Although the first edition of the UEFA European Championship was the one with the most goals ever, the next ones were certainly not outdone.
Here are the ten most-goal matches of all in EURO history – could you name the national team involved in half of these games?
Nine goals – once
1960 semi-final: France – Yugoslavia 4-5
Equalling the inaugural match of the tournament was almost impossible in subsequent editions. After a 2-1 lead for the trans-Alpines before half-time, there was a real explosion of goals in the shootout. Two more France goals and a goal by Ante “anetis” in the 55th minute brought the result to 4-2 with 15 minutes to go, but Yugoslavia’s hat-trick in five minutes made the match one of the most unforgettable ever.
Seven goals – three times
Group Stage 2000: Yugoslavia – Spain 3-4
José Antonio Camacho’s Spain, who absolutely had to win to reach the quarter-finals, seemed to surrender to Yugoslavia, leading 3-2 despite playing in 10 men. But in injury time, Gaizka Mendieta scored on a penalty and Alfonso Pérez scored the fourth goal of the Reds, sparking pandemonium. Yugoslavia, if nothing else, could console itself by having still achieved qualification.
2000 Quarter-finals: Netherlands – Yugoslavia 6-1
The Netherlands were the only team to have scored six goals at the UEFA European Championship. Despite a Patrick Kluivert hat-trick in top form and Marc Overmars’ double, it was not a singles contest, but the victory came thanks to a devastating performance by all 11 of Frank Rijkaard’s players against a Yugoslavia had played a good group stage despite the defeat .
Quarter-finals 2016: France 5-2 Iceland
Without too much difficulty France broke Iceland’s dream at UEFA EURO 2016 turning the Saint-Denis race into a nightmare. The smallest nation in the final round – one in 12 Icelanders went to France to support their team – had turned up in the quarter-finals after their historic eighth-round win over England, but a ruthless France quickly made it clear how they were things going 4-0 at the end of the first half. True to their reputation, the Icelanders struggled to the end by scoring more goals than the hosts in the second half alone.
Six goals – six times
1976 semi-final: Yugoslavia – West Germany 2-4 (dts)
Under two goals after half an hour, West Germany saw their chances of defending the European title go away but did not lower their heads. The 1974 World Cup winners, coached by Helmut Schon, drew with eight minutes to go with Heinz Flohe and the substitute Dieter Muller. The latter scored two more goals in the final six minutes of extra time, leading West Germany to the final against Czechoslovakia: not a bad debut for the striker.
Group stage 1996: Russia -Czech Republic 3-3
In a race with a thousand flips in front, the Czech Republic risked prematurely interrupting the adventure at EURO ’96. After scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes, the Czechs were recovered before the interval and were trailing with five minutes to go, risking to give Italy qualification in Group C. But Vladim’s goal with 2 minutes to go It put everything back into question and started a memorable tournament for Duan Uhrin’s team.
Group Stage 2000: Yugoslavia – Slovenia 3-3
Only the most reckless would have bet on a draw of Yugoslavia, which with 30 minutes to go was trailing 3-0 (double by Zlatko Zahovich and goal by Miran Pavlin) and in 10 men for the expulsion of Sinicha Mihajlovic after an hour of play. The team, however, equalised with three goals in the 67th, 70th and 73rd minutes and secured the result thanks to a last-minute save on Ivan Dudich’s line.
Group Stage 2004: Croatia – England 2-4
After scoring two goals in the previous game against Switzerland, Wayne Rooney exploded permanently on the European stage with this match. After the loss, sven-Goan Eriksson’s team came back with a rooney double and a goal from Paul Scholes, while in the last 20′ both teams were still scoring. The new England prodigy, however, had already scored enough to ensure his team’s first group stage passage on foreign soil.
2012 quarter-finals: Germany – Greece 4-2
When Giorgios Samaras equalised Philipp Lahm’s lead ten minutes after the interval, Greece began to hope for qualification in the semi-finals. However, three goals in 14 minutes – Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus – extinguished the Greeks’ feelings. The penalty on the end of Dimitris Salpingidis was a meagre consolation. That was the 15th consecutive win in official matches for Germany before losing in the semi-final to Italy.
Group stage 2016: Hungary – Portugal 3-3
Portugal’s dream of winning at UEFA EURO 2016 threatened to break on an unforgettable afternoon in Lyon. Hungary, the leader of Group F and surprise in the group, moved three times ahead but were hung up three times. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in four different goals. Portugal was one step away from elimination but three weeks later they were crowned European champions!