In case you haven’t heard, the Euros finished with England suffering yet more penalty-shootout heartbreak, this time in the final against Italy. That means it’s time for the closing montages, but don’t go away just yet cause this summer’s round-up is likely to be pretty special.
Euro 2020 certainly delivered when it came to jaw-dropping goals. We’ve got all the highlights of our favourites below, plus, to truly appreciate the worldies witnessed, we’ve asked the analysts at Infogol to assign our strikes an expected goals (xG) figure.
Was Patrik Schick’s improbable strike vs Scotland that special? Was Paul Pogba’s effort against Switzerland secretly a tap-in? It's time to dive into the data:
We had seen some decent efforts, but Andriy Yarmolenko’s goal against the Netherlands was our first true screamer. The West Ham forward cut in from his right, and curled the ball majestically into the top corner with his left.
It was a move us Premier League fans saw coming, even if our stattos at Infogol rated his xG chance of scoring at a tiny four percent. As for Yarmolenko, he would hold on to Goal of the Tournament glory for just 24 hours.
Schick lobbed his way into the record books to stun Scotland from 49.7 yards in the group stages. The ball ricocheted to the Czech Republic striker, who blasted a first-time effort over a retreating David Marshall from just over the halfway line.
It’s the longest strike ever scored at the Euros, with Infogol awarding it an xG of 0.008. That makes it the least likely of all the goals at this year’s championship. A one in 1000 effort, it could only happen against Scotland...
You know it’s your day when your centre-back bags a screamer like this. With the score at a nervy 2-1, Russia's keeper superbly denied close-range efforts from Denmark’s Martin Braithwaite and Simon Kjaer. But he could do nothing to deny Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen who hammered in a thunderbolt from 40 yards out.
Christensen had a two percent chance of finding the net when he unleashed his shot. To put that into perspective, Kjaer’s effort seconds before from tap-in range had a 57 percent chance of going in.
Why is it always stunners that sink Scotland? If anyone was going to send Croatia to the knockouts it would be former Ballon d’Or winner and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric. A partisan Ally McCoist summed it up brilliantly on ITV, “an absolutely magnificent finish.”
Modric was on the edge of the box when he hit his strike first time after a lovely lay-off from Mateo Kovacic. Infogol gave his chances of scoring a paltry nine percent, although the degree of difficulty is undoubtedly higher with a 'trivela'.
When two giants of international football go head-to-head, sometimes all that separates them is one moment of quality.
That’s exactly what happened when holders Portugal met the number one ranked side in the world, Belgium, in the round of 16 stage. Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard picked up the ball on the right in the 42nd minute, dribbled to the edge of the box before curling in a beauty past a helpless Rui Patricio.
Belgium were through to the quarters from a shot that had a mere three percent chance of going in.
Very few goals are remembered for the touch before the shot. Dennis Bergkamp against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup. Hal Robson-Kanu vs Belgium at the 2016 Euros. And now we can add Karim Benzema’s ridiculous flick to the list.
The Real Madrid star maintained possession against Switzerland with a dizzying backwards leg-chop, despite the ball being behind him following a Kylian Mbappe pass. The forward then delicately slotted home.
Infogol rated his chances of scoring at 57 percent, but the model takes into account Benzema’s final position when he took on the shot. Wind it back a few seconds and the possibility of a France goal would be miniscule.
Less than 20 minutes later, Pogba would put France 3-1 up with another beautiful effort. The Manchester United midfielder received the ball 40 yards from goal, took one touch to give himself some room before curling the world champions into an unassailable lead.
Well, we thought it was unassailable. Switzerland would score two quick goals before knocking out France on penalties. It was about as likely as Pogba’s effort to be honest. Four percent.
And finally, take a bow Mikkel Damsgaard. Jordan Pickford had not conceded a goal at the Euros before this semi-final set-piece. What a way to beat him. The Danes took a shock lead against the hosts and favourites thanks to a fantastic dipping free-kick from the Sampdoria winger.
Again, this effort was given just a four percent chance of finding the back of the net. Ultimately, it would count for nothing. England would come from behind to reach their first final since 1966 where Italy would add yet another heartbreak to the Three Lions’ extensive collection.
Still, we’ll always have this goal montage.