Top 5 Goals from the Final match of the European Championships
To be honest there haven't been a vast amount of great goals in the actual final game of the European Championships, so rather than md's traditional top 10 we've had to make do with a top 5...
No.1 1988 Marco Van Basten Holland v USSR (Making it 2:0)
Probably the best goal in the tournament's history, not just in a final. Leading one nil against the USSR thanks to Ruud Gullit's header, the Dutch doubled their lead nine minutes into the second half with a phenomenal effort from Marco Van Basten. Full-back Adri van Tiggelen found Arnold Muhren on the left, he immediately looped a really deep, high cross way over to the right, where Van Basten had peeled away from his marker. To be honest Van Basten would have done well to even cross it back into the box, but for some reason he decided to go for goal and thumped it first time straight over Rinat Dasaev from an almost impossible angle into the far corner of the net.
A fitting way for the Dutch to win their first major trophy.
Video Clips: Van Basten's Volley (YouTube).
No.2 1976 Antonin Panenka Czechoslovakia v West Germany (Making it 5:3 on pens)
Having let slip a 2:0 lead, with the West German equaliser coming agonisingly in the last minute of normal time, the Czechoslovakian team could have been excused for thinking they'd blown their big chance as 30 minutes of extra time finished and the penalty shoot-out loomed at an international tournament for the first time. The first seven penalties were dispatched without a hitch, then Bayern Munich star Uli Hoeness decided to go for raw power ahead of precision but hammered it right over the bar. Up stepped Czech playmaker Antonin Panenka knowing that if he could beat Sepp Maier in the German goal the trophy was theirs. With a long run up, starting outside the penalty box, Panenka approached the ball as if he was going to strike it with some pace to his right, yet just before he hit it he paused fractionally before nonchalantly clipping it into the centre of the goal. If Maier hadn't moved it would have just floated into his hands and Panenka would have looked like a clown, but instead it went down as one of the cheekiest, bravest and cleverest goals in football history.
As schoolkids all around the globe attempted to repeat it, the good old fashioned penalty would never be the same again.
Video Clips: Panenka's Penalty (YouTube).
No.3 1968 Pietro Anastasi Italy v Yugoslavia (Making it 2:0)
Having drawn a cagey first final 1:1, the Italians were still favourites for the replay as they were playing on home soil, in Rome. Luigi Riva had opened the scoring after 12 minutes and then 20 minutes later speedy striker Pietro Anastasi made it two with a real belter. Giancarlo De Sisti spotted Anastasi on the edge of the box, and as he received the ball the AS Varese man flicked it up with his back to goal then pivoted and volleyed it home, ensuring that the Italians made sure of the trophy at the 2nd time of asking.
No.4 1992 John Jensen Denmark v Germany (Making it 1:0)
Probably best known in Britain for not scoring at Arsenal (although he did eventually break his duck just short of 100 appearances with his legendary curler at QPR, still remembered by the Gooners with their "I saw John Jensen Score" t-shirts), their were no signs of his shortcomings in front of goal in the 1992 final. The Danes, late replacements for Yugoslavia, had surprised everyone by reaching the final, then caused one of the great upsets by beating the Germans 2:0 in Gothenburg. Jensen's goal was the opener, scored after 18 minutes. Kim Vilfort's sliding tackle on the right flank won the ball from Andreas Brehme, Flemming Povlsen collected the loose ball, spotted Jensen lurking on the edge of the box and pulled the ball back for the Brondby midfielder to hammer a right footer passed Bodo Illgner.
One of the best thing's to look out for in the video clip of the goal is Stefan Effenberg's despairing dive towards Jensen in a futile bid to block the shot.
No.5 2000 David Trezeguet France v Italy (Making it 2:1)
Whether or not the Golden Goal is the best way of deciding a final is open to debate, what no-one's arguing about is the quality of David Trezeguet's winner against Italy during the 2000 final in Rotterdam's de Kuip stadium. Bordeaux's Sylvain Wiltord had hit a dramatic last gasp equaliser to take the game into extra time, and Zinedine Zidane was looking increasingly dangerous. Yet it was Marseille winger Robert Pires who set up the winner - a neat French move was eventually broken up by the Italian's but then quickly intercepted by Pires, on the left. He then beat three defenders as he raced forward before cutting the ball back towards the penalty spot for fellow substitute Trezeguet who met it first time on his left foot to volley it passed Francesco Toldo into the roof of the next.
Zut Alors !
Video Clips: Trezeguet's Golden Moment (YouTube).