Penalty precision, club-monopolised countries, late notice, late drama, the old, the young and a super sub star in FIFA.com’sstatistical look at UEFA EURO history.
years and 91 days is the age at which Lothar Matthaus played against Portugal in 2000, making him the oldest player in the tournament’s history. Iker Casillas, Gareth Barry, Cristian Chivu, Tomas Rosicky and John Arne Riise, who all went to that tournament, were not even born when Matthaus made his international debut at – and helped West Germany conquer – EURO 1980.
penalties, 20 goals: that is the Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic record in EURO shoot-outs. They were involved in the maiden shoot-out in a major international tournament, with Antonin Panenka’s hallowed spot-kick sealing a 5-3 win over West Germany in the 1976 final. Czechoslovakia beat Italy 9-8 in the bronze-medal match four years later – no other team in EURO or FIFA World Cup™ history has converted more than six in a shoot-out. Czech Republic then overcame France 6-5 on penalties to reach the 1996 decider.
years and 360 days passed between Dragan Stojkovic’s third and fourth appearances at the EURO. After scoring in Yugoslavia’s 3-2 defeat by hosts France in 1984, the mercurial playmaker didn’t appear again until he came on for Serbia and Montenegro in their 2000 opener.
of USSR’s 20 squad members in 1988 came from one club: Dynamo Kiev. In their five trips to the EURO, the Soviets didn’t take one overseas-based player. Only two foreign-based players went to the first four editions of the tournament – Luis del Sol and Luis Suarez, of Juventus and Inter Milan respectively, represented Spain in 1964.
days’ notice: that is what Denmark were given that they would be competing at EURO 1992 – causing, in the words of coach Richard Moller Nielsen, “several players to cancel already-booked holidays”. UEFA had, at the 11th hour, been forced to ban Yugoslavia from participating due to the ongoing conflict in the socialist state, and their place was afforded to their runners-up in qualifying. Denmark’s last trip to Sweden had ended in a 4-0 thrashing by Tomas Brolin, Martin Dahlin and Co – their worst defeat in the fixture in 32 years – but this one culminated in them conquering the continent. Denmark, appearing in their first major final, overcame a Germany side appearing in their tenth to lift the trophy.
players have scored in three instalments of the competition. Jurgen Klinsmann became the first in 1996, followed by Vladimir Smicer, Thierry Henry, Nuno Gomes, Helder Postiga, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Sweden No10 will have the opportunity to become the first man to net in four EUROs against Republic of Ireland on 13 June. Should he fail, the Portugal No7’s first crack will come one day later against Iceland.
Barcelona players appeared in their country’s EURO 2000 opener against Czech Republic – not for Spain, but for the Netherlands! Phillip Cocu, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger and Boudewijn Zenden were the men in question. Only one Barça man ran out in Spain’s curtain-raiser: Pep Guardiola.
18-year-olds have played in the EURO. Enzo Scifo was the first in 1984, emulated by Valeri Bojinov, Wayne Rooney and Johan Vonlanthen in 2004, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jetro Willems in 2012.
substitute has scored a EURO hat-trick – and, astonishingly, it was on his international debut. West Germany were on the brink of a semi-final defeat by Yugoslavia in the EURO 1976 semi-finals when Helmut Schon sent on Dieter Muller. Three minutes later the Cologne sharpshooter headed home an equaliser with his first touch. Muller then scored twice in extra time to complete a pulsating 4-2 victory, before starting and scoring in the final to finish as the competition’s leading marksman.
EUROs is what Roberto Baggio curiously went to – despite the fact he won 56 caps and is the only Italian to have scored in three World Cups. Although the 1967-born forward did make the Azzurri’s 1988 squad, Cesena-born coach Azeglio Vicini selected Cesena’s Ruggiero Rizzitelli ahead of Baggio. Italy failed to reach the 1992 finals, while ‘The Divine Ponytail’ was overlooked by Arrigo Sacchi, Dino Zoff and Giovanni Trapattoni in 1996, 2000 and 2004 respectively.
seconds were played after Turkey’s Semih Senturk denied Croatia a 2008 semi-final spot in arguably the most dramatic finish to a match in EURO history. After goalkeeper Rustu Recber was caught out of position, Luka Modric crossed for Ivan Klasnic to head the Croatians ahead in the last minute of extra time. However, seven seconds after the restart, with what remains the latest goal in the tournament’s history, the Turkey substitute smashed the ball into the top corner with what proved the last touch of the contest. Recber then redeemed himself to inspire Turkey to a 3-1 victory on penalties.