Greatest European Championship XI of all time
The qualifying stages are done with and the domestic football seasons have been done away with. The stage is now set for the Euro 2016 scheduled to start from 10 June. Europe’s premier international competition is held every four years and is set to be hosted by France this year.
The Euro’s have a new format this season, featuring 24 teams instead of the usual 16. This should give the not so well known teams like Albania and Slovakia a chance to show their skills on the big stage.
Over the years, Europe’s premier tournament has provided the stage for world class players to showcase their talents. There have been a number of iconic players who have set the stage alight ranging from legendary Soviet keeper Lev Yashin to modern day strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa.
Choosing an XI from the all-time greats is a difficult task due to the sheer number of legends that have played in the tournament. After a long and arduous selection process involving performances in the Euro’s and suitability to the team, we have come up with what could possibly be the ultimate European Champions XI.
Formation- 4-4-2 Diamond
Dino Zoff (Goalkeeper)
The Juventus and Italy legend made 112 appearances for Italy and is their fifth most capped player. He holds the record for being the oldest ever player to win the World Cup when Italy won in 1982. The Italian goalkeeper famously did not allow a single goal in international tournaments in 1142 minutes between 1972 and 1974.
Known for his excellent reflexes and positioning, Zoff won the European Championships in only his fifth international appearance. He kept two clean sheets in the tournament and was voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
So impressive were his performances that his career extended till 1982, 24 years from his debut at the 1968 Euros. He was part of the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament twice, in 1968 and 1980. In recognition of services, he was voted the best Italian footballer of the previous 50 years in November 2003.