History: Football comes home: 1996
Where better to stage the biggest European Championship to date than in the country which gave the world the game? Sixteen nations converged on England in 1996, but while the hosts celebrated football “coming home” it was their rivals Germany who took the spoils.
Czech Republic, Germany, England and France advanced to the semi-finals. Both England and France were undone on penalties. Les Bleus succumbing first after 120 goalless minutes with the Czechs. Shearer raised English hopes just three minutes into the other semi-final, but Stefan Kuntz quickly responded. Gascoigne came agonisingly close to winning it for England in extra time before Gareth Southgate joined the growing list of Englishmen to fail in shoot-outs.
Germany were contesting their fifth continental final. Their last had ended in a shock loss to Denmark in 1992 and a repeat looked feasible when Patrik Berger converted from the spot. Berti Vogts sent on Oliver Bierhoff and, after heading an equaliser, he broke Czech hearts four minutes into extra time. His shot may have been tame, but it found its way past Petr Kouba for the competition’s first ever golden goal. Suddenly, the game — and the tournament — belonged to Germany.