The curtain may be closing on the domestic season but this won’t be a summer of football withdrawal symptoms with the European Championship in France just around the corner.
Indeed, Euro 2016 is shaping up to be a real classic, with no obvious favourite for the title and a number of countries making their debut in the continental tournament – including Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ahead of the tournament officially kicking off on June 10th, when hosts France take on Romania, we at Football FanCast have been taking a look at some of the greatest moments from Euros past.
And whilst trawling through the prestigious history of the European Championship, we’ve somehow managed to whittle it down to the tournament’s ten greatest ever goals, ranging from a Michael Ballack banger to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic wonder-strike.
For the next five minutes, sit back, relax and watch the onion-bag ripple with Euro delight.
Before moving to Leeds United and ruining his career with a Yorkshire pie addiction, Tomas Brolin punished England at Euro 92 by completing a sweeping move with a phenomenal finish into the top corner. Sweden went on to win 2-1, whilst Brolin went on to be remembered as one of the greatest transfer flops of the Premier League era.
A midfield icon who somehow finished his club career with more runner-up medals than titles. Michael Ballack scored 42 goals in 98 appearances for Germany and this thump of a free kick against Austria is unquestionably up there with his best.
Back when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was still a 22-year-old relative unknown at Ajax, he turned up at Euro 2004 with Sweden and drew the world’s attention with this martial-arts-inspired finish against Italy. He’d subsequently move to Juventus the same summer and go on to lift three Serie A titles with the Old Lady.
Maniche prided himself on contributing a few goals from midfield and this curled effort against the Netherlands, guaranteeing Portugal a place in the Euro 2004 final, is certainly amongst his top strikes. An affluent career saw the 53-cap former international ply his trade with Benfica, Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon.
A goal that would go onto inspire millions of impersonations around the world, Antonin Panenka’s famous lobbed spot kick is to penalties what the Cruyff turn is to dribbling. The former Czechoslovakia midfielder changed football forever with this effort against West Germany.
Ronnie Whelan was a multi-title-winner with Liverpool but couldn’t transition that silverware pedigree to the Irish national team. Despite the midfielder’s absolute belter against USSR, coming straight from a long throw Rory Delap would be proud of, Ireland failed to escape the group stages at Euro 88.
You’ve probably been trying to master this corner routine on FIFA 16 all year but Czechoslovakia had cracked it way back in 1980. Lasislav Jurkemik, whose career highs included making over 100 appearances for St. Gallen and later managing Slovakia for just one year before being demoted to their U21s, produced this inward curler in the third-place playoff against Italy.
This mazy dribble followed by an audacious lob for the Czech Republic earned Karel Poborsky a place in the Euro 96 Team of the Tournament and a subsequent move to Manchester United. The winger’s Old Trafford career underwhelmed, lasting just one-and-a-half seasons, but whilst playing for Benfica he scored almost a carbon copy against the same goalkeeper – Porto and Portugal No.1 Vitor Baia.
A goal that epitomised the genius of Paul Gascoigne and will be remembered as one of England’s greatest at a major tournament – not to mention that ‘dentist chair’ celebration. Dele Alli’s MOTD Goal of the Season against Crystal Palace was eerily similar to the Newcastle and Spurs icon’s strike to punish Scotland.
A goal that affirmed his status as arguably the best striker of his generation and remains the pinnacle strike throughout the history of the European Championship, not least because it clinched the 1988 title for the Netherlands in a 2-0 win over the USSR. Marco van Basten’s physics-defying wonder volley tops our list.