One of the biggest football competitions in the world, UEFA Euro always catches the attention of fans around the world. It is here that we see national teams showing talent and football of the highest level. Where the European players show what they can do outside the national competitions like the FA Cup (see more here), the King’s Cup and other ones.
Called by many the “World Cup without Brazil and Argentina”, the Euro had very important moments in its history. And today we will bring here 4 unforgettable moments of the competition.
July 4, 2004, Estádio da Luz, in Lisbon, with a mute Lusitanian crowd, you could only hear screams in Greek and players in blue running madly on all sides. Greece was the champions of the Euro 2004.
The Greeks were not the team that luckily arrived in the final and won, quite the opposite. Greece eliminated all the favorites in that competition:
- Spain in group stage
- France – who were the current champions – in the quarterfinals
- Czech Republic in the semifinals
- Portugal in the final
In the end, they made history by winning one of the most difficult competitions in World Football.
Trezeguet’s Golden Goal – 2000
David Trezeguet had hundreds of reasons to be placed on the shelf of French football’s immortals. Goalscorer at Monaco, world champion in 1998 and legend for Juventus. But it was a single goal – among so many that he made in his two decades of career – that placed him in the hall of immortals in the country.
In fact, a “single goal”, no. “THE” goal. The most important thing that marked it, on July 2, 2000.
An error in the exit of the Italian ball, a few seconds of brilliance and two dribbles at speed by Robert Pirès and a cross that had only one direction: Trezeguet’s left foot. The clumsy kick, but strong and high, was indefensible for Francesco Toldo, who fell to the left side and saw the ball swing the nets in his opposite corner.
It was the time of the infamous “Golden Goal” and, thus, France overcame Italy to win their second Euro in history.
Final of 1964 (Spain x USSR)
Spain and the Soviet Union made the second Euro decision. General Francisco Franco was not sympathetic to his colleague Josef Stalin and the two government regimes did not understand each other. For 1964 UEFA reached an agreement with Franco, who allowed the Soviets to play on Iberian soil. And the final took place at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid.
Spain completed 25 years since the end of the civil war and a victory for the national team would be the flagship for promoting the achievements of the regime. Even so, the general had doubts whether he should attend the final, as he was fearful of a defeat against the USSR. What would be for him a victory of the communists on Spanish soil.
However, Franco attended the game, motivated by his general secretary, Solíz Ruiz, as his presence was essential for the regime’s propaganda, as well as for motivating the team.
Goals, only at the beginning and at the end of the match. Pereda opened the scoring six minutes into the first half and the Soviets tied at eight. The 2-1 that earned Spain the first of three Euros came at the end of the second half, through forward Marcelino.
After delighting the world with good performances at the 1986 World Cup, the Danes had lost steam. In the UEFA EURO 92 qualifiers, they were eliminated, trailing Yugoslavia. However, two weeks before the start of the Euro Cup, the UN extended its veto over Yugoslavia to all sports competitions for the war in the Balkans.
Uefa hastily expelled the team, which was dismembering amid bombings, from the final phase of its national team tournament and replaced it with the one that had fallen behind it in the qualifying phase.
So the Danish team fell into a group that included Sweden, England and France, it was almost impossible to imagine that the Danes made it through the first phase. Despite tight results, the victory over France in the last round ensured second place in the group.
The semifinal reserved a confrontation against the current champion, the very strong team from the Netherlands, with Van Basten, Gullit, Berkamp and Riijkard in its squad. After a 2×2 in regular time, the game went to penalties and then Peter Schmeichel’s star shone, who a few years later would put his name in Manchester United’s very select gallery of idols, defended the charge by star Van Basten. Christofte’s goal struck the final blow to the defending champions’ hopes and qualified the Danes to the final.
In the final, which a month before no one could not even imagine, they overcame Germany by 2-0. Thus, a team maintained by the capital figure of its goalkeeper and catapulted by the solidarity of some players who prioritized the collective to shine, achieved the most unexpected glory. A real fairy tale.
Bet on the Euro 2020
A new Euro is just days away and football fans can take the opportunity to place their sports bets on the biggest competition in Europe.
Look for betting sites that offer free bets no deposit, register and start betting without even having to spend money out of your pocket. Test your knowledge at Euro 2020 and have fun.