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Euro 2020 best pictures: Expert picks the best photographs from 2021 tournament

·7-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Throughout Euro 2020, Getty Images senior director of photography for sport, Paul Gilham will pick his best pictures from the tournament.

Day one: Euro 2020 kicks off with a bang in Rome

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Within sport we have waited a long time for the European Football Championships. Football with fans, football with atmosphere. There is nothing better than a major tournament. Emotions and adrenaline ran high when Turkey and Italy took to the pitch as Uefa celebrated the start of Euro 2020. An event that unites the world through the love of the beautiful game. This picture has an atmosphere that captures the significance of the European Football Championships. Picture by Alberto Pizzolio of our partner AFP.

Day two: Tragedy strikes in Copenhagen

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Watching the live edit come in as we witnessed Christian Eriksen collapse on the pitch during Denmark vs Finland was hard to see and emotional for the team. While we took a very considered approach in what we uploaded and sent to our clients, this picture tells the story of a moment that puts everything into perspective. Our thoughts are with Christian, his family and teammates.

Day three: Tournament lifts off with thriller in Amsterdam

 (UEFA via Getty Images)
(UEFA via Getty Images)

On a day when we celebrated England’s opening win of Euro 2020 against Croatia it was actually the Netherlands vs Ukraine that proved to be the highlight of the day with a thrilling 3-2 win to the hosts in Amsterdam. In this picture Roman Yaremchuk of Ukraine is challenged by Stefan de Vrij of the Netherlands. Picture by Lukas Schulze for Uefa via Getty Images.

Day four: Two sides of goalkeeping in Glasgow

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Scotland versus Czech Republic will forever be remembered for the incredible goal scored by Patrik Schick. But what I love about this picture of the day is the stark contrast to that goal. A goalkeeping error at one end for Scotland against this goalkeeping brilliance for the Czech Republic at the other. Tomas Vaclik of Czech Republic makes an incredible save from Lyndon Dykes of Scotland. Picture by Stu Forster of Getty Images.

Day five: Ronaldo breaks another record

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Another goal, another record. On the greatest stage there is always one who delivers. On Monday, Cristiano Ronaldo became the all time leading goal scorer in the history of European Championships. From the heartbreak of 2004 to the success of 2016 I wonder how far Ronaldo can carry Portugal once again. Here is Ronaldo celebrating after he scored his second and Portugal’s third against Hungary at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Picture by Alex Pantling of Getty Images.

Day six: Italians do the job

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Italy, the first team to reach the knockout stage look so strong. With a backline that hasn’t conceded in 10 games and goals a plenty they will take some beating. In my picture of the day we capture the team comradery as Manuel Locatelli of Italy celebrates with every one of his on pitch outfield team-mates after scoring Italy’s second goal against Switzerland in Rome. Picture by Claudio Villa of Getty Images.

Day seven: Football comes together for Christian Eriksen

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In a week where Italy, Belgium, France and dare I say it England have impressed most of our thoughts have been focused on Christian Eriksen. So it was great to see football show such support to one it’s most popular players during Thursday’s match between Denmark and Belgium. In this picture a large replica Denmark shirt with Christian Eriksen, Number Ten is displayed on the pitch prior to the match between Denmark and Belgium at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. Picture by Hanna McKay – Pool/Getty Images.

Day eight: Scotland deny England

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

25 years on and all our expectations were on England to replicate the magic of Euro 96. Despite the comparisons of Paul Gascoigne and Phil Foden it wasn’t to be, England were met by a wall of blue steel. In today’s picture of the day Tyrone Mings attempts an overhead kick. Picture by Laurence Griffiths of Getty Images.

Day nine: Fans make themselves heard in Hungary

 (UEFA via Getty Images)
(UEFA via Getty Images)

This picture is the one I certainly didn’t ever expect to see in my best of the tournament selection. To see full stadiums in Budapest is unbelievable and the atmosphere looks incredible. This picture was taken during the Group F match between Hungary and France at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Picture by Nick England - UEFA via Getty Images.

Day 10: Italy show their class

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I love the composition of this image as Matteo Pessina of Italy finds a way to beat his opposing defender and score first goal for Italy against Wales at Olimpico Stadium in Rome, Italy. Picture by Ryan Pierse of Getty Images.

Day 11: United Belgium secure top spot

 (UEFA via Getty Images)
(UEFA via Getty Images)

Belgium have dominated their group, being one of only three teams to take all nine points. I love this image for unity and comradery it captures. This is Belgium’s golden generation, this is Belgium’s Team. Could this be their year? Picture by Joosep Martinson for UEFA via Getty Images.

Day 12: The calm before the Scottish storm

 (UEFA via Getty Images)
(UEFA via Getty Images)

This image is so powerful and atmospheric. It landed with our editors within seconds of being captured and immediately stood out. At the time it signified the hope and determination of Scotland as Andrew Robertson adjusted his captains armband while leading the team out for the second half during the Group D match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden Park on June 22, 2021 in Glasgow. Picture by Jan Kruger for UEFA via Getty Images.

Day 13: Ronaldo and Mbappe meet on magical night

 (UEFA via Getty Images)
(UEFA via Getty Images)

What a night of football, with so many twists and turns just watching the Group F table was excitement in itself as France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary swapped places throughout the 90 minutes. As the tournaments leading goal scorer Ronaldo broke yet another record and helped his team to a well fought draw with tournament favourites France. I love the intimacy that this images captures post-match, in an area very few can access. Two superstars, Ronaldo and Mbappe sharing a moment as both of their respective teams qualify for the round of 16. Will they meet again for the semi-final at Wembley? Picture by Angel Martinez for UEFA via Getty Images.

Day 14: Italy survive a scare

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The opening round of the last 16 saw Denmark beat Wales in an emphatic fashion and Italy wobble against a spirited Austria. Italy finally scoring a goal gave renewed hope to the team and I love this image for its composition and display of raw emotion. Italy’s Federico Chiesa (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal in extra-time at Wembley. Picture by Frank Augstein/Pool via Getty Images.

Day 15: Belgian brothers down Portugal

 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

In a match when Belgium suffered two injuries to two key players (Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard) it was fantastic to see Thorgan Hazard of Belgium celebrate with his brother Eden after scoring the only goal that sent Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo crashing out of the tournament. What a wonderful moment for two brothers to share on the greatest stage. In this picture Thorgan Hazard celebrates after scoring their side’s first - and ultimately - winning goal.

Day 16: France pay the penalty

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Magic Monday is the headline across the British media. What a day of football it was. Few would have predicted France to exit the tournament so early, let alone not win it. Switzerland thoroughly deserved their win and this picture tells the story of the biggest upset of the championships so far. Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer has become a hero and here he is celebrating after saving the decisive penalty taken by Kylian Mbappe of France. Picture by Justin Setterfield of Getty Images.

Day 17: England end the hurt

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

There was a euphoria at Wembley as thirty years of hurt, or rather 55 years of hurt was finally ended when for the first time since 1966 England beat Germany in a knock-out competition. England have progressed to the quarter-finals and Gareth Southgate and his team march on, in what has so far felt like a home tournament. That changes now with a visit to Rome and one photographer sure to capture that excitement is team photographer Eddie Keogh. Sitting in an exclusive position reserved for team photographers, Eddie captured this incredibly emotive picture as Harry Kane was congratulated by his team-mates for scoring England’s second goal at Wembley Stadium. Picture by Eddie Keogh for The FA via Getty Images.

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