GK: Hans van Breukelen (Netherlands)
This was an annus mirabilis for Van Breukelen, who followed up a domestic double and European Champion Clubs' Cup glory at PSV Eindhoven with EURO '88 success. His save to deny SL Benfica's António Veloso in the penalty shoot-out clinched the European Cup in Stuttgart, and Van Breukelen also denied Igor Belanov from the spot in the EURO final in Munich. His penalty-saving prowess deserted him in the semi-final shoot-out loss to Denmark four years later in Gothenburg in what was his 73rd and last international appearance, but he went on to play for PSV for two more years, completing a decade's service at the club he joined from Nottingham Forest FC in 1984.
DF: Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy)
A FIFA World Cup winner at the age of 18, Bergomi made his UEFA European Championship debut six years later as the Azzurri made it through to the semi-finals of the 1988 competition under his captaincy. Bergomi's international career would last another ten years, but after starring on home soil at the 1990 FIFA World Cup there would be a six-year wait before his shock recall for the 1998 finals in France, meaning he earned 'only' 81 caps. A one-club man, Bergomi made 519 Serie A appearances and 117 in European competitions (1980-1999) for FC Internazionale Milano. He won one Scudetto and three UEFA Cups before retiring to take up a career as a football pundit.
DF: Ronald Koeman (Netherlands)
A classy defender, Koeman was also a frequent goalscorer and free-kick specialist. His winning goal for FC Barcelona in the 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup final against UC Sampdoria earned him immortality in Catalonia, where he won four league titles. He was also adored at PSV Eindhoven, with whom he had won Europe's top club competition four years earlier. In 1988 he clinched the domestic double and European Cup with PSV before winning at EURO '88, his equalising penalty in the semi-final against West Germany crucial in the Oranje's success. Koeman played at EURO '92 and in two FIFA World Cups (1990 and 1994) before taking up coaching for AFC Ajax, SL Benfica, PSV, Valencia CF and AZ Alkmaar.
DF: Frank Rijkaard (Netherlands)
Rijkaard coached the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2000 having shone as a player at the UEFA European Championships of 1988 and 1992. A stylish, towering defender in Rinus Michels' triumphant '88 side, Sporting Clube de Portugal's Rijkaard impressed for the Oranje before moving into midfield at EURO '92, where he again excelled, scoring a late equaliser, one of his ten international goals, against Denmark in the semi-finals. A member of the celebrated Dutch triumvirate at AC Milan, he won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in each of his first two seasons, scoring the winning goal in the 1990 showpiece. Five years later, he hoisted the trophy as AFC Ajax captain, and has since coached Sparta Rotterdam, FC Barcelona and Galatasaray AŞ.
DF: Paolo Maldini (Italy)
One of the greatest ever defenders, Maldini played over 1,000 matches for club and country and remains Italy's record cap-holder, with 126 appearances between 1988 and 2002. Maldini shone in several international tournaments, from his first (EURO '88) to his last (2002 FIFA World Cup), coming closest to winning honours at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where the Azzurri lost the final to Brazil on penalties, and the UEFA EURO 2000 final, which Italy lost to France's golden goal. It was ironic that Italy should win the 2006 World Cup without their talisman, but Maldini won EURO Team of the Tournament places in 1996 and 2000 not to mention five European Cups and seven Serie A crowns.
MF: Giuseppe Giannini (Italy)
Though relatively new to international football Giannini was firmly established as the Azzurri No10 by summer 1988 following a brilliant Serie A campaign for AS Roma, in which he scored 11 goals. Nicknamed 'Il Principe' (The Prince), Giannini fared well in his first major tournament, playing with particular panache in the 2-0 defeat of Denmark, and there was more to come on his FIFA World Cup debut on home soil two years later. Beaten in both semi-finals, Giannini would get no further opportunities to win a trophy for Italy and bowed out with 47 caps. He did, however, continue to play for several years more with his beloved Roma, chalking up 318 Serie A appearances before departing in 1996.
MF: Lothar Matthäus (West Germany)
An international footballer for over 20 years, Lothar Matthäus was capped 150 times. He made his debut in the 1980 UEFA European Championship finals and his last appearance at UEFA EURO 2000. West Germany's best player in 1988, he opened the scoring in the semi-final before the Netherlands fought back. Matthäus captained his country to victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the year he was voted European Footballer of the Year. Italia '90 was just one of five World Cups in which he appeared, and he is the competition's all-time appearance-record holder with 25. At club level, too, Matthäus won myriad honours with FC Bayern München and FC Internazionale Milano, before embarking on a career in coaching.
MF: Jan Wouters (Netherlands)
A regular for the Netherlands between 1982 and 1994, Wouters was at his indefatigable best at EURO '88 and one of seven players who lasted the 90 minutes in all five matches. Signed by Johan Cruyff for AFC Ajax in 1986, Wouters remained with the Amsterdam giants for six years, before joining Bayern. He played at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and EURO '92, before ending his international career at USA '94, with 70 caps and four goals. He then joined PSV Eindhoven, where he would later became caretaker coach after Ronald Koeman's departure to Valencia CF in autumn 2007. He had previously coached Ajax and been an assistant at Rangers FC, and now helps train FC Utrecht.
FW: Ruud Gullit (Netherlands)
Gullit was one of the continent's most illustrious players. European Footballer of the Year in 1987, the tall, dreadlocked total-footballer inspired AC Milan to their first league title in nine years and captained the Netherlands to their first major international trophy at the 1988 UEFA European Championship, when scoring the opening goal in the final against the Soviet Union with a powerful header. After a disappointing 1990 FIFA World Cup, Gullit was back to his commanding best at EURO '92, after having won the Scudetto with AC Milan in record-breaking style. He ended his international career with 66 caps and 17 goals in 1994. His has since coached Chelsea FC, Newcastle United FC, Feyenoord, LA Galaxy and FC Terek Grozny.
FW: Gianluca Vialli (Italy)
Two goals in a decisive 1988 qualifying tie against Sweden confirmed Vialli's status as the Azzurri's new golden boy. Italy's No1 striker at EURO'88, he impressed in the first round, scoring against Spain, but missed several chances in the 2-0 semi-final defeat against USSR. At the 1990 World Cup, Vialli was upstaged by Totò Schillaci and Roberto Baggio and his international career ended with 16 goals and 59 caps. He joined Juventus for a world-record fee after UC Sampdoria lost the 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup Final to FC Barcelona but won the 1996 trophy with Juve. He finished playing at Chelsea FC, where he became manager before moving on to Watford FC and then forging a successful TV career.
FW: Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
Van Basten scored many fabulous goals, but the one for which he will always be remembered is his volley against USSR goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev in the EURO '88 final. It was his fifth goal of the tournament, following a hat-trick against England and a late winner in the semi-final against West Germany. The Dutch marksman scooped the Golden Boot and would win the first of his three Ballon d'Or awards that year. At AC Milan he twice won the European Champion Clubs' Cup before ankle injury forced his premature retirement after 24 goals from 58 caps. Van Basten also coached his former club AFC Ajax in 2008, after four years in charge of the Oranje.
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