FourFourTwo's 50 Most Memorable Euros Goals: 50-41
Here's the first part of our list of the 50 Most Memorable Euros Goals. We're releasing the full selection across the week, so pop back to find the rest.
50. Viktor Ponedelnik, USSR v Yugoslavia, 1960
The goal that won the first European Nations Cup (as it was then known) was a decent enough header by the prolific Ponedelnik but was mainly down to a goalkeeping gaffe. Having spilled an innocuous-looking shot for the Soviets’ equaliser, Blagoda Vidinic went walkabout, leaving himself in no-man’s land for Ponedelnik’s equaliser. The calamitous keeper never played international football again.
Watch it here at 2:24
49. Jorge Andrade (og), HOLLAND v Portugal, 2004
After Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt-off celebration and Maniche’s stunning strike, Andrade provided some light relief in the semi-final, somehow contriving to slice a spinning volley back over the head of goalkeeper Ricardo to set up a nervy finish for the hosts. “A slice of luck for Holland,” said Martin Tyler. Very good, Martin.
48. Angelo Domenghini, ITALY v Yugoslavia, 1968
Euro 68 was a tale of two finals – but only thanks to Italy’s tricky right-winger, who forced a replay with a late equaliser in the first game. Known more for his subtle skills, Domenghini showed absolutely none for this goal, hammering a free-kick through the wall to set up the replay.
Watch at 1:18 for the fizzing free-kick
47. Jordi Alba, SPAIN v Italy, 2012
The goal that summed up Italy’s ‘death by a thousand cuts’ in the final. Typifying Spain’s own version of Total Football, their left-back showed the pace of a winger, lungs of a midfielder and finishing prowess of a forward to round off another devastating team move.
46. Antonio Cassano, ITALY v Bulgaria, 2004
Another tournament, another Italian conspiracy theory. With draws against Sweden and Denmark under their belts, the Azzurri knew that a comfortable win against Bulgaria, who had been well beaten by the Scandinavians, would probably be enough to put them into the quarter-finals. But they made hard work of it until Cassano’s smart finish in the last minute looked to have put them through, only for Mattias Jonson’s late equaliser against the Danes against Sweden to put them both through. “Fix!” cried Italy. Well, they would.
Watch from 0:28 seconds
45. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, SWEDEN v Greece, 2008
That this is the least memorable of Zlatan’s three goals in our Top 50 tells you just how good the other two were. This mere 20-yarder, arrowed into the top corner with the outside of his right foot, gave Sweden victory in their opening game.
44. Andy Carroll, ENGLAND v Sweden, 2012
One of two fine goals for England in the game – Danny Welbeck’s improvised flick being the other – what was bread-and-butter for Carroll would be almost impossible for any other striker. A pinpoint cross by Steven Gerrard was made even better by Wor Andy, who lost his marker and rose like a salmon to head England into the lead.
43. Rui Costa, PORTUGAL v England, 2004
A creative genius, Costa was a far more prolific scorer for country than club and this was one of his best. The midfielder glided forward in customary fashion, cut back inside onto his right foot and hammered the ball into the top corner to give Portugal the lead in extra time.
Watch from 0:48 seconds
42. Michael Laudrup, DENMARK v Spain, 1988
One of the few players loved by fans of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, the silky playmaker was popular with neither at this moment, feigning to shoot with his right then stroking the ball past future team-mate Andoni Zubizarreta from the edge of the box with his left.
See from 0:08 seconds
41. Henrik Larsson, SWEDEN v Bulgaria, 2004
A goal so old-fashioned in its simplicity, yet so perfectly executed you could watch it over and over again. Erik Edman’s sweeping left-wing cross was met by Larsson at full stretch at the far post, a top-drawer header into the top locker – albeit against a frankly rubbish Bulgaria side.
Watch from 0:05 seconds