In most occasion, finals hero were the ones savouring the limelight in every football match. Meanwhile, the person led them took the credit of bringing the team into a powerhouse one. Some of the most memorable wins in the Euro history was led by some of the most known captains in football. Here are every winning captain that led their teams through the finals of every European Championship:
EURO 1972: Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
In the 32-team tournament, Franz Beckenbauer led West Germany to the thrilling finals against the Soviet Union. They thrashed the USSR to claim their maiden title. During that year’s tournament, Gerd Muller was the top scorer with four goals(including two in the final) and winning the Championship with the West German team. Two years later, still with Beckenbauer,they added a World Cup on home soil.
Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups and two European Championships. With his hometown club Bayern Munich, Beckenbauer won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1967 and three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976. He became team manager and later president of Bayern Munich.
EURO 1976: Anton Ondruš (Czechoslovakia)
The last tournament in which the hosts had to qualify for the final stage, Anton Ondruš led his team on home soil and win their maiden title via the first and only time where a win was decided during the extra time. It was the final match where Antonin Panenka stepped up to take the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out and chip the ball down the middle of the goal not called the Panenka Penalty.
He was credited with the Netherlands’ equaliser after bouncingin a cross from Ruud Geels, he made replacement with the third successful penalty in the shoot-out triumph against West Germany in the final. Ondruš played 58 matches for Czechoslovakia and scored 9 goals. In 1997, he became thepresident of Slovan Bratislava for a short period.
EURO 1980: Bernard Dietz (West Germany)
In the eight-nation team tournament, West Germany once again showed dominance with the leadership of the great Bernard Dietz. Dietz won his debut for West Germany in a Euro 1976 qualifier against Malta. Following the success, he was given the captaincy that led the national team to victory. Dietz earned 53 caps, also representing West Germany at EURO ’76, helping them to the final, and the 1978 World Cup.
In the club level, Bernard Dietz played in 495 Bundesliga matches for MSV Duisburg and FC Schalke 04. He is still both the top-scoring defender in the history of the Bundesliga across all clubs and second in the list of goal-scorers for MSV Duisburg in the top flight. To honour the greatnest of Dietz for MSV Duisburg , the fans decided to dub the club’s mascot, a zebra, Ennatz. Ennatz is the nickname of Dietz.