The European Championships is one of the, if not the most glorious football events in Europe. It produces some of the most iconic goals that impacted not just the player, but the future of football. The key to glory in this glorious event is a goal that changes European football. Here are some of the most celebrated goals in the EURO history:
EURO 1976: The Panenka Penalty
In the final round of Euro 1976, Czechoslovakia beat holdersWest Germany to win the then European Nation’s Cup. Czechoslovakia’s fairy-tale run and triumph paved way to one of the most iconic images of an international football tournament and gave birth to an infamous penalty-kick, the Panenka Penalty, which was named after a gifted midfielder playing for Czechoslovakia, Antonín Panenka.
During the penalties, the first seven tries converted into a goal until Uli Hoeness halted West Germany’s fourth attempt. The Czechs fate was in the hands of Antonin Panenka. This was the first time that a penalty was taken but eventually it became famous. Panenka stepped up to take the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out and chip the ball down the middle of the goal.The rest is history.
EURO 1988: The Irish Volleys
One of the, if not the greatest goal scored by an Irish player at a major tournament happened in Euro 1988 as Ronnie Whelan promptly powered home a volleyed strike against the Soviets to the delight the nation with an iconic goal in a Hannover draw. Although not the hero of the Euro finals in 1988, Whelan’s contribution to the national team was very vital.
A monster long-throw from Mick McCarthy landed at the edge of the Soviet box where Whelan, tumbled and launched himself into the mid-air to meet it on the volley, the ball sweeping in a perfect curve past Rinat Dassaev and into the top corner. The same pair combined in the second half, but USSR defence and Oleg Protasov came to rescue the Soviets. Both sides met again in the finals.
In the 1988 final of the European Championship it was the Republic of Ireland who gave the most surprises, the USSR shown impressive display but it was the Netherlands, courtesy of the fine Marco van Basten, who scored one of the best goals in history to clinch the title for the Dutch side. The then AC Milan forward inspired the Netherlands to their first European Championship win.
Marco van Basten hit an astonishing top-spin volley over the head of the best goalkeeper in Europe. It became one of the best goals scored in a Euros final and the greatest single strike in any top-level final. Not only did it secure the Netherlands their first ever major title, that goal also won him the Golden Boot for the tournament and became a timeless symbol of footballing culture.
Euro 1996: The Golden Goal
For the first time, the European Championship 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 this match, Oliver Bierhoff scored the first golden goal in history, a method used during the extra time to determine the winner of the match.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Kouba, 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. That golden moment came at the age of 28. It was his second goal in twenty-two minutes, and two years later following Klinsmannretirement after the 1998 World Cup, he became captain of the team.
Euro 2020: The 700th Career Goal
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 700th career goal, , when he converted a 72nd-minute penalty to give Portugal a consolation as Ukraine qualifies for Euro 2020. The Portugal captain has scored 95 for his country, 450 for Real Madrid, 118 for Manchester United, 32 for Juventus and five for Sporting. Ronaldo now joins Josef Bican, Romario, Pele, Ferenc Puskasand Gerd Muller in the 700 club.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old 99th international career goal was also recorded as the soccer jabbed the ball over the line in the dramatic closing stages of the match to seal a 2-0 win over Luxembourg. Following the glorious moment, Ronaldo is now on the brink of becoming only the second man in history to net 100 international goals.