THE BEST GOALS OF THE EURO 2016
The EURO 2016 was not exactly a goal-parade. Nonetheless, there are some diamonds in the rough, if you look closely enough. Here are the top three goals of this year's European Championship
The EURO 2016 record in regard to goals is nothing to get excited about. According to the official goal statistic by UEFA, there was no squad on the whole tournament that raised their average score per match above the mark of two. France leads the ranks with an unspectacular 1.86 goals per match while tournament winner Portugal is not even listed. With the EURO 2016 a total of 51 matches saw 108 goals, making the occurence of breath-taking outliers – think Germany versus Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup – dimishingly low.
Does that mean there were no cool or classy goals to speak of? Not at all. Even though the EURO 2016 will take its place in history as one of the most unspectacular major football events in the past 20 years, some of the 108 goals were indeed scored in a cool and classy way. Let us see the three best strikes, the ones we will talk about in our old days, when we’ll bang on about football being much better in our youth than it is now.
Dimitri Payet (FRA) Against Romania
This one is a true beauty and at the very first game of the competition few would have thought this would eventually be the most impressive goal in the tournament. Fierce, precious and drama-inducing, as Payet hits a ferocious strike to win the game in the last moments for France.
Zoltán Gera (HUN) against Portugal
As the commentator says, magnificent. Veteran Zoltán Gera carried on the fairy-tale of Hungary with a brilliant rebound shot to put Hungary in front against eventual winners Portugal. Who, I might as well add, were fighting for their lives. The game ended 3-3, all the rest were also very memorable goals, but (albeit in tight competition) this one stands out from them all.
Éder (ITA) against Sweden
A tiny little hint of Maradona there. Not the handballing and not even the coked-up version, but the dribble-past-hordes-of-defenders and the humiliating-a-whole-country-within-seconds version. Because this is what Éder has done. His explosive movement ensured Swedish defensemen were still standing in the stadium, without a clue what happened to them, while their children went into witness protection to avoid the embarrassment awaiting them when they get back to school.