Which European Championship games have seen the most goals scored? Ahead of Euro 2024, we look back at the five highest scoring matches in Euros history.

Highest Scoring Matches at the European Championship

9 Goals: Yugoslavia 5-4 France, 6 July 1960
8 Goals: Spain 5-3 Croatia, 28 June 2021
7 Goals: Spain 4-3 Yugoslavia, 21 June 2000
7 Goals: Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia, 25 June 2000
7 Goals: France 5-2 Iceland, 3 July 2016

9 Goals

Yugoslavia 5-4 France – 6 July 1960

The first ever European Championship – held in 1960 in France – got off to a flying start, with the first game in the tournament’s history providing more goals than any of the 336 played since.  

The Euros remained a four-team tournament until 1980, with France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union surviving a 17-team qualification bracket to reach the first edition, with the opening game seeing the debut European Championship hosts take to the field at the Parc des Princes. 

Goals always seemed likely, with France reaching the final four via a 9-4 aggregate triumph over Austria and Yugoslavia beating Portugal 6-3. However, the game took a while to catch fire as the teams headed towards half-time locked at 1-1; Milan Galić became the first goalscorer in Euros history with a fierce strike, but Jean Vincent equalised for Les Blues one minute later.

However, captain François Heutte gave France – who were without legendary duo Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine – a 2-1 lead on the stroke of half-time, then Maryan Wisniewski stretched their advantage after the restart.

Ante Žanetić immediately reduced the arrears only for Heutte’s second goal to re-establish France’s two-goal cushion at 4-2, but Yugoslavia would not be denied.

Three goals in five minutes saw them roar back to reach the final, with Tomislav Knez bringing them back within one before Dražan Jerković’s double completed the turnaround.

Yugoslavia’s gargantuan effort perhaps told in the final four days later. Despite Galić scoring the first goal in a European Championship final, they were unable to hold on as the Soviets fought back for a 2-1 extra-time win, with goalkeeping great Lev Yashin producing an iconic performance.

Perhaps Yugoslavia could take some consolation from the entertainment they provided, and they feature in three of our five highest scoring games, albeit having lost the other two.

Yugoslavia’s 14 European Championship matches contained 61 goals, with their huge per-game average of 4.36 putting them comfortably clear of Iceland (3.40) as the tournament’s undisputed entertainers.

8 Goals

Spain 5-3 Croatia (AET) – 28 June 2021

Delayed by one year by the COVID-19 pandemic, Euro 2020 was worth the wait.

The tournament’s average of 2.78 goals per game was the fourth-highest in European Championship history, with the only editions to average more featuring just four games apiece – 1976 (4.75), 1960 (4.25) and 1964 (3.25).

The game of the tournament came in the last 16, as Spain edged out Croatia in an eight-goal Copenhagen classic.

La Roja got off to a shocking start as Unai Simón failed to control a 49-yard back pass from then-18-year-old prodigy Pedri, who earned the unwanted distinction of becoming the first player in Euros history to score an own goal from outside his own box.

Goals from Pablo Sarabia, César Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres put Luis Enrique’s side on the brink of victory, only for Croatia to storm back late on. Mislav Orsic cut the deficit before Mario Pasalic headed home two minutes into stoppage time, forcing an extra half-hour.

Simón atoned for his error with a huge stop to deny Andrej Kramaric early in extra-time before Spain wrestled back control with two goals in three minutes, Álvaro Morata volleying them ahead before Mikel Oyarzabal finished Croatia off.

Having thumped Slovakia 5-0 in their final group game, Spain became the first team in European Championship history to net five or more goals in back-to-back matches, but they couldn’t keep that swashbuckling form going.

They needed penalties to inch past Switzerland before losing on spot-kicks in the final four, with Morata’s miss proving costly against eventual champions Italy.

Spain 5-3 Croatia Euro 2020

7 Goals

Spain 4-3 Yugoslavia – 21 June 2000
Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia – 25 June 2000
France 5-2 Iceland – 3 July 2016

Euro 2000 is often lauded as one of the most entertaining European Championships ever, and much of the credit must go to Yugoslavia. Their total of 13 goals conceded that summer remains a record for a single edition, and 10 of those came in the space of just four days.

Going into the final set of Group C fixtures, just one point separated leaders Yugoslavia from Norway and Spain, with José Antonio Camacho’s men needing to win in Bruges to progress.

Then known as perennial underachievers, Spain were staring at another tournament humiliation as they entered stoppage time 3-2 down, though Slavisa Jokanovic’s dismissal had given them a numerical advantage.

What happened after the end of the 90 minutes will live long in the memory for Spanish fans. The 13 penalties awarded at Euro 2000 was a record until 17 were taken at Euro 2020, and it was Gaizka Mendieta’s spot-kick which dragged La Roja level in the 94th minute.

There was one final twist to come as Pep Guardiola’s long ball forward was headed down for Alfonso, who steered his finish into the bottom-left corner to spark wild celebrations as Spain leapfrogged Yugoslavia into top spot.

Spain 4-3 Yugoslavia Euro 2000

Norway’s goalless draw with Slovenia ensured Yugoslavia qualified in second place, but their tournament unravelled in spectacular fashion in the quarter-finals.

Against the Netherlands, they became the first and so far only team to concede six goals in a European Championship game. Patrick Kluivert scored a hat-trick as the Oranje ran riot in front of a jubilant home crowd, while Marc Overmars netted twice – his first a sumptuous touch and volley teed up by Dennis Bergkamp.

Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia Euros

Kluivert’s treble was just the seventh in European Championship history, with Spain’s David Villa getting the eighth and most recent Euros hat-trick in 2008. Since the introduction of the group stage in 1980, Kluivert remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a Euros knockout game.

The third European Championship game to contain seven goals also ended in a quarter-final victory for the hosts, with France seeing off Iceland in style in 2016.

The 24-team format introduced that year was criticised for encouraging defensive football in the group stage, and the competition’s average of 2.12 goals per game was the lowest at any European Championship since 1996 (2.06).

France certainly took the handbrake off against England’s conquerors, though, with Olivier Giroud, Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet putting them 3-0 up before Antoine Griezmann added a fourth with a fantastic lob on the stroke of half-time. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson and Birkir Bjarnason were on target for Iceland after the break, but Giroud’s second put further gloss on the scoreline for France.

France 5-2 Iceland Euro 2016

A Griezmann double then fired Didier Deschamps’ men past Germany in the semi-finals, and he went on to be crowned Player of the Tournament as well as landing the Golden Boot with six goals.

Griezmann’s total of seven goals puts him joint-third in the European Championship all-time scoring charts, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (14) and Michel Platini (nine) and level with Alan Shearer.

He was unable to guide Les Blues to glory in the final, however, with Eder the unlikely hero for Portugal as an injured Ronaldo memorably directed proceedings from the sidelines.

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