It was not the greatest of footballing tournaments purely from the excitement point of view but UEFA Euro 2016 produced some stunning goals, including the tournament-winning one for Portugal’s Eder.
Now that the football season is officially over, what better way to unwind than to rewatch some of those stunning goals.
So following Portugal’s victory over France in Sunday’s Euro 2016 final, here are five of the best goals scored at the tournament:
Dimitri Payet (France 2 Romania 1)
France were heading towards a dispiriting 1-1 draw against Romania in their opening match when the ball found its way to Dimitri Payet on the right-hand side of the penalty area in the 89th minute. The West Ham United playmaker took a touch to get the ball out of his feet before unleashing a left-foot rocket that flew into the top-left corner. Payet sprinted towards the touchline in disbelieving celebration and shed tears as he was substituted moments later. France’s tournament was up and running.
Eder (Portugal 1 France 0)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Hungary 3 Portugal 3)
Ridiculed for criticising Iceland after Portugal’s opening 1-1 draw and then guilty of squandering a penalty in the 0-0 draw with Austria, Ronaldo was under pressure ahead of Portugal’s final group game. But the Real Madrid megastar belatedly arrived at the party in Lyon with a brace that secured Portugal’s place in the last 16. His first goal, in the 55th minute, was a treat. Joao Mario bent a cross into the box from the right and Ronaldo met it with a fiendishly difficult half-volleyed back-heel that sent the ball rolling into the bottom-left corner.
Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales 3 Belgium 1)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland 1 Poland 1)
The tournament’s most spectacular goal arrived in the first last 16 tie in Saint-Etienne. With Switzerland a goal down in the 82nd minute, the ball popped up on the edge of the box and Shaqiri met it with a jaw-dropping mid-air scissors kick that flew past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski’s outstretched left hand. The Stoke City schemer found the net again in the subsequent penalty shootout, but Switzerland were eliminated.
With AFP inputs (Featured image: Reuters)