Now we’re at the business end of Euro 2020, our minds will no doubt begin to wander towards what the competition’s final could look like.
For decades now the top national teams Europe has to offer have been competing against one another to determine who is the very best.
The European Championship takes place every four years and ever since the first edition, we’ve been treated to finals that have been unforgettable for their own unique set of reasons.
So buckle up – because it’s time to take a trip down memory lane.
Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union – Euro 1988
In what served as the Soviet Union’s last chance to win a European title before dissolution, they were beaten by a riveting Netherlands side that truly lit the world on fire that year.
Ruud Gullit opened the scoring before Igor Belanov missed a penalty, paving the way for one of the all-time great final goals when Marco van Basten guided his gorgeous volley into the back of the net from a tight angle.
Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (5-3 on pens) – Euro 1976
When Czechoslovakia were pegged back after being 2-0 up against West Germany, all forms of logic pointed towards the Germans running away with the victory.
Alas, in the first ever penalty shootout in the history of the Euros, Antonín Panenka chipped the ball down the middle of the goal to win the trophy for his nation and write his name into the record books as a true trailblazer.
Denmark 2-0 Germany – Euro 1992
It was the story of the ultimate underdogs as Denmark, who weren’t even supposed to be taking part in Euro 1992, took to the stage against the first Germany team to reach a final since their reunification.
The game was methodical and tense with the end result being one of the greatest ever football tales: little Denmark beating juggernauts Germany, stunning the defending champions and the continent as a whole.
Greece 1-0 Portugal – Euro 2004
Portugal were the host nation of Euro 2004 and they were the clear favourites to beat surprise finalists Greece – a country who were priced at 80/1 to win it all just a few weeks prior.
The Greeks, though, didn’t get the memo, with Angelos Charisteas’ header sealing one of those special sporting upsets that just don’t come around every day.
France 2-1 Italy (AET) – Euro 2000
France came into this game as the reigning world champions but heading into the depths of injury time it was Italy who had the lead.
So, then, you’d think Sylvain Wiltord’s equaliser in the dying seconds would prove to be the big headline, but the one thing we all remember from that famous night is David Trezeguet blasting the ball into the roof of the net to win it for France through prime golden goal drama.
Featured image credit: Getty