11 of the best Euro 2016 goals

11 July 2016 09:53

Euro 2016's expanded format has brought us more goals to savour over the last month in France.

Here, Press Association Chief Football Writer Simon Peach picks 11 of the best from the 50 matches leading up to the final.

DIMITRI PAYET (FRANCE v Romania, Group A, June 10)

The hosts were slow to get going and it had looked like the Euro 2016 opener would start with an embarrassing draw. The scores were level as the match entered the 89th minute, only for the West Ham star to superbly curl into the top-left corner from the edge of the area to send France wild and give the tournament lift-off.

LUKA MODRIC (Turkey v CROATIA, Group D, June 12)

Croatia shone in the group stage and Modric scored a goal to remember as they got off to a winning start against Turkey. Four minutes before half-time at the Parc des Princes, Selcuk Inan hooked the ball out of his penalty area and it dropped around 25 yards from goal. Real Madrid midfielder Modric met it under pressure from Hakan Calhanoglu and showed terrific technique to return a stunning volley.

MAREK HAMSIK (Russia v SLOVAKIA, Group B, June 15)

The star man of this history-making Slovakia side, the 28-year-old netted a memorable effort in Lille. Hamsik collected a short corner on the edge of the area and masterfully curled the ball across a crowded penalty area and into the top-right corner.

EDER (ITALY v Sweden, Group E, June 17)

The Azzurri secured their place in the knock-out stages in style at the end of a frustrating night in Toulouse. With a draw looking inevitable substitute Simone Zaza headed towards Eder, who rounded off a classy dribble through Sweden's defence with an impressive finish beyond goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.

ZOLTAN GERA (HUNGARY v Portugal, Group F, June 22)

The pick of the goals in a thrilling 3-3 draw came from the former West Brom and Fulham midfielder. After a corner was half-cleared by Nani, 37-year-old Gera controlled the ball 25 yards out before sending a superbly-struck half-volley arrowing into the bottom corner.

XHERDAN SHAQIRI (SWITZERLAND v Poland, last 16, June 25)

The fact Switzerland bowed out 5-4 on penalties could not overshadow what was an exquisite strike from Shaqiri. Levelling eight minutes from the end of normal time, the Stoke midfielder scored a tremendous acrobatic scissor-kick from the edge of the box that beat Lukasz Fabianski.

RADJA NAINGGOLAN (Wales v BELGIUM, quarter-final, July 1)

Things may not have ended well for Marc Wilmots' side but they got off to the dream start in Lille. Meeting a cutback from the rejuvenated Eden Hazard, Nainggolan hit a wonderful 30-yard strike that flew into the top corner and out of Wayne Hennessey's grasp to leave those inside the Stade Pierre Mauroy in awe.

HAL ROBSON-KANU (WALES v Belgium, quarter-final, July 1)

With the match level at 1-1 after Ashley Williams cancelled Nainggolan's thumping strike, a moment of inspiration gave Wales a lead they never relinquished. Robson-Kanu, a free agent after leaving Reading, controlled an Aaron Ramsey cross and seemed set to pass to Neil Taylor in space on the left-hand side of the box. However, a clever turn befuddled the Belgian defence and opened up the space for him to slot home himself.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (FRANCE v Iceland, quarter-final, July 3)

The tournament top scorer continued his fine Atletico Madrid form on home turf. Griezmann's best goal came at the Stade de France in the quarter-final against surprise package Iceland. Racing onto a driven ball forwards by Paul Pogba, the forward audaciously clipped the ball, Messi-style, over Hannes Halldorsson.

CRISTIANO RONALDO (PORTUGAL v Wales, semi-final, July 6)

Criticised and even mocked at times during Euro 2016, the 31-year-old was key as Portugal reached the final. Ronaldo produced a man-of-the-match display and broke the deadlock with a wonderful header. Meeting a whipped left-wing cross, the attacker rose high above stand-out Wales centre-back James Chester - a goal that for its importance just edges out the deft flick he scored with against Hungary.

EDER (PORTUGAL v France, final, July 10)

The forward stunned the hosts - and fans of Swansea where he was underwhelming to say the least - with a powerful, low right-footed strike from 25 yards in the second half of extra-time which proved too good for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and settled a disappointing final.

Source: PA