We’ve already written about the players to keep an eye on during Euro 2016, so this article is about reliving some of the most memorable moments in the competition’s history. Take a look!
Yugoslavia stun France
Drazen Jerkovic scored two very late goals to help Yugoslavia to an amazing Euro 1960 win against France, after his team had fallen behind 4-2. The Yugoslav team featured prominent names such as Sekularac and Galic but found themselves trailing with little time to spare. It was time for Jerkovic to shine, and shine he did, producing two moments of magic for his team, which ultimately won the tie 5-4.
Zlatan does his thing
As he so often does, Zlatan Ibrahimovic reminded everyone watching Sweden’s Euro 2012 match against France why he is one of the best strikers out there. He did so by turning a deceptively precise cross into a true stunner.
Gascoigne with a celebration to remember
England attacking midfielder Paul Gascoigne faced a lot of criticism during Euro ’96, mostly due to his problematic behaviour off the pitch and supposed drinking habits. Gascoigne replied to these rumors in a most laudable fashion – by scoring a brilliant goal against Scotland. To top it off, he celebrated by imitating the ‘dentist’s chair’ drinking game. Oh, the irony.
Bierhoff’s Golden Goal of ‘96
Euro ’96 is the first tournament whose winner was decided by a golden goal. The Czech Republic took the lead in the Final against Germany, only to drop it a couple of moments later. There was no separating the sides during the 90 minutes, so extra time had to be played. Oliver Bierhoff’s turnaround shot bounced off a couple of defenders and barely found the net, but it was enough to secure a win for the Germans.
Holland’s underachievement of 2008
Euro 2008 pitted some of the best teams in the world against each other in Group C, as Holland, France and Italy had to fight for the first two places in order to go through. Nobody expected Holland to be so dominant, but Sneijder, Robben and Van der Vaart absolutely destroyed their opponents, helping their team to victories against the Italians (3-0) and France (4-1). Russia was the team to beat in the next round, but things took an unexpected turn as Pavlyuchenko, Torbinski and Arshavin scored to lead their squad into the semi-finals.
Poborsky leads the Czechs to the semi-finals
Karel Poborsky will certainly remember Euro ’96 for the rest of his life, as he managed to produce a stunner in his team’s quarter-finals match against Portugal. The former Slavia Prague and Manchester United winger lobbed Portuguese goalkeeper Vitor Baia to finish off a wonderful run and bring joy to the entire Czech Repuplic. His team would go on to play in the Final, but would go down to Germany in extra time.
Heartbreak for Croatia
Euro 2008 will definitely not be spoken too fondly of among the people of Croatia, mostly due to the way they went out against Turkey in the quarter-finals. The Croatian side was an impressive one, featuring names such as Olic, Klasnic and Modric. After seemingly securing a place in the semis by scoring in the 119th minute of extra time, it all came crashing down for the team from the Balkans after Turkey somehow managed to equalise in the remaining minute. Penalties went disastrously for Slaven Bilic’s players, as they missed three and went out. Gutted.
Platini scores nine times
Nine goals in a Euro tournament? This feat has been achieved by only one man in history, and his name is Michel Platini. The Frenchman scored in every game during the 1984 Championship, with the highlight of it all being his late winner against Portugal in extra time. France were trailing 2-1 to their opponents before Domergue scored the equaliser and Platini managed to find the net, much to the delight of his teammates.
The Panenka is born
The story behind the famous “panenka” penalty technique begins in 1976, during Czechoslovakia’s title match against West Germany. This is when mustached hero Antonin Panenka decided to play mind-games with the German goalkeeper Maier, letting him fall to the right side, before slotting home an elegant chip which decided the game. What class.
They might not have been the most talented or prolific squad during the tournament, but that didn’t stop the Greeks from becoming European champions in 2004. Winning each of their knockout matches 1-0, Otto Rehhagel’s side showed a great deal of patience, bravery and determination to secure a place in history. First came the victory against France in the quarter-finals, then the extra-time win over the Czech Republic in the semis, but the real shock came when hosts Portugal found themselves beaten by a side everyone considered a huge underdog.
Van Basten produces magic
The USSR was shocked. The entire pitch was shocked. Marco van Basten might have been shocked himself. During the Final of the 1988 European championship in West Germany, the Netherlands doubled their lead when Marco van Basten decided to try his luck from an awkward angle after his teammate Arnold Muhren sent a mediocre cross his way. Van Basten ended up hitting the sweet spot, as the ball fizzed into the net with quite a punch.
What is your most treasured Euro memory? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or in our comment section below!