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EURO Cup Best Players of all Time

Sunday06 December 2020 | 12:30
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Here is a short look at the EURO Cup best players of all time, including their achievements, plays, and other most interesting facts.

Undoubtedly, there would not be a memorable game unless legendary footballers play their extraordinary role in it. Based on the brilliant footballs which European Champion has extended over the years, it can claim to be the best international tournament in the world.

An overview of the legends of the European Championships

In this article, Sportmob has come up with a list of EURO Cup best players of all time, which includes the players who made some of the feats in sports history by their performances. Sportmob welcome you to go through and study the following article.

Peter Schmeichel

Among 

EURO Cup best players of all time

, there is a Danish player whose XXXL size has set him apart from other 

greatest players in EURO Cup history

. Peter Schmeichel, with an intimidating physique, 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) height, and close to 100 kg (15 st 10 lb) weight, was so famous during the days he was playing. Although his outstanding does not just refer to his size, his professional performance is the main reason for best remembering him.

The Danish professional footballer, who played as a goalkeeper, had a successful history in years which he played at English club 

Manchester United

 and captained it in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final in completing the Treble. 

Also, Schmeichel had a brilliant role in winning UEFA Euro 1992 with Denmark. Being a bit strange is not only about his size but also about what he did on the pitch unlike a goalkeeper, Schmeichel scored 11 goals during the years he was playing, including one for the national team. Playing 129 games between 1987 and 2001, Schmeichel is also known as the most capped player for Denmark national team.

Among Schmeichel's achievements, a summary of interesting ones includes representing Gladsaxe Hero, Sporting CP, Aston Villa, and

Manchester City

, yielding 24 trophies, being voted as the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper, and ranked among the top 10 goalkeepers of the 20th century. 

Xavi Hernandez

Being the embodiment of the tiki-taka passing style made Xavi to be known as one of the greatest central midfielders and 

best European Championship players of all time

. This Spanish player made his first-team debut against Mallorca at age 11 and played more than 700 matches, which is a club record, and scored 85 goals till the last day playing.

In addition to his exceptional European career, which was over after 900 senior games, including 133 for Spain and 767 for

Barcelona

, Xavi won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, and 31 trophies for Barcelona and Spain. By being capped 133 times for the Spain national team, Xavi had an influential figure in the success of his team. 

Xavi's integral role at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008 and 2012 was quite tangible, which finally led to Spain's victory. All these glorious appearances caused Xavi to get the title of Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2008 and the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012. Also, Xavi's two assists in the final at UEFA Euro 2012 made him the first player who has registered assists in UEFA Euro finals.

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Xavi has the record of a 91% passing success rate at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in which he was named the World Cup All-Star Team. Finally, in March 2015, Xavi, whose name is among the names of 

EURO Cup best players of all time

, announced leaving Barcelona for Qatar's Al-Sadd and retired from the club play in 2019, and then after started managing A-Sadd.

Matthias Sammer

Matthias Sammer is a German professional footballer who experienced playing as a defensive midfielder and later as a sweeper in his career, and last worked as sporting director of Bayern Munich.The career starting point of Sammer as one of the 

European Championship best players ever

 comes back to Dynamo Dresden, which happened by joining to club's youth team at his 9. Although Sammer played there as s Striker, by the following season, he found his place in central midfield during the 1987-88 season. Sammer also recorded an excellent history by playing with

VfB Stuttgart

, Inter Milan, and

Borussia Dortmund

.

While being with Borussia Dortmund as a player, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup, and European Footballer of the Year in 1966, and the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. In the days of being with Germany as a player, Sammer also won the UEFA Euro 1996 and got the title of the Tournament's Best Player, and later that year, the Ballon d'Or.

At the time of retirement, Sammer, who is in the list of 

EURO Cup best players of all time

, had 74 total caps, including 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Undoubtedly, Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays as a forward for Seria A club 

Juventus 

and captains the Portugal national team, is known as one of the 

EURO best players of all time

. Almost considered the EURO Cup best players of all time, Ronaldo has won four European Golden Shoes and five Ballons d'Or, which are records for a European player.

In addition to winning 30 major trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League title, Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals, 131, and assists, 41 in the history of the UEFA Champions League. Sporting CP is Ronaldo's starting senior club career, in which he played for before joining Manchester United in 2003, at 18.

By his efficient role, Ronaldo helped United win the three success of Premier League title, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup, and then won his first Ballon d'Or, aged 23. Signing for Real Madrid made this Portuguese professional the subject of the most expensive association football transfer. Based on Ronaldo's excellent plays, the Portuguese Football Federation named him as the best Portuguese player of all time in 2015.

Since making his senior debut in 2003, Ronaldo has earned over 160 caps, including appearing and scoring in ten main tournaments, becoming Portugal's most capped player, and his country's all-time top goalscorer. 

Andres Iniesta

One of the

European Championship legends of all time

 is a Spanish footballer, Andres Iniesta, who is the captain of the Japanese club Vissel Kobe, and plays as a central midfielder. Iniesta, for three seasons, served as the captain in Barcelona, the club, where he spent most of his career. Iniesta, the 36-year-old professional player, is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and the EURO Cup best players of all time. By early migration from his birthplace and coming through La Masia, Iniesta joined the Barcelona youth academy as a principal member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Scoring the winning goal and getting the title of Man of the Match are two of his achievements, which Iniesta got in the final against the Netherlands. Although, he got the name of the Man of the Match for the second time in the last game against Italy, and the title Player of the Tournament, while he led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown at UEFA Euro 2012.

