Select a team

Top Tens

Top 10 Euro upsets

Rate It:
  • Currently 4.48/5 Stars
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

With Euro 2012 up and running, we take a look at the top 10 upsets in the history of the European Championships

Denmark's 1-0 win over Holland in the opening round of games was a major shock. The Dutch had been earmarked as one of the three favourites to win the tournament.

But it seems it wouldn't be the European Championships without a surprise result. This competition has been providing them ever since the first match at the finals back in 1960.

France 4-5 Yugoslavia, Semi Final, 1960

This was not a classic upset in terms of the gulf between the sides but it was certainly upsetting for the hosts, who had gone to great lengths to arrange the first ever European Championships despite some opposition. France's hopes were harmed by the absence of Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine but they were still confident of their chances in an era when home advantage was particularly significant. It certainly appeared to be when the French side held a 4-2 lead with just a quarter of an hour remaining. But after Tomislav Knez pulled a goal back, Drazan Jerkovic stunned the crowd at the Parc des Princes in Paris by netting twice in a minute. It sealed a dramatic turnaround, eliminated the hosts and provided one of the most remarkable scorelines in Euros history.

England 0-1 Yugoslavia, Semi Final, 1968

England were the champions of the world and although they had been beaten by Scotland and Germany in the intervening period since 1966, this was competitive football and Sir Alf Ramsey's side were expected to reach the final. But despite dominating the game they spurned a series of good opportunities before Dragan Dzakic slipped away from Bobby Moore to fire home with just minutes remaining. There was just about time for Alan Mullery to add to England's misery by become the first England international to be sent off after aiming a retaliatory kick at Dobrivoje Trivic.

Germany 2-2 Czechoslovakia (3-5 pens), Final, 1976

The Czechs had enjoyed a good tournament, beating Holland 3-1 in the semi-final but this was expected to be different. Germany were not only the defending world and European champions but four of the team had just won a third consecutive European Cup with Bayern Munich. The Czechs took an early 2-0 lead but when Bernd Holzenbein equalised in the 89th minute it looked as though their chance had gone. There were no further goals in extra-time but Uli Hoeness sensationally ballooned the ball over the bar, giving Antonin Panenka the chance to win the tournament with the Czechs' fifth kick. He did so - and entered football folklore - by cheekily chipping Sepp Maier. Germany have not lost a penalty shoot-out since.

England 0-1 Republic of Ireland, Group Stage, 1988

The Republic of Ireland were competing in their first major tournament despite first trying to qualify for a World Cup in 1934. In contrast, England were regarded among the favourites having been the top scorers in qualifying - beating Turkey 8-0 and winning 4-1 in Yugoslavia. But the Irish had a point to prove in Stuttgart and Ray Houghton's lofted header early on gave the team something to hold onto. Jack Charlton's men did just that to inflict the first of three straight defeats England were to endure at Euro '88.

Germany 0-2 Denmark, Final, 1992

Germany had won the World Cup two years earlier and were huge favourites to beat Denmark - a team that were only at the tournament after Yugoslavia withdrew due to the war that led to the eventual break-up of the country. Famously, many of the Danish team were already on holiday and - with star player Michael Laudrup in exile after a disagreement with coach Richard Moller Nielsen - a relaxed atmosphere pervaded throughout. They prepared for games by playing mini-golf and taking a trip to Burger King before John Jensen and Kim Vilfort scored two fantastic goals to stun Europe.

France 0-1 Greece, Quarter Final, 2004

France were the defending European champions. Greece had only won one game at a major tournament before. But Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and the rest were vanquished in a sensational result courtesy of Angelo Charisteas's second-half header. While Greece stifled their illustrious opponents and succeeded in leaving them devoid of ideas, this was far more than a backs-to-the-wall effort. Otto Rehhagel's men were the better side for much of the first-half and outworked the French team throughout.

