By News Team
27th May 2021
The European Championships are well known for producing some of the greatest matches in the history of football. Whether it’s during the group stage or the final, the biggest international tournament has produced some classics over the years and we’ve taken a look at the best UEFA Euros matches from over the years.
Spain 4-0 Italy – 2012
After winning the competition in 2008, La Roja went into this UEFA Euros Final against Italy with the goal of becoming the first ever nation to defend their Euros crown. What came next was one of the most one-sided UEFA Euro matches of all time.
Spain were quick out the blocks missing a handful of chances within the first 10 minutes of the game but that would only last an extra five minutes as Cesc Fabregas’ cross was turned into by David Silva to give the favourites the lead. Jordi Alba would double the lead in the first half before Fernando Torres would enter the history books himself by scoring in two European Championship finals. Juan Mata put the cherry on top with two minutes to go as Spain ran riot in Kyiv and lift the UEFA Euro trophy.
History was made.
England 4-1 Netherlands – 1996
England’s infamous Euro 96 semi-finals campaign featured one of the greatest games in Three Lions history as they demolished Netherlands in their final group game at Wembley.
After 20 minutes of end-to-end action, England were awarded a penalty after a lightning counterattack saw Paul Ince brought down before Alan Shearer powered the ball past Edwin Van Der Sar. England’s sensational spell came straight after the break when the Three Lions scored three goals in less than 10 minutes with Teddy Sheringham scoring a brace and Shearer doubling his tally also. Patrick Kluivert got one back for The Netherlands, but it was too little too late as England cruised into the Euro 96 quarterfinals.
France 2-1 Italy – 2000
After winning the World Cup on home soil in 1998 and lighting up the tournament with a team including the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, the French were favourites heading into this Euros final against Italy.
This game is one of the closest in recent Euro cup finals history with game being level at 0-0 heading into the break but that was only until the 55th minute when Marco Delvecchio put the Italians in front. The Azzurri had one hand on the trophy, but it was ripped from them deep into stoppage time when Sylvain Wiltord equalised sending the game to extra-time. As the 105th minute approached, David Trezeguet’s golden goal meant France were crowned UEFA Euros winners by the barest of margins.
Denmark 2-0 Germany – 1992
Denmark were only entered into the 1992 Euro Championships a fortnight before it began due to the expulsion of Yugoslavia but what came next is debatably one of the greatest underdog stories in Euro cup finals history.
Germany, the favourites in the eyes of almost every spectator, had begun the match in dominant style and looked to be cruising to victory but what came next was unimaginable. Goals in each half from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort put Denmark in the driving seat before a series of unbelievable saves from Peter Schmeichel meant that Denmark’s great underdog story had now become a reality. In the history of international football, there can never have been a tale to match this most unlikely of triumphs.
Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union – 1988
Heading into this Euros final, The Netherlands were desperate to put their awful finals form behind them and finally lift a coveted international trophy after years of hurt.
30 minutes had passed in Munich before the deadlock was finally broken. Marco Van Basten produced a wonderful assist which was met by Ruud Gullit’s powerful header that found the back of the net. Netherlands doubled their lead 10 minutes after the break with one of the greatest goals in the history of football. Marco Van Basten’s sublime volley from an impossible angle rifled into the top corner and The Netherlands were finally champions.