What happened in the 15 previous EURO finals?
Monday, January 28, 2019
Shocks, thrills, drama and famous goals – UEFA European Championship finals have had it all down the years.
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1960: Soviet Union 2-1 Yugoslavia (aet)
Lev Yashin provided the defiance in goal and Viktor Ponedelnik the extra-time winner as the Soviet Union fought back to defeat Yugoslavia 2-1 in Paris, becoming the first team to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup. "That 113th-minute winner was the most important of my whole career," Ponedelnik later reflected.
1964: Spain 2-1 Soviet Union
Hosts Spain collected their first major trophy thanks to Marcelino Martínez's clincher, deftly set up by the influential Luis Suárez. "We really were a good unit," said opening scorer Chus Pereda. "We had Suárez to conduct the orchestra. Then we had great players like Amancio and Marcelino, a natural goalscorer. It was a fantastic squad."
1968: Italy 2-0 Yugoslavia
The Azzurri came close to defeat in the first attempt to decide the 1968 final – a 1-1 draw – but they were a different proposition in the replay at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, putting in "the perfect performance" according to goalkeeper Dino Zoff. Luigi Riva opened the scoring after returning from a broken leg, before Pietro Anastasi added a splendid volley.
1972: West Germany 3-0 Soviet Union
Having scored all four goals in a 4-1 friendly win against the USSR the previous month, Gerd Müller pounced again with two more in a comprehensive win, either side of Herbert Wimmer's strike. "The team worked, the coach worked, it was great," recalled 'Der Bomber'. "The team were on a roll. That final was the best of the lot."
1976: Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (aet, 5-3 on pens)
THAT penalty. West Germany recovered from two down to force extra time in Belgrade, before a first ever major international tournament final went to spot kicks. After Uli Hoeness had fired over, Antonín Panenka applied the coup de grace, achieving immortality by waiting for Sepp Maier to dive and chipping down the middle.
1980: Belgium 1-2 West Germany
Horst Hrubesch, a late pre-tournament replacement, chose the perfect moment to notch his first international goals. His late second settled it, the 'Heading Monster' nodding in from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's cross. "I'd played three matches without scoring and, if Jupp Derwall hadn't selected me, I couldn't have argued. Looking back, he made the right choice."
1984: France 2-0 Spain
Michel Platini had captivated the continent all tournament and he duly delivered again with goal number nine in Paris. Platini's free-kick was not one of his best, slipping through Luis Arconada's hands, yet the Spain goalkeeper could do nothing when Bruno Bellone made sure late on. "We were superior to everybody," remembered 'Platoche'.
1988: Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union
Not content with setting up Ruud Gullit's opener, Marco van Basten conjured up a goal for the ages, his volley from the acutest of angles a breath-taking masterpiece of poise and class. "The excitement about the goal, I didn't really understand it," said Van Basten later. "You can see that in my reaction. I'm asking: 'What is happening?'"
1992: Denmark 2-0 Germany
Richard Møller Nielsen was planning to put in a new kitchen when, two weeks before kick-off, he got the call to prepare Denmark for EURO '92 after Yugoslavia were barred. His team's fairy tale ended with a staggering upset, John Jensen and Kim Vilfort doing the damage at one end while Peter Schmeichel kept out everything at the other.
1996: Czech Republic 1-2 Germany (aet)
"Take Oliver Bierhoff with you," Germany coach Berti Vogts's wife had told him before EURO '96. "He will repay you." So it proved, Bierhoff coming on to force extra time before squeezing in a 95th-minute winner – the first golden goal. "He was not the best technically, but he deserved it so much," said team-mate Matthias Sammer.
2000: France 2-1 Italy (aet)
Italy were seconds from glory when Sylvain Wiltord's last-gasp effort prompted extra time. David Trezeguet did the rest after Robert Pirès had raced clear and pulled back for his fellow substitute to crash in a first-time effort. "All my strength was in that shot – it had been a difficult championship," Trezeguet said of his golden goal.
2004: Portugal 0-1 Greece
The 80-1 pre-tournament outsiders pulled off a major shock in Lisbon thanks to their supreme tenacity and organisation, plus Angelos Charisteas's decisive header. "When the referee ended the match, it was as if the lights went out – another blank spot in my memory ... the constant smile of an idiot on my face," said midfielder Theodoros Zagorakis.
2008: Germany 0-1 Spain
Spain brought to a close 44 years of hurt as Fernando Torres's first-half goal in Vienna sparked a period of global dominance. After a strong opening from Germany, Luis Aragonés's men emerged as the more dangerous side – and they ended their long wait courtesy of Torres's pace, perseverance and unerring finish. "We won this tournament in style," said the coach.
2012: Spain 4-0 Italy
Against a flagging Italy team whose thrilling knockout campaign looked to have caught up with them, Spain were in control from the moment David Silva broke the deadlock in Kyiv. Jordi Alba added a barnstorming second, before Torres and Juan Mata capitalised after Italy's third substitute Thiago Motta had to be carried off on a stretcher.
2016: Portugal 1-0 France (aet)
Portugal had won just once inside 90 minutes en route to the final and suffered an early blow at the Stade de France when Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured. Their talisman was an animated presence on the sidelines, but it was substitute Éder who secured Portugal's first major trophy in extra time. "We said we'd win it for Cristiano and we did," explained centre-back Pepe.