Topping the scoring charts at the UEFA European Championship is a memorable achievement that used to lead almost automatically to another – a winners' medal.
Michel Platini and Marco van Basten were two footballing luminaries who could turn from their medal collections to a list of tournament leading marksmen and find equal satisfaction. It was a cherished double: individual and team success. However, until David Villa's four-goal haul at UEFA EURO 2008 for victors Spain the competition had gone through three finals without the top scorers also ascending the winners' podium. Fernando Torres followed in his countryman's footsteps in 2012.
Before Villa, the last time the winners also had a player outscoring the opposition was in 1992 when Denmark's Henrik Larsen led the way, even if his tally of three goals was matched by three others. The two previous campaigns were better illustrations of how a prolific goalscorer could almost guarantee that his team would climb to the top of the European tree. Van Basten's five in 1988 and Platini's stunning nine-goal haul in the previous tournament placed them well ahead of their closest pursuers (who respectively could manage no more than two and three).
Even though 1984 was Platini's only appearance in the UEFA European Championship as a player, those nine goals, which included two hat-tricks in successive group fixtures, were enough to put him out in front as the overall leading scorer in the competition's history. Alan Shearer is next best on seven.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimović could be eyeing up those totals at UEFA EURO 2016.
As for top-scoring teams, it should be noted that only once in the competition's history has the side with most goals failed to at least reach the final. That was in 2004 when champions Greece managed seven from six games while England, who only made it as far as the quarter-finals, and Milan Baroš's Czech Republic, semi-finalists, both hit ten.
Tournament top scorers
1960: 2 François Heutte (France), Viktor Ponedelnik (USSR), Valentin Ivanov (USSR), Drazen Jerković (Yugoslavia), Milan Galić (Yugoslavia)
1964: 2 Jesús Pereda (Spain), Ferenc Bene (Hungary), Dezső Novák (Hungary)
1968: 2 Dragan Džajić (Yugoslavia)
1972: 4 Gerd Müller (West Germany)
1976: 4 Dieter Müller (West Germany)
1980: 3 Klaus Allofs (West Germany)
1984: 9 Michel Platini (France)
1988: 5 Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
1992: 3 Henrik Larsen (Denmark), Karlheinz Riedle (Germany), Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands), Tomas Brolin (Sweden)
1996: 5 Alan Shearer (England)
2000: 5 Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands), Savo Milošević (Yugoslavia)
2004: 5 Milan Baroš (Czech Republic)
2008: 4 David Villa (Spain)
2012: 3 Fernando Torres (Spain), Alan Dzagoev (Russia), Mario Mandžukić (Croatia), Mario Gomez (Germany), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Highest scoring teams, tournament by tournament
1960: Yugoslavia 6
1964: Spain, Russia, Hungary 4
1968: Italy 3
1972: West Germany 5
1976: West Germany 6
1980: West Germany 6
1984: France 14
1988: Netherlands 8
1992: Germany 7
1996: Germany 10
2000: France, Netherlands 13
2004: England, Czech Republic 10
2008: Spain 12
2012: Spain 12
Final tournament goals
9: Michel Platini (France)
7: Alan Shearer (England)
6: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden)
6: Thierry Henry (France)
6: Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands)
6: Nuno Gomes (Portugal)
6: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
6: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands)
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