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1988 UEFA European Football Championship
UEFA Fußball-Europameisterschaft
Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1988
UEFA Euro 1988 logo.png
Tournament details
Host countryFlag of Germany.svg West Germany
Dates10 June – 25 June
Teams8
Venue(s)(in 8 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsNetherlands.png Netherlands (1st title)
Runner-upFlag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union
Tournament statistics
Matches played15
Goals scored34 (2.27 per match)
Attendance849,844 (56,656 per match)
Top scorer(s)Netherlands Marco van Basten (5 goals)
1984
1992

The 1988 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in West Germany between 10 and 25 June 1988. It was the eighth European Football Championship, which is held every four years and supported by UEFA.

The tournament crowned the Netherlands as European champions for the first, and so far only time. Euro 88 was a rare instance of a major football tournament ending without a single sending-off or goalless draw, nor any knockout matches going to extra time or penalties.

Overview

Group stage

The first group pitted two pre-tournament favourites West Germany and Italy together, along with Spain and Denmark. The Italians had not played in the competition finals since the 1980 edition, which they hosted and West Germany won. Spain and Denmark contested the second semi-final of the 1984 edition. Spain prevailed on penalty-kicks, but lost the final to hosts, France who failed to qualify in 1988.

The Germans and Italians played out the opening game. This game was tightly contested. Roberto Mancini capitalised on a defensive error on the left-hand side of the German goal and the striker squeezed in a shot from a tight angle. Just three minutes later, Italy's goalkeeper, Walter Zenga was penalized for taking more than four steps with the ball and Andreas Brehme scored the resulting free-kick. Both teams settled for a 1–1 draw.

Spain defeated Denmark again, this time 3–2. Míchel opened the scoring after five minutes and Michael Laudrup equalised twenty minutes later. Spain dominated the next hour and Emilio Butragueño and Rafael Gordillo but the Spanish 3–1 to the good. A late surge saw Flemming Povlsen reduce the score line, but was not enough for the Danes, who now needed to win both their remaining games to be certain of a place in the semi-finals.

In the remaining games the West Germans swept aside the Danes and Spanish. Jurgen Klinsmann and Olaf Thon scored to dispatch the former 2–0 while two goals from Rudi Völler was enough to beat Spain 2–0. The second goal was particularly notable. Lothar Matthäus ran forty yards into the Spanish penalty box before back-heeeling the ball for the oncoming Völler, following up his run, to strike the ball with the outside of his foot and into the corner of the goal.

The Italians won a difficult match against the Spanish 1–0, courtesy of a goal from Gianluca Vialli, a low cross-shot to the net on 73 minutes. In the last games, against an already eliminated Denmark, the Italians prevailed by two goals to nil.

The second group witnessed a surprising set of results. In the opening game, one of the pre-tournament favourites England lost 0–1 to Ireland. Ray Houghton scored a looping header after six minutes after the English defence failed to clear a cross. The English applied strong pressure as the game wore on. Gary Lineker was unusually sluggish, missing a series of chances and hitting the cross bar. In the other opening game, the Soviet Union defeated the Netherlands 1–0 through a Vasyl Rats goal, despite the Dutch dominating for long periods.

England met the Netherlands in Düsseldorf; both needed to win. England started strongly with Lineker hitting a post and Glen Hoddle striking the crossbar with a free-kick. The English defence, weakened by the absence of Terry Butcher, conceded the first of three goals to Marco van Basten on 44 minutes. Van Basten turned Butcher's replacement Tony Adams and beat Peter Shilton – playing his 100th game for England – to give his side a 1–0 lead. England rallied after the break. Lineker and Bryan Robson exchanged a kick one-two pass allowing Robson to burst into the box and lift the ball over Hans van Breukelen after 53 minutes. The score remained when Van Basten turned Tony Adams inside out to finish from 18 yards on 71 minutes. The striker pounced from close-range after a corner to seal a 3–1 win four minutes later.

The Irish and Soviets led the group after two games through a 1–1 draw in Hanover. Ronnie Whelan scored a spectacular left foot volley from 18 yards to put the Irish into the lead. Oleh Protasov equalised with a low shot as the Soviet exerted late pressure.

Needing to defeat the Irish to progress, the Dutch won the game 1–0 through a late Wim Kieft goal. The ball deflected into his path and he delivered a looping header which spun into the Irish net with nine minutes remaining just after Paul McGrath hit a Dutch post. In the other game the Soviets soundly thrashed England. A mistake from Hoddle allowed Sergei Aleinikov to score after three minutes. Adams equalised and England had chances to go ahead, but a goal before half time and late in the game assured the Soviet Union would finish in first place in the group.