Czech Republic 0-1 Greece (aet), Semi Final, 2004

The Czechs were arguably the best team at this European Championships, playing some fantastic football to win their first four games, scoring 10 goals in the process. And yet, while Germany and Holland were brilliantly brushed aside, Karel Bruckner's side had no answer to the Greeks. Tomas Rosicky did hit the woodwork early on and the loss of Pavel Nedved through injury just before the break did not help their cause. But Greece worked tirelessly, gradually growing into the game before Traianos Dellas headed home a 'Silver Goal' in injury-time of the first period of extra-time to kill Czech hopes stone dead.

Portugal 0-1 Greece, Final, 2004

And just when you thought the run had to come to an end, things got even better for Greece. It was supposed to be a coronation for Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo and a talented Portugal side playing in front of their own fans in Lisbon. Rehhagel, robbed of his best player Giorgos Karagounis through suspension, not only knew all this presented a serious challenge but also that it necessitated a change of formation. As Portugal only played with one striker, Greece switched from a back-five to a back-four and dealt with the threat effectively. Charisteas's goal just before the hour mark was enough to ruin Portugal's party and seal the most remarkable upset in Euros history.

Holland 1-3 Russia (aet), Quarter Final, 2008

This isn't the only example of a team peaking too early in a tournament but it might be the best. Holland's name was already on the trophy in the eyes of many pundits after Marco van Basten's team made light of the so-called Group of Death to win all three games in fine style. World champions Italy were comprehensively beaten 3-0 before a sensational 4-1 destruction of France sent expectations sky high. Romania were then beaten 2-0 but the Oranje bandwagon came to a grinding halt against Guus Hiddink's Russia. A late goal from Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared to have got Holland out of jail but extra-time goals from Dmitri Torbinski and Andrey Arshavin gave Russia a deserved victory.

Croatia 1-1 Turkey (1-3 pens), Quarter Final, 2008

It may not have been the biggest disparity between two European sides but the manner of this victory provided one of the most remarkable of all upsets. Croatia were regarded as one of the teams of the moment, having won all three group games including a 2-1 victory over Germany. They looked certainties to set up a rematch with the Germans in the semi-final when Ivan Klasnic scored against Turkey in the 119th minute of their quarter-final to give Slaven Bilic's side the lead. Cue dramatic touchline celebrations from the Croats that were cut short when Semih Senturk equalised with the last kick of the game and Croatia's shoot-out exit was inevitable from the moment Luka Modric missed the first spot-kick.

Related Top Tens

Eden Hazard: One of the summer's most high-profile signings

Top 10 new faces

We count down 10 summer signings who will get their first taste of the Premier League this weekend.

Who will follow in Manchester United¿s footsteps by winning this season¿s Community Shield?

Top Ten Community Shield

Thomas Hill takes a look back at 10 memorable moments from Community Shields gone by.

Luka Modric: At the centre of one of the summer's biggest transfer sagas

Top 10 transfer tales

Sky Sports counts down 10 players who are attracting persistent transfer speculation this summer.

Jack Butland: Hoping to impress with Team GB at the Olympics

Top 10 ones to watch

We look at 10 footballers worth keeping an eye on at this summer's London Olympics.

Joe Cole: Believes he has unfinished business at Liverpool

Top 10 point to prove

Sky Sports takes a look at 10 players who will feel they need to impress in the Premier League.

Top 10 England v Italy

Ahead of England's Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Italy, we look at 10 previous contests.

Top 10 Euro upsets

With Euro 2012 up and running, we take a look at the top 10 upsets in the history of the event.

Mario Gotze: Has made a big impact in Germany with Borussia Dortmund

Top 10 ones to watch

With the Euros looming, we look at which players are likely to catch the eye in Poland and Ukraine.

Didier Drogba: Available on a free transfer after deciding to leave Chelsea

Summer bargains

Matty Briggs takes a look at the top 10 out-of-contract players in the Premier League this summer.

Sergio Aguero wins the Premier League for Manchester City with seconds to spare

Top 10 PL moments

We look back at the top 10 moments of the greatest ever Premier League season.