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 2008: Fernando Torres (Spain)
Spain ended their trophy drought in the 2008 edition of the tournament as they took on Germany in the finals. Spain became only the second nation to win all their group stage fixtures and then the European Championship itself – an accomplishment matched by France in 1984. In a thrilling final match in Vienna, Fernando Torres scored the only goal to win the final 1-0. Final score: Spain 1-0 Germany.
Torres, who was not on the top of his game for the whole of the tournament, bounced back in the 33rd minute at Ernst HappelStadion and clinched Spain’s long wait title in Austria’s capital, ending 44 years of underachievement. He was later named as a striker along with his striking partner David Villa in the Team of the Tournament
EURO 2012: Iker Casillas (Spain)
The 2012 edition of the European Championship saw Spain, who had won Euro 2008, successfully defended their title with a heavy win over Italy, becoming the first team to win two consecutive European Championships. Their 4-0 win is the biggest ever win in the final of the European Championship.Final score: Spain 4-0 Italy.
Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata sparked wild celebrations across Spain, sweeping away the clouds of an economic crisis that has engulfed the south European nation. Despite no goals for Captain Iker Casillasduring the finals, he was the major instrument in uniting the then divided team, merging players for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid into one team.
EURO 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
For the first time, the European Championship final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996. Portugal won their maiden trophy, following an extra time victory over the host team, France, in the final played at the Stade de France. They are the current champions of the tournament to defend their title next year. Final score: Portugal 1-0 France.
Cristiano Ronaldo is in the peak of his career and quest for glory during this time. Although not the key person to net the winning goal, Ronaldo was the skipper of Portugal’s surprise winners of Euro 2016. Ronaldo, who has now scored 98 goals for his country, will lead them again next year and will also have the chance to become only the second man in history to reach 100 international goals.