1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship

1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship

1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship

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The UEFA U-21 Championship 1996, which spanned two years (1994-96), had 44 entrants. After the quarter-finals stage, Spain were chosen as the hosts of the final stages, consisting of four matches in total.

No fewer than 13 newly-independent nations competed for the first time - due mainly to the fall of Socialist rule in Europe in the early 1990s.

Russia, who competed in 1994 were joined by nine further former Soviet Union states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

The exclusion (for political reasons) of the team from Serbia and Montenegro, then known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia continued. Croatia, Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia were three former states of Yugoslavia who did compete though.

Czechoslovakia became two separate nations - teams from the Czech Republic and Slovakia complete the list of new entrants.

Italy U-21s won the competition for the third consecutive time.

The 44 national teams were divided into eight groups (four groups of 5 + four groups of 6). The group winners played off against each other on a two-legged home-and-away basis to determine the final four, one of whom would host the last four...
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