Euro 2012: Top 5 goals
With nearly 80 goals at this year's European Championships, it was tough to narrow it down to just five, but here are some of the best.
5 - Cristiano Ronaldo (second goal) v the Netherlands
This list is about providing a mix of goals, and Ronaldo’s is all about devastating counter attacking.
With the Dutch on their way out of Euro 2012, they were forced to commit to attack and were left exposed at the back as Portugal broke at pace.
Themselves needing a win to ensure qualification, the Portuguese broke through Nani, whose pace and precise pass set Ronaldo clear to neatly turn past a defender and slot the ball home to send the Netherlands out.
4 - Mario Gomez (first goal) v the Netherlands
In a tight game between two big northern European rivals, it was clear that one moment of brilliance was always likely to be enough.
Collecting Bastian Schweinsteiger’s precise pass just inside the penalty area, Gomez showed great skill to control the ball, beat the defender, and then roll the ball past Martin Stekelenberg to start sending the Dutch on their way out of the tournament.
3 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic v France
Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic volley (pictured) opened the scoring in spectacular fashion against a France side which were far from their best against a Swedish side who delivered their best performance of the tournament.
Much depends on Zlatan whenever he plays for Sweden and his goal was an example of him rising to the occasion.
The Swedish striker is often criticised for a lack of consistency, and this finish highlighted his incredible talent, a talent which wasn’t enough to see his country progress past the group stage.
2 - Jakub Blaszczykowski v Russia
This was the goal that essentially lit up Euro 2012. The home nation, struggling against the Russians and facing a loss after a disappointing opening draw with Greece, needed a hero. They found one in their captain.
As the hosts continued to toil, a neat ball from Ludovic Obraniak set the skipper away, but he had much to do.
More than twenty yards out, the captain, who has had a troubled past, blasted the ball past the Russian keeper and the stadium almost exploded with joy and relief.
Euro 2012 was really underway, and Poland had hope.
1 - Cesc Fabregas vs Italy
Cesc Fabregas’ equaliser against Italy set the reigning champions on the road to another Euro triumph.
With Spain struggling for penetration in their opening game, they turned on the style in devastating fashion.
Direct running and a great pass from Andres Iniesta split open a resolute Italian defence, before a wonderfully disguised reverse pass by David Silva afforded Cesc Fabregas an opportunity.
The 'false nine' then turned the ball past Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal to equalise for the eventual champions.
By Doug Elder – Follow me on Twitter @DouglasElder2