5 of Germany’s Best European Championship Moments

Germany have undergone a period of transition since crashing out at the group stage of the

2018 World Cup in Russia. 

Their team has an altogether more youthful flavour, but this does not mean that Die Mannschaft should be underestimated. 

Their squad is still brimming with talent and they are also tied with Spain for the most European Championship wins. 

Let’s look back at some of those wins now as 90min reviews some of Germany’s most memorable moments at the Euros… 

Gerd Muller Brace in 1972 Final 

German midfielder Martin Wimmer (R) scores against the Soviet Union

?The fact that West Germany managed to reach the European Championship final in 1972 was not all that impressive – considering only four teams competed. 

However, what was impressive was their performance against the USSR, with a brace from the legendary Gerd Muller helping Die Mannschaft secure their first ever Euros. 

Inspirational captain Franz Beckenbauer was in terrific form at sweeper as was Jupp Heynckes at right forward but it would be Muller who stole the headlines by netting two goals – enough for him to scoop the tournament’s Golden Boot. 

Last Gasp Winner in 1980 Final

West German Triumph

?West Germany added a second European Championship to their trophy cabinet in 1980, leaving it very late to beat neighbours Belgium in the final. 

Horst Hrubesch gave Die Mannschaft an early lead with a well struck shot from outside the box before the Red Devils hit back via a René Vandereycken penalty 15 minutes from time. 

Hrubesch then wrote his name into the history books with two minutes left to play, powering home an unstoppable header to secure a dramatic win. 

The goal was typical of his career with the striker earning the nickname Das Kopfball-Ungeheuer (the Header Beast) for his incredible ability in the air.

The Queen is introduced to Jurgen Klinsman of Germany

?England fans and Gareth Southgate, feel free to skip this one…

On June 26 1996 the stage was set for the Three Lions to reach their first major championship final for 30 years. 

The momentum was with the host nation at Wembley Stadium that day. They had blown away tournament favourites the Netherlands in the group stages and dispatched of Spain via penalties in the quarter finals. 

On the balance of 90 minutes they deserved to win, but a dogged display from Germany forced the game to penalties… 

After five conversions from each side Southgate’s meek spot kick was saved, giving Andreas Moller the chance to break millions of English hearts by sending Germany to the final. Despite the hostile atmosphere around the stadium, the midfielder made no mistake.

Golden Goal in 1996 Final

Oliver Bierhoff

?Ah, the Golden Goal, a ludicrous concept rightly banished to the annals of footballing history. It did at least provide some unforgettable moments.

The first time a game was ever decided by this method was in 1996 in the grandest stage of them all – the European Championship final.

Czech Republic appeared to be on their way to an unlikely victory when Patrik Berger slotted a penalty away on the hour mark, only for Oliver Bierhoff to nod home an equaliser.

Bierhoff would then make himself a national hero by swivelling in the box and firing a shot away which – via a wicked deflection – eventually bobbled into the back of the net. Cue pandemonium around Wembley as Germany toasted their third European Championship win. 

2016 Penalty Shootout Drama

Germany v Italy - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016

?After breezing past Slovakia in the round of 16, Germany were drawn against tournament dark horses Italy in the quarter finals. 

The game itself was a tightly contested if forgettable affair with Mesut Ozil and Leonardo Bonucci netting in a 1-1 draw. 

The game’s legendary status was instead earned during the penalty shootout in which no less than 18 spot kicks were taken before a winner was finally decided.

In the end, it would be Matteo Darmian’s miss that provided Jonas Hector with the chance to clinch it for Die Mannschaft and the defender made no mistake – squeezing the ball under a diving Gianluigi Buffon. 

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