Our series focusing on the big EURO moments and the people involved reaches 1976, when as expected players in West Germany kits lifted the trophy – but all was not as it seemed.
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The sense of exhaustion was palpable when Czechoslovakia became the fifth side to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup after a penalty shoot-out win against West Germany. So too the sense of wonderment, both at the Czechoslovak success and the moment that secured it: when Antonín Panenka achieved immortality by waiting for Sepp Maier to dive before chipping his spot kick audaciously down the middle.
1. Marián Masný
A right-winger, Masný's star shone bright for Slovan Bratislava and Czechoslovakia from the mid-1970s. He scored 18 goals in 75 internationals, and at the 1976 EURO found the net with Czechoslovakia's first penalty in the final shoot-out. A real threat on the counterattack, Masný formed an impressive partnership with Zdeněk Nehoda that lasted through to the pair's swansong at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. With Slovan he claimed two championships.
2. Zdeněk Nehoda
A fabulously unpredictable all-round centre-forward, Nehoda played a record 90 times for Czechoslovakia, scoring 31 goals. Strong in the air and gifted on the ground, the Dukla Praha ace was a rising star when he helped his country to 1976 EURO glory. The 24-year-old headed the clinching goal in the semis against the Netherlands, and made no mistake with the second Czechoslovak spot kick in the climactic shoot-out. Nehoda also registered twice at the 1980 finals and played in his only World Cup in Spain two years later.
3. Karol Dobiaš
Czechoslovakia's libero for many years, Dobiaš came to prominence internationally as his team's standout performer at the 1970 World Cup. Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year in 1970 and 1971, the long-haired Slovakian spent a decade with Spartak Trnava, amassing five championships and three domestic cups. He also helped Czechoslovakia to their unexpected triumph at the '76 EURO, putting the underdogs 2-0 up 25 minutes into the final with a shot through a crowded goalmouth. It was one of five goals he mustered in 67 internationals before becoming a coach and scout.
4. Ján Pivarník
Pivarník went into the EURO buoyed by success with Slovan Bratislava, yet also recovering from knee surgery. Nonetheless, the defender's displays in Yugoslavia were nothing short of heroic – his courage and determination instrumental in his side's surprise victory. He never did reclaim the captaincy that had been his before the operation, but that magical night in Belgrade made up for both the lost armband and the frustrations of the 1970 World Cup, when he travelled to Mexico but did not feature. Pivarník became a coach, spending most of his career in the Middle East.
5. Jozef Móder
A clever midfielder with an accurate delivery from set pieces, Móder's main contribution to Czechoslovakia's EURO win came not in Yugoslavia but in the quarter-finals against the Soviet Union, when he scored three times in a 4-2 aggregate triumph. Those were the only goals of his 17-cap international heyday though he did start both matches at the 1976 finals, proving a useful creative source for Czechoslovakia's attacks. A Slovakian, he represented Lokomotiva Košice from the industrial east and later played in Austria for GAK.
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