Friday, 5 November 2010


My picks, in ascending order:

5. Maniche Portugal v Holland Euro 2004 Semi-final

This incredible strike in the 58th minute put Portugal 2-0 ahead in the semi-final against Holland and had the host nation dreaming of European glory on home soil. Although they held out to beat the Dutch, they lost the Final to rank outsiders Greece in probably the biggest shock in the competition's history.

4. Poborsky Czech Republic v Portugal Euro 96 Quarter-final

Poborsky's lob against Portugal in the quarter-final of Euro 96 was his first international goal. It was innovative, technically brilliant, and stunned everbody watching. It also won the match.

3. Van Basten Holland v USSR European Championships 1988 Final

When Arnold Muhren lofted a high ball to the far side of the penalty area the world waited for it to drop at Van Basten's feet. Instead, the striker never let the ball touch the ground, implementing an audacious volley on goal from the tightest of angles. A stunning strike from which the USSR never recovered, sealing the Euro Title for Holland.

2. Gascoigne England v Scotland Euro 96 Second Group match

Few players have the ingenuity to conceive a manoeuvre like this, let alone possess the ability to execute it. Perhaps the two things go hand-in-hand; the hallmark of genius. Gascoigne's greatest goal resurrected England's tournament after a disappointing start, and they went on to reach the semi-finals.

1. Panenka Czechoslovakia v West Germany European Championships 1976 Final

How on earth can I choose a penalty as my pick for the greatest goal ever scored in European Championship history? Simply because of what was at stake. Panenka took a gamble that was unthinkable; one that he knew could make or break the rest of his life. The ultimate element of surprise gave Czechoslovakia their finest hour.

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