Maldini, Zidane, Ronaldo and Gullit are just four of the superstars vying for a place in your Euros XI

Buffon, Casillas or Schmeichel? Iniesta, Pirlo or Zidane? Henry, Ibrahimovic or Ronaldo? Picking an all-time European Championships XI is a tough job.

But this is the task we put in front of you last week.

Throughout June, BBC Sport brought you classic games in our Euros Rewind series, providing a reminder of some of the great players who have graced the tournament.

And we then provided you with a shortlist of 45 players – seven goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 17 midfielders and nine strikers – which you have whittled down to a best XI.

Setup in a 4-3-3 formation, here is your all-time Euros side…


Peter Schmeichel (Denmark) – 13 apps, 0 goals. Tournaments played in: 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000. Best finish: Winner (1992)

With 31% of the vote, Peter Schmeichel is your man between the sticks.

The Dane played in finals in three different decades and was a huge part of the shock win in 1992, saving a penalty from Marco van Basten in the semi-final shootout.

He saw off some stiff competition for the number one shirt, from the likes of Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, Spain’s Iker Casillas, legendary Russian Lev Yashin and England’s David Seaman.


Philipp Lahm (Germany) – 14 apps, 2 goals. Tournaments played in: 2004, 2008, 2012. Best finish: Runner-up (2008)

A dependable and classy full-back, Lahm had plenty of quality going the other way as well, memorably scoring the winner in the 2008 semi-final against Turkey in the dying seconds.

It was enough to earn him selection as your all-time Euros right-back, beating off competition from France’s Lilian Thuram.

Paolo Maldini (Italy) – 13 apps, 0 goals. Tournaments played in: 1988, 1996, 2000 Best finish: Runner-up (2000)

Nobody else came close. The identity of the man patrolling the opposite side of the back four will surprise few people.

Maldini, quite simply one of the finest defenders to grace the field, won seven games at the finals but never picked up the trophy, losing on the golden goal to France in 2000.

Marcel Desailly (France) – 12 apps, 0 goals. Tournaments played in: 1996, 2000, 2004. Best finish: Winner (2000)

It was a close call with Spain’s Sergio Ramos, but at the heart of defence is Desailly. An absolutely wonderful player, the former Chelsea man forged an unbeatable partnership with Laurent Blanc in World Cup and Euros wins.

Was France’s record caps holder when he retired after Euro 2004, with 116 appearances.

Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany) – 4 apps, 0 goals. Tournaments played in: 1972, 76 Best finish: Winner (1972)

Alongside Desailly in your XI is a global football icon.

Another to have won the World Cup and the Euros, Der Kaiser dominated whether in defence or midfield for the then West Germany and captained the side to glory in 1972 before losing in the final to the original Panenka four years later.


Ruud Gullit (Netherlands) – 9 apps, 1 goal. Tournaments played in: 1988, 1992. Best finish: Winner (1988)

Played as a centre-forward in 88 and scored the opening goal of the final before playing in midfield four years later as the holders made it to the last four.

Ahead of his time in many ways, his versatility was almost his undoing as regards your team, with his votes spread across a number of positions. But despite stiff competition from the likes of Luis Figo, Lothar Matthaus and Paul Gascoigne, he makes the side.

Andres Iniesta (Spain) – 16 apps, 0 goals. Tournaments played in: 2008, 2012, 2016. Best finish: Winner (2008, 2012)

How good was Iniesta? Well, in 16 games at the Euros he won seven man-of-the-match awards – a record.

Part of a dominant team which won three consecutive major trophies, could play in a midfield three or wide left. Won 11 games, the joint-best record for any player.

And now he has made your Euros XI too, ahead of compatriot Xavi. The ultimate honour!

Zinedine Zidane (France) – 14 apps, 5 goals. Tournaments played in: 1996, 2000, 2004. Best finish: Winner (2000)

The maestro. Aside from Michel Platini (who failed to make your XI), has any player graced a single tournament more than Zizou did in 2000? His highlights reel from those few weeks in the lowlands is bordering on the obscene.

Already a legend of course after scoring twice in the 1998 World Cup final, he produced some of his very best football as Les Bleus completed the double. His free-kick against Spain and some of his close control was mesmerising. Then he was still brilliant four years later to down England with two late goals.


Thierry Henry (France) – 11 apps, 6 goals. Tournaments played in: 2000, 2004, 2008. Best finish: Winner (2000)

Never truly lit up a Euros as perhaps he could/should have at his peak but still won the thing in 2000. One of the great European forwards, for sure. He makes your side ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gerd Muller and Fernando Torres.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 21 apps, 9 goals. Tournaments played in: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016. Best finish: Winner (2016)

The first player to score at four Euros and would have been the first player to play in five this summer. Will surely manage that in 2021. Nobody has played in as many games at the Euros and only Platini can match his haul of nine goals.

Nobody has won more than his 11 games. Was injured in the final in 2016 but turned into the coach on the sidelines as Portugal finally lifted some silverware to add more fuel to his GOAT claims.

Marco van Basten (Netherlands) – 9 apps, 5 goals. Tournaments played in: 1988, 1992. Best finish: Winner (1988)

Scorer of the Euros goal? The best player at Euro 88 by a mile, scored a hat-trick against England, the winner in the semi-final after winning the penalty which levelled the game, and then hit the most iconic of volleys in the final.

Missed a penalty in a key shootout in 1992 but we’ll gloss over that.

You can still use our team selector below, and share your team on social media, but your submissions will no longer count to the outcome of the best XI.


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