Friday, May 11, 2012

Matches of the Century : Euro Cup 1988 Final Netherlands USSR

June 25, 1988
West Germany
72.308 spectators
Referee: Michel Vautrot (France)

Netherlands: Hans van Breukelen, Berry van Aerle, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Adrie van Tiggelen, Gerald Vanenburg, Jan Wouters, Arnold Muhren, Erwin Koeman, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten. Coach: Rinus Michels.

USSR: Rinat Dasaev, Vagiz Khidiatullin, Anatoly Demianenko, Gennady Litovchenko, Sergei Aleinikov, Alexander Zavarov, Sergei Gotsmanov (69' Sergei Baltacha), Alexei Mikhailichenko, Vasily Rats, Oleg Protasov (72' Victor Pasulko), Igor Belanov. Coach: Valery Lobanovsky.

The 1988 UEFA European Championship concluded pretty much as it had begun, with a meeting between the Soviet Union and the Netherlands – on-song Marco van Basten ensured there would be no repeat of the USSR's group stage triumph, though.

Van Basten was left out of the 1-0 defeat, but had become the first name on the team sheet since and was at his inspirational best in the Munich final. His gravity-defying header set up Ruud Gullit for the opener before a moment of poise and class that will inspire admirations for decades to come, lashing in a stunning volley from the acutest of angles. It sealed a 2-0 victory and the Oranje's long-awaited first major title.

A final packed with players of the highest class – eight of them from FC Dynamo Kyiv – was slow coming to life. For the Soviet Union it never really did, from the moment Gennadiy Litovchenko beat a man but hit his shot straight at Hans van Breukelen. Within two minutes the Netherlands were in front.

Erwin Koeman took a corner on the right; when it was headed out, he crossed to the far post. With the defence coming out to play offside, Van Basten craned his neck to square towards the unmarked Gullit, whose own header beat Rinat Dasayev for power rather than accuracy. The game went back into its shell, with few real chances – but how the Dutch took theirs on 54 minutes.

A bad touch by Olexandr Zavarov allowed Adri van Tiggelen to intercept and feed Arnold Mühren, playing his last international match, wide on the left. His instant high cross went deep across the Soviet penalty area and when the ball reached him, Van Basten was eight metres from goal and only five or six from the right-hand goal line, with no obvious option except a cross towards Gullit.

Instead, full of confidence, he hit an astonishing top-spin volley over the head of the best goalkeeper in Europe and just inside the far post. Even the 'neutral' West Germans, whose own aspirations were ended by the Netherlands in the last four, rose at the Olympiastadion to applaud; yet to their credit the USSR refused to lie down.

They could have halved the deficit when Van Breukelen needlessly brought down Sergey Gotsmanov. The goalkeeper made amends, as 1986 European Footballer of the Year Igor Belanov's long run-up did more to upset his own rhythm than terrify Van Breukelen, who blocked the low shot.

1st Half (duration 01:17:23):®1stHalf.mkv

2nd Half (duration 00:58:46):®2ndHalf.mkv

Post match (duration 00:50:46):®PostMatch.mkv 

Total duration:  03:06:55
Video Codec H264/AVC, MKV 
768 х 576, Bitrate 1200 kbps 25.00 fps Sound Codec mp3, 128 kbps 44100 Hz, 16 bit, 2 channels

Dutch comments
Media & pictures:



  1. Dutch comments, not flemish

  2. Thanks for the tip, already corrected :)

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  5. Hola.
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  6. Hola.
    Excelente estos aportes para los fanáticos del fútbol. ¿Puedo pedirte que subas los links del partido amistoso entre Argentina y Holanda de 1979 a otro formato porque MEGAUPLOAD no funciona?

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