Euro 2020 marked 60 years since the first European tournament in Europe. It was unique because games took place in different venues across Europe. Every even has its uniqueness, although some stood out. Below are the 5 best euro championships of all time.
Euro 2000 held in Belgium and Netherlands stood out because of the dramatic events throughout the tournament. Group stages had an exciting end-to-end action. The best thing about Euro 2000 is that almost all sides had eccentric playmakers that could create new tactics on the move. The top European playmakers Zidane, Figo, Toti, Hagi, Guardiola, and Stojkovic, were all on the song. Both semi-finals went to extra time, and France, fresh from winning the 1998 world cup, needed the 103rd minute Golden Goal by David Trezeguet to win the final against Italy.
Fans remember Switzerland and Austria held a tournament for free-flowing soccer. The Spanish tiki-taka system carried the glory when the golden generation featuring Fernando Torres, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and David Villa starred in all games they featured. Spain overcomes Russia in group stages and semi-finals, Sweden, Italy, and Greece to reach the finals. A Fernando Torres goal again the fancied Germany won the tournament for Spain. Netherlands was fiery in group stages courtesy of Arjen Robben, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie. They defeated France, Italy, and Romania but crashed to underdogs Russia in the quarter-finals.
Euro 1984 in France was the second edition to use an 8 team format with group winners and runners up going to the semi-final. It was a high-scoring tournament with 41 goals from 15 matches. The French legend who later became UEFA President, Michel Platini scored 9 of the goals to become the top scorer in a single European Championship. He led Le Bleus to win all games in the tournament, including a hotly contested semi-final against Portugal. The hosts were 1-2 down to Portugal in 8th to 115 the minute of extra time. The team scored twice in the last five minutes, with the winner coming from Platini in the 119th minute. French men continued the momentum by beating Spain 2-0 in the final to win the first European Championship in style and close one of the most memorable tournaments for many goals on high.
2004 edition in Portugal stood out for upsets. Portugal, England m The Netherlands, and the Czech Republic played brilliant football. The Czechs win over the highly-rated Netherlands was one of the historic games. They won 3-2 after going two goals early in the game. Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo rose to fame in the tournament to outshine seasoned players like those in the 2002 World Cup Finalist Germany that clashed out in the first round. The biggest upset came from the underdog Greece winning the tournament by beating Portugal 1-0 in the finals. Many did not give the Greeks who survived on defensive play a chance of lifting the cup.
Euro 1976 remain the only major tournament to take place in Yugoslavia and the best four-team format edition. The 1974 world cup finalists West Germany and the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia were the other teams alongside the hosts. Every game was fantastic, maybe due to the absence of burnout. Czechs scored twice close to end extra time to win 3-1. German legend Gerd Muller scored a hat trick lifting his team from two goals down to 4-2 against hosts. In the final, West Germany also equalized late in the 89th minute against Czechoslovakia and took the game to penalties. Czechoslovakia won through a deft kick by Midfielder Antonim Panenka to make history as the first team to beat the Germans in a shootout. This edition might have topped a list of the 5 best euro championships of all time if it had more games.