With the 2016 Euro Finals occurring recently and Portugal winning their first in history, soccer fans around the world are celebrating what a great event it was. But if we go back in the history books, what are the greatest Euro finals in history? Well, I have done my research and here are the 5 best finals matches in Euro history.
1. The 2000 Final – France vs Italy
This was an incredible back and forth game, and was a game that Italy thought they had won. Italy was up 1-0 and the game was in stoppage time, a mere minute or two away from the Italians taking home the win. But, after some aggressive forward play from the French, the scored the equalizer and we were headed to extra time. Once there, a brilliant run by Robert Pires and a pass to David Trezeguet for the winning goal but France over as the winners in this instant classic.
2. The 1976 Final – West Germany vs Czechoslovakia
During the time of this game, West Germany was a pure powerhouse. They were looking for their third straight tournament win and many thought they would get it as the outmatched Czechoslovakia on paper. But after only 25 minutes in the game, West Germany found themselves down 2-0. They battled back and took the game to extra time, which solved nothing, so we went to penalties, and we all know what happened there. After teams traded goals for multiple rounds, a German player finally missed and allowed Antonin Paneka to step up and score his world famous chip shot.
3. The 2012 Final – Spain vs Italy
This was the most dominating victory in Euro finals history and showed just what a powerhouse Spain was at this time. The Spanish side was able to win 4-0, and the team didn’t even use a striker. Before this game, they were accused of being a boring team who was all defense, but in this game, they proved their team could score and score well. Italy had absolutely no answer for anything Spain was doing in this blow out.
4. The 1992 Final – Denmark vs Germany
This is the biggest underdog story in the history of the Euros. Denmark hadn’t even qualified for the tournament and were actually called back from vacation to play in the tournament after Yugoslavia was disqualified. They somehow got to the finals but were expected to be dominated by the Germans, but the opposite occurred. Denmark scored an early goal, and then played masterful defense on the Germans and then doubled their lead late in the game, which all but guaranteed that they were Euro champions.
5. The 1988 Final – Netherlands vs Soviet Union
This was a new class of Netherlands soccer after the team had some success in the 1970’s, but the Soviet Union were a true powerhouse. This was a true west vs. east battle and Soviet Union had won the previous match between the two by a score of 1-0. After a header by the Netherlands captain Ruud Gullit opened the scoring, the Netherlands doubled their lead with what is still the greatest goal in Euro Finals history. Marco Van Basten hit an incredible volley that will be talked about in perpetuity.