Who won the 1996 World Cup

Team of the EURO 1996 tournament

GOALKEEPER

Andreas Köpke (Germany)
Although he was voted Germany's Footballer of the Year in 1993, Köpke was only number two behind Bodo Illgner for a long time and spent both the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups as well as the EURO '92 on the bench before im Age of 34 struck its hour. He didn't concede a single goal in the group stage and even parried a penalty from Italy's Gianfranco Zola in the last group game. Also in the semi-finals against England he fended off the penalty from Gareth Southgate, which enabled his team to reach the final. Köpke, who played for Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Marseille, ended his international career in 1998 at the World Cup after 59 internationals and was inherited by Oliver Kahn, whom he later had as goalkeeping coach of the national team.

DEFENSE

Laurent Blanc (France)
Blanc was three consecutive UEFA European Championships in the team of the UEFA tournament (1992 to 2000). At UEFA EURO 2000, he ended his international career after 97 appearances with a final victory. In 1998 he had to watch France's first World Cup victory due to a suspension in the final against Brazil. Because of his dominance, elegance and leadership skills, he was nicknamed "Le Président". He began his career at Montpellier as a midfielder before playing for nine different clubs including Barcelona, ​​Inter Milan and Manchester United as an elegant central defender. He later coached Bordeaux before leading France to UEFA EURO 2012 and then taking over Paris Saint-Germain.

Marcel DesaillyIcon Sport via Getty Images

Marcel Desailly (France)
Desailly was a top international player for over a decade and his performances in the 1996 and 2000 EURO finals kept him on the team at the tournament. He won the UEFA Champions League with Marseille and repeated this feat the following season with AC Milan. He helped France to the semi-finals of EURO '96 and to win the 1998 World Cup in his own country, although he was expelled from the field in the final. At UEFA EURO 2000, he was the only French player to play all six full-distance games and arguably the most consistent central defender of the entire tournament. He is considered a legend in his clubs Milan and Chelsea (where he played for six years). He made 116 international appearances before retiring from the Middle East and becoming a UNICEF ambassador.

Matthias Sammer © Getty Images

Matthias Sammer (Germany)
His way of interpreting the Libero at EURO '96, in which he stood every minute on the field and scored winning goals against Russia and Croatia on the way to the title, reminded of Franz Beckenbauer and earned him the award of European Footballer of the Year . He was the first East German to be on the all-German team and scored six goals in 23 internationals for East Germany and eight in 51 internationals after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He won the GDR championship twice with Dynamo Dresden before adding three Bundesliga titles with Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund. In 1997 he celebrated winning the UEFA Champions League with BVB. After he had to end his career early at the age of 30 due to a knee injury, he became a coach at both VfB and BVB.

Paolo Maldini (Italy)
Maldini, who made over 1,000 appearances for his club and national team and was Italy's all-time record player with 126 appearances between 1988 and 2002, is one of the best defenders ever. Maldini have shone in several tournaments, from his first (EURO '88) to his last (2002 FIFA World Cup). He came closest to a major international title in 1994 at the World Cup, when they only lost on penalties in the final against Brazil. At UEFA EURO 2008 they were also very close when they had to admit defeat to the then world champions France with a golden goal. It seems a bit ironic that Italy then won the 2006 World Cup without Maldini, but Maldini was in the team of the tournament in 1996 and 2000 and was able to win the UEFA Champions League five times and Serie A seven times.

Paul Gascoigne © Getty Images

MIDFIELD

Paul Gascoigne (England)
After he became known around the world at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Gascoigne's career stagnated a little due to long breaks. Among other things, he tore his cruciate ligament and broke a leg, but at EURO '96 in his own country he was back in top form. The ex-midfielder from Newcastle United, Tottenham and Lazio had a great debut season with Rangers when it came to the tournament. If there were any remaining doubts about his form, these were finally wiped out after his dream goal against Scotland, when he took the ball with the heel and then pocketed a volley. Seconds earlier, the Scots had awarded a penalty. Against the Netherlands in the next game he scored two goals in an impressive 4-1 win and in the semi-final against Germany he was only inches short of scoring the golden goal.

Dieter Eilts (Germany)
Eilts had a good reputation as a worker at Werder Bremen before EURO '96, but it was his first major international tournament and so the performance of the East Frisian was a bit of a surprise. With his good positional play and willingness to keep his back free for the libero Matthias Sammer, who often pushed forward, he contributed to the fact that Germany only had to concede three goals in England. One of them came after Eilts had to leave the field injured in the final. He played six of his 31 international matches at EURO '96 before he was Bremen's captain until 2002 and completed 390 Bundesliga games in 17 years. His successes also include two German championships, three DFB Cup victories and the 1992 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Werder. Later he also worked as the national coach of Germany's U19 and U21, today he is head of the Bremen youth academy.

Karel Poborský (Czech Republic)
Poborský was one of the great discoveries of EURO '96 - his brilliant lob in the quarter-finals against Portugal will remain unforgettable. The Czechs would eventually advance to the final against Germany. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup against Italy, he played his 118th and last international match (8 goals). His third appearance at a UEFA European Championship in 2004 was almost as impressive as it was eight years earlier. That was spoiled a bit by the fact that they lost in the semifinals after Silver Goal against the eventual European champions Greece. Poborský played for Manchester United, Benfica and Roma - but it was mainly his performances with the national team that made him known.

Alan Shearer © Getty Images