Irrespective of whoever wins the EURO 2020 final, lifting the trophy would be a unique experience for any player in England and Italy’s squad. No player participating in the final has tasted major tournament success before, which demonstrates why International success is the crown jewel for any player. Only a select few have won the two biggest tournaments in International football, EURO and World Cup. In this article, we will talk about five famous players who won both EURO and World Cup.
#5 Gerd Muller
Nicknamed “Der Bomber”, Muller is an important figure among the players who won both EURO and World Cup. Muller finished the 1970 World Cup as the top scorer, but West Germany failed to win the tournament. Two years later, Muller top-scored again as West Germany won EURO 1972.
In the 1974 World Cup, West Germany lost a group stage fixture to East Germany, but recovered well to reach the final. Muller scored the winner in the final as West Germany became World champions again after 10 years.
#4 Jurgen Klinsmann
In the 1990 World Cup, Klinsmann played a vital role in West Germany’s success, more so in the knockout stages. His performance in the Round of 16 against the Dutch received acclaim across Europe. A foul on Klinsmann left Argentina with ten men in the final, which West Germany won eventually.
1996 saw the second major tournament success for Klinsmann as the unified Germany team won the EURO. Klinsmann became the first player to score in three European Championships when he scored a superb brace against Russia in 1996. He also scored a penalty against Croatia in the quarter-final.
#3 Didier Deschamps
Deschamps has the distinct honor of captaining a country to back-to-back major tournament success. Under his leadership, France won the World Cup in 1998 and the EURO in 2000. Deschamps played as a defensive midfielder and was the leader of a brilliant defensive unit in the 1998 WC as France conceded just two goals.
Deschamps was a tactically astute player, and his understanding of the game is cited as the main reason for his international success. After he led France to the title in EURO 2000, Deschamps announced his retirement from international football. He is also one of the three players to win the World Cup, both as a player and a manager.
#2 Andres Iniesta
Don Andres’ achievements with Spain have been well documented, as he was a vital cog of the Spanish team that ruled the world. In EURO 2008, he was named in the team of the tournament for his consistent performances. Two years later, he famously scored the World Cup winning goal against the Netherlands.
In EURO 2012, Iniesta won three man of the match awards, including an award in the final. His sumptuous dribbling and passing in these tournaments made him a hero to millions. Iniesta retired after the 2018 World Cup, and his legacy might never be matched. Among the players who won both EURO and World Cup, Iniesta also has Champions League success to his name with FC Barcelona and several other trophies.
Regarded by many as the greatest midfielder of all time, Xavi epitomized the Spanish style whenever he stepped onto the field. In EURO 2008, he was named the player of the tournament for his innate ability to control the game with his passing. He scored a goal in the semi-final and assisted Torres’ goal in the final.
Xavi’s reputation was enhanced after Spain lifted the 2010 World Cup. He covered more distance and made more accurate passes than any other player in the tournament. Xavi assisted two goals in Spain’s 4-0 thrashing of Italy in 2012, thus becoming the only player to register an assist in two EURO finals.