Semi-final

The first semi-final was significant as rivals West Germany played the Netherlands. It was only the third time the two sides had faced each other since the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final; the West Germans winning a first round match in the 1980 European Championship, and a 2–2 draw in a 1978 FIFA World Cup second round group match. The game was tight, and the West Germans broke the deadlock on 55 minutes with a Matthäus penalty after a foul on Klinsmann. The lead was held for 20 minutes until Jürgen Kohler brought down Van Basten. Ronald Koeman converted the spot-kick to level the match. With the match headed for extra time a through ball caught the Germans out and Van Basten finished clinically with a shot as he slid along the floor, beating the goal keeper and Kohler to the ball in the 88th minute for a 2–1 win. It gave the Dutch their first competitive victory against the Germans and first appearance in the competition's final. The victory was marred by the reaction of Dutch defender Koeman who wiped the shirt of Olaf Thon, given to him after the match, on his backside in front of the German fans. The player apologised afterwards.

The other semi-final was another unpredictable result. Italy were strong favourites to reach the final and had beaten the Soviets 4–1 in a friendly just two months earlier. Despite controlling the play and having the majority of the chances, the Italians were undone by poor finishing, and a strong, tough opposition who sought to stop their more skillful opponents playing through hard tackles and a defensive strategy. The hard work-rate of the Soviets paid off and four second half minutes, counter-attacks saw two goals from Hennadiy Lytovchenko and Oleg Protasov. The first one from Lytovchenko was initially blocked, but quick reactions beat Franco Baresi to the ball to fire the second shot into the far corner. The second from Protasov was a looping shot which floated over Zenga for a 2–0 victory. It would be the Soviet Union's fourth appearance in a European Championship final.

Final

The final was played on 25 June between the Soviet Union, in what would turn out to be the nation's last European Championship match, and the Netherlands at the Olympiastadion in Munich. The Dutch won the match 2–0, with goals coming from captain Ruud Gullit and tournament top scorer Marco van Basten. Hans van Breukelen blocked a low penalty shot of Igor Belanov. Van Basten's goal would later be described as one of the greatest goals in the history of the European Championships.

Teams

Main article: UEFA Euro 1988 qualifying

Seven countries had to qualify for the final stage. West Germany qualified automatically as hosts of the event. The holders, France, failed to qualify. The following eight teams qualified for the final tournament:

It was to be the last tournament for the Soviet Union. It qualified for the next but was dissolved just after the end of the qualifying stages..

For a list of squads, see UEFA Euro 1988 squads

Host

West Germany won the right to host the tournament with five votes ahead of a joint bid from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, who gained 1 vote, and a bid from England.

Because the Eastern Bloc disagreed that West Berlin was part of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Football Association ruled out playing Championship matches in West Berlin. This secured the participation of Eastern European members of UEFA. In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, however, West Berlin had hosted three games.

As a compromise, Berlin Olympic Stadium did host a Four Nations Tournament in 1988, with West Germany playing against the Soviet Union, Argentina and Sweden.

Venues

Munich Gelsenkirchen
Olympiastadion Parkstadion
Capacity: 69,256 Capacity: 70,748
Olympiastadion Muenchen Parkstadion gelsenkirchen 2
Hamburg Frankfurt
Volksparkstadion Waldstadion
Capacity: 61,330 Capacity: 61,056
Das Volksparkstadion 1983 Waldstadionold1
Düsseldorf Hanover Stuttgart Cologne
Rheinstadion Niedersachsenstadion Neckarstadion Müngersdorfer Stadion
Capacity: 68,400 Capacity: 60,366 Capacity: 70,705 Capacity: 60,584
Altes Rheinstadion Hannover96 Nordtribüne Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion Stuttgart innen Müngersdorfer

Referees

Results

Group stage

All times are CEST/UTC+02:00

Group A

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Flag of Germany.svg West Germany 321051+45
Flag of Italy.gif Italy 321041+35
Flag of Spain.png Spain 310235−22
Flag of Denmark.gif Denmark 300327−50
10 June 1988
20:15
West Germany Flag of Germany.svg 1–1 Flag of Italy.gif Italy Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
Attendance: 62,552
Referee: Keith Hackett (England)
Brehme Soccerball 55' Report Mancini Soccerball 52'

11 June 1988
15:30
Denmark Flag of Denmark.gif 2–3 Flag of Spain.png Spain Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
Attendance: 55,707
Referee: Albert Thomas (Netherlands)
Laudrup Soccerball 24'
Povlsen Soccerball 82'
Report Míchel Soccerball 5'
Butragueño Soccerball 52'
Gordillo Soccerball 67'

14 June 1988
17:15
West Germany Flag of Germany.svg 2–0 Flag of Denmark.gif Denmark Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
Attendance: 64,812
Referee: Robert Valentine (Scotland)
Klinsmann Soccerball 10'
Thon Soccerball 85'
Report

14 June 1988
20:15
Italy Flag of Italy.gif 1–0 Flag of Spain.png Spain Waldstadion, Frankfurt
Attendance: 47,506
Referee: Erik Fredriksson (Sweden)
Vialli Soccerball 73' Report

