Goals may win games, but great goals are remembered for eternity as the end product of sheer brilliance.
Some of the best goals in history have been scored at Europe’s elite competition and it is expected that we will see more stunning efforts at Euro 2016 this summer.
Here are the eight greatest goals ever scored at the European Championships…
8. Ladislav Jurkemik (Czechoslovakia (9) 1-1 (8) Italy (Penalties), Euro 1980)
It may have been the last Euros to have a third-place playoff, but Ladislav Jurkemik’s 54th-minute effort ensured the game would also be remembered for his piledriver following the Czechs’ shootout win.
Ray Wilkins’ neat finish against Belgium in England’s 1-1 draw was another fine goal scored at Euro 1980.
7. Frankie Vercauteren (Belgium 2-3 Denmark, Euro 1984)
Belgium needed to win in their final group match with Denmark to progress and after Jan Ceulemans put them ahead, Frankie Vercauteren hit a peach of a volley to make it two.
Unfortunately for Vercauteren and his superb strike, the Danes fought back with three goals to send them out.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden 2-0 France, Euro 2012)
Zlatan does not score ordinary goals at the European Championships as this acrobatic strike on the volley in Sweden’s win over France in 2012 shows.
Ibrahimovic previously netted a cheeky goal against Italy at Euro 2004 and a sweet strike against Greece at Euro 2008. Any takers for Euro 2016!?
5. Ronnie Whelan (Republic of Ireland 1-1 Soviet Union, Euro 1988)
Straight from a long throw-in, Ronnie Whelan scored an unstoppable and spectacular left foot volley from the edge of the box to put Ireland ahead against the Soviet Union.
Although the USSR later equalised to salvage a draw, Whelan’s effort would go down as one of the tournament’s best goals.
4. Thomas Brolin (Sweden 2-1 England, Euro 1992)
He may have flopped during his time at Leeds United, but Thomas Brolin’s match-winning finish for hosts Sweden against England at Euro 92 is one of his better footballing memories.
Brolin played one-twos with Klas Ingesson and Martin Dahlin before clipping the ball past Chris Woods to send England packing.
3. Antonin Panenka (Czechoslovakia (5) 2-2 (3) West Germany (Penalties), Euro 1976)
The sheer bravery and boldness of Antonin Panenka to even try this shows the high risks some players take in pursuit of glory or nothing.
Just ask Yann Kermorgant, whose failed attempt at this legendary spot-kick during a Championship playoff in 2010 made him forever vilified by Leicester City fans.
2. Paul Gascoigne (England 2-0 Scotland, Euro 1996)
Despite his off-the-field problems, Paul Gascoigne lit up Euro 1996 with a truly memorable goal of audacious skill and technical brilliance to seal England’s victory over Scotland.
Gazza flicked the ball over Colin Hendry with his left foot before volleying past Andy Goram with his right to spark wild celebrations.
1. Marco van Basten (Netherlands 2-0 Soviet Union, Euro 1988)
A master class from the Dutch master Marco van Basten, who volleyed in Arnold Muhren’s looping left-wing cross from the tightest of angles on the right of the penalty area.
His famous goal secured a historic final success for the Netherlands and wrote van Basten’s name into European Championship folklore.
By Aron Hegarty (@AronHegarty)