Euro 2020 takes place in the summer with everyone looking to dethrone Portugal as champions following their win in 2016. Let's take a look at the 10 best goals ever to have happened during the European Championships.
The first European Championship tournament took place in France in 1960 with the Soviet Union being crowned the first ever champions of Europe with a 2-1 win after extra-time against Yugoslavia.
Since then the Euros have been held every four years with Germany and Spain winning the tournament three times apiece, while France have been crowned champions on two occasions.
Portugal won the trophy last time out in France in 2016 when they needed an extra-time goal from Eder against the host nation.
Here, we are going to take a look at the best goals ever scored at the Euros:
Ruud Gullit – USSR vs Netherlands Euro 1988
One of my favourite headed goals and actually football shirts as well. This was in the Euro 88 Final between the Netherlands and the Soviet Union. The Dutch had been outstanding all the way through, they dispatched Germany in the semi-finals with a late goal from Marco van Basten. This goal was the opener in a 2-0 win, Van Basten laid the ball off to Gullit in the air and the skipper sent a thumping header past Rinat Dasayev.
Ronnie Whelan – Republic of Ireland vs Soviet Union Euro 1988
This goal would be worthy to win any game, unfortunately the Republic didn’t win this one but you know what I mean. A long throw-in found Whelan at the edge of the penalty area and he let fly with an acrobatic volley that left Dasayev with no chance.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden vs France Euro 2012
Sweden may have already been eliminated at this stage, but that doesn’t take away of how good a goal this was. The striker waited for the cross to come in before unleashing an amazing scissors kick into the back of the net.
Maniche – Portugal vs Netherlands Euro 2004
This goal from Maniche was the goal that sent Portugal through to the European Championship Final and knock out the Netherlands. Maniche collected a short corner and instead of playing it into the box like everyone else would have done, he decided to have a shot and he sent it curling past Van der Sar.
Davor Suker – Croatia vs Denmark Euro 1996
Not many people make Peter Schmeichel look silly, but Davor Suker did at Euro 96. The Great Dane tried to close Suker down to try and force him to something risky. Suker just decided to lift the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net. Great finish and not easy to do.
Zinedine Zidane – France vs England Euro 2004
Zinedine Zidane was one of the best players ever to play the game. This goal just summed him up. France had been trailing to a first half goal from Frank Lampard and it looked like England were going to win as the game went into injury time. A needless foul from Emile Heskey allowed Zidane to take centre stage. He stepped up and fired home from 25 yards. Moments later he won the game for France with a penalty after David James had brought down Thierry Henry.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden vs Italy Euro 2004
It’s that man again Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Trailing to Italy and desperately needing a goal, Zlatan once again proved he was the man you can rely on. The ball was bouncing around inside the Italy penalty area, and with his back to goal, Zlatan managed to flick the ball past Gianluigi Buffon and over Christian Vieri on the line.
Antonin Panenka – Czechoslovakia vs West Germany Euro 1976
This goal set a trend for years to come and probably the reason youngsters are getting a telling off from their coaches all across the world. That little chip from the penalty spot that everyone is now doing is because of this man – Antonin Panenka. He had the bottle to try it in the first ever penalty shootout in a European Championship Final for Czechoslovakia against West Germany. Had he missed, I don’t think everyone would still be trying a ‘Panenka’ and maybe England might have beaten Italy in 2012.
Paul Gascoigne – England vs Scotland Euro 1996
I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching this goal. Not long after Scotland’s Gary McAllister had missed a penalty, Gazza came up with this beauty. A long clearance from David Seaman was flicked on by Darren Anderton and the Glasgow Rangers man did the rest. He lifted the ball over defender Colin Hendry before firing it past Andy Goram to make it 2-0. What a goal.
Marco van Basten – Soviet Union vs Netherlands Euro 1988
It was a toss up between this one and Gascoigne’s to be honest. Van Basten just pipped it because he had no right shooting from there. He was at an acute angle and the way he connected with Arnold Muhren’s hanging cross was perfect. I’d like to say he could never hit it that sweet again, but it was Marco van Basten – of course he could.