The Most Outstanding Performances in European Championship History

⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Open account offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus

Andrea Pirlo (2012)

Despite Spain's star-studded squad winning their third major competition in a row, it was Italy's Andrea Pirlo who stole the show at the 2012 European Championships in Ukraine. A year after leaving AC Milan in controversial fashion, the Juventus midfielder captivated fans with his controlling performances at the base of Cesare Prandelli's midfield in Italy's run to the final.

A standout performance was against Roy Hodgson's England team in the quarterfinals, where Pirlo dominated throughout, despite the England boss trying to man-mark the mercurial midfielder out of the game. The 33-year-old racked up extraordinary statistics during the game, as Pirlo made 131 passes and ran 11.8km, unsurprisingly the most of anyone on the pitch in what was described as an 0-0 "hammering" to the Italians. 

Arguably the most iconic moment of the 2012 Championships was during the penalty shootout, though where Pirlo faced off against a confident Joe Hart who tried his utmost to put the seasoned midfielder off with facial gestures. As cool as Pirlo is, no one could have predicted the Italian legend to produce a panenka penalty on such a stage, such was his confidence, the delivery was perfect. 

Despite beating England and then Germany, The Italians lost in the final of the competition against Spain. Unfortunately, Pirlo missed out on the Player of the Tournament to Andres Iniesta.

BET £5 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 😍
FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus

Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece 2004)

Greece, the perennial underdogs, stunned the world in 2004 as they won the European Championships the same way they started it by beating Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon's final. Captain, Theodoros Zagorakis, played an integral role in the heart of the Greek midfield for Bundesliga veteran manager Otto Rehhagel's side. The then 32-year-old was colossal in stopping major European teams such as France, Spain, and Portugal during the tournament.

Despite not being the most technically gifted, the Athens midfielder optimised the Greek squad's grit, determination, and spirit, constantly enforcing Rehhagel's tactics onto the pitch with his organisation skills, barking orders continually to his teammates.

Zagorakis topped off an outstanding tournament with an inspired performance against hosts Portugal, where he played like a man possessed, applying non-stop pressure to the likes of world stars Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo throughout. Zagorakis's individual displays did not go unnoticed either, with the midfielder being rewarded with an unlikely Player of the Tournament award for his performances.

Paul Gascoigne (1966)

Paul Gascoigne was already an England icon for his performances at the World Cup in 1990, but the Geordie midfielder strengthened his bond with the England faithful after he performed so admirably on home soil back in 1996 where Terry Venables team got to the semi-finals.

An outstanding group stage for England saw the Three Lions top the group after beating the Netherlands 4-1 and rivals Scotland 2-1. In particular, Gascoigne's performance in the game against Scotland was a standout in the tournament. The Rangers midfielder scoring one of the greatest goals ever scored at a European Championship. A move started by England goalkeeper David Seaman resulted in Gascoigne being released down the left before flicking the ball over Scotland defender Colin Hendry's head and finishing first time on the volley.

An iconic goal saw an iconic celebration to match with Gascoigne reenacting the 'dentist chair' after a Honk Kong jolly up was leaked to the press in England's preparations.

Gascoigne's form continued in the competition with a rallying display against Spain, but it was once again the Germans who ended England's Euro hopes. The 29-year-old went agonisingly close to sending England through, though, in extra time with a ball that missed Gascoigne's toe by millimetres in golden goal. England subsequently went on to lose on penalties, but Gascoigne became a national hero to this day as a result of his showings.

FA Betting Hub App
The Footy Accumulators Betting Hub app is the ultimate football betting companion app. It is your one-stop-shop and ONLY place for the latest and best exclusive boosts & offers from the premium operators in the UK.
Download now

Marco Van Basten (1988)

Prolific striker Marco van Basten made himself a Dutch legend back in 1988 due to his incredible performances at the European Championships, which saw the Netherlands win their first and only major tournament.

Van Basten was a selection doubt going into the competition. Still, Dutch manager Rinus Michels stuck with the AC Milan star for the competition and was rewarded with five goals in the competition, including a hat-trick in the first round against England, a winner against Germany in the semis, and the second goal in a 2-0 win in the final. 

The Dutchman topped off his fine performances throughout the tournament with his best display in the final against the Soviet Union. Van Basten firstly set up his AC Milan teammate Ruud Gullit in the 32nd minute to open the scoring with a bullet header.

The forward then scored arguably the most iconic goal ever scored at a Euro Championship, as 10 minutes into the second half, a long-searching ball from Arnold Muhren found Van Basten at the back post at a near-impossible angle. Despite the odds being stacked against him, van Basten hammered the ball past the stunned keeper Rinat Dasayev to end the Soviet's hopes of rallying a comeback and cement himself as an international great.


🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus

Michel Platini (1984)


A Michel Platini, at the peak of his powers, took France to European glory back in 1984 with one of the most scintillating tournaments from any player in European Championship history. Platini, who was midway through a run of three successive Ballon d'Or wins, scored in every game in the competition, including two back-to-back hat-tricks against both Belgium and Yugoslavia in the group stages.

Platini's incredible form continued deep into the competition, too, with the Juventus attacker scoring an extra-time winner in the semi-final to knock out Portugal and set up a final with Spain. Inevitably, Platini scored the game's opening goal when Spanish goalkeeper Luis Arconada spilled his free-kick to give France an early lead.

Bruno Bellone's late chip secured the trophy for the French and put the team and the Frenchman into the history books as arguably the greatest European Championships team and player ever.

Platini's nine goals in the competition haven't been rivalled since 1984, with van Basten, Milan Baros and Alan Shearer coming the closest with five each, such was Michel Platini's brilliance that year.

Cristiano Ronaldo can break Platini's record of the most goals in the competition's history this campaign if he scores his 10th goal. And, to put a little perspective on just how Platini was that year, Ronaldo is a forward, perhaps the greatest there's ever been and will be attempting to break Platini's nine-goal haul in his fifth tournament; it took Platini just one.

By Harry Charlwood


✅ BET £20 AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🎯 BET £10 AND GET UP TO £30 IN FREE BETS! 🎯
New users only. Place qual bets of £10 (min odds 1/2, 2+ legs) in 1st 7 days to unlock. Awarded as 3 x £10 free bet. Min odds 1/1 3+ legs, + 7 day expiry. Winnings in cash. Full T&Cs Apply).
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 😍
FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 & GET £15 IN FREE BETS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £15 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. begambleaware.org.
Claim Bonus
🤩 Bet £10 & get £20 in FREE BETS 🤩
New customers only, min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from Debit card only. Paypal not accepted. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi selection). 2x £10 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cash out. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 BET £10 ON ANY RACE TODAY & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! 🏇🏼
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🤩 £1M FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE TOURNAMENT! 🤩
£200k first place prize! T&Cs Apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
🤑 HUGE £10K JACKPOT EVERY GAMEWEEK - ENTER FOR FREE! 🤑
How Fantasy5 works: Select a player from each of the 5 selected games > WIN the £10k jackpot if all five players beat their FPL points target! 💰
Enter for Free
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Open account offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♦️ Bet £15 & Get £15 FREE BET + 2 x £5.50 tickets to our Poker Tournaments! ♦️
18+ | New UK and Ireland customers only | Min £/€15 deposit get max 2 x £5.50 tickets to FootyAccums Poker League | Bet min £/€15 on sports and get £/€15 free sports bet, minimum odds must be 2.0 | Tickets credited automatically after eligible first deposit | Tickets expire in 30 days | Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned | T&C’s apply | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
💎 BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS 💎
18+. Play Safe. When you sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Claim Bonus