The UEFA hosts the European Championships every 4 years, a drama filled tournament featuring the best of Europe. Though fans miss out on the brilliance of Latin American sides Brazil, Argentina & Uruguay, to name a few, the Euros are a platform for European teams to announce themselves to the World, and a great appetizer for fans to the World Cup. We take a look at the Top 10 Euro Finals ever.
10. Spain 2 – 1 Soviet Union, 1964 UEFA European Championships Final
The Spanish hadn’t won a lot as a nation, and the Soviet Union were already the reigning champions of Europe four years back. Spain met the Russians in the Final at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Luis Suarez Miramontes, captaining the Spain side, got onto the score sheet in 6 minutes, the Russians responded with an equalizer in less than two minutes. Spain scored again through Marcelinho and held onto the 2-1 scoreline to clinch their first major silverware.
9. Soviet Union 2 – 1 Yugoslavia, 1960 UEFA European Championships Final
The European Championships came into existence in 1960, and culminated with the meeting of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in the Final at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Arch rivals post the latter’s independence in 1960, the two sides put up a major fight, with Soviet Union holding on to a slender 2-1 lead they had acquired in the 68th minute. It remains their only major trophy till date.
8. Czechoslovakia 2 – 2 (5 – 3) West Germany, 1970 UEFA European Championships Final
The 1976 European Cup of Nations Final saw the Czechs take on the mighty West Germans at the Heysels Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.
The odds were stacked in favor of the Germans, who responded with early goals, however the opposition struck back to make it 2-2 in regulation time. The game went to penalties and Czechoslovakia prevailed 5-3 from the spot.
7. Belgium 1 – 2 West Germany, 1980 UEFA European Championships Final
Germany might have lost out on the European Championships 10 years back, but in 1980, against Belgium, they made sure they weren’t denied twice.
Belgium struck back after an early German goal, but a headed goal in the dying minutes made sure West Germany won the game 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
6. Denmark 2 – 0 Germany, 1992 UEFA European Championships Final
In India: Politics & Entertainment
One of the classic matches in the history of the game till date, Denmark defeated favorites Germany in the Final of the 1992 European Championships at Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Jensen and Vilford scored for Denmark in the 18th and 78th minutes respectively to deny the Germans their third European crown.
5. Germany 2 – 1 Czech Republic, 1996 UEFA European Championships Final
The 1996 European Championships was one of the most closely fought competitions for reasons more than one reason.
The Czechs scored early through a penalty but Germany managed to hit back with two goals from Oliver Bierhoff, the second one coming in extra time after a wonderful turn and control over the Czech defense.
4. France 2 – 1 Italy, 2000 UEFA European Championships Final
World Cup winners France faced Italy in the Final of the 2000 edition of the tournament. Italy scored early but a late goal from Wiltord meant the game went to the Golden Goal rule.
David Trezeguet scored a stunning long ranger to seal the game in France’s favor. France became the first team to win the World Cup and Euro in two years’ time.
3. Greece 1 – 0 Portugal, 2004 UEFA European Championships Final
Greece and Portugal both had a dramatic rise to fame in the 2004 Euros. Greece, devoid of star players, had come all the way to the Final.
Ultimate outsiders, perfect underdogs, Greece scripted a footballing fairy-tale story with amazing defensive display and a single headed goal from a corner kick in the Final.
2. Germany 0 – 1 Spain, 2008 UEFA European Championships Final
Spain would go on to win the World Cup in two years’ time, but the Euros 2008 was the start of a golden period for Spanish football, during which they would go on to win one World Cup and two Euros.
Championed by Vicente del Bosque, Spain overcame Germany in the Final to clinch their first major trophy since 1964.
1. France 0 – 1 Portugal, 2016 UEFA European Championships Final
This game was supposed to be the stage for Cristiano Ronaldo to shine, but the Portuguese legend had to leave the pitch just after 20 minutes for a knock he took to his knee.
Portugal seized the day with a brilliant defensive display, scoring ultimately through substitute Eder in extra time.