Six of the best goals in European Championship history: Gascoigne, Balotelli….



The European Championships have been treated to some great goals over the years.

From golden goals to clever chips to crashing volleys, there is not a competition around that can rival the quality of goals scored in the Euros. 

With Euro 2020 celebrating the 60th anniversary of the summer tournament, Sportsmail decided to pick out six of the best goals ever scored in European Championship history.

Marco Van Basten volley vs USSR (Euro 1998) 

Dutch forward Marco Van Basten was always going to have a say in the Euro 1998 final against the Soviet Union – but nobody expected this. 

The 23-year-old had been in superb form in the run-up to the final, scoring a hat-trick against England in the group stage, and netted the winner against West Germany in the semi-final. 

 And after setting up Ruud Guillit’s opening goal in the final, Arnold Murhen floated a desperately looking ball into the penalty area after 54 minutes.  

Van Basten watched the ball drop towards his foot and fired an unstoppable strike into the far corner of the net from an almost-impossible angle. 

Holland won the final 2-0 and that goal was voted just outside the top 20 in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Sporting Moments of all time. 

Paul Gascoigne’s solo goal vs Scotland (Euro 1996)

Picture the scene. England vs Scotland. Wembley. The sun beaming down on a electric atmosphere with England under pressure. 

The Three Lions were struggling to see off a robust Scotland side in a must-win game for the host nation. Alan Shearer put England in front early on in the second-half but that lead was put under serious threat when Scotland were awarded a penalty.

Gary McAllister’s effort hit David Seaman in the England goal and 90 seconds later, the ball was in the Scotland net through an exquisite piece of skill. 

The ball found its way to Paul Gascoigne, who hoisted the ball over Colin Hendry before smashing the ball home in a perfect goalscoring move. 

A memorable dentist chair celebration followed and that goal signalled the start of England’s momentum throughout the tournament.

Mario Balotelli’s strike vs Germany (Euro 2012) 

When Italy came up against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final, not many gave the Azzurri a chance in hell against their clinical opposition. 

The Italians were a far cry from the side that won the World Cup six years earlier, and with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Manuel Neuer in the prime of their careers, the pre-match prediction was a comfortable German victory.

But Cesare Prandelli’s men refused to follow the script. Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli headed the four-time World Cup winners in front from Antonio Cassano’s cross, but that goal was ugly compared to his second. 

Ricardo Montolivo’s hopeful ball forward fell into the path of Balotelli, who muscled a defender out of the way to fire an unstoppable ball past Neuer. 

His celebration – ripping his shirt off and…



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