Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket

The EuroBasket is the most important competition of basketball in European continent. It is a biennial tournament that also serves to qualify teams for the Summer Olympics and the FIBA World Cup. From September 5 to 20, the 39th edition of the EuroBasket will start.

most successful teams in EuroBasket

This time the event will be hosts jointly by France, Latvia, Croatia and Germany after original hosts Ukraine announced they could not organize the event due to their financial and political crisis. Across its history, European basketball has seen great teams win the championship and this is the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket.

Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket

 

10. Hungary

most successful teams in EuroBasket

The Hungarians have participated in 14 editions of the tournament, although they have played only in one editions in the past 44 years. Like many sports in the country, basketball has shaded into dark after victorious days between 1930 and 1960 decade.  Hungary have won 3 medals in the competition and ranks 10th in the top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket. In Switzerland ’46 they won the bronze medal, in 1953 they won the silver medal and finally, in 1955, in the tournament held at home, they won 9 games and lost only one to claim the golden medal.

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9. Russia

most successful teams in EuroBasket

The Russians are the heirs of the glorious former team of the Soviet Union. They came to existence in 1992 and since them they’ve qualified for all twelve editions of the tournament. The Russians rank 9th in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket since they’ve not been as powerful as their predecessor. They won only one championship, it occurred in Spain ’07 when they defeated the hosts in the final match by only one point 60-59 with former NBA Andrei Kirilenko as the MVP of the tournament as he led the competition in rebounds and steals. Russians have also won two bronze medals and one silver.

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8. France

most successful teams in EuroBasket

“Les bleus” are one of the hosts of the tournament, current reigning Champion and they have played more EuroBaskets than any other team with 37 qualifications. They rank 8th in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket as they’ve failed to translate their constant presence in the tournament into pennants. France have won 5 bronze medals and 2 silvers with only 1 championship, in 2013 in Slovenia. The French defeated Lithuania in the final match 80-66. French Tony Parker was the top scorer of the tournament and the Most Valuable Player.

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7. Greece

most successful teams in EuroBasket

In 1987 the country hosted the Eurobasket and after several editions of poor performance and a not-so-good group stage, the Greeks shocked European basketball with their surprigins wins over the continent powerhouse of that time: they defeated Yugoslavia by four points in the semifinals and the USSR by two points. Since then, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country and the team one of the most successful in the continent.  They won their second medal in Serbia and Montenegro ’05 defeating Germany in the final and with Theodoros Papalouk as the MVP, climbing until 7th spot in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket. They have collected also 2 bronze medals and one silver.

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6. Czechoslovakia

most successful teams in EuroBasket

The country ceased to exist in 1993 but during the first years of the tournament they were a powerhouse.  In Switzerland ’46 they won the gold medal for the first and only time. They were constantly in the podium, reaching the first three spots of the event in half of their participation.  They are tied for the most silver medals with 6, being surpassed by the USSR in five of those occasions. Additionally they won 5 bronze medals and hosted the event twice. They rank 6th in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket due to their number of medals rather than their championship wins.

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5. Spain

most successful teams in EuroBasket

There was a time where Spain was the top team in the world. They won back to back pennants in 2009 and 2011, which represents their only championships wins. They have finished second 6 times, tied with Czechoslovakia, and third place three times. Spain was not always a powerhouse: their first participation was in 1935 and their next in 1959. Their extraordinary team from years 2008-2012 put them 5th in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket; in Poland 2009, they destroyed powerful Serbia in the final (65-53) and NBA Pau Gasol was the MVP. In 2011, in Lithuania, they defeated France in the final (98-85) with Juan Carlos Navarro as their MVP.

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4. Italy

most successful teams in EuroBasket

Italy’s participation in 2015 Eurobasket will be their 36th. In their history at the event they have finished second and third place four times each and they were crowned champions twice, the last one in 1999. Their higher number of participations and more efficiency at winning gold medals put them above Spain in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket. Between 1971 and 1991 they had their best years, never finishing bellow 5th place and winning their first tournament in 1983 when they finished undefeated and they won again in 1999. In both times, the event was held in France and the defeated team in the final match was Spain.

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3. Lithuania

most successful teams in EuroBasket

Former soviet republic only have contested 12 EuroBasket.  Their first experience was in 1937 and they the gold medal, which they repeated in 1939 in the tournament held at home, becoming the first team to win back to back championships. After that, they were annexed by the Soviet Union and reappeared in the continental scene in 1935 when they won the silver medal. In Sweden ’03 they defeated Spain to claim the gold medal and Šarūnas Jasikevičius was the MVP. Their impressive success put him 3rd in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket. They won the silver medal in the last edition and are heavy favorites to win in the 2015 edition.

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2. Yugoslavia

most successful teams in EuroBasket

Now known as Serbia, Yugoslavia team represented a now defunct country. However, they were so good at basketball that they are second in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket. Between 1935 and 1951 they played only one EuroBasket in which they finished 13th. After that, they were a feared team. Between 1961 and 1971 they won 5 medals (4 silver, 1 bronze) out of 6 chances, showing a significant improvement, and later they won 3 championships in row: 1973, 1975 and 1977. Finally in 1983 they fell off the podium, just to jump back in 1989, when they won 4 gold medals in 4 participations (they did not play in 1993 edition due to internal crisis) and 5 in 6 participations between 1989 and 2001, when NBA Peja Stojakovic was the MVP and the last tournament of the team under the name Yugoslavia… one last gasp of glory.

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1. USSR

most successful teams in EuroBasket

The Soviet Union basketball team was the only team that could defy USA supremacy in the world stage. No surprise they are in the roof in the Top 10 Most Successful Teams in Eurobasket as they won 14 Championships with only 3 silver and 4 bronze. They participated for the first time in 1947 and they won the Championship, in fact, they won the Championship in 11 out of their 12 initial participation, including a record of 8 Championships in a row between 1959 and 1971. They later won other 3 championships, the last one in 1985. The USSR team never finished out of the podium, sadly Europe’s greatest team died for no sporting reasons.

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Top 10 Most Successful Teams in EuroBasket

1. USSR
2. Yugoslavia
3. Lithuania
4. Italy
5. Spain
6. Czechoslovakia
7. Greece
8. France
9. Russia
10. Hungary