The 50 greatest Euros goals ever

The 50 greatest Euros goals ever
Getty Images

Yeah, the World Cup is a wonderful thing. But there’s just something about the Euros that makes it so special for the fans.

For one, the concentration of teams means the standard is arguably a little higher. There are more local rivalries played out, and – as you’ll see from the list below – it’s also thrown up some of the greatest goals in the history of the game.

Football fans everywhere will be hoping that the 2024 tournament will turn out to be another brilliant event, but in the meantime, it's always a great time to revisit some of the best moments from Euros past.

These are our picks of the 50 greatest goals in Euros history.

50. Antonin Panenka: Czechoslovakia v West Germany, 1976

Antonín Panenka´ s penalty (EURO 1976 in Belgrade. Czechoslovakia vs. Germany)

A penalty that changed the course of footballing history. The nature of Antonin Panenka’s effort in 1976 had never been seen before, sitting the keeper down and sending the ball looping merrily into the back of the net. Many people have tried it since, and not all have succeeded.

49. Andrea Pirlo: Italy v England, 2012

Andrea Pirlo vs Joe Hart - The bravest

…but one person who definitely did succeed is strolling Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo. We know, this technically shouldn’t be in the list as it was taken from a penalty shootout. However, it’s such a cool effort in a high-pressured quarter-final that we couldn’t resist adding it in.

48. Danny Welbeck: England v Sweden, 2012

Danny Welbeck Golazo - England 3-2 Sweden Euro

A rare highlight from Roy Hodgson's tenure as England manager this, as Danny Welbeck steered home Theo Walcott's cross back across the six-yard box with a cute backheel. A strange time to be an England fan, for sure, but it still had its moments.

47. Henrik Larsson: Sweden v Bulgaria, 2004

Henrik Larssons Språngnick | Uefa Euro 2004 🇸🇪 - 🇧🇬

They don’t really make cult icons like Henrik Larsson anymore, and this incredible diving header against Bulgaria back in 2004 is probably the one that people (at least non-Celtic and Sweden fans) remember the most. It’s worth watching just to see the distance he travels in the air if nothing else.

46. Eden Hazard: Belgium v Hungary, 2016

Eden Hazard AMAZING Goal Belgium vs Hungary 4 0 26 06 16

Peak Eden Hazard was a real menace. The balance he had when cutting inside, like he did here with devastating effect in 2016, was so impressive. Like the best wingers, defenders often knew what he was trying to do but just couldn’t get close to him.

45. Zinedine Zidane: France v Spain, 2000

ZIdane stunning Free kick against Spain 06/

It's odd, isn't it, that Zidane's prowess over a set-piece isn't necessarily one of the things that most people return to when looking back at his career - instead focusing on just about every other aspect of his flawless game. After all, he scored some incredible freekicks in his time, not least this brilliant effort against Spain in 2000.

44. Robin van Persie: Netherlands v France, 2008

Netherlands 4-1 France - EURO 2008 - Dutch Masterclass -

Robin van Persie only played a supporting role in this excellent breakaway goal during a 4-1 thumping of France back in 2008, with Ruud van Nistelrooy setting things off with a superb backheel.

The only negative thing we have to say about this goal is the blue socks the Netherlands players are wearing. Who thought that was a good idea?

43. Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal v Hungary, 2020

Highlights: Ronaldo makes history in Portugal win over Hungary| UEFA Euro

Cristiano Ronaldo has an unusual relationship with the Euros, having won the tournament after suffering the heartache of getting injured during the final of 2016. But it turns out his greatest Euros moments on an individual level both came against Hungary in 2016 and 2020 respectively. The first came in a well worked, intricate passing move, before sitting down the keeper. And the second…

42. Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal v Hungary, 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo amazing flick goal vs Hungary -

…came against the same opponents four years earlier, with a backheel flick embodying the audacity and self-confidence of Ronaldo in his pomp. A pretty outrageous goal from an outrageous talent.

41. Nihat Kahveci: Turkey v Czech Republic, 2008


This emphatic finish off the underside of the bar came right at the end of an incredible, topsy-turvy game back in 2008 that secured Turkey a 3-2 win. There aren’t many fan bases that do limbs in the crowd better than Turks, but any nation would have enjoyed this one.

40. Michel Platini: France v Yugoslavia, 1984

MICHEL PLATINI Scores A Hat-Trick In 18 Minutes To Defeat YUGOSLAVIA (June 1984)

He scored another great goal in the same game (more on that later), racking up a hat-trick in the space of just 18 minutes. The third goal finished the game off and came in the form of an inspired, quickly-taken free-kick over the wall and past the keeper.

Click for goals 39-30

Sign up for our free indy100 weekly newsletter

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings

The Conversation (0)