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1976 at a glance

As Antonín Panenka stole the limelight for Czechoslovakia, stunned West Germany consoled themselves with continued club domination while Concorde and U2 reached for the skies.

1976 European Footballer of the Year Franz Beckenbauer
1976 European Footballer of the Year Franz Beckenbauer ©Bob Thomas/Getty Images

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.

Winners: Czechoslovakia
Runners-up: West Germany
Third: Netherlands
Fourth: Yugoslavia

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

Key events
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.