The first European championship took place in 1960 and was called as the European Football championship. The competition at its inception had 17 teams battling it out for the 4 places in the actually tournament, which would eventually have 2 semi finals and a finale and the winner would officially be crowned as the first European Champions.
The first champions of the Euros were the Soviet Union, but it was the semi final encounter between France and Yugoslavia that stole the spotlight of the tournament and till this day is considered one of the best international matches of all time if not the best.
The matches ended as 4-5 in the favor of Yugoslavia and the match still holds the record of the most number of goals scored in a single match in the European Championship. With goals being littered in both halves, Yugoslavia drew first blood through Milan Galic but the French immediately equalized in the 12th minute to make it all square and the French than took the lead courtesy of Huette just before half time and made it 3-1 soon after the break but were once again pegged back by the opposition who closed the gap in the 55th minute to make it 3-2.
But the French restored their 2 goal cushion just after the hour mark with another strike from Huette. But Yugoslavia found their groove in the 75th minute, when Tomislav Knez scored thanks to an error from the French keeper Lamia.
Lamias’ night went from bad to worse when he fumbled not only the equalizer from Drazen Jerkovic but also the winner by the same player just a minute later. The final score remained at 4-5 in the favor of the Yugoslavia who headed to the first final against the Soviet Union but unfortunately came out on the losing side of a 2-1.
But the semi final is fondly remembered as the match of the tournament and has often been seen as a benchmark for all Euro matches to match.
Yugoslavia- France: 5-4
Dražan Jerković 78’, 79 François Heutte 43’, 62’
Milan Galic 11’ Maryan Wisnieski 53’
Tomislav Knez 75 Jean Vincent 12’