1960: USSR 2-1 Yugoslavia (a.p.)
Thanks to its legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, the USSR allowed the Yugoslavs to score only one goal in 90 minutes, on a counter-attack by Milan Galic, despite their wide domination. Slava Metreveli equalised and the game went into extra time as Yugoslavia began to run out of steam. Victor Ponedelnik scored with his head to give the Soviet Union its first (and last) trophy.
1964: Spain 2-1 USSR
Already European champion with FC Internazionale Milano, Luis Suarez added experience to the young Spanish team. After only six minutes of play at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the talented No.10 centred for Jess Pereda who opened the scoring. Galimzian Khusainov equalised quickly, but Marcellino scored a second goal with six minutes left. “The other Spanish teams I played in were much better than the one in 1964, but we never won anything,” said Suárez. “It was a team more than a selection of great players.”
1968: Italy 2-0 and Yugoslavia
On the day of the final, Italy were led by a goal by Dzajic after 39 minutes, and seemed to be heading for a defeat at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. “Honestly, we didn’t deserve the draw,” admits goalkeeper Dino Zoff today, but Angelo Domenghini equalised with ten minutes to go, forcing the two teams to meet again two days later. Coach Valcareggi called sandro Mazzola and Luigi Riva, and the latter added a second goal after Pietro Anastasi opened the scoring. Italy beat Yugoslavia 2-0. “We deserved to win this game,” Zoff added. “Memories are still there.”
1972: West Germany 3-0 Soviet Union
The final was one-way. Netzer and Beckenbauer were imperial in the middle of the field, and Muller again scored twice. Herbert Wimmer scored the other goal and the Germans won 3-0. It’s still the highest score of a UEFA European Championship final. “Everything worked out well,” said Mr. Muller. “We were in harmony. We understood each other very well. This was also the case on the ground. We can’t ask for anything more.” The foundations for the SUCCESS of the FRG in the FIFA World Cup two years later were laid.
1976: Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (a.p., 5-3 t.a.b.)
Helmut Schon’s men were the favourites for this final. The Czechoslovaks had not lost for 20 matches and this defeat at Wembley, and quickly led 2-0 against the Germans, who responded by Muller and Bernd Hulkenate at the last minute. No goals were scored in overtime and the penalty shootout was his first appearance in a major tournament. Seven penalties later, Uli Hoeness shot over. Panenka made a hitherto unknown move, waiting for Sepp Maier’s dive before sending the ball into the center of the goal with a small stick. “If I could have patented it, I would have done it,” he once joked.
1984: France 2-0 Spain
If the expectations of an entire country seemed to hold the French to tense in the first half of the final at the Parc des Princes, it was Platini who was decisive again. He scored in the 57th minute on a free kick that went under the body of Luis Arconada the Spanish goalkeeper. Platini scored his ninth goal in five matches. Yvon Le Roux was sent off for France, but Bruno Bellone scored a second goal late in the game to give France his first major trophy (2-0).
1988: Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union
Nearly 60% of the population of the Netherlands witnessed the victory of their heroes in the final, where the kings of “Total Football” of the 1970s had failed. Easily recognizable by his dreadlocks, Gullit opened the scoring with a header before a real masterpiece sealed the score. Van Basten scored from an unstoppable acrobatic volley on a cross from Arnold Muhren that deceived goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev at the second post. Hans van Breukelen then stopped a penalty, and that’s how this fabulous second goal will be remembered forever.
1992: Denmark 2-0 Germany
At the time, the players faced Berti Vogts’ Germany in Gothenburg, after Karlheinz Riedle made the host country cry (3-2). John Jensen scored the first goal of the final after 18 minutes. Kim Vilfort put an end to this extraordinary story in the second half while Schmeichel was once again providential.
1996: Czech Republic 1-2 Germany (a.p.)
76,000 spectators attended the final at the old Wembley to see Germany win its fifth European trophy. Four years after the Danish surprise, Patrik Berger showed that the underdogs could take the advantage. The German coach Berti Vogts then launched Oliver Bierhoff and, after equalizing the header, he scored the golden goal after four minutes in extra time. As a transfer of power to the benefit of Germany, sacred on the lands that had seen the birth of football.
2000: France 2-1 Italy (golden goal)
Italy advanced to the final for the first time since 1968, and took the lead in the second half thanks to Marco Delvecchio. With the final whistle on the horizon and the fate of the match seemed sealed, Sylvain Wiltord equalised late in the game by beating Francesco Toldo at the first post. The amazement was on the face of Dino Zoff’s bench, and by the 13th minute of extra time, it was all over: Trezeguet’s fantastic volley ended a new tournament with a golden goal.
2004: Portugal 0-1 Greece
Angelos Charisteas scores the only goal with his head. Greece’s astonishing success sets an example for the rest of the continent: with hard work, trust, a hint of luck, and an unwavering team spirit, anything is possible.
2008: Germany 0-1 Spain
Spain ended a 44-year wait by winning UEFA EURO 2008. In Vienna, Luis Aragonés’ players capped an attacking competition with a 1-0 win over Germany. In the 33rd minute of the final, the left-back let Torres slip to the only goal of the game.
2012: Spain 4-0 Italy
An Italy on the kneecaps was knocked out 4-0 by Spain, the widest score ever recorded in a European Nations Championship final. David Silva opened the scoring with a header after 14 minutes. Jordi Alba (first goal for the national team) doubled the lead. The exit through injury of Thiago Motta, third substitute, unbalanced the game for the last 28 minutes. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata were then ruthless and completed Spain’s first triumph over Italy in competition within 90 minutes of 92 years.
2016: Portugal 1-0 France (a.p.)
At the Stade de France, Cristiano Ronaldo quickly injured his knee following a heavy contact with Dimitri Payet. The Portuguese captain tried to hold his place, but nothing helped, and he had to leave his partners. This event had the merit of welding the Portuguese team that held on, despite a Moussa Sissoko of the big nights French side. A few minutes earlier, Rui Patricio had already worked to get out a superb header from Antoine Griezmann, who was spinning in the skylight. The future Player of the Tournament narrowly missed opening the scoring.
Few, or almost, to get under the tooth afterwards. On the hour mark, Kingsley Coman replaced Dimitri Payet in an attempt to animate the game. In turn, he managed to serve Griezmann, whose header missed the frame. A little later, Olivier Giroud tried to deceive Rui Patrocio, but the doorman remained vigilant. The only time Portugal’s last bulwark was beaten was fatal, but it was the post that saved the visitors in extra time, on a point-blank strike from André-Pierre Gignac, who had just replaced Giroud and avait perfectly erased Pepe. Hugo Lloris, who had little to do in the first 90 minutes, was put to work in overtime, first on a header from Éder, then on a free kick by Raphael Guerreiro, who hit the crossbar. But, despite his efforts, the French captain could do nothing when, in the 109th minute, Lillois Éder tried his luck from a distance and crucified him with a shaving shot that ended in a sigh and sent his own to the roof of Europe.