Euro 2016: 10 of the greatest matches in Euros' history
The much awaited 2016 European Championship is here, only a day remaining to kick off, and the excitement can be felt in the air. Germany go into the tournament as the top-seeded team followed by Spain, as per the UEFA coefficient rankings. But France will be the favourites to clinch the trophy with the added advantage of the home crowd’s support.
There have been many thrillers in the tournament since its commencement in 1960, from last minute Golden Goal winners to nerve-wracking penalty shootouts. Here, we take a look at ten of the best matches that have ever been played in the European Championships.
To choose ten games from so many exciting encounters was tough, and some notable matches which missed the cut were Germany’s 3-2 win over Turkey in the 2008 semi-final, which was decided courtesy a 90th minute Philipp Lahm winner and Portugal’s quarter-final win over England courtesy goalkeeper Ricardo’s heroics in the penalty shootouts.
France 4-5 Yugoslavia, 1960 semi-final
The first match ever to be played in the Euros is also one of the best games of the tournament. The first edition saw 17 teams play the qualification rounds but only 4 made it to the finals.
In the first semfinal, host nation France, who were favourites to win the game, opened a comfortable 4-2 lead over Yugoslavia with only 15 minutes to go. Just as France were looking set to reach the finals, a miraculous three goals in four minutes turned the game upside down!
The city of love and romance lived upto its expectations for the travelling Yugoslavian fans as Drazan Jerkovic grabbed a brace in just over a minute to complete the magical night in Paris. The French had given away a two goal lead at the Parc des Princes stadium in front of 26,370 spectators, a staggering amount in those times.
Yugoslavia eventually finished runners-up after losing the final to USSR.