With the event almost coming to an end the hosts France take on Portugal in a European Championship final with more than just a silver trophy at stake. Keeping in mind all the weird and wonderful moments that happened on and off the field, during the last three weeks we count down our picks for 10 greatest moments of Euro 2016.
The world witnessed brilliant goals from Dmitri Payet, Hal Robson-Kanu , Xherdan Shaqiri and Antoine Griezmann and also some calamitous and memorable penalties from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Simone Zaza.
Euro 2016 will be remembered for the late goals, excellent refereeing and instances of hooliganism popping up. Moreover, Wales’ run to the semis and England’s embarrassment at the hands of Iceland will live long in the memories of football crazies. Here are some exhilarating moments from the event.
HAL ROBSON-KANU’S STUNNER
Hal Robson Kanu’s stunning goal which helped Wales to defeat the Euro 2016 favourites Belgium to enter the semi-finals for the first time. His goal was hailed as the perfect Cruyff turn and the greatest goal in Welsh football history.
The Welsh forward who is currently without a club admitted that he learned the Cruyff turn by watching the legendary midfielder, Zinedine Zidane.
XHEDRAN SHAQIRI’S MAGICAL EQUALIZER
The Swiss Wizard produced a moment of awe for his country in their Euro 2016 last 16 tie against Poland. With time slipping out of their hands and Switzerland still needed a goal against one of the world’s strongest defence, Shaqiri tried an impossible, acrobatic bicycle kick from the edge of the box and was able to pull off a stunner.
His goal being hailed as the goal of the tournament, however, could not save his country from an exit from the event as Poland advanced to the quarter-finals after defeating Switzerland in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out.
BEST IN THE WORLD FAILS TO DELIVER
The grin Cristiano Ronaldo had worn throughout became a grimace after 80 minutes when Portugal’s captain missed a penalty which he had just won against Austria.
Portugal was struggling hard for their first goal in their group stage clash against Austria and thought they found it when they were awarded a penalty but Ronaldo struck the post.
ENGLAND WAS HUMILIATED
Minnows Iceland stunned the mighty England recording one of the biggest upsets in the history of football. England slumped to its most embarrassing defeat in a generation after taking the lead in the fourth minute through Wayne Rooney’s penalty.
The celebration by Iceland supporters was seen many times during the event but was particularly special after their victory over England.
SIMONE ZAZA’S PENALTY
Simone Zaza was subjected to widespread ridicule on social media ever since he made his eccentric attempt of scoring a penalty against Germany in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Zaza hit the post after his indulging a bizarre run-up that resembled intensive jogging on the spot. Simone Zaza further apologized for the miss which was crucial for the country and was spotted stating that as well as being disappointed, he was sad and angry with himself.
ANTONIO CONTE LOOSES COOL
Italy’s manager showed his passion in a bizarre manner during their match against Spain by kicking the ball in fury. Conte lost his cool when Emanuele Giaccherini was unable to handle the ball in order to give his team a much-needed lead.
JOACHIM LOW’S TROUSER ANTICS
Cameras caught the German coach Joachim Low putting his hands down his trousers and smelling his fingers during Germany’s match against Ukraine. Low was ridiculed over social media for his actions.
He apologized by saying that “It was adrenaline and concentration. I will try to behave differently in the future.”
Cometh the hour – actually, the 50th minute – cometh the man as Cristiano soars to put Portugal in front by scoring the sumptuous goal on a largely bland evening.
Ronaldo who tied Michel Platini’s record of nine career goals in the Euros guided the corner kick into the net with a splendid header. Portugal sealed a final spot defeating the valiant Wales and halting their remarkable run in the tournament.
EXIT THE DRAGONS, WITH HEADS HIGH
No one can argue that Wales’ run was anything less than remarkable with players like Gareth Bale proving their worth. Even after their loss at the hands of Portugal in the semi-finals, the Welsh supporters cheered for their heroes in a grand manner.
THE GRIEZMANN SHOW
Don’t know about Superman or Batman but the World Champions Germany found their Kryptonite in the form of Griez’mann’.
The French forward simply outclassed the star-studded German defence, scoring two goals and leading his side the finals of Euro 2016 where they will face Portugal in the title clash on July 11th, 2016.
These were the greatest moments that defined the Euro 2016. What according to you were the best moments of the event? Do mention in the comments section below.