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Euro 2020: Five firsts to bookmark

This is the first time in history that the European Championship is being held in an odd year. The final will be hosted by historic Wembley Stadium on July 12.

Prabhjeet Singh Sethi Published 20.06.21, 05:12 PM
Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo. File Photo

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) made its debut in the European Championship this year, as did Finland and North Macedonia. Along with that came several other pandemic-induced changes. The squad capacity was stretched from the customary 23 to 26, and five substitutes have been allowed as opposed to the regular three. But, as Euro 2020 gained momentum with the group stages now approaching their end, many other firsts have struck us.

Here are five of them:


Another Ronaldo record

Although Portugal lost Saturday’s group stage match after a Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens onslaught, Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t far removed from the limelight. After becoming the highest goalscorer in European Championship history versus Hungary, surpassing French legend Michel Platini, CR7 scored his first ever goal versus Germany on Saturday. The Juventus main man scored the opening goal for his side in the 15th minute. And then the rest of the match was all about Germany.

Sterling stuff

England avenged their 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat versus Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener. In the 1-0 victory, Raheem Sterling had an instrumental role to play with the 57th minute strike. And that was his first international goal in a major tournament for the Three Lions. It was also the first ever opening game win for England in the European Championship.

Make way for Kai Havertz

This one should make Chelsea fans grin from ear to ear. Kai Havertz has become the first Chelsea player to score a goal in the ongoing tournament. Havertz was instrumental in Germany’s 4-2 win over Portugal, alongside Robin Bosens. By scoring in the 51st minute, the 22-year-old also became the first player in the current Germany squad to score a European Championship goal.

Portugal’s four sore

This is a record Cristiano Ronaldo will choose to forget. In their 2-4 loss to Germany, Portugal conceded four goals in a match for the first time in Euro history. Two of them were own goals by Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerrerio, the rest of the two came from Havertz and Gosens. The defending champions will look to forget this statistic when they take on France on Thursday.

Austria’s Eureka moment

Austria registered their first ever European Championship victory when they beat tournament debutants North Macedonia 3-1 in their Group C opener on June 13. In the same match, North Macedonia captain Goran Pandev scored his first ever major tournament goal. But Austria fought back via substitutes Marko Arnautovic and Michael Gregoritsch, who came off the bench to score late goals. Gregoritsch’s strike was the 700th strike in European Championship history.

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