Gareth Bale, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thomas Müller and Cristiano Ronaldo. These are the most dangerous strikers you’re likely to see at this year’s UEFA European Championships in France. All indicators point to them having a massive influence on the how the tournament pans out. Why? Because that is what they’ve always done. They have scored goals that will be discussed for decades, goals that sent their countries to major tournaments, goals that turned defeat into glory.
Here are five of the best from The Red Bulletin’s heroes of Euro 2016.
5: Thomas Müller - “A typical Müller goal”
Yes, we could have picked a more spectacular goal from the 30 he’s scored for his country than this one against Portugal at the 2014 World Cup. But that just wouldn’t have been right. Müller is Müller. He simply finds himself in the right place at the right time and finds the back of the net – even if it means taking a tumble to do so.
4: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - “How the hell did he do that?”
Euro 2004 feels like an eternity ago, but no one will ever forget Zlatan’s goal against Italy. Trailing 0-1 and with time running out, Sweden threw everything they had at Italy in the hope of a miracle. That miracle came in the form of Ibra, who pulled of this magical back heel to lob Buffon and the defender on the line. Scientists and doctors in Italy are still trying to find out how the Swede managed to do this impossible move.
3: Gareth Bale - “It’s not over until Bale says it’s over”
Gareth Bale is so fast that the only way to stop him is by fouling him. Or at least that is what Charlie Adam thought when he took the Welshman down with just minutes to go in this 2014 World Cup qualifying match between Wales and Scotland. What seemed like a good idea backfired completely as Bale collected the ball once again, turned on the turbo to go past Adam and hammered the ball into the back of the net to give Wales the win.
2: Cristiano Ronaldo: “Pistolero Power”
Your side is 2-0 down with seconds to go. Most players would already have their heads in the dressing room by now, but not Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star still found time to blast home this spectacular free kick in the Euro 2012 qualfiying match against Denmark.
1: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - “OH MY GOD!”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the only one to make it into this list twice. Why? Because he’s ZLATAN! Who else would try something as audacious as this against England? Stan Collymore was not the only one who thought it was, “the most insane thing I have ever seen on a football pitch!”