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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
France aim for third title
EURO HISTORY
Luis Arconada fails to stop Michel Platini's free-kick in the 1984 European Championship final
Best performance:
Winners 1984, 2000
Recent performances:
1980 Did not qualify
1984 Winners
1988 Did not qualify 1992 R1 1996 SF 2000 Winners
In the last 20 years France have won the European Championship twice as well as reaching the last four in 1996.

On the way to winning in 1984, France took part in one of the tournament's classic games against Portugal.

Hosts France led for most of their semi-final but Rui Jordao equalised and then put Portugal ahead in extra-time.

Jean-Francois Domergue's second goal of the match drew France level and Michel Platini's last-gasp winner put Michel Hidalgo's side in the final.

A Platini goal was to open the scoring in the final against Spain, though Luis Arconada really should have saved the inspirational French captain's free-kick.

Frenchman Yvon Le Roux was then sent off but Spain still somehow seemed to be fighting a losing battle and Bruno Bellone finished them off with a chipped second goal that secured France a richly-deserved first international trophy.

In 1996, France reached the last four after beating Holland on penalties.

But in the semi-finals Aime Jacquet's side were unable to overcome a stubborn Czech Republic team and France crashed out on penalties.

When France claimed the trophy for a second time in 2000 against Italy their triumph was an altogether closer affair than in 1984 as Roger Lemerre's team won with a golden goal from David Trezeguet.

Substitute Trezeguet's goal in the 103rd minute made it the second European championship in succession to finish with a golden goal.

Italy had looked to have secured victory when Alessandro Delvecchio put them ahead early in the second half.

But as the massed ranks of Italian defenders formed in front of goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, substitute Sylvain Wiltord rescued France with an equaliser four minutes into injury time.

Jacques Santini's 2004 side boasts the growing maturity of William Gallas, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry combined with the vast international experience of Zinedine Zidane and Bixente Lizarazu.





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