Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
Euro 2020 is over, after 51 games Italy are the new champions of Europe after overcoming England in the showpiece via a penalty shoot-out.
There were 142 goals scored in total over the course of the tournament at an average of 2.79 per-game and some of those strikes were simply wonderful so we’ve put together our top five.
1 – Patrik Schick (vs Scotland)
Patrik Schick finished as the joint top scorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo with with five goals at Euro 2020 and his second in the 2-0 group stage win over Scotland was the pick of the bunch.
Jack Hendry gave the ball away cheaply as Scotland tried to force their way back into the game after Schick’s opener. The ball broke to the Bayer Leverkusen man, who hit a first time effort from the halfway life that arrowed into the top of the net over David Marshall.
Schick’s audacious effort silenced the home crowd Hampden, and ranks right up there among the greatest goals scored in the history of the tournament let alone the 2020 edition.
2 – Paul Pogba (vs Switzerland)
France were rated among the pre-tournament favourites and their last 16 exit at the hands of Switzerland after penalties has to be considered a disappointment. The return of Karim Benzema to the international scene after a long absence has to be viewed as a positive, given his four-goal haul, but the best French goal was scored by Paul Poga in their last 16 exit.
Indeed all the France goals in that game were excellent. Benzema’s sublime touch for their first was a great example of his skill and for the second he completed a nice team move but there was a hint of the extraordinary about the third.
The ball fell kindly to Pogba after Benzema’s initial effort was blocked, and he set himself up for a fantastic strike from range that curled into the top corner. That strike gave France a 3-1 lead with just over 15 minutes remaining but it proved to be their final goal of Euro 2020 as the Swiss fought back and won on penalties.
3 – Mikkel Damsgaard (vs England)
Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard went into Euro 2020 after a strong season in Italy with Sampdoria and reinforced his reputation as one of Europe’s best young talents with some big displays for his country.
Damsgaard’s goal against Russia in the group stages could have made this list, as could a piledriver from Andreas Christensen in the same game, but we’ve gone for his free kick in the semi-final defeat to England.
Could Jordan Pickford have done better? Perhaps, but Damsgaard got so much pace on the ball that even if he had got a hand to it he may not have kept it out and as the only direct free kick scored at Euro 2020 this stunner had to be on the list.
4 – Federico Chiesa (vs Spain)
Italy scored 13 goals at Euro 2020 as they went on to take the trophy and Federico Chiesa’s strike in the semi-final with Spain was the pick of the bunch for us.
The Juventus forward latched onto the ball after Spain had failed to defend a swift counter attack, made a bit of space for himself and curled his effort into the net giving Unai Simon no chance.
5 – Andriy Yarmolenko (vs Netherlands)
The five-goal thriller between the Netherlands and the Ukraine was one of the games of the tournament thanks in part to a screamer from Andriy Yarmolenko.
Trailing 2-0, the Ukraine needed a moment of magic to spark a comeback and Yarmolenko came up with the goods on 75 minutes.
The West Ham man cut inside from the wing, played a neat one-two with Roman Yaremchuk and fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
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