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Biggest Winning Margins at the European Championships

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Biggest Winning Margins at the European Championships

This summer, the European Championships will be taking centre stage as Italy look to retain their European Championship and become the first team since Spain to do so. England are the current tournament favourites ahead of France, whilst the hosts Germany are touted as third favourites to win on home soil.

The first game of the tournament is between hosts Germany and Scotland on the 14th in the Allianz Arena and concludes a month later in the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

International tournaments usually provide close scorelines and interesting matchups. as some of the world’s best face each other once every two years. It’s usually a rarity that score lines would be so heavily one-sided unless there is a clear advantage in quality between the two teams playing.

Here are the five biggest score lines to have taken place at the European Championships:

France 5-0 Belgium: Euro 1984

France had a wonderful tournament in 1984 and eventually, the hosts were the tournament winners becoming the only team as it stands to win all their games within normal time in the process. The hosts began the tournament tentatively, only recording a 1-0 win over Denmark.

In the second group game, France showed their true intentions in Nantes by scoring five past Belgium. France’s hopes rested solely on the shoulder of Michel Platini during that tournament and the talisman most certainly delivered in the second group game. The best player in the world at that time, scored a rebound in the fourth minute, a penalty, and a header to record his first hat-trick of the tournament.

Michel Platini scored another treble in the next group game, as the talisman ended the tournament with nine goals and France’s first European Championship.

Denmark 5-0 Yugoslavia: Euro 1984

Not to be outdone by their fellow group participants, Denmark was also producing a wonderful performance in Lyon against Yugoslavia. On the same day that France scored five past Belgium, the Danes also scored five past the runners-up of 1960 and 1968 respectively.

The champions of 1992, Denmark, were two goals up inside the first 16 minutes, although it wasn’t until the 69th minute that Yugoslavia’s troubles got even worse. Frank Arnesen’s penalty midway through the second half, secured the brace for the Dane. Preben Elkjaer-Larsen and John Lauridsen scored further goals for Denmark.

Denmark reached the semi-finals of that year’s tournament with a victory over Belgium in the final group game. Denmark was eliminated by beaten finalists Spain in the semi-final by a 5-4 penalty shootout loss.

Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia: Euro 2000

The European Championships of 2000 was the first time that the tournament was hosted by more than one host nation. Belgium and the Netherlands were awarded the opportunity beating out a joint bid from Spain and Austria.

Whilst one host nation in Belgium was eliminated in the group stages, the Netherlands had a tournament to be proud of as they reached the semi-finals where they were defeated via penalties by beaten finalists Italy. The Netherlands though, secured their passage through to the semi-finals with one of the most comprehensive scores in an international tournament.

The Netherlands faced Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals and proceeded to score six past their opponents. The 6-1 scoreline remains the only time in European Championship history that a team has scored six in a single match. Patrick Kluivert was in terrific form that day as the former Newcastle United striker scored three of Netherlands six.

Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria: Euro 2004

The European Championships in 2004 is best remembered for Greece’s herois in the tournament or even perhaps the breakout tournament for Wayne Rooney, however the game between Sweden and Bulgaria certainly captured the headlines in the group stages.

Having retired from international football in 2002 following the World Cup, Henrik Larsson was brought back into the national set-up as Sweden prepared for the tournament in Portugal. His decision to come back was duly rewarded in their game against Bulgaria.

Former Arsenal winger Fredrik Ljungberg opened the scoring for Sweden in the 32nd minute before Henrik Larsson scored a quickfire brace ten minutes after the restart to put Sweden in firm control of their group game. Further goals from Marcus Allback and the heir to Larsson’s throne, Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured a 5-0 win for Sweden over Bulgaria.

Slovakia 0-5 Spain: Euro 2020

Spain’s final group game against Slovakia wasn’t the most welcoming of games for Luis Enrique’s side. La Roja had drawn their first two group games and now needed a win in their final group game to be assured of passage in the round of 16.

The nerves on the Spain bench would not have been helped, when Martin Dubravka saved an Alvaro Morata penalty early on, although fate would have it, the former Manchester United goalkeeper gifted Spain the first-half lead.

From then they never looked back as goals from Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres gave Spain an unassailable lead. Former Watford midfielder Juraj Kucka compounded the misery later on for Slovakia by unfortunately scoring the final goal of the game.