Goals. We love watching them, and luckily, footballers love scoring them.
And there is nothing better than witnessing a screamer fly into the net in a major international tournament, hosting some of the continent’s most powerful and entertaining nations.
Over the years, the European Championships have provided us with some of the sport’s most prolific goalscorers in football history, doing what they do best for the country they love.
But who are the top 20 goalscorers in the competition’s illustrious history? Look no further than what’s below.
*Editors note – players level on goals scored have been ranked based on their goals to game ratio.
What a way to kick off the list!
David Villa, a winner with Spain in 2008, is the 20th highest scorer in European Championship history with four goals. A quality forward, and one who kicked off La Furia Roja’s glorious period of success.
It was arguably the biggest shock the competition has ever seen in 2004 as Greece went to Portugal as not even plucky underdogs, and somehow returned home with the trophy.
At the heart of it all was Angelos Charisteas, scoring three – including the winner in the final. A national treasure.
The Netherlands have produced some great forwards (as this list suggests) and Dennis Bergkamp is one of the best.
Four goals in the prestigious tournament for the graceful Dutchman.
A winner of the European Championships with France in 2000, Zinedine Zidane racked up five goals over his long international career in this competition.
Two of those came in the space of a couple of heart-breaking minutes against England in 2004.
Mario Gomez was a big fan of goals, and he got plenty of them for Germany.
He grabbed five in our European competition, making him one of the biggest hitters for his nation.
Ah, the blonde, bouncing locks. How we miss them in our lives.
Fernando Torres – a two-time European champion with Spain, a golden boot winner, and most importantly, a beautiful man.
Jurgen Klinsmann scored goals, won trophies and did funny celebrations.
Here he is even giving the Queen a giggle.
Country: Czech Republic
If you remember Milan Baros tearing up the Premier League for Liverpool, you’ve lived through an elite era of football.
He was also pretty prolific for Czech Republic, and scored five at the Euros.
The natural line of progression: Jurgen Klinsmann, Milan Baros, Marco van Basten.
The Dutchman was a genius, and scored possibly the competition’s most iconic goal ever in the final, winning the tournament for his nation. Say no more.
Country: Serbia (then Yugoslavia)
Nicknamed Miss-a-lot-evic in England (of course he was) Savo Milosevic silenced his doubters on the European platform.
Five goals, the same number as a whole bunch of elite forwards.
Nuno Gomes tore up Portugal with Benfica, spent a couple of pleasant years in the picturesque city of Florence, and somehow ended up finishing his career in Blackburn.
Football is a funny old game, eh?
No introduction needed.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will still be coming out of international retirement to play for Sweden well into his fifties, notching his eighth and ninth goals at Euro 2032.
The greatest player to have graced the English shores, and a World Cup / European champion to boot. Thierry Henry.
An unstoppable force of nature in our beautiful game.
Take us all back, please.
The year is 2004, and a teenage Wayne Rooney is pulling France, Croatia and Switzerland’s collective pants down. He was destined to bring football home, but broken metatarsals had other plans.
Another Netherlands star on the list – and not the last, once again.
Patrick Kluivert was a brilliant striker to watch, and he dazzled us with five beauties in European matches.
Of course Ruud van Nistelrooy hit five goals in a shorter space of time than all the other fivers on this list.
The former Manchester United star could find the net from anywhere – although he mainly opted to do so from the penalty area. A poacher like no other.
Antoine Griezmann must have thought it was his fate to win the European Championships in 2016, but he couldn’t drag France over the line.
Still, his two goals in the semi-final gave supporters a night they’ll never forget.
The highest player on the list to have never won the tournament. Alan Shearer bagged seven goals in nine matches, including five in 1996, when we all temporarily believed football was actually coming home.
So close, yet so far.
We were all waiting for this guy, weren’t we?
Fact: Cristiano Ronaldo has scored nine more goals in European Championship history than Lionel Messi. Case closed on our goat.
Also, he won the bloody thing in 2016 as a player and then as a manager and/or motivator on the sidelines in the final. He can do it all.
A three-time Ballon d’Or winner. A European Championship winner. The highest scorer in the competition’s history.
Here’s how he did it. 1984: Two hat-tricks in two group stage matches and a winner in the other. A 119th minute winner in the semi-finals. A key goal in the final. Nine goals in FIVE GAMES.