EURO 2020 final is coming. Let’s look at the past and recall 3 of the most remarkable finals that fans will remember forever.
EURO 1988 final: Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union
Going into Euro ’88, Holland still hadn’t won international titles. The Dutch national team were defeated by Germany in the 1974 World Cup final and by Argentina in the 1978 World Cup final.
They lost the 1974 final at the Olympiastadion in Munich, but they weren’t to be defeated there 14 years later when Holland had top players in the team like Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Gerald Vanenburg and Ruud Gullit. But the front star in the Dutch team of ’88 was Marco Van Basten.
Gullit opened the scoring in the ’88 final in the first half, but Van Basten impressed everybody in the second half when he scored perhaps the best goal ever.
Van Basten struck Arnold Muhren’s lofted cross-field ball sweet on the volley before his right-footed effort flew into the top corner from a tight angle. This was possibly the most iconic moment in European Championship history.
EURO 1992 final: Denmark 2-0 Germany
Remarkably, Denmark failed to qualify for EURO’92 having finished second behind Yugoslavia in qualification. In 1992, the EUROs held just eight teams – the winners of each of the seven qualifying groups plus hosts Sweden going straight into the tournament.
In 1991, the Cold War ended and when the Soviet Union lost control of the Slavic nations of Yugoslavia, Civil War broke out. This meant that Yugoslavia were unable to take part in EURO ’92. As a result, Denmark were selected to participate a week before the competition began.
However, the Danes exceeded all expectations. After having just one point and failing to score in their opening two group games against England and Sweden, Denmark beat France 2-1 in the final group game before beating Holland on penalties in the semi-finals.
Then in the final, with goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort, Denmark were crowned champions of Europe, beating Germany.
EURO 2004 final: Portugal 0-1 Greece
Greece went into EURO 2004 as one of the outsiders, but they beat Portugal 2-1 in the tournament’s first game in Porto and beat them 1-0 in the tournament’s final in Lisbon.
Portugal thought it was their year with their top players and the fact they were playing at home, but the Greeks thought otherwise.
After overcoming France 1-0 in the quarters, then beating the Czech Republic 1-0 in the semis, Greece beat Portugal in the final. Angelos Charisteas became the Greek star who help the team to pull off one of the greatest sporting shocks.