The 1980 UEFA European Football Championship may have been the first in the new eight-team format, but it started with a very familiar air.
The opening fixture saw holders Czechoslovakia take on West Germany in a repeat of the 1976 final – while it proved the start of a new dawn for one team, it marked the end of an era for the other. West Germany, fielding an entirely new lineup, may have made heavy weather of it, but nevertheless eventually prevailed thanks to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's goal just before the hour.
"Of course it was very important we won that first match," Rummenigge said later. "They had a very good team and had won four years earlier against Germany in the final. It was an important match and a very start to the tournament for us. We had a new, very young team who weren't favourites to win at all."
The Czechs, by contrast, included several members of their 1976 vintage but were clearly in decline. West Germany struggled to capitalise until the familiar name of Müller helped to come to their rescue. This time, however, it was not Gerd or Dieter, but Hansi, who controlled an awkwardly bouncing ball, moved into the left-hand corner of the penalty area, and sent in a lob that Rummenigge headed down and in at the far post.
The champions' best chance came and went in the very next minute, when Zdeněk Nehoda got past the strapping Hans-Peter Briegel only to shoot wide. Müller did the same with a return pass from Rummenigge but it mattered not – the changing of the guard was underway.
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