Europass

Europass is the official match ball for UEFA Euro 2008. The ball was officially presented on 2 December 2007, during the group draw for the final tournament. It is a 14-panel ball in the same construction as the Teamgeist, but with new PSC (creeps) surface design. For the final prepare a silver version of this ball, the Europass Gloria. The same ball but with different design (depending on competition) was used in UEFA Champions League from 2008 through 2009 and in 2009 UEFA Super Cup and 2009-10 UEFA Europa League. The Terrapass, similar to Europass ball, was used in the 2009 UEFA Under-21 and UEFA Women's Euro 2009 and some international matches. The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Austria and Switzerland (both hosting the tournament for the first time) from 7 to 29 June 2008. The second jointly-hosted finals in the competition's history, the tournament was eventually won by Spain, defeating Germany 10 in the final; becoming only the second nation to win all their group stage fixtures and win the European Championship itself; an accomplishment matched by France in 1984. Spain were also the first team since Germany in 1996 to win the tournament undefeated. Greece were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won UEFA Euro 2004, the previous competition. They recorded the worst finish in Euro 2008, collecting the least amount of prize money and gaining no points in their three group fixtures. Throughout 31 matches, the participating nations totalled 77 goals, the same as the previous tournament. Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified as hosts; the remaining 14 teams were determined through qualifying matches, which began in August 2006. As European champions, Spain earned the right to compete for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Qualification for Euro 2008 started in August 2006, just over a month after the end of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The qualifying tournament was contested by national teams from each of UEFA's member associations, with the exceptions of Austria and Switzerland, who had automatically qualified for the finals tournament as hosts and Montenegro, who came into existence too late to be admitted to UEFA. England was the only seeded team not to qualify for the tournament proper, whereas Russia was the only unseeded one to qualify. The draw for the finals tournament took place on 2 Decemb

r 2007, and saw Group C immediately labelled as the "group of death", with Italy, France, Romania and the Netherlands competing for the two qualifying places. In contrast, Germany and Portugal were deemed to have an easy draw, as the tournament structure meant they could not meet Italy, France, the Netherlands or Spain until the final. In the group stage, Croatia, Spain and the Netherlands all qualified with maximum points. Austria and Switzerland were not expected to progress, despite the advantage of being the hosts. In Group A, the Swiss lost their captain, Alexander Frei, to injury in their first game and became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, after losing their first two matches. Switzerland managed to beat the group winner Portugal in their last game. In Group B, Austria managed to set up a decisive final game against Germany, dubbed "Austria's final". However, they lost by one goal, making Euro 2008 the first European Championship not to have one of the host nations present in the knockout stage. In an exciting final game in Group A, an injury- and suspension-hit Turkey came back from 20 down to beat the Czech Republic 32, after an uncharacteristic handling mistake by Petr Cech, in the last few minutes, left Nihat Kahveci with the simplest of finishes. In the same game, goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was shown a red card for pushing Czech striker Jan Koller to the ground. The Turks joined Portugal as the qualifiers from Group A. France were the high-profile victims of Group C, recording just one point from a goalless draw against Romania in their opening game. Italy beat the French, on the final day, to finish on four points and joining the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Finally, in Group D, Greece failed to reproduce the form of their shock 2004 win, and ended the tournament with no points. Russia qualified at the expense of Sweden, after beating them in a final game decider, joining Spain in the knockout stage. In the quarter-finals, the Portuguese team was unable to give their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, a fitting send-off following the mid-tournament announcement that Scolari would be leaving to join English club Chelsea losing in an exciting game against Germany. Turkey continued their streak of last-gasp wins, equalising at the end of extra-time against Croatia and advancing on penalties. Coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink, Russia eliminated the Netherlands with two extra-time goals. The last quarter-final match saw Spain defeat Italy on penalties, after a goalless draw in regular time.