Five greatest goals scored at European Championship finals
Robbie Purves | March 22, 2016
As Europe’s finest footballing nations flock to France this summer, they take with them some of the most lethal goalscorers.
Throughout the years there have been some magnificent European Championship strikes. From Marco van Basten’s impossible volley to acrobatics from Ronnie Whelan.
Here, Coral take a look at some of the greatest goals scored in the history of the Euros…
Whelan’s windmill-kick (1988)
Managed by Jack Charlton, the Republic of Ireland were not known for their skillful, flair filled football, yet produced one of the most amazing goals in Euro history.
Whelan (also scorer of perhaps the best-ever own goal) met a long throw in from Mick McCarthy and somehow managed to turn his body mid-air and rocket the ball into net.
Unfortunately, the nation conceded a last-minute equaliser from the USSR that would prove costly as they were eliminated after a defeat by Holland in their final group game.
That Gascoigne Goal against Germany(1996)
Like every tournament, England went into Euro ’96 with the belief and confidence they could win it and ‘bring football home’. However, they were booted out by Germany on, you guessed it, penalties in the semi-finals.
Paul Gascoigne had been under the media’s scrutiny for his part in the ‘Dentist Chair’ antics during a pre-tournament trip in Hong Kong – but this superb strike against Scotland silenced some of those critics.
Alan Shearer put England in front, but Scotland had the chance to equalise through a penalty taken by Gary McAllister. He missed, and less than a minute later Gascoingne flicked the ball over helpless Colin Hendry, then smashed home a volley passed Andy Gorum.
Magnificent Michel (1984)
No player has dominated a finals tournament the way Michel Platini did in France 1984.
His perfect free-kick against Yugoslavia was arguably the players finest strike of the tournament.
With the tournament held on home-soil, Platini produced magic in his smooth, effortless style. He scored hat-tricks against against Belgium and Yugoslavia on his way to a record nine goals in one tournament.
Platini performed sensationally throughout but a highlight was in the semifinal against Portugal. France were 2-1 down with just six minutes of extra-time left, Les Bleus fought back to win 3-2 with the little magic man scoring a last minute winner. France went on to win the tournament.
Coral has France 11/4 to win the Euros on home-soil for the second time in 2016.
Jensen jumps for joy (1992)
John Jensen hammered a truly unstoppable goal during Denmark’s 2-0 Euro 1992 final triumph over Germany.
The ball was pulled back from out wide and Jensen unleashed a thunderous bolt from his boot.
Denmark didn’t qualify for the 1992 Euro finals, but war-torn Yugoslavia were prevented from appearing. This meant group runners-up Denmark took their place and they certainly took their chance.
Defying all the odds, Denmark won the tournament with massive performances from the dominant Peter Schmeichel and skilful Brian Laudrup.
Marco van Blasted home a volley (1988)
Van Basten’s absolute peach of a volley against the old USSR is not only one of the best strikes scored at the Euros, but is perhaps one of the greatest goals of all-time.
After the Dutch were put in front by a Ruud Gullit’s first-half effort, Arnold Muhren crossed to the drifting Van Basten. Without any hesitation, Van Basten struck it sweet and clean, smashing it passed keeper Rinat Dasaev from the tightest of angles.
The Netherlands went on to win the competition. Number seven Gerald Vanenburg and head coach Rinus Michels’ reactions are fantastic.