May 29, 2024


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Euro 2020: Was Patrik Schick’s goal for Czechs against Scotland greatest at finals?

Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

Czech Republic forward Patrik Schick seemed almost nonplussed when discussing his astonishing Euro 2020 goal from almost the halfway line against Scotland.

“I saw him [off his line],” he said of goalkeeper David Marshall. “I checked in the first half when this situation would come. I was checking where he was standing.”

The Bayer Leverkusen forward had already scored a splendid header just before the break to deflate a Hampden that was fit to burst in Scotland’s first appearance at a men’s finals in 23 years.

Then he took the air from the Glasgow ground entirely with what might just be the best European Championship goal ever.

While some fingers might be pointed at Scotland centre-back Jack Hendry, whose ambitious shot was blocked and bounced into the Schick’s path, but few could have foreseen what would happen next…

Schick stepped forward into the Scotland half and unleashed a ferocious effort that started well outside David Marshall's left-hand post...
Schick stepped forward into the Scotland half and unleashed a ferocious effort that started well outside David Marshall’s left-hand post…
Marshall, who clearly wasn't expecting the Leverkusen striker strike from that distance, was sent scrambling...
Marshall, who clearly wasn’t expecting the Leverkusen striker strike from that distance, was sent scrambling…
David Marshall falls into the Scotland net
But the Scotland keeper found himself crashing into the net, along with the ball.

Schick, a £22m-signing for Leverkusen from Roma last September, came into this summer’s finals on the back of an impressive debut season with the Bundesliga side.

The Sparta Prague academy product scored 13 goals in 36 games at club level, and before kick-off at Hampden had been involved in eight goals in his last eight starts at international level.

But it wasn’t just Schick’s goal-scoring that caught the eye. He won the ball back for his side five times, as well as becoming the first Czech player to score twice at a finals in 15 years. He was also, by far, the highest-rated player by the BBC Sport audience with a score of 8.66.

‘You have to applaud’ – the reaction

Former Scotland winger Neil McCann: “I’m sitting here as a Scotsman and I’m gutted, but you have to applaud that class, skill and execution. He’s shaped it outside the post, and brought it back underneath the crossbar beyond David Marshall. That’s as good a goal as I’ve seen for a long time.”

Former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher: “That’s an unbelievable execution from a top-class striker.”

Former Scotland international Pat Nevin: “Marshall finds himself a long, long way out of goal. It’s a brilliant finish by Schick, but if you are that far out as the keeper, you better be able to get back in. The question has to be asked why he’s so far out of goal, because Scotland don’t use their goalkeeper as an extra defender.”

One of the great Euros goals?

A masterclass in awareness and execution, Schick’s goal oozed quality, but where might it rank in a list of great European Championship final goals?

It has some stiff competition, with the likes of Marco van Basten’s angled volley for the Netherlands in the 1988 final, Paul Gascoigne’s solo effort against Scotland at Euro ’96 and Hal Robson-Kanu’s turn and finish in Wales’ 2016 win over Belgium all lauded for their greatness.

The subject of the best Euro finals goal was the subject of a recent Match of the Day Top 10 podcast, in which Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards listed their favourites.

Here is the full list. You can vote on your favourite (including Schick’s) at the bottom of this page.

Antonin Panenka – CZECHOSLOVAKIA v Germany, 1976

Antonin Panenka scored the winning penalty for Czechoslovakia after the 1976 European Championship final against West Germany had gone to a shootout. Panenka softly chipped the ball up the middle of the goal as goalkeeper Sepp Maier dived away. This chip shot penalty style is now named after him.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – SWEDEN v France, 2012

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for Sweden with a terrific volley in their final Euro 2012 group game against France, setting up a 2-0 win – but it was too late to give them a chance of making the knockout stages.

Tomas Brolin – SWEDEN v England, 1992

Thomas Brolin scored a well-worked winner, exchanging passes with Martin Dahlin, as Sweden beat England 2-1 in their decisive group game at Euro 92. Sweden went through to the semi-finals. England went home. It was Gary Lineker’s final appearance for his country.

Alan Shearer – ENGLAND v Netherlands, 1996

Alan Shearer had already scored a penalty when he finished a fine move – assisted by Paul Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham – in a 4-1 win over the Netherlands at Euro 96. England’s victory at Wembley took them through as Group A winners.

Michael Ballack – GERMANY v Austria, 2008

Michael Ballack scores a free kick for Germany.
Michael Ballack’s free-kick gave Germany a crucial win over Austria at Euro 2008

Germany were in danger of going out in the group stage when they faced co-hosts Austria at Euro 2008. But midfielder Michael Ballack fired home a 30-yard free-kick to give Joachim Low’s side a 1-0 win – and they went all the way to the final, losing to Spain in Vienna.

Xherdan Shaqiri – SWIZERLAND v Poland, 2016

Xherdan Shaqiri’s stunning scissor kick gave Switzerland an 82nd-minute equaliser in their last-16 meeting with Poland at Euro 2016. Shaqiri’s effort won BBC Sport’s European Goal Contest poll with 36% of the vote- – but it wasn’t enough for his team, who lost on penalties.

Davor Suker – CROATIA v Denmark, 1996

Davor Suker celebrates scoring
Davor Suker celebrates with Zvonimir Boban after his classy chip against Denmark at Euro 96

Davor Suker finished a superb counter-attack with a smartly judged chip over Peter Schmeichel as Croatia beat Denmark 3-0 at Hillsborough in the group stage at Euro 96. Croatia went on to the quarter-finals, losing to eventual tournament winners Germany.

Hal Robson-Kanu – WALES v Belgium, 2016

Hal Robson-Kanu's goal helped Wales reach a semi-final against eventual champions Portugal
Hal Robson-Kanu’s goal helped Wales reach a semi-final against eventual champions Portugal

Wales had never been beyond the quarter-finals at a major tournament – but Hal Robson-Kanu helped put that right with a spectacular strike as they beat Belgium 3-1 at Euro 2016. They went on to the semi-finals, losing to Portugal, who won the tournament.

Paul Gascoigne – ENGLAND v Scotland, 1996

England went into Euro 96 under a cloud after some players had been pictured drinking heavily during a pre-tournament trip to Hong Kong, including in a nightclub where an infamous ‘dentist’s chair’ drinking game took place. But after a nervous 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their opening game, England picked up speed by beating Scotland 2-0, with Paul Gascoigne scoring a wonder goal and then mimicking the dentist’s chair game in his celebration.

Marco van Basten – NETHERLANDS v Soviet Union, 1988

Marco van Basten’s stunning angled volley secured a 2-0 victory for the Netherlands over the Soviet Union in the 1988 European Championship final. The Dutch had failed to qualify for the previous three major international tournaments, but announced their return to the top level of international football by winning the Euros in West Germany.

You can listen to the podcast on BBC Sounds. and read some of their thoughts on the BBC Sport website.

Vote for your favourite

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