17 June 1988
20:15
West Germany Flag of Germany.svg 2–0 Flag of Spain.png Spain Olympiastadion, Munich
Attendance: 63,802
Referee: Michel Vautrot (France)
Völler Soccerball 29'51' Report

17 June 1988
20:15
Italy Flag of Italy.gif 2–0 Flag of Denmark.gif Denmark Müngersdorfer Stadion, Cologne
Attendance: 53,951
Referee: Bruno Galler (Switzerland)
Altobelli Soccerball 67'
De Agostini Soccerball 87'
Report

Group B

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union 321052+35
Netherlands.png Netherlands 320142+24
Flag of Republic Ireland.gif Republic of Ireland 31112203
England.png England 300327−50
12 June 1988
15:30
England England.png 0–1 Flag of Republic Ireland.gif Republic of Ireland Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
Attendance: 51,373
Referee: Siegfried Kirschen (East Germany)
Report Houghton Soccerball 6'

12 June 1988
20:15
Netherlands Netherlands.png 0–1 Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union Müngersdorfer Stadion, Cologne
Attendance: 54,336
Referee: Dieter Pauly (West Germany)
Report Rats Soccerball 52'

15 June 1988
17:15
England England.png 1–3 Netherlands.png Netherlands Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
Attendance: 63,940
Referee: Paolo Casarin (Italy)
Robson Soccerball 53' Report Van Basten Soccerball 44'71'75'

15 June 1988
20:15
Republic of Ireland Flag of Republic Ireland.gif 1–1 Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
Attendance: 38,308
Referee: Emilio Soriano Aladren (Spain)
Whelan Soccerball 38' Report Protasov Soccerball 74'

18 June 1988
15:30
England England.png 1–3 Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union Waldstadion, Frankfurt
Attendance: 48,335
Referee: José Rosa dos Santos (Portugal)
Adams Soccerball 16' Report Aleinikov Soccerball 3'
Mikhailichenko Soccerball 28'
Pasulko Soccerball 73'

18 June 1988
15:30
Republic of Ireland Flag of Republic Ireland.gif 0–1 Netherlands.png Netherlands Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
Attendance: 64,731
Referee: Horst Brummeier (Austria)
Report Kieft Soccerball 82'

Knockout stage

Semi-finals Final
21 June – Hamburg (Volksparkstadion)
 Flag of Germany.svg West Germany 1  
 Netherlands.png Netherlands 2  
 
25 June – Munich (Olympiastadion)
     Netherlands.png Netherlands 2
   Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union 0
22 June – Stuttgart (Neckarstadion)
 Flag of Italy.gif Italy 0
 Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union 2  

Semi-finals

21 June 1988
20:15
West Germany Flag of Germany.svg 1–2 Netherlands.png Netherlands Volksparkstadion, Hamburg
Attendance: 56,115
Referee: Ioan Igna (Romania)
Matthäus Soccerball 55' (pen.) Report R. Koeman Soccerball 74' (pen.)
Van Basten Soccerball 88'
22 June 1988
20:15
Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union.png 2–0 Flag of Italy.gif Italy Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
Attendance: 61,606
Referee: Alexis Ponnet (Belgium)
Lytovchenko Soccerball 58'
Protasov Soccerball 62'
Report

Final

Main article: UEFA Euro 1988 Final
25 June 1988
15:30
Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union.png 0–2 Netherlands.png Netherlands Olympiastadion, Munich
Attendance: 62,770
Referee: Michel Vautrot (France)
Report Gullit Soccerball 32'
Van Basten Soccerball 54'

Statistics

Goalscorers

With five goals, Marco van Basten was the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 34 goals were scored by 28 different players, with none of them credited as own goal.

5 goals
2 goals
1 goal

Fastest goal

3 minutes

Sergei Aleinikov (USSR vs England)

Awards

UEFA Team of the Tournament
Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Netherlands Hans van Breukelen Flag of Italy Giuseppe Bergomi Flag of Italy Giuseppe Giannini Netherlands Ruud Gullit
Netherlands Ronald Koeman Flag of Germany Lothar Matthaus Flag of Italy Gianluca Vialli
Netherlands Frank Rijkaard Netherlands Jan Wouters Netherlands Marco van Basten
Flag of Italy Paolo Maldini

External links

UEFA Euro 1988
Stages

Group A · Group B · Final

General information

Squads · Qualification

UEFA European Football Championship
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France 1960 · Spain 1964 · Italy 1968 · Belgium 1972 · Yugoslavia 1976 · Italy 1980 · France 1984 · West Germany 1988 · Sweden 1992 · England 1996 · Belgium/Netherlands 2000 · Portugal 2004 · Austria/Switzerland 2008 · Poland/Ukraine 2012 · France 2016 · Pan-European 2020 · TBA 2024

Finals

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Qualification

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