The European Championship is one of the most important events of the year, with teams from all over the continent fighting to qualify for the main events. Due to this, the Euro Championship is the target of many predictions, assumptions and online betting attempts at the very least.
With such attentiveness directed towards these football teams, it is not surprising to see different reactions to the public pressure. While some excel in their profession, others only manage to fall short of everyone’s expectations. Following are the most memorable events on the pitch during this massive football event.
The Greek Victory
The 2004 Euro final started off with a strong belief among the audience that Portugal, as the entire season favorite, would overcome the Greek national team. Still, the Greeks managed to end up victorious, and quite deservedly at that.
Volley ala Marco van Basten
The famous player from the Netherlands national team has already been familiar to the public for his signature moves and stunts, but the volley strike in USSR’s goal at the 1988 Euro surpassed many of his other specialties.
Back-heel Volley ala Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Players like Ibrahimovic are at times hard to work with, but there are moments of pure gold that make it all worthwhile. Such is the 2004 Euro against Italy where Zlatan’s innate skill to make the ball enter the goal reached a point of culmination, along with the crowd.
The First Euro Championship
Only four teams represented four different nations at the first even European National Championship that took part in 1960. The hosts, France, played a remarkable semi-final game with Yugoslavia, starting off with a convincing score of 3-1 and then 4-2. However, by the end of the game, two Yugoslavian players scored another three goals and ultimately led their team to face the Soviet Union in the finals.
Coin Toss for Semi-finals
Back in the days, a goalless game was followed by half an hour of penalties and ultimately a coin toss. This is what happened at the semi-final match between Italy and USSR in 1968, when the Italian captain Facchetti’s decision launched his team to the finals, beating Yugoslavia and becoming European champions.
Penalty ala Antonin Panenka
While back-flips, volleys and air-borne stunts are amazing, there is nothing like a good old-fashioned penalty with a twist. Panenka’s penalty score at the 1976 European finals gave birth to the signature shot – the player went at the ball as if shooting right while the goalkeeper started to his left, but Antonin led the ball into the center for a victorious end.
Mario Balotelli’s Goal of Triumph
While Balotelli is known for being a football prodigy and a rather prolific goal-scorer, we are just as aware of the fact that the celebration makes half of the overall thrill. In the case of Mario Balotelli’s second goal against Germany at the 2012 Euro semi-finals, his reaction of undressing his shirt and staring motionlessly seemed even more memorable and meaningful than the actual goal.