never making it past the semifinal.
The hosts of the tournament, France have won the competition twice before (1984, 2000) and are in it for a 7th consecutive time, not making it past the quarterfinal since winning it in 2000.
Germany, the world champions, didn’t look great in the qualifying campaign, still finishing first in a group that included Poland, Ireland and Scotland, with Thomas Muller scoring nine times to lead their scoring. It’s the 12th Euro for Germany (including West Germany appearances), winning the competition three times (1972, 1980, 1996) and losing in the semifinal in 2012.
Hungary are one of the four teams to make it through the play-off into the Euro, beating Norway 3-1 on aggregate to be one of the 24. It’s only the third Euro for the Nemzeti Tizenegy, the last of them being in 1972.
The first ever major tournament for Iceland, finishing second in their qualifying group behind the Czech Republic but ahead of Turkey and the Netherlands. Gylfi Sigurðsson of Swansea was their top scorer in the campaign with 6 goals.
A comfortable qualifying campaign for Italy to finish first ahead of Croatia, Norway and Bulgaria, led by Graziano Pelle with 3 goals. It’s the ninth time for the Italians in the Euro, winning it once (1968) and making the final twice in the 00’s (2000, 2012).
The first ever Euro for Northern Ireland, who haven’t been to a major competition since the 1986 World Cup. They finished first in their group that included Romania, Hungary, Finland and Greece. Kyle Lafferty of Norwich was their leading scorer in the campaign with 7 goals.
Poland finished second in a group that included Germany, Ireland and Scotland, led by Robert Lewandowski scoring 13 goals. It’s the third consecutive Euro for Poland, co-hosting the previous tournament. They still haven’t made it out of the group stage.
Didn’t complicate things for once, finishing first in a group that included Albania, Denmark and Serbia, with Cristiano Ronaldo topping the scoring with 5 goals. It’s the seventh Euro for Portugal (sixth in a row), their best finish being the final in 2004 when hosting the tournament.
Ireland are in the Euros for a third time and making it back-to-back this time, hoping for a better showing than in 2012. They beat Bosnia 3-1 on aggregate to make it out of the play-off.
Romania finished second in group F behind Northern Ireland but ahead of Greece and Hungary, led by three players scoring two goals: Constantin Budescu of FC Astra Giurgiu, Bogdan Stancu of Gençlerbirliği and Paul Papp of Steaua. It’s the fifth Euro Romania make it to.
Russia, including their USSR time, are in the Euro for an 11th time, with a tournament win back in 1960, the first one that took place. They finished second in their group behind Austria and ahead of Sweden, led by 8 goals from Zenit’s Artyom Dzyuba.
Slovakia are in a Euro tournament for the first time, finishing second behind Spain in their group but ahead of Ukraine, led by Marek Hamsik, scoring 5 goals in the campaign. They have one World Cup appearance, in 2010.
Bouncing back from a terrible World Cup, Spain finished first ahead of Slovakia and Ukraine to win the group, led by Paco Alcacer of Valencia scoring 5 goals. They’ve won the last two European Championships and have three titles overall in the competition, making it in for a 10th time.
Sweden made it into their sixth Euro (fifth in a row) by beating Denmark in the play-off, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 2-2 in Copenhagen. Semifinalists in 1992 when hosting the tournament, they’ve been past the group stage just once in the tournaments that have followed.
Switzerland finished second in their group behind England but ahead of Slovenia, led by Xherdan Shaqiri who scored 4 goals in the campaign. It’s the fourth European championship they’ve made their way into, one of the previous ones being a co-hosting job with Austria (2008). They’ve never been past the group stage.
Turkey are in the Euro for a fourth time and the first since 2008, thanks to being the best third-placed team, finishing behind Czech Republic and Iceland but ahead of Netherlands. Burak Yilmaz with 4 goals led the scoring in the campaign.
Are in the Euro for a second consecutive time (last time they were co-hosts), making it through the play-0ff, sending Slovenia home after beating them 2-0 at home and drawing 1-1 away in the second leg.
Wales are in the Euro for the first time after finishing behind Belgium but ahead of Bosnia and Israel in the qualifying group, led by 7 goals from Gareth Bale. It’s only the second major tournament for the Welsh, who haven’t been to one since the 1958 World Cup.