Nearly 24 years since Marco Van Basten scored his most famous goal – a stunning volley against the USSR, leading the Netherlands to their first and only major tournament title to date. We’re still waiting for some to score a better goal; come up with a more impressive finish in the European Football Championship.
Ballack and Zidane gave it their best with their free kicks; Rui Costa and Maniche showed their long range prowess; Zlatan Ibrahimovic has two goals on this list, both stunning. Still, it’s not enough to topple the Dutchman.
Number 10 – Michael Ballack (Germany), Euro 2008
Germany had to win Austria in their final match of the Euro 2008 Group Stage, with Michael Ballack scoring a wonderful low flying free kick to give them the 1-0 win.
Number 9 – Zinedine Zidane (France), Euro 2004
A dramatic ending to the France – England match in the group stages saw the English defending an early 1-0 lead until stoppage time, when Zinedine Zidane struck twice – once with a free kick and once from the penalty spot to give the French a dramatic win.
Number 8 – Davor Suker (Croatia), Euro 1996
Croatia’s first big tournament since the dissolvement of Yugoslavia was an impressive won, marching through the group stage with a memorable 3-0 win over the defending European champions, Denmark. Davor Suker scored the most memorable goal with a brilliant and cheeky lob over Peter Schmeichel.
Number 7 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Euro 2008
The goal that ended the Greek uber-defending threat. They’re still making big tournaments despite their hard on the eyes style, but remember, they entered the Euro 2008 as champions. Impossible to score against champions. It needed a special goal from a special player to take the hot air out of that balloon.
Number 6 – Wesley Sneijder (The Netherlands), Euro 2008
The Dutch made mincemeat out of their ‘group of death’ rivals, thrashing Italy 3-0 and later France 4-1 with beautiful counter attack football. As usual, their group stage perfection proved useless in the long run, losing to Russia in the quarterfinal. Wesley Sneijder, the side’s best player during the tournament, scored a wonderful long range shot against the French, the most memorable of Holland’s goals in the tournament.
Number 5 – Rui Costa (Portugal), Euro 2004
Great goals were scored against England in that tournament, with Rui Costa scoring a silver goal in the 110th minute only to be countered by Frank Lampard 5 minutes later. England and Portugal went on to duel in penalties. As you might have guessed, England lost.
Number 4 – Maniche (Portugal), Euro 2004
In what was dubbed by many as the real final of the 2004 European championships, Portugal beat the Netherlands 2-1 in a fantastic Semi Final. Maniche put the hosts 2-0 up in the 58th minute with an impossible curler, which still isn’t the finest goal of that tournament that saw a lot of impressive ones.
Number 3 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Euro 2004
The only player featuring twice on this list, with goals in two different tournament. This one, against Italy in the 2004 group stages, had a lot of luck involved, but Zlatan gets the high ranking thanks to the creativity of it all.
Number 2 – Ronnie Whelan (Ireland), Euro 1988
Not many remember Whealan’s goal because of what Van Basten did a couple of weeks later against the same USSR team. Whelan didn’t score in a final match, ‘just’ the group stage in Ireland’s first appearance in a Major tournament and their only Euro appearance till this year.
Number 1 – Marco Van Basten (The Netherlands), Euro 1988
Because of the impossible angle, because of the Van Basten elegance, because it was the final, because of the volley. Still, when anyone ever thinks of a Euro goal, Van Basten’s incredible strike in the Netherland’s only major trophy success, beating the USSR 2-0 in the final.