Having won the 1974 FIFA World Cup, West Germany were expected to clinch a second successive UEFA European Championship, even if a spectacular Netherlands side starring Johan Cruyff were determined to end their rivals' dominance. The Oranje fell short in the semi-finals, putting the holders – boasting numerous stars from all-conquering FC Bayern München – on the verge of a successful defence. However, in an unprecedented penalty shoot-out, underdogs Czechoslovakia emerged triumphant thanks to the audacious Antonín Panenka.
Runners-up: West Germany
Top scorer: Dieter Müller (West Germany) – 4
Did you know?
West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer won his 100th international cap in the final.
Also in 1976
European Champion Clubs' Cup winners: FC Bayern München (1-0 v AS Saint-Étienne)
European Footballer of the Year: Franz Beckenbauer (FC Bayern München)
Eurovision Song Contest winner: Brotherhood of Man (United Kingdom) singing Save Your Kisses for Me
European Golden Boot winner: Sotiris Kaiafas (AC Omonia)
Nobel Peace Prize winner: Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan (founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement, United Kingdom)
Men's Olympic 100m champion: Hasely Crawford (Trinidad & Tobago) running 10.06 seconds
Formula 1 world champion: James Hunt (United Kingdom) driving a McLaren
Oscar for Best Picture: Rocky
21 January – First commercial Concorde flight
26 June – The CN Tower is built in Toronto: the tallest free-standing structure open to the public.
25 September – Irish band U2 are formed after drummer Larry Mullen Jr posts an advert seeking members on the notice board of his Dublin school.
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