Scotland have only featured in three UEFA European Championships in their long history. This is not surprising given the size of the nation, but given their illustrious footballing heritage some might have expected more regular appearances on the European stage. Having reached back-to-back tournaments in the 1990s, the Scots failed to qualify for the next five, twice stumbling at the final hurdle in the play-offs.
However, it was back to the finals for Euro 2020 and with some promising younger players in the squad too, but the team progressed no further than the group stages and didn’t even manage to win a game.
UEFA European Championship Results
Scotland’s first appearance at a European Championship was in Sweden in 1992. It’s fair to say they weren’t given the easiest group as they were pitted against Germany, Netherland and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), i.e. most of the former Soviet Union. The Scots were, unsurprisingly, eliminated in the group stage, winning one (3-0 against CIS) and losing two of their three fixtures.
On British soil in England four years later, Scotland were again given a tough group, this time against hosts England, Netherlands again and Switzerland. The Scots won one (against Switzerland), drew one (against Netherlands) and lost one (2-0 to England) but ultimately failed to get past the group stage once again, losing out to Netherlands on goals scored after having the same number of points and goal difference.
|Year||Host||Stage of Elimination (Position)||Manager||Top Scorer|
|2020||Europe||Group Stage||Steve Clarke||Callum McGregor (1)|
|1996||England||Group Stage||Craig Brown||Ally McCoist (1)|
|1992||Scotland||Group Stage||Andy Roxburgh||Paul McStay (1), Brian McClair (1) & Gary McAllister (1)|
Have Scotland Ever Won the Euros?
Scotland have never won the Euros, failing to get past the group stage in their three European appearances to date.
Scotland were very competitive in a tough group at Euro 1996 in England. Craig Brown’s men went up against the tournament hosts England, a tough Netherlands side and Switzerland in Group A.
After starting with a hard-fought draw with the Dutch in Birmingham, Scotland were beaten 2-0 by rivals England at Wembley Stadium in match two, with Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne scoring for the Three Lions. Despite a 1-0 win over the Swiss at Villa Park in their final group game, Holland pipped the Scots to second place to go through to the knockouts. Had Patrick Kluivert not scored the 78th minute consolation goal in his side’s 4-1 hammering by England, Scotland would have gone through on goal difference.
Four years earlier, the Scots left Sweden with three points to their name in their debut tournament in 1992. After an excellent qualifying campaign, the Tartan Army were hopeful ahead of the competition. However, after defeats to Netherlands and Germany in their first two matches, the Scots were eliminated. They did end the competition on a relative high though with a convincing 3-0 win over CIS in their last match, with Paul McStay, Brian McClair and Gary McAllister netting in Norrkoping.
Times Scotland Didn’t Qualify For the Euros
Scotland’s European Championship qualifying record has been pretty poor over the years. Before finally reaching Euro 1992, the Scots had six unsuccessful qualifying campaigns. After competing well at Euro 1996 on English soil, Scotland then failed to reach the following five European tournaments, though they did make the play-offs for Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, losing to England and Holland respectively. They did not enter the first two competitions in 1960 and 1964.
|2012||Poland & Ukraine||Craig Levein||8||3||2||3|
|2008||Switzerland & Austria||Walter Smith / Alex McLeish||12||8||0||4|
|2000||Belgium & Netherlands||Craig Brown||12||6||3||3|
|1988||West Germany||Andy Roxburgh||8||3||3||2|
|1972||Belgium||Bobby Brown / Tommy Docherty||6||3||0||3|
|1968||Italy||Malcolm MacDonald / Bobby Brown||6||3||2||1|