Hattrick Heroes of the Euros

Published: Jul 1, 2024  |  

The UEFA European Championship 2024 is finally here, and the host nation, Germany, got the party started. The locals played Scotland on Friday evening in the opening game of Group A. Over the next four weeks, we’ll see 24 teams whittled down to just two finalists and a champion. Which team will finish on the top step, adding their name to the soccer history books as Euro 2024 winners? You can have your say now using the MyBookie app on your Android or iOS device.

Germany was the early favorite, with pundits and commentators believing in the strength of the home advantage at this level. We watched Greece claim the prize on their patch in 2004 against all the odds. Will Germany delight its fans by blazing a trail of glory to the prize and claiming a fourth European trophy? They certainly have every chance and impressed in a recent 2-1 friendly win over Greece. But the Germans did draw 0-0 with Ukraine earlier this month, showing Julian Nagelsmann’s men must continue to improve.

While many respected pundits opt for the home team, traders working at the leading online sportsbooks can’t see beyond an England win. The Three Lions have never banked the European silver, but they did reach the final last time. England lost to Italy at Wembley in the decider of Euro 2020, but manager Gareth Southgate believes his squad is better, stronger, and ready to improve a place. Bookies have England ahead of France, Germany, and Portugal in their list of the most likely champions.

Goals win prizes

What makes a champion? A solid defense is key to keeping opponents off and driving teams toward victory. That’s why you’ll see many teams in Germany set up defensively and hoping to hit opponents on the counterattack. Soccer is a game of skill, timing, and speed, but its goals win prizes, and all previous champions have had one thing in common. They’ve benefited from a prolific goalscorer in their ranks. Browse past winners, and you’ll see they’ve all had iconic strikers. Who will stand tallest in Germany this summer?

There’s no lack of attacking flair at Euro 2024, with Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, and Cristiano Ronaldo just some of the stars expected to shine bright. The team that wins Euro 2024 will be the team with an in-form, injury-free, and ambitious striker. Could Kane’s predatory instincts win it for England following a fantastic season spent scoring goals for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga? You may prefer the hunger of wonderkid Mbappe or the experience or CR7.

The talent on show at Euro 2024 got us thinking about the stars of the past. The Euros has hosted some fantastic strikers and given fans many memorable moments. But it takes a special kind of player to score a hattrick, and in this article, we recall the best trebles of the Euros. Keep reading as we name the players who have scored three or more goals in a single game at a European Championship.

Michel Platini (France, 1984)

Michel Platini’s hattrick in the 1984 European Championship is often regarded as one of the finest individual performances in the history of the tournament. Platini scored not one, but two hattricks in the 1984 tournament against Belgium and Yugoslavia. His first hattrick came in a 5-0 victory over Belgium in the group stage. Platini followed this up with another hattrick in a 3-2 win over Yugoslavia. Platini’s goals were a testament to his all-around attacking skills, including his prowess from free-kicks and his ability to find space in the box. Platini finished the tournament with nine goals, leading France to their first major international title.

Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands, 2000)

Patrick Kluivert’s hattrick in the 2000 European Championship came during a quarter-final match against Yugoslavia, which the Netherlands won 6-1. Kluivert’s goals were a masterclass in forward play, with his movement, positioning, and finishing all on full display. This hattrick was part of a dominant performance by the Netherlands, who were one of the strongest teams in the tournament. Although the Netherlands eventually lost to Italy in the semi-finals, Kluivert’s hattrick remains one of the standout moments of Euro 2000.

David Villa (Spain, 2008)

David Villa’s hattrick in the 2008 European Championship came in a group stage match against Russia, which Spain won 4-1. Villa’s goals were a showcase of his pace, technical ability, and finishing prowess. His first goal came after a swift counterattack, his second was a solo effort that saw him beat multiple defenders, and his third was a clinical finish from inside the box. Villa’s hattrick was crucial in setting the tone for Spain’s campaign, which culminated in them winning the tournament. Villa finished as the top scorer of Euro 2008, with his hattrick against Russia being one of the highlights.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 2016)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hattrick in the 2016 European Championship came in a group stage match against Hungary, which ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Ronaldo’s goals were crucial in ensuring Portugal’s progression to the knockout stages. His first goal was a deft backheel, his second a powerful header, and his third a precise finish from a counterattack. Ronaldo’s hattrick was a testament to his ability to deliver in crucial moments, and it played a significant role in Portugal’s eventual triumph in the tournament. Ronaldo’s performance in Euro 2016 further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

Antoine Griezmann (France, 2016)

Antoine Griezmann’s hattrick in the 2016 European Championship came in the quarter-final match against Iceland, which France won 5-2. Griezmann’s goals were a display of his technical skill and finishing ability. His first goal was a clinical finish from inside the box, his second a deft chip over the goalkeeper, and his third a powerful shot from outside the box. Griezmann’s hattrick was instrumental in France’s progression to the semi-finals and their eventual appearance in the final. Although France lost to Portugal in the final, Griezmann’s performance in the tournament was widely praised, and he finished as the top scorer.

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