Best European Championship Finals - North Section

Best European Championship Finals

1. Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union (Euro 1988 final) - Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany

Going into Euro '88, Holland were the almost men of European football on the worldwide stage. Regardless of their best efforts, they still had not won a worldwide honour.

At club level, Ajax won three European Cup titles in a row involving 1971 and 1973, with a core of Dutch players, starring the famous Johann Cruyff, playing a pivotal role.

The Dutch national sports team were denied by the luster of Gerd Muller and Germany in the 1974 World Cup final and the brilliance of Mario Kempes and Argentina in the 1978 World Cup final.

They lost the 1974 final at the Olympiastadion in Munich, however they weren't to be denied at the same place 14 years later when Holland had their next core of generational stars including the similarity Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Gerald Vanenburg and Ruud Gullit-- the man who opened the scoring in the '88 final.

But the leading light in the Dutch class of '88 was Marco Van Basten, he's a football god and was as essential to Holland in the 80s as Cruyff remained in the 70s.

Gullit set the Dutch on their way in the first half, however his strike partner produced a bolt from the blue in the 2nd when he scored perhaps the best goal ever scored.

Van Basten struck Arnold Muhren's lofted cross-field ball sweet on the volley before his right-footed effort flew into the leading corner from a tight angle.

It's possibly the most renowned minute in European Championship history.

2. West Germany 2-2 Czechoslovakia |AET - Czechoslovakia win 5-3 on pens (Euro 1976 final) - Stadion Crvena Zvedza, Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia

The stage was set in Belgrade for the Euro '76 final concerning Czechoslovakia and Germany, and it certainly didn't come to nothing.

Germany entered into the Euro '76 final with an aura of invincibility about them. They were the defending European champs having won the tournament in '72. They were world champs having actually won the World Cup in '74. And they were controling in club football as well with Bayern Munich off the back of a hat-trick of European Cup victories concerning 1974 and 1976.

Germany were definitely the favourites, but Czechoslovakia had other concepts as they raced into an early lead through Jan Svehlik before Karol Dobias doubled their lead after 25 minutes.

The Germans immediately reacted through Dieter Muller however they would then continue to be irritated.

It looked as though Czechoslovakia would triumph, but a late Bernd Holzenbein sent out the contest into extra-time and eventually penalties.

The first 7 penalties of the shoot-out were scored, however when Uli Hoeness missed the ball remained in Antonin Panenka's court.

Panenka did more than simply score, he had the audacity to chip the penalty past the diving Sepp Maier to win Czechoslovakia the Euros and coin his own term for a chipped penalty.

3. Denmark 2-0 Germany | (Euro 1992 final) - Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden

Extremely, Denmark fell short to receive Euro '92 having actually finished second behind Yugoslavia in qualifying measures.

Back in 1992, the Euros held just 8 teams-- a third these days's number, with the winners of each of the 7 qualifying groups plus hosts Sweden going directly into the tournament.

In 1991, the Cold War ended and when the Soviet Union lost control of the Slavic nations of Yugoslavia, terrible Civil War broke out.

This suggested that Yugoslavia were unable to challenge at Euro '92 after being commonly tipped to win the tournament based upon the truth that 15 out of Red Star Belgrade's 16 players in their team for their European Cup final accomplishment of 1991, were Yugoslavian.

As a result, Denmark were prepared in to make up the numbers a week prior to the tournament began. Their team made the brief trip throughout to neighbouring Sweden to contend.

The Danes did more than simply make increase the numbers, they exceeded all expectations and won the tournament, beating Germany in the final in Gothenburg.

After grabbing up simply one point and falling short to score in their opening two group games versus England and Sweden, Denmark beat France 2-1 in the final group game prior to edging out Holland on penalties in the semis.

Then in the final, goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort sealed the deal as Denmark were crowned champs of Europe. The Scandinavians outplayed Germany.

Goalkeeper Peter Schmichel and Laudrup siblings Brian and Michael starred for Denmark throughout the tournament.

4. Spain 4-0 Italy | Euro 2012 Final - Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kiev, Ukraine

In 2012, Spain produced extraordinary history. They ended up being the first string to win back-to-back Euros and they did it while simultaneously being world champions.

The Spain dynasty was unbroken in 2012 when Vicente Del Bosque led his country to continental splendor after leading them to world magnificence in 2010.

Starring the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas, Spain's group of very gifted players laid the structures of contemporary day football.

Remarkably, Spain yielded simply 6 goals across the 3 worldwide tournaments they won in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

After directly overcoming Iberian neighbours Portugal on penalties in the semi-finals, they entered into the game versus an Italy side complete of confidence after knocking out Germany.

However only one team played with confidence in the final in Kiev as Spain dominated the contest from start to end up in among the most dominant screens ever seen in a final.

Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata saw Spain sweep Italy aside and create a special piece of history that makes them stand out from all the other European Championship winners of the past.

Stadium Vienna

5. France 2-1 Italy | Golden Goal (Euro 2000 Final) - De Kuip, Rotterdam, Holland

France ended up being world champions in Paris in 1998, and two years later they ended up being European champions in Rotterdam.

It certainly didn't look that method in the final as blockage time approached. France were 1-0 down and struggling to break down the Italian rearguard that had conceded just 2 goals in the entire tournament prior to the showpiece occasion.

A defence that included the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini were holding firm.

It looked as though Marco Delveccio's goal on 55 minutes would see the Italians over the line in Holland.

Deep into interruption time, France goalkeeper Fabian Barthez introduced his side's last attack of the game with a huge boot up-field. David Trezeguet won the header and headed onto Sylvain Wiltord who levelled for France.

After being provider at the end of the second half, Trezeguet then netted the golden goal in extra-time that saw France crowned European champs.

The Monaco striker swept the ball home on the half-volley with a tasty left-footed strike that wrong footed Francesco Toldo in the Italy goal.

Twenty years later on, France have the opportunity to repeat their accomplishment of 2000. If they win Euro 2020, France will concurrently be World and European Champions.

6. Portugal 0-1 Greece (Euro 2004 final) - Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal

The best upset in the history of the Euros.

Greece entered into Euro 2004 as one of the outsiders and a 150/1 shot to win the competition.

And they did simply that - entirely defying the chances. They beat Portugal 2-1 in the tournament's first game in Porto, and beat them 1-0 in the tournament's final game in Lisbon.

Portugal believed it was their year with their golden generation of players at their disposal and the reality they were playing on home soil, however the Greeks ensured they had the last word.

After conquering France 1-0 in the quarters, then beating the Czech Republic 1-0 in the semis, Greece went and beat Portugal by the same scoreline in the final as Angelos Charisteas lit up the Estadio da Luz.

He ended up being the current Greek god as Athens rose from its ruins in 2004 to manage among the best sporting shocks you will ever see, and in doing so they prained the Portuguese parade.
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