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Five great EURO midfield performances

Zinédine Zidane, Andrés Iniesta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Pavel Nedvĕd and Kim Vilfort feature among our collection of five outstanding midfield EURO displays.

Zinédine Zidane in action against Portugal in 2000
Zinédine Zidane in action against Portugal in 2000 Icon Sport via Getty Images

UEFA.com picks out five memorable midfield masterclasses from past EURO final tournaments.

Check out our selections below and vote for your favourite.

Andrés Iniesta (Russia 0-3 Spain, 2008)

EURO 2012 masterclass: Iniesta v Italy
EURO 2012 masterclass: Iniesta v Italy

Spain had beaten Russia 4-1 in the group stage, but if Guus Hiddink's side had expected to make more of a game of it in the Vienna semi-final, they were wrong. Iniesta led the charge for Luis Aragonés's 'little guys' in the first of his record six EURO man of the match performances. His cross set up Xavi Hernández's opener and he had a hand in the third for David Silva in a 3-0 success. "We wanted it so much and this is the reward for everybody," he said afterwards.

Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece 1-0 Portugal, 2004)

In the greatest upset in EURO history, Zagorakis was Greece's organiser-in-chief, his Man of the Match display against Portugal in the 2004 final an object lesson in how to follow a tactical plan – and how passion can move mountains. "The most important thing is that we didn't panic," he told UEFA.com about his side's battle to hold on to a 1-0 lead in Lisbon. "Instead of getting tired, we started covering more ground and it became evident that we wanted the cup more."

Pavel Nedvĕd (Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic, 2004)

If the Czechs were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes of kick-off in their second group game in Aveiro, it simply became an opportunity for them to showcase what their European Footballer of the Year Nedvĕd could do; the skills were immense, the deliveries awesome, and it was all too much for his marker, John Heitinga, who was dismissed following a foul on the man of the match. "It was a fantastic game," acknowledged Nedvĕd. "We were asleep to start with but after we awoke we showed great energy."

EURO 2000 masterclass: Zidane v Portugal
EURO 2000 masterclass: Zidane v Portugal

Zinédine Zidane (France 2-1 Portugal, 2000)

This semi-final in Brussels was a showcase for two of the greatest midfielders of the age; Portugal's Luís Figo may have shaded the first half, but Juventus man Zidane's sparkling control and casual brilliance passing the ball had turned the tide in his favour even before he converted the golden-goal penalty that sent Les Bleus to the final. Team-mate Patrick Vieira was inspired by 'Zizou': "If you play alongside him, you just want to perform like him. He lifts you so much."

Kim Vilfort (Netherlands 2-2 Denmark, 1992)

EURO '92 final highlights: Denmark 2-0 Germany
EURO '92 final highlights: Denmark 2-0 Germany

Team-mate Henrik Larsen scored the goals that earned rank outsiders Denmark a 2-2 draw with holders the Netherlands in the Gothenburg semi-final, but attacking midfielder Vilfort was the unsung hero, providing an outlet for his beleaguered defence and showing boundless energy as his side battled through to win on penalties.

"One of the best games I ever played in," remembered Vilfort, whose daughter's losing battle against leukemia provided a grim backdrop to the finals – he had missed the group match against France to be at her bedside.

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