Featuring some of the greatest talent in football over the years, there have been many incredible moments in the 14 UEFA European Championships from 1960 until now.
Here, we take a look at 10 of the most memorable.
France do le double (Euro 2000)
After winning the World Cup in 1998, France went into Euro 2000 as hot favourites. Propelled by the mighty Zinedine Zidane, Les Bleus dominated the tournament.
Yet France almost gave it all away in the final against Italy. In what was undoubtedly the game of the tournament, France trailed 1-0 until injury time.
Sylvain Wiltord levelled the scores with virtually the last kick of the match to take it into extra-time. David Trezeguet then scored the winning golden goal to cement France’s reputation as the best in the world.
Greece win the tournament (Euro 2004)
Going into Euro 2004, nobody thought Greece had a chance of lifting the trophy.
They beat hosts Portugal in their opening game, before overcoming reigning champions France in the quarter-final, and the hotly-tipped Czech Republic in the semis, meeting Portugal again in the final.
Portugal failed to avenge their earlier loss and succumbed 1-0 to Greece in what is surely the most unlikely tournament win in recent football history.
Platini dominates (Euro 1984)
No one player has dominated a European Championship the way Michel Platini did on home soil in 1984. Platini scored two hat-tricks against Belgium and Yugoslavia en route to netting a total of nine goals as skipper of the French team.
Perhaps the highlight of what was really Platini’s tournament was the game against Portugal in the semi-final.
During this match, the resilient French were able to claw their way back 2-1 down to win 3-2. This was largely thanks to their inspirational captain, who also scored the late winner.
Marco van Basten’s wonder goal (Euro 1988)
Marco van Basten was the complete striker and very much of the Johann Cruyff school of “Total Football”. Despite the fact that his career was cut short by injury, he still managed to make his mark at Euro 1988.
There were many wonderful van Basten moments during this tournament. Yet, the 24-year-old left the best ‘til last in a 2-0 victory over Russia in the final, picking up Arnold Mühren’s cross from the left.
Although the pass was too high, van Basten volleyed it in from a seemingly impossible angle to score the winner, cementing the Netherlands’ place in European football history.
Denmark win the tournament without qualifying (Euro 1992)
Denmark didn’t actually qualify for the Euro 1992 finals in Sweden. As civil war prevented Yugoslavia from appearing, Denmark duly entered the tournament as replacements.
Despite a complete lack of preparation, the Danes managed to scrape their way to the semi-finals after beating France.
In the semi-finals, they beat holders Holland on penalties before a shock 2-0 win over Germany in the final. It just goes to show that in football, anything can happen.
Germany’s Golden Goal (Euro 96)
When Patrik Berger scored a penalty for the Czech Republic in the Euro 96 final, his team looked on course to repeat their 1976 victory – however, this wasn’t to be.
In the 75th minute, Oliver Bierhoff scored the equaliser for Germany. The same player then made history in extra-time with the first-ever Golden Goal in a major tournament.
Gazza’s wonder goal (Euro 96)
England was awash with football fever in Euro ’96, hosting its first major tournament since the 1966 World Cup. England reached the semi-finals, where they outplayed Germany for most of the match before losing on penalties (but let’s not dwell on that).
Arguably the highlight of the entire tournament was a brilliant individual goal from Paul Gascoigne in England’s 2-0 win against Scotland.
Alan Mullery is sent off (Euro 1968)
Alan Mullery has the dubious honour of being the ever first player to be sent off in an England shirt. This happened during a tense 1968 semi-final against Yugoslavia.
At one point, Yugoslav player Dobrivoje Trivić tore the skin of Mullery’s calf muscle with his studs. The Englishman retaliated by kicking his opponent in the groin, before the ref promptly sent him off.
Spain win third major tournament in a row (Euro 2012)
If Spain’s supremacy in world football was ever in doubt after their Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup victories, then their win in Euro 2012 helped to dispel any misgivings.
Despite using a style of play roundly criticised as “boring”, Spain made their way to the final with ease. In the final match, Spain got the better of a worn-out Italian side as they claimed their win with a decisive four goals to nil.
Here, Spain made history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back Euros. They also became the first European national squad to win three major tournaments in a row.
Panenka’s penalty win against West Germany (Euro 1976)
The two favourites in Euro ‘76 were West Germany and the Netherlands. The two nations had contested the 1974 World Cup final and were tipped for a repeat showdown two years later.
However, Czechoslovakia overcame the Dutch in their semi-final, before beating West Germany on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the final.
In what is Germany’s only penalty loss to date, Uli Hoeneß missed one for Germany. Czech Antonín Panenka then sunk the Germans and claimed the trophy with one of the cheekiest spot-kicks in football history.
There have been so many great moments in the Euros, and we have no doubt that future tournaments will include more thrills and shockers that will make the history books.
Between incredible underdog stories and demonstrations of unbelievable skill, the finest moments of the Euros are ones we will all remember for years to come.