Patrik Schick's halfway-line goal, Jude Bellingham's record and the Top 5 Bundesliga moments at Euro 2020
From Patrik Schick's wondergoal from the halfway line to Jude Bellingham's record-breaking major tournament debut, stars of the Bundesliga have made their mark on this summer's UEFA Euro 2020 in a big way already.
bundesliga.com looks at the big moments from the competition's group stage which were made in the Bundesliga…
1) Patrik Schick's wondergoal
With five of the top six scorers from the 2020/21 campaign - including Robert Lewandowski - set to star during Euro 2020, it always looked likely that a Bundesliga goal-getter would play a starring role this summer. In the end, a player who wasn't even the top scorer at his club this past season was the man to make the biggest statement during the group stage with a strike that will go down as one of the best in tournament history.
Watch: Patrick Schick's stunning volley against Bayern recreated
Patrik Schick fired home nine times for Bayer Leverkusen in 2020/21, with several memorable strikes - most notably his acrobatic volley against Bayern Munich. However, the instincts, precision, and sheer audacity to pull off his goal from the halfway line against Scotland for the Czech Republic have rarely been seen at this high level.
"I checked in the first half," Schick said when explaining his lob over Scottish keeper David Marshall. "I knew he stayed very high, so when the ball came I just had a quick check of where he is standing. I saw he was high, so I tried."
Schick was 49.7 yards away from goal when he smashed the ball over the top of the scrambling Marshall, curling in his outrageous shot - which had an xG of just 0.03 (the quality of the chance, depending on factors including angle and distance from goal) - with remarkable power. It was the furthest distance anyone has scored from in a European Championship or World Cup since 1980, beating David Villa's 2010 strike from 47 yards for Spain against Chile. Schick's name is etched into Euro history forever.
2) Jude Bellingham becoming the youngest player
After playing out a campaign which no 17-year-old could imagine in their wildest dreams, it was almost a given that Jude Bellingham would continue to make history this summer.
After joining Borussia Dortmund from English second division side Birmingham City, Bellingham made 46 first-team appearances across all competitions as he established himself as a first-team regular despite his tender years. The box-to-box midfielder made his international debut for England in November 2020 and was selected as the youngest player in Gareth Southgate's squad for Euro 2020.
Bellingham's historical moment didn't take long to arrive, either. Dortmund's No.22 came on from the bench in England's opening group stage game against Croatia, becoming the youngest player in European Championship history at the age of 17 years and 345 days.
That record has since been broken once again, by Poland's Kacper Kozlowski at just 103 days younger than Bellingham. But for the Birmingham-born midfielder, it's only the very start of what is sure to be an illustrious international career for England.
3) Germany answering critics by beating the champions
Joachim Löw and his Germany side could not have been handed a tougher start to this summer's Euro 2020 campaign than facing World Champions France and European Champions Portugal in their opening two group games.
After a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Les Bleus, Germany went into their game with Portugal knowing that another defeat could put them on the cusp of an early exit - or a third-placed finish and a difficult run through the knockout rounds.
The answer that followed against Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Silva and Co was an emphatic statement of intent to the rest. In a six-goal thriller, a Bundesliga-led Germany put four past Portugal - becoming the first side ever to do so in the European Championship - to earn their first three points of the tournament.
That big win in Munich has given many Germany fans hope that Die Mannschaft can get back to their best. Seven Bundesliga players started the game against Portugal, with four more coming on from the bench. The key players in the German top flight will continue to play a vital role as the tournament goes on.
4) Austria reach the knockout rounds
With a squad containing no fewer than 19 Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 players, Austria are the country boasting the most Germany-based players at this summer's tournament. With what has been regarded as an emerging golden generation, expectations for success are growing among Austria fans.
Wins over North Macedonia and Ukraine - when Hoffenheim's Christoph Baumgartner got the crucial winning goal - either side of defeat to the Netherlands saw them book their place in the last 16. They will now face Italy in London.
It promises to be a landmark occasion for Austrian football as the country has rarely threatened the latter stages of major tournaments. While they got through groups at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, both tournaments featured a second group stage, meaning Saturday's fixture will be their first knockout match at a major tournament in 67 years. Back then, they finished third at the 1954 World Cup.
Three of Austria's four goals so far at Euro 2020 have been scored by Bundesliga players, with Stefan Lainer and Michael Gregoritsch on target in the opening game against North Macedonia. Franco Foda's side will be relying on their Bundesliga talent once again as they look to make history at Wembley.
5) Leon Goretzka gets Germany across the line
When the chips are down, who would you like to be able to call on from your bench to settle a sticky situation? Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka was just the man to get Germany across the line on a nerve-wracking night at the Allianz Arena. They had been up against a stubborn Hungary side who were not only making life difficult for Löw's team, but were also on the brink of knocking them out.
"I could see from the touchline that it was going to be a tight one," Goretzka admitted after springing from the bench to score a crucial goal. "I knew I had to do something special."
Goretzka did just that, entering the fray just shy of the hour mark and experiencing emotions at both ends of the spectrum after Kai Havertz brought Germany level, only for Andras Schäfer to restore Hungary's advantage within seconds. With just six minutes still on the clock, and with France drawing 2-2 with Portugal, Germany were staring elimination in the face.
Germany's pressure was met with a solid wall of Hungarian players, lined up in front of the hundreds of vociferous travelling fans who formed another, figurative wall behind Peter Gulacsi's goal. That was until the ball fell out invitingly for Goretzka, who rifled it unstoppably through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.
"It was a nerve-tingling thriller," said Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer after Goretzka's goal lifted Germany from fourth in the group to second and set up a last-16 tie with England.
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