In every football clash, there is a hero that stands out. This particular player either brought the win for their team or created an impact to European football. The European Championships produced some of the most iconic players of all time and greatest names in football. Here are some of the most iconic legends and finals here of every European Championship.
EURO 1992: Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)
In 1992, the format of the game allows winners of the seven groups to join the hosts in the tournament. Denmark had missed out on qualification, however, Yugoslavia, in a state of civil war, was banned from participating in the tournament. It gave the Danes the chance to qualify and they shocked the football world by beating the unified Germany lifting their maiden trophy.Final score: Denmark 2-0 Germany.
The underdog Danish side dominated the opening quarter of the final with impressive saves from Peter Schmeichel. Germany had a couple of chances in the second half but Schmeichel made sure that it won’t turn into a point. A Claus Christiansen’s header on the halfway line sealed the win in the 78th minute, defeating the unified German side and clinching Denmark’s first European title.
EURO 1996: Oliver Bierhoff (Germany)
For the first time, the Euros was held with 16 instead of eight teams in 1996. From the 16 finalists, it was Germany and Czech Republic who made it to the final round of European Championships in Wembley. In the finals, Oliver Bierhoffscored the first golden goal in history, a method used during the extra time to determine the winner of the match. Final score: Germany 2-1 Czech Republic.
Bierhoff entered in the field as a substitute, equalized the game in just four minutes of playing. During the extra time, a golden goal rule was called. Under the rule, the team that scores that goal or point during extra time wins. Czech goalkeeper PetrKouba, despite being directly in line with the ball, was stunned by Bierhoff, who had come from the bench to win the European Championship for Germany.
EURO 2000: Zinedine Zidane (France)
The finals of Euro 2000 were co-hosted (the first time this happened) by Belgium and the Netherlands. France followed up their 1998 World Cup win to become World and European champions. David Trezeguet won it with another golden goal. Zinedine Zidane, known to France as Zizou led the Les Bleus to their second European success with his vital goals and important assists. Final score: France 2-1 Italy.
A fine Marco Delvecchio scored for the Azzurri equalized the finals against France, sending the game into extra time. Going into extra time, Wiltord’s equaliser and Zidane’s assist for David Trezeguet’s Golden Goal crowned France as European Champions. Zidane was Player of the Tournament as Patrick Kluivert and Savo Milosevic shared the Golden Boot.
EURO 2004: Angelo Charisteas (Greece)
One of the glorious moments in the European Championship history is the win of Greece for the first time since 1980, the nation’s maiden appearance in the tournament In 2004, the moment Greek sport was waiting happened as their national team became champions of Europe for the first time by beating in the final round, the hosts, Portugal. Final score: Greece 1-0 Portugal.
The Greek side was against the host and the then favourite team to win the tournament. Greece, despite being just the underdog, made sure that Portugal will get a chance to bounce back from the previous defeat they caused. Defying everyone’s expectation, Angelo Charisteas’ heroic header sealed them the European victory at last.