Picture : Dragan Stojkovic came back to Euro 16 years later !
Longest return (only finals): Dragan Stojković
Dragan Stojković is the only player in the history of the European Championships who managed to return to the finals having missed three consecutive tournaments before that.
He made his debut for the Yugoslav national team at Euro 1984 and then reappeared only in 2000. The gap between his two consecutive matches in the final stages was 15 years and 360 days.
Such a long wait would not have happened if Yugoslavia had not been deprived of the right to participate in the European Championship in 1992 (where Stojković would have played for sure).
Three footballers managed to return to Euro after missing two editions - Dino Zoff, Gheorghe Hagi and Lothar Matthäus.
|LONGEST RETURN||(ONLY FINALS)|
|Player||Country||Return (Y-D)||First game||Last game|
|1||Dragan Stojković||Yugoslavia||15-360||19/06/1984 France (2:3)||13/06/2000 Slovenia (3:3)|
|2||Dino Zoff||Italy||12-002||10/06/1968 Yugoslavia (2:0)||12/06/1980 Spain (0:0)|
|3||Gheorghe Hagi||Romania||11-359||17/06/1984 Germany (1:2)||10/06/1996 France (0:1)|
|4||Lothar Matthäus||Germany||11-357||21/06/1988 Netherlands (1:2)||12/06/2000 Romania (1:1)|