Taking place every four years, the European Championships represent Europe’s premier international soccer competition. Although we have sadly been robbed of this year’s event, those who are missing the action can console themselves by watching reruns of some of the most memorable matches from previous years, and boy have there been some epics! Here is a selection of just a few of the many that would be worthy of this list.
1. Portugal 0-1 Greece (2004 Final)
While the showdown between Portugal and Greece in the final of the 2004 Euros may not win any prizes for the beauty of the soccer that was played, the result is undoubtedly the biggest upset the championships have ever seen. Blessed with home advantage, European giants Portugal were subject to a surprise smash-and-grab by minnows Greece. The fact that the Greeks even got to the final was a minor miracle in itself, but when Angelos Charisteas headed in from a corner on 57 minutes in the Estadio da Luz, he became a hero that his compatriots will surely be still eulogizing 50 years from now.
2. France 2-1 Italy (2000 Final)
The 2000 Euros arrived just at the right time for France. Having sensationally won the World Cup on home soil in 1998, the country was blessed with a golden generation of talent that will go down in history as one of the best teams to ever play the game. After coming second in their group to the Netherlands, France squeaked through the knockout stages in games against Spain and Portugal. Trailing to a Marco Delveccio goal going into stoppage time, Sylvain Wiltord somehow managed to grab a last-gasp equalizer. Then, in the second half of extra time, David Trezeguet came up with a golden goal winner to add the Euro crown to France’s World Cup from two years previous.
3. Denmark 2-0 Germany (1992 Final)
While Greece may have pulled off the unlikeliest underdog win in the history of the Euros, Denmark’s 1992 victory can’t be far behind. Amazingly, Denmark only qualified for the competition by virtue of the withdrawal of Yugoslavia, one of the pre-tournament favorites, due to the outbreak of war in the Balkans. Supposedly only there to make up the numbers, Denmark surprised everyone by comprehensively outplaying Germany, beating them with goals by John Jensen and Kim Vilfort. The match will live long in the memories of Danes everywhere as the best soccer weekend they have ever experienced.
If you are wondering when the next Euro Cup is scheduled to happen, you will be excited to hear that, pandemic permitting, the 2020 iteration of the competition is penciled in for 11 July 2021.