With so many big names planning to dethrone Portugal in the coming European championship, we look at the top eight goals ever scored in Euros.
Before we move to goals, let’s get back into the history of Euros. The first-ever Euros were held in France in 1960, and USSR was crowned champions beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the finals.
Ever since 1960, Euro is being held every four years, with Germany and Spain winning it three times apiece, making the most successful teams in European competition. France has won the competition twice, and are favorites to win this year, again.
Here are the top eight goals in Euros since its inception, with high hopes of seeing more like these strikes in this year’s campaign.
8. Ronnie Whelan – the Republic of Ireland vs. USSR 1988
Even though this class’s goal would be worthy of winning any game, the Republic of Ireland still lost the game. When Whelan was fed with a long throw-in, he received it on the edge of the penalty box and let fly an acrobatic volley that even two keepers wouldn’t save.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJzloT3t4ms
7. Ruud Gullit – USSR vs Netherlands 1988
USSR has been on the wrong side of some of the brilliant strikes in Euros, and this one particularly stands out. This one wasn’t just about the glorious header that Gullit put, but also about the colorful uniforms that we yet have to see again in the football world.
It was a 2-0 final victory of the Netherlands over the Soviet Union, and the kind of form the Dutch team was showing throughout the tournament, no one would have bet against them. Assisted by another brilliant player of his age, Marco van Basten, this was one bullet header from Gullit and worthy of winning the tournament.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden vs. France 2012
No one does it better than the big swede, and especially in big tournaments. Even though Sweden was already eliminated from the tournament, and nothing would have saved them, it was still one strike to remember. A brilliant scissor kick was dispatched to the back of the net after Ibrahimovic waited for the cross to reach him. Some goal that!
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOkL9aawf_o
5. Maniche – Portugal vs. Netherlands 2004
Apart from being the goal that sent Portugal to the final and knocking out Holland, it was some goal to remember. If there is one goal that we want Peter Drury’s commentary on, this has got to be that. After collecting a short corner, instead of delivering it inside the box, he tried his luck with a direct strike, and boy did he hit it well!
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVz5xmhwoUQ
4. Zinedine Zidane – France vs. England 2004
While now we have Messi and Ronaldo and are probably living in an era that has redefined the footballing genius, before this, it was just Zinedine Zidane. As Sir Alex would have won UCL with one Zidane and ten pieces of wood, France won this game through Algerian-born star’s sheer brilliance.
It was a 25-yard free-kick, the one that equalized the match and set the pace for another goal to win the game.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05ds1Q5vFEY
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden vs Italy 2004
It could only be him to be placed twice in this list. Trailing to Italy and desperately needing a goal, who else you’d put your bet on but Ibra? With a bouncing ball in the penalty area, Ibra managed to flick over Buffon to the goal with his back to goal.
Video Link: Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal (vs Italia) – 18/06/2004
2. Antonin Panenka – Czechoslovakia vs. West Germany 1976
A penalty of all the penalties, a goal of all the goals, and a man of all the men. No one has ever been mentioned more than Panenka when it comes to penalties. Ask Pirlo, Ramos, or Lookman (or not him, maybe). This won them the Euro finals against West Germany and had he just missed, a lot would have been different in today’s football, and England might have beaten Italy in 2012 (Just saying).
Video Link: Gol de Panenka a Alemania (Final Eurocopa 1976)
1. Paul Gascoigne – England vs. Scotland Euro 1996
It is a goal that you would never get tired of watching (unless you are a Scotsman), and probably a goal that sums up what a baller Gazza was. It wasn’t long after McAllister missed the penalty for Scotland when Gazza came up with this beauty.
After receiving a long clearance, he first lifted it over the defender Colin Hendry and then fired it past legendary Andy Goram to make it 2-0 for the English side. Of all the wrong times that English football has seen, it wasn’t one, and something that still cheers up English fans every time they watch it.
Video Link: Paul Gascoigne Goal (England Vs. Scotland 1996)
Which one is your favorite?
With plenty of scorchers and screamers across the field, we have seen fair share of classic goals in the European history. From top-notch penalties to immaculate out-of-the-box screamers, the quality of football does not cease to amaze us in every iteration it occurs.
We want to know which goal was your favorite in European competitions and which goal do you value the most as a football fan? Let us know in the comments down below.