The European Championships is one of the, if not the most celebrated and the most glorious football events in Europe. It produces some of the most iconic images and greatest football players of all time. From the time it was inaugurated, the action already begun and the rest is history. The key to glory in this glorious event is a goal that changes European football.
Here are some of the most glorious moments in the EURO history:
Euro 2000: Francesco Toldo’s 3 saved penalties
Having helped the Azzurri to three wins from three in the group stages and a 2-0 defeat of Romania in the quarter-finals, Francesco Toldo’s superb display was unstoppable. Although Italy only finished as runners-up at Euro 200, Toldo was regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, and most young goalkeeper look up to him and his contributionto Italy.
During the semi-final against the Netherlands, Toldo saved one penalty during regulation time and two doing the shoot-out at the end of the game to book their place in the final. The Dutch side even missed another penalty during the game and yet another in the shoot-out, meaning Italy conceded only one fromthe opponent’s six attempts from the spot.
Euro 2004: Greece’s first European title
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. Greece is one of the four additional nations included in the competition after it expands its admission from four teams to eight, making the nation a pioneer in this format and oldest than most nations in the modern format.
This win was the most talked about victory that year and it was written in the book. Greece’s Euro 2004 title proved every country has a chance to succeed despite falling multiple times from the start. This win was celebrated in the whole Greece and all over the world. Rehhagel, Charisteas, Karagounis, Zagorakis, Dellas and the rest had guaranteed their names among the Gods of Greek sport.
EURO 1988: Marco van Basten’s golden boot
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.
Meanwhile, 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.