Euro Legends: The greatest players in European Championship history

Euro Legends: The greatest players in European Championship history

Eric Munene 09:19 - 10.06.2024

Pulse Sports looks into some of the greatest players in European Championship as Euro 2024 fast approaches.

The European Championship has long been a stage where footballing immortals showcase their talent, leaving an indelible mark on the tournament's storied history.

From dazzling displays of skill to match-winning performances on the grandest stage, these legendary players have captivated audiences and etched their names into footballing folklore.

From Michel Platini's goal-scoring exploits to Cristiano Ronaldo's leadership, we highlight their achievements, contributions, and memorable moments that have defined their legacy in European football.

1. Michel Platini (France)

Won the European Championship with France in 1984 and scored a record-breaking nine goals in the tournament. Moreover, he scored a hat-trick against Yugoslavia in the group stage and a crucial goal in the final against Spain.

2. Marco van Basten (Netherlands)

Won the European Championship with the Netherlands in 1988. He scored five goals in the tournament, including his iconic volley against the Soviet Union in the final. His stunning goal in the final is widely regarded as one of the greatest goals in football history.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Captained Portugal to victory in the 2016 European Championship. Despite being forced off injured in the final, Ronaldo provided leadership from the sidelines, guiding Portugal to their first major international trophy.

4. Andres Iniesta (Spain)

Played a crucial role in Spain's triumph in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships. Known for his midfield brilliance and game-changing performances throughout both tournaments. Scored the winning goal in the 2012 final against Italy, cementing Spain's status as one of the greatest international teams of all time.

5. Luis Figo (Portugal)

Led Portugal to the final of the European Championship in 2004. Instrumental in Portugal's run to the final with his skill and creativity on the wing. Played a key role in Portugal's thrilling 2-1 victory over England in the quarter-finals.

6. Xavi Hernandez (Spain)

Played a pivotal role in Spain's dominance at the European Championship, winning in 2008 and 2012. Known for his exceptional passing and control in midfield, Xavi was instrumental in Spain's possession-based style of play. Dictated play in the final of both tournaments, showcasing his ability to control the tempo of the game.