Ronaldo, Rooney, Henry: Who is the greatest striker in European Championship history?

Cristiano Ronaldo won Euro 2016 with Portugal

Naming the 10 greatest strikers in the history of the European Championship is a mighty tough ask.

The tournament has played home to some of the greatest attack-minded footballers in history down the years and narrowing that list down to just 10 names is very difficult.

Goals scored, overall performance and trophies won all come into play when selecting a top 10.

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Thankfully, we don’t have to make the big calls, as Alan Shearer, Micah Richards and Gary Lineker have done that for us.

The three Englishmen have ranked the 10 greatest strikers to appear at a European Championship on the BBC’s Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast and you can check out their list below.

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Alan Shearer | England (Shearer: 10th, Richards: 8th)

Shearer was pretty darn good at the Euros for England. In his nine appearances across three tournaments, the Newcastle legend scored seven goals.

Richards to Shearer on his ranking of himself: “I think you are doing yourself a disservice.”

We agree, Micah…

Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Sweden (Shearer: 8th, Richards: 10th)

Sweden’s record goalscorer has enjoyed himself at the European Championship in his career, with his incredible volley against France at Euro 2012 a standout moment.

Richards: “It is unfortunate for Zlatan that Sweden didn’t go all the way, but I think the players ahead of him [on the list] have maybe done a little bit more.”

Ruud van Nistelrooy | Holland (Shearer: 9th, Richards: 9th)

One of the greatest strikers of all time. At Euro 2004, Van Nistelrooy scored in all three of Holland’s group games and earned a spot in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament.

Richards: “He was just instinctive, a predator. He was one of those players that when he got a chance you just knew he was going to score.”

Van Nistelrooy in action

Antoine Griezmann | France (Shearer: 7th, Richards: 7th)

Greizmann was the star of the show at Euro 2016, netting six goals and winning the tournament’s Golden Boot award.

Shearer: “Euro 2016 was one of those tournaments where everything fell to him – and he put them all in the back of the net.”

Wayne Rooney | England (Shearer: 6th, Richards: 6th)

The man who lit up Euro 2004 as an 18-year-old. Had Rooney not got injured against Portugal, England would probably have won the whole thing.

Shearer: “He could play anywhere and would play anywhere. He would, without doubt, put the team ahead of himself. Just an incredible player, so good.”

Jurgen Klinsmann | Germany (Shearer: 5th, Richards: 5th)

The former Spurs man scored in every major international tournament he played in and captained Germany to glory at Euro 1996.

Shearer: “Lovely guy, Klinsmann. He was an intelligent, quick player.”

Klinsmann at Euro 1996

Gerd Muller | West Germany (Shearer: 4th, Richards: 4th)

Muller’s record for West Germany is scarily good. He netted 68 goals in 62 games, with two of them coming in his country’s 1972 European Championship final triumph.

Lineker: “For me growing up, he [Muller] was the best at doing what I wanted to do. What a goalscorer.”

Thierry Henry | France (Shearer: 3rd, Richards: 3rd)

Arguably the Premier League’s greatest ever player, Henry won Euro 2000 with France and was voted Man-of-the-Match in the final against Italy.

Richards: “He [Henry] was just annoying, you couldn’t do anything. He would just run past you and make you look stupid.

Marco van Basten | Holland (Shearer: 2nd, Richards: 2nd)

His goal in the 1988 European Championship final against the Soviet Union is the stuff of legend, with Van Basten scoring five times at the tournament to help secure the trophy for Holland.

Shearer: “Another player who had the balance and the ability to score great goals, as well as score tap-ins. Imagine how many goals he would’ve scored if it wasn’t for all those injuries.”

Dutch legend Van Basten

Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal (Shearer: 1st, Richards: 1st)

This summer, Ronaldo will become the first player in history to play in five European Championships and he needs just one more goal to surpass Michel Platini as the competition’s all-time top scorer. He also won Euro 2016 with Portugal.

Not bad, eh?

Shearer: “It’s alright having the ability but you have to have the attitude to go with it.”

Richards: “As he’s got older he’s an inspiration to any young kid and adult.”

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