Hrubesch is West Germany's hero in EURO 1980 final against Belgium

Belgium 1-2 West Germany
Horst Hrubesch scored his first international goals to earn his country their second European crown.

Horst Hrubesch with the trophy after West Germany's final win
Horst Hrubesch with the trophy after West Germany's final win Popperfoto via Getty Images

West Germany re-established themselves as Europe's pre-eminent international force as goals by Horst Hrubesch earned Jupp Derwall's side a 2-1 victory against Belgium and their second UEFA European Championship.

West Germany had made a slow start to the 1976 final, going two down within the first 25 minutes, but there was no repeat this time as Bernd Schuster, the 20-year-old playmaker who once again dazzled in midfield, set up Hrubesch for the opening goal on ten minutes. Though the Belgians' hopes were raised by René Vandereycken's 75th-minute penalty, Hrubesch struck again at the death to sink them.

EURO 1980: All you need to know

Schuster had already given a standout performance in the 3-2 defeat of the Netherlands and the Köln playmaker wasted no time in carving a way through Belgium's defence. Launching on a diagonal run from right to left, he traded passes with Klaus Allofs before hitting a clever chip for Hrubesch to dispatch with a confident shot on the run.

Watch EURO 1980 top scorer Allofs in action
Watch EURO 1980 top scorer Allofs in action

In the European Cup final three weeks earlier, the 29-year-old striker had struggled after coming on as substitute. But in Italy as a late pre-tournament replacement for the injured Klaus Fischer, he set about revising the opinion that he was little more than the Kopfball-Ungeheuer (Heading Monster) with a confident low shot on the run.

Hansi Müller blasted over the bar and Jean-Marie Pfaff had to save long shots from Allofs (after he had raced past three defenders) and Schuster. For all their resilience, Belgium were on the rack, although they came back into it as François Van der Elst shot wildly after good approach play by Jan Ceulemans.

Belgium's Jan Ceulemans takes on the  West Germany defence
Belgium's Jan Ceulemans takes on the West Germany defenceBob Thomas Sports Photography vi

Vandereycken brought a marvellous save out of Harald Schumacher and, with their tails up, Belgium sent Van der Elst clear again; Uli Stielike's trip was adjudged to have taken place in the area and Vandereycken took his chance from the penalty spot.

With extra time looming West Germany looked out on their feet but, with seconds remaining, Pfaff came out to meet Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's cross and was pipped to the punch by Hrubesch, whose near-post header found the net. Hrubesch's first goals in international football had decided the most important match of his career.

Reaction

West Germany captain Bernard Dietz lifts the trophy
West Germany captain Bernard Dietz lifts the trophyIcon Sport via Getty Images

Horst Hrubesch, Germany forward: "I had played three matches without scoring and if Derwall hadn't selected me, I couldn't have argued. But looking back, he made the right choice. I recall the opener very well. The Belgians were attacking but before they reached our area, Bernd Schuster broke up the move and started a very direct attack with one or two passes. He played it into my path. It all fitted so well. I scored and it was 1-0; for once with the foot and not the head.

"In the second half we definitely saw Belgium's class and they deserved to equalise. We wouldn't have made it in extra time because it would have been too much. It was very hot that day and I recall being so tired after the game that it was hard to lift the trophy. My second goal came from a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge corner on the left. Like all our corners, it was prepared – Rummenigge gave me the signal – and [goalkeeper] Jean-Marie Pfaff made the mistake of staying on his line. I was able to jump high and due to his movement I had no problem placing the ball in the net."

EURO 1980: Team of the Tournament

Lineups

West Germany line up ahead of the final
West Germany line up ahead of the finalBob Thomas Sports Photography vi

Belgium: Pfaff; Renquin, Millecamps, Meeuws, Gerets; Mommens, Vandereycken, Van Moer, Cools (c); Ceulemans; Van Der Elst
Substitutes
: none listed
Coach: Guy Thys

West Germany: Schumacher; Briegel (Cullmann 55), Karl-Heinz Förster, Stieleke, Dietz (c), Kaltz; Müller, Rummenigge, Schuster; Hrubesch, Allofs
Substitutes: not listed
Coach: Jupp Derwall

Referee: Nicolae Rainea (Romania)