History: The Italian job:1968

Having hit rock bottom at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Italy rebuilt to become the first winners of the newly formed UEFA European Championship.

The revamped title was accompanied by a new format, with the knockout stage replaced by the system of qualifying groups still in place today. Only Malta and Iceland opted out, and that meant West Germany made their debut.

Italy beat Yugoslavia in a replay after an initial final where they had been outplayed by the Yugoslavs in a 1-1 draw. However, the Italians pulled themselves together and a few days later beat their opponents 2-0 in final.

Italy had been very fortunate to make the final itself as it had literally gone down to a flip of the coin after their semi-final with the Soviet Union ended 0-0 after extra-time. The referee opted to flip a coin and the Italians called correctly.

Yugoslavia had made it to the final courtesy of a 1-0 win over world champions England, Alan Mullery earning the dubious distinction of becoming the first Englishman to be sent-off.