By referring to his other achievements, including having been named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI nine times, being chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year on six occasions, being named in the All-time UEFA Euro XI, and winning the UEFA Bets Player in Europe Award in 2012, we can find his history as a brilliant professional one. As the final word, Iniesta was runner-up to 

Lionel Messi

 for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or and achieved third place.   

Zinedine Zidane

The French star, who played as an attacking midfielder, is Zinedine Zidane, popularly known as Zizou. Currently, he is the manager of La Liga club Real Madrid which is known as one of the most successful managers in the world. Zidane is also widely regarded as one of the best European Championship players of all time. This amount of fame and renowned as an elite playmaker come from his elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique.

All these skills helped him receive many individual accolades as a player, such as being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998,2000, and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d'Or. Before establishing himself as one of the best players in the French Division 1 at Bordeaux, Zidane started his career at Cannes.

In 1996, when Zidane moved to Juventus, won trophies, including two Serie A titles, and after moving to Real Madrid for a Worl Record Fee at the time €77.5, he remained unmatched for the next eight years. Overviewing all his unique and technical goals, Zidane scored a left-foot volleyed winner goal in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, which is one of his best and most famous ones in the competition's history.

All in all, capped 108 times by France, won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and, got the name of the All-Star Team, made him a national hero in France, and received the Légion d'honneur in 1998. Although Sportmob mentioned many of Zidane's achievements and excellent plays, if you are interested in knowing more regarding the EURO Cup best players of all time, take a look at the following link.

Marco van Basten

The Dutch professional footballer, who played for Ajax and A.C. Millan, as well as the Netherlands national team, as a striker, is now a football manager. Scoring 300 goals in a high-profile career, Basten is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport and as one of the EURO best players of all time. Despite being one of the European Championship legends of all time and scoring 300 goals in a high-profile career, Basten's injury forced him to do his last match at age 28 and become retired two years later. However, Basten was the head coach of Ajax and the Netherlands national team later.

Having the features, including close ball control, attacking intelligence, impeccable headers, and spectacular strikes and volleys, caused him to get the name of FIFA World Player of the year in 1992 and win the Ballon d'Or three times in 1988,1989, and 1992. While reviewing Basten's professional records at the club level, there are many cases, such as four Serie A winning three European Cups with Milan and UEFA Euro 1988 with the Netherlands.

As one of the EURO Cup best players of all time, Basten was ranked sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll, and based on the election which IFFHS held, became tenth in the European Player of the Century and 12th in the IFFHS' World Player of the Century election. 

Gerd Muller

Being renowned for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box, Muller'name is among the most expert players and goalscorers of all time, as well as one of the greatest players in EURO Cup history. Scoring 68 goals in 62 appearances at the international level with West Germany, a record of 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games with Bayern Munich, and 66 goals in 74 European club games, Muller made an excellent professional history. 

Based on the average of more than one goal per game with West Germany, and despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 48, Muller is 19th on the list of all-time international goalscorers and a member of EURO Cup best players of all time. Additionally, Muller received the Golden Boot as the top goalscorer, after the successful season at Bayern Munich, which he made it by ten goals he scored at the 1970 FIFA World Cup for West Germany.

Also, scoring 14 goals for 32 years in the World Cup, Muller held the record of all-time goal-scoring and was ranked ninth in the European player of the Century. Because of the excellent Muller's performance, Pele named him in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

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Michel Platini

Michel Platini, the former French football player, manager, and administrator, as the president of UEFA in 2015, was banned from football over principles violations. Regarded as EURO Cup best players of all time, in 1983, 1984, and 1985, Platini won the Ballon d'Or three times. Regarded as the player who won the Ballon d'Or three times in 1983, 1984, and 1985, Platini came seventh in the FIFA Player of the Century vote and is one of the European championship legends of all time.

Platini's career portfolio includes playing for the clubs of Nancy, Saint-Etienne, and Juventus. Despite serving as a high-level and exceptional playmaker, Platini was a prolific goalscorer. 

Platini is the award winner of the Serie A Capocannoniere, which got it three times consecutively between 1983 and 1985, and also the top scorer of Juventus's victorious 1984-85 European Cup campaign. By playing the principal role for the France national team, Platini could win the 1984 European Championship, the tournament in which he was its top scorer and best player.

With the midfielders Alain Giresse, Luis Fernandez, and Jean Tigana, Platini set the magic square of the French team in the 1980s. In recognition of his achievements, Platini was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1985 and became an Officer in1998. Following his retirement as a player, Platini started to coach the France national team for four years and was the co-organizer of the 1988 World Cup in France. 

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is just what it means to be a legend. The German former professional footballer and manager is the one who got the nickname The Emperor because of his elegant style, dominance, and leadership on the field. He is widely renowned, to be one of the greatest players in the history of sport and European Championship best players ever.

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Another reason for his fame comes back to the fact that he was a versatile player, because he started as a midfielder, then played as a central defender and modern sweeper. The experienced footballer twice was named as the European Footballer of the Year, and appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in FIFA World Cups three times and in European Championships two times. Such as Brazil's Mario Zagallo and France's Didier Deschamps, Beckenbauer won the World Cup as a player and as a manager.

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Despite being the first captain who lifted the World Cup and European Championship at the international level and the European Cup at the club level, Beckenbauer was named the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998, the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002. By taking a look at the German star's achievements at the club level with Bayern Munich, you can find that Beckenbauer won the UEFA Cup Winner's cup in 1967 and three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976.

Beckenbauer's later masterpiece made him the first player who won three European Cups as captain of his club. After all, Beckenbauer became the team manager and then president of Bayern Munich and finally was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame. In sum, these brilliant performances caused him to be on the list of EURO Cup best players of all time.  

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