EURO 1988 Team of the Tournament

Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten were the pick of the star-studded Netherlands side of EURO ‘88.

Frank Rijkaard holds the trophy aloft after Netherlands won EURO ‘88
Frank Rijkaard holds the trophy aloft after Netherlands won EURO ‘88 ©Getty Images

GOALKEEPER

Hans van Breukelen (Netherlands)
Followed up a domestic double and European Champion Clubs' Cup glory at PSV with EURO '88 success. Denied Benfica's António Veloso in the shoot-out to clinch the European Cup in Stuttgart, then thwarted Igor Belanov from the spot in the EURO final in Munich. Could not repeat the feat in the semi-final shoot-out loss to Denmark in 1992 in his 73rd and last international game, but he went on to complete a decade's service at PSV, the club he joined from Nottingham Forest in 1984.

DEFENDERS

Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy)
A World Cup winner at 18, Bergomi made his UEFA European Championship debut six years later as the Azzurri made it through to the semi-finals under his captaincy. His international career would last another ten years and two FIFA World Cup adventures on his way to 81 caps. A one-club man, Bergomi made 519 Serie A appearances and 117 in European competition (1980–99) for Inter. Won one Scudetto and three UEFA Cups before retiring to take up a career as a football pundit.

Ronald Koeman in action during the EURO ‘88 final against the USSR
Ronald Koeman in action during the EURO ‘88 final against the USSR ©Getty Images

Ronald Koeman (Netherlands)
The classy defender was also a frequent goalscorer and free-kick specialist. Scored the winner in the 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup final for Barcelona, where he won four league titles, having also scooped the biggest club prize and a domestic double at PSV in 1988. Scored the equalising penalty in the semi-final against West Germany here and went on to play at EURO '92 and two World Cups. A coach since 2000, he won the Dutch title with Ajax and PSV and took over the Netherlands helm in February 2018.

Frank Rijkaard (Netherlands)
Rijkaard coached the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 2000 having shone as a stylish defender or midfielder at the tournament in 1988 and 1992. A member of the celebrated Dutch triumvirate at Milan, he won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in each of his first two seasons, scoring the winning goal in the 1990 showpiece, and hoisted the trophy as Ajax captain in 1995. Repeated the trick as coach of Barcelona in 2006.

Paolo Maldini’s career spanned 25 years
Paolo Maldini’s career spanned 25 years©Getty Images

Paolo Maldini (Italy)
One of the game’s greatest ever defenders, Maldini played over 1000 matches for club and country and made a then Italian record 126 appearances between 1988 and 2002. Came closest to international honours when runner-up at the 1994 World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000. It was ironic that Italy should win the 2006 World Cup without their talisman, but Maldini claimed EURO Team of the Tournament places in 1988, 1996 and 2000 not to mention five European Cups and seven Serie A crowns in 25 years at Milan.

MIDFIELDERS

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 Roma. 'Il Principe' (The Prince) fared well in his first major tournament, playing with particular panache in the 2-0 defeat of Denmark. Beaten in the semi-finals here and the 1990 World Cup, Giannini 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.

Lothar Matthäus appeared at nine major tournaments for Germany
Lothar Matthäus appeared at nine major tournaments for Germany ©Getty Images

Lothar Matthäus (West Germany)
Matthäus was capped 150 times, with his career spanning four UEFA European Championships and five World Cups. West Germany's best player in 1988, he opened the scoring in the semi-final before the Netherlands fought back. Captained his country to glory at the 1990 World Cup, the year he was voted European Footballer of the Year. At club level, Matthäus won a myriad of honours with Bayern and Inter, including the UEFA Cup with both.

Jan Wouters (Netherlands)
A regular for the Netherlands for 12 years, Wouters was at his indefatigable best at EURO '88 and one of seven players who lasted the 90 minutes in all five matches. He played at the 1990 World Cup and EURO '92, before ending his international career in 1994 with 70 caps and four goals. Spent six years at both Utrecht and Ajax – he would later coach both – before spells with Bayern and PSV. Won titles in Holland and Germany as well as the 1992 UEFA Cup.

Ruud Gullit was the star of the Netherlands’ triumphant side of 1988
Ruud Gullit was the star of the Netherlands’ triumphant side of 1988©Getty Images

FORWARDS

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 Milan to the title and captained the Netherlands to their first major international trophy in 1988, scoring the opener in the final against the USSR with a powerful header. Equally commanding at EURO '92, he ended his international career with 66 caps and 17 goals in 1994. Has since coached Chelsea, Newcastle, Feyenoord, LA Galaxy and Terek Grozny.

Marco van Basten scored one of the all-time great EURO goals in the 1988 final
Marco van Basten scored one of the all-time great EURO goals in the 1988 final©Getty Images

Gianluca Vialli (Italy)
Two goals in a decisive 1988 qualifier against Sweden confirmed Vialli as the Azzurri's new golden boy. Impressed at EURO '88 but was upstaged by Totò Schillaci and Roberto Baggio at the 1990 World Cup and his international career ended with 16 goals from 59 caps. Joined Juventus after Sampdoria lost the 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup final and won the 1996 trophy with the Bianconeri. Finished playing at Chelsea, where he became manager before moving on to Watford and then forging a successful TV career.

Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
Van Basten will always be remembered for his volley against the USSR in the EURO '88 final. It was his fifth goal of the tournament, following a hat-trick against England and a late semi-final winner against West Germany. Scooped the Golden Boot and would win the first of his three Ballon d'Or awards that year. At Milan he twice lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup before an ankle injury forced his premature retirement after 24 goals from 58 caps. Coached his former club Ajax in 2008, after four years in charge of the Oranje.

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