Some of the finest moments in Euro action

Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis (2nd R) celebrates with his teammates during the Blue and...

Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis (2nd R) celebrates with his teammates during the Blue and White's magical run through Euro 2004. (REUTERS)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 5:35 PM ET

It was the 2000 Euro final and Italy was leading France 1-0 into time added on.

The Italians were making no attempt at attacking. It was so late in the game, some had started to celebrate a European championship.

France had one final chance. With the referee about to blow the final whistle, Sylvain Wiltord somehow came on to the ball and slotted home the tying goal. David Trezeguet scored the Golden Goal winner.

For a die-hard fan, Wiltord's goal and what led up to it was a freeze-frame of all that is bad with Italian soccer.

That's what memories are about.

For one person it could be a wonderful goal. For another it could be the show of emotion. For yet another it could be something so unexpected or strange that it remains in the memory bank whenever the mention of Euro comes up.

It makes for wonderful arguments and discussions.

Here are some of the most significant moments in Euro history in no particular order. One can argue the most shocking moment of the tournament was Greece's win in 2004. The finest goal was Marco van Basten's for the Netherlands in 1988. The greatest emotional outburst came from England's Stuart Pearce after scoring on a kick from the penalty spot in 1996.

Go ahead and discuss.

Quality goal: It has become the iconic goal associated with Euro championship competition. It belongs to Dutch star Marco van Basten. The Dutch player began Euro 1988 on the bench. By the time the final came around, he was a starter, having scored four other goals. His best was his last. He drifted to the far side of the penalty area when Arnold Muhren sent a long cross to van Basten. He volleyed the ball on a rainbow-like arc over Soviet keeper Rinat Dassayev. It was a breathtaking strike.

Quality celebration: England's Stuart Pearce suffered one of the lowest moments of his career when he failed to score in kicks from the penalty spot at the 1990 World Cup, contributing to England's elimination in the semifinals. At Euro 1996 England and Spain went to kicks from the penalty spot in the quarterfinals at Wembley. The team was looking for volunteers. Despite the devastation of six years earlier, Pearce stepped up and struck a perfect penalty, beating goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. What followed was a fist-pumping, emotionally charged celebration that won't ever be forgotten.

Quality goal, odd celebration: It was the 78th minute of another Euro 1996 match, this one between England and Scotland. England's Paul Gascoigne, a player with enormous talent and just as many demons, scored one of the more remarkable goals in Euro history. It came in the 78th minute just after England keeper David Seaman stopped a Scottish penalty. Gascoigne took a ball on the fly, flicked it over defender Colin Hendry and, on the volley from almost 18 yards out, put the game out of reach for England. Gascoigne, sporting a peculiar platinum-dyed hairdo, lay on his back next to the post. His teammates rushed to him, grabbed a water bottle and squirted the liquid into his mouth. It became known as the Dentist Chair. It was a re-enactment of the Dentist's Chair drinking game which took place during a pre-tournament trip to Hong Kong, causing major embarrassment to the English FA.

Quality comments: It was 1996 and the Netherlands needed to win its second game against Switzerland after a 0-0 draw with Scotland. Manager Guus Hiddink made some roster moves that included sitting Edgar Davids for Danny Blind, Aron Winter (current Toronto FC coach) and Peter Hoekstra. The substitution didn't sit well with Davids even though the Dutch won the game 2-0. When asked what he thought after the game, Davids said "Hiddink should remove his head from Frank de Boer and Danny Blind's arses!" Hiddink met with Davids and when the latter refused to retract his remark he would not play another Euro match.

Heads you really win: So you don't like kicks from the penalty spot deciding games? How about something that takes no skill. At Euro 1968, a semifinal between Italy and the Soviet Union finished 0-0 after regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time. Kicks from the penalty spot were not yet a part of the game. The game was decided by the flip of a coin. Albert Schesternev called it for the Soviet Union and made the wrong call. Italy moved on to the final against Yugoslavia. The first game ended in a tie and, rather than flip another coin, a replay was held which Italy won. It has been Italy's only win in Euro.

A man before his time: It is arguably the best penalty ever taken. Czechoslovakia and Germany were embroiled in a penalty-kick contest to see who would win Euro 1976. Antonin Panenka stepped up to the spot knowing if he scored the title was Czechoslovakia's. It was the most important kick in his nation's soccer history. He took a long run-up, speeding toward the ball. But instead of slamming it, he deftly chipped it into the middle of the goal as goaltender Sepp Maier dived to his left. It was a cheeky and cold-blooded play, rarely tried back then. Zinedine Zidane did it in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy.

Only one chance in 250: No one had given Greece a chance to win Euro 2004. The country had never won a major tournament and Greece was a 250-to-1 long shot to win this one. But the Greeks were impeccable defenders throughout the tournament. They beat host Portugal 2-1 in the preliminary group and eliminated defending champ France. They faced the high scoring home-side Portuguese again in the final. Angelos Charisteas scored from the Greek's first corner of the game after 57 minutes heading in an Angelis Basinas cross. From that point on Greece locked the game down to record one of the most stunning wins in history.

Not using your head: What is it with French players and head-butting? The most famous was Zinedine Zidane's head-butt into the chest of Marco Materazzi late in the 2006 World Cup final. But 22 years earlier, France's Manuel Amoros was taken down by Denmark's Jesper Olsen in the teams' opener at Euro 1984. It was hardly a nasty tackle but Amoros lost his mind. Amoros first tried to bounce the ball off Olsen's head but missed by a yard. He then stood up and head-butted the Dane, right in front of the referee.


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