Top 5 Players in the History of the European Championship

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The European Championship is the major international tournament for European football nations. it takes place once every four years, meaning the opportunity for a player to win the competition is limited across the span of their career. We have seen some special moments throughout the history of the European Championship and it is worth knowing that when it comes to betting on the European Championship or any other football competition, you can always use a bet365 bonus code as this is one of the best offers in sports betting. You will find more promo codes for sports betting and online casinos on Bonuscodes.com.

In terms of selecting the top five players in the history of the European Championship, the number of man of the match awards is a good place to begin. Andrés Iniesta is the man who leads this table and the Spanish midfielder picked up five man of the match awards at the European Championship for Spain. Iniesta played at three European Championship tournaments, winning the player of the tournament award in 2012 as Spain went on to lift the trophy. 

Iniesta was also named in the team of the tournament twice, winning the competition in both years. The former Barcelona man was a joy to watch in both 2008 and 2012, making the game look easy as he glided with the ball in midfield, keeping possession for his team and creating goal scoring chances.

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Moving to one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the European Championship and we come to Michel Platini. The French attacking midfielder deserves his place in the list of the top five players in the history of the European Championship due to his goalscoring exploits in the 1984 tournament. Platini scored nine goals in five games at Euro 1984, including the winning goal in the semi-final against Portugal and the opening goal in the final against Spain. 

No other player has come close to matching the nine goals scored by Platini in 1984, with fellow countryman, Antoine Griezmann, coming closest in 2016 with a total of six goals.

Moving from midfield to the strikers position and if there is one goal every football fan loves from the history of the European Championship it is the volley scored by Marco van Basten against the USSR in the 1988 edition of the tournament. Not only is the goal regarded as one of the best strikes ever witnessed in football, but it also came in the final and you only have to look at the expression on the faces of the people on and around the pitch to understand the significance of the goal. Having already bagged a hat-trick against England in the group stage, Van Basten netted a dramatic late winner in the semi-final against the hosts West Germany before hitting the famous goal to double Netherland’s lead in the final.

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Van Basten went on to win the Ballon d’Or in 1988, 1989, and 1992 and some of his performances at the 1988 European Championship were incredible.

Now we come to another of the great icons in European football, Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman was at his best in 2000 and when discussing his career, the player himself admitted that throughout that year, he was at the top of his game. Zidane simply took control of the 2000 European Championship from the first match onwards. He never looked as though he was struggling in midfield, always dictating the play and the ball was under his spell. 

Zidane scored a tremendous free-kick as France defeated Spain 2-1 in the quarter-final and he was awarded the man of the match award. In the semi-final against Portugal, Zidane produced arguably the greatest performance ever witnessed by an individual player at the European Championship, culminating in the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 117th minute of the match. This was a tournament in which the Golden Goal rule came into play in extra time but that did not deter the Frenchman from sweeping the ball into the top corner. 

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It is not often you will find a goalkeeper in lists of the greatest players but there can be no denying Peter Schmeichel a place in the top five players in the history of the European Championship. Yugoslavia were unable  to compete in the 1992 European Championship and Denmark were called up in their place. Little was expected of the Danes, who had failed to qualify for the competition by right.

In the group stage of the tournament, Schmeichel made a number of great saves as Denmark defeated France 2-1 and he kept a clean sheet against England in a 0-0 draw. In the semi-final, Schmeichel saved Marco van Basten’s penalty as the Danes reached the final against Germany. Having produced a fantastic save to deny Jurgen Klinsmann, Schmeichel kept a clean sheet as Denmark went on to beat Germany 2-0 in the final and win the competition.

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Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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