THE European Championship has again witnessed some superb goals. Ben Rumsby looks at five of the best from Poland and Ukraine.
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC (SWEDEN v France)
It has long been a cliche to describe Ibrahimovic as blowing hot and cold but he demonstrated just what a talent he is with the best goal of the group stage. Sebastian Larsson sent in an innocuous-looking looping cross from the right, with Ibrahimovic only just inside the box when he met it with an outrageous acrobatic volley that arrowed into the bottom corner.
SAMI KHEDIRA (GERMANY v Greece)
Germany shrugged off a shock Greek equaliser in stunning fashion in their quarter-final in Gdansk. Khedira was heavily involved in a move that flowed from left to right before Jerome Boateng whipped in a cross that Khedira crashed into the net with a sensational volley, brilliantly keeping the ball down despite both feet being off the ground.
MARIO BALOTELLI (Germany v ITALY)
The goal that ripped the heart out of Germany's Euro 2012 bid. Italy broke from a corner kick and Balotelli timed his run to perfection to beat a poor offside trap and race on to Riccardo Montolivo's ball over the top. The Manchester City star still had plenty to do, holding off Philipp Lahm and smashing an unstoppable 20-yard shot past the statuesque Manuel Neuer.
JAKUB BLASZCZYKOWSKI (POLAND v Russia)
Poland ultimately failed to get out of their group but the co-hosts provided their fans with a moment they will never forget. Losing 1-0 to Russia, who were threatening to score a second goal, they broke from the edge of their own box and the ball was worked down the right to Blaszczykowski, who cut inside and curled a left-foot drive inches inside the post.
DAVID SILVA (SPAIN v Italy)
Spain could not have slapped down the critics who dubbed them boring in a more emphatic fashion with their opening goal in the final. The champions kept the ball superbly 30 yards from goal before Andres Iniesta produced the perfect sliderule pass as Cesc Fabregas burst in behind Giorgio Chiellini, got to the byline and crossed for Silva to nod into the roof of the net.