Top 5 Euro Championship Goals of All Time

Paul Gascoigne celebrates scoring for England at Euro 96

The European Championships have played host to some spectacular goals since it’s inception in 1960 – we take a look at the top five.

Euro 2020 was due to get underway on June 12 but the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to those plans and it has been rescheduled for the summer of 2021.

In the absence of the showpiece event, we have decided to take a look at the top-five goals to have been scored over previous editions.

5) Davor Suker v Denmark

Croatia made their debut at the European Championships in 1996, having only been officially recognised by FIFA and UEFA in 1993 following the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

They made a winning start to their campaign, beating Turkey 1-0 at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground before Real Madrid-bound Suker scored a hugely memorable goal in a 3-0 victory over Denmark at Hillsborough.

Suker was the top scorer during qualifying and he opened his account at the competition from the penalty spot.

Zvonimir Boban doubled Croatia’s advantage late on before Suker put the icing on the cake with a piece of magic in the final minute of regulation time.

After latching on to a raking 30-yard pass, Suker drove towards Peter Schmeichel’s goal before nonchalantly chipping over the stopper to wrap up a second successive win.

Croatia would go on to reach the quarter-finals but their run at the competition was ended by a 2-1 loss to eventual winners Germany.

4) Zlatan Ibrahimovic v Italy

No list of goalscorers would be complete without legendary Swede Ibrahimovic and his volley against Italy at Euro 2004 is well worthy of a spot in this top five.

With time running out, Sweden were trailing 1-0 to Italy at the Estadio do Dragao in their second group match.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man – Zlatan.

The frontman pounced on a loose bouncing ball inside Italy’s penalty area, and with his back to goal, pulled off an unorthodox flick of the heel to loop an effort past Gianluigi Buffon and over the head of Christian Vieri on the line.

Sweden topped their group but failed to go any further than the quarter-finals after a penalty shootout defeat to the Netherlands.

3) Maniche v Netherlands

After reaching the semi-finals at Euro 2000, Portugal were heavily fancied to enjoy another strong run at Euro 2004 on home soil.

They had built some good momentum through the group stage and after edging out England on penalties in the quarter-finals were handed a tough-looking last-four tie with the Netherlands.

Cristiano Ronaldo put the hosts ahead but Maniche was the man to steal the headlines after scoring an audacious curling effort, which proved to be the winner.

The Netherlands were guilty of switching off as they fell back to defend a corner, failing to pick up Maniche and he made them pay by whipping the ball from left to right and beyond the outstreched arm of Edwin van der Sar.

2) Paul Gascoigne v Scotland

Hailed as one of the most talented players to have ever pulled on an England jersey, Gascoigne was widely expected to lead the Three Lions to glory on home soil at Euro 96.

To add further to the excitement of a major competition in England, Terry Venables’ men had been drawn against neighbours Scotland.

After kicking off the tournament with a frustrating 1-1 draw against Switzerland, England were desperate for a morale-boosting win against the Scots at Wembley.

Alan Shearer opened the scoring shortly after half time before the mercurial Gascoigne pulled off a piece of individual brilliance to complete a 2-0 victory.

The Geordie charged forward to meet Darren Anderton’s pass and proceeded to lift the ball over the head of defender Colin Hendry, leaving him on the deck, before smashing home on the half volley.

1) Marco van Basten v Soviet Union

Van Basten was in the prime of his career when the Netherlands travelled to Germany for Euro 1988 and his five goals, a tournament high, helped his nation to the title.

His strike in the final – a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union – was the standout and remains the most memorable in the history of the European Championships.

Ruud Gullit had put the Oranje ahead before Van Basten smashed home an outrageously cheeky volley from what appeared to be an impossible angle.

Arnold Muhren’s cross had seemingly forced Van Basten too wide, however, he coolly swung his right boot through the ball and over goalkeeper Rinat Dasayev.

Related Posts