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There isn’t too long to wait now until the delayed European Championships get underway, and a month-long festival of football is bound to throw up a few iconic moments.

Whether that be an important goal, over the top celebration or something equally as memorable, in years to come, we’ll surely be looking back on the moments that can rival those which have gone before.

This is the top five European Championship Moments, as chosen by Jason Pettigrove.

5. Davor Suker's Chip - Euro '96

It’s often forgotten that Davor Suker had already almost beaten Peter Schmeichel from near the halfway line with an incredible opportunist lob, such was the quality of the strike which did end up sailing past the towering Dane.

Denmark were, of course, reigning champions going into this tournament, though they never looked likely to repeat their surprise Euro 92 triumph.

Suker, a relative unknown before shining on the European stage, announced himself to the footballing world with a sublime piece of skill at Hillsborough.

Receiving a cross-field ball just inside the Denmark half, his exquisite first touch allowed him to open his body up and take the ball away from the covering defender in the same movement.

Schmeichel, who’d been up field just moments earlier, had raced back and was now out of his goal to narrow the angle. To no avail.

Suker’s chip was deft and beautifully executed. No wonder the Danish fans joined in the applause.

4. Balotelli's Hulk Impression - Euro 2012

Ever the showman, Mario Balotelli was on fire for large parts of Euro 2012.

His two goals against Germany in the semi-final were, ultimately, what secured a final berth against eventual winners, Spain, for the Azzurri.

A first was a bullet header past Manuel Neuer, though his second, a thunderous strike from the edge of the box, was one of the all-time great European Championship goals.

Aged 21 at the time, Balotelli had often made the headlines for the wrong reasons, but the manner of his brace ensured the conversation was turned on its head.

Ripping off his shirt and flexing was the only acceptable way to celebrate a goal of such high quality.

3. Pirlo's Panenka Embarrasses Joe Hart - Euro 2012

In truth, England had deserved to lose against the Italians long before their quarter-final penalty shoot-out.

The Azzurri had bossed the match from start to finish, but Roy Hodgson’s side displayed grit and determination to see out the 120 minutes without conceding.

A 0-0 final score absolutely wasn’t a fair reflection of what had gone before, however, it allowed everyone to witness one of the moments of the tournament.

When Andrea Pirlo stepped up to take his penalty against Joe Hart, only he will have known whether he was going to embarrass the custodian so publicly.

His Panenka penalty was so good that Hart had already completed his full-length dive before the ball had even hit the back of the net.


2. Gazza's Goal and the Dentist Chair - Euro '96

It was the year that football almost came home.

Though Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss will live long in the memory bank for all England fans, so will Paul Gascoigne’s fantastic finish against Scotland and the celebration that followed.

Gazza was in his pomp during the tournament and the fulcrum of anything good that the Three Lions did during those heady few weeks.

Never better than when he turned Colin Hendry inside out before powering home England’s second goal of the game, just a minute after Gary McAllister had missed a penalty for the Scots.

Pre-tournament lurid newspaper headlines made much of the ‘dentist chair’ incident as the players let their hair down in Hong Kong.

So, once the ball had hit the net, Gazza made straight for the water bottle as Wembley erupted.

Messrs. Shearer, Redknapp and McManaman recreated the high jinks and gave the headline writers exactly what they wanted.

1. Van Basten's Volley - Euro '88

Many have tried, and perhaps one or two have succeeded in hitting a volley so sweetly that it’s talked about for years afterwards.

However, no one can really lay claim to toppling Marco van Basten’s effort against the Soviet Union in the 1988 final.

The Dutchman was already the tournament’s top scorer, but he had certainly saved the best until last.

Arnold Muhren had broken down the left side for Holland, and the winger had Ruud Gullit to aim at in the middle and van Basten who was meandering over on the opposite side.

The striker would’ve done well just to control what was a high, looping cross, however, his instinctive first-time airborne volley from the tightest of angles must go down as one of the greatest goals ever scored.

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