THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

9 July ~ France head into the Euro 2016 final against Portugal on Sunday evening as favourites and know that they have a superb record against their opponents over the years. France haven’t lost to Portugal since 1975, and have won every meeting between the two at a major tournament. While they have never met in a final, France have twice beaten Portugal in European Championship semi-finals and gone on to win the tournament. 

Perhaps the most memorable – many would argue the best European Championship game of all time – came in Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome in 1984. France had demonstrated attacking brilliance up to that point, scoring nine goals in their three group games – of which Michel Platini got seven – while Portugal were in their first major competition since the 1966 World Cup. 

France’s attacking play continued and Jean-François Domergue gave the hosts the lead on 25 minutes with a spectacular free-kick. They then forced Portuguese keeper Bento into a string of spectacular saves before Rui Jordão levelled things against the run of play with 15 minutes remaining. The Sporting striker gave Portugal the lead in extra-time before Domergue and then Platini saved the day for France.

The hosts went on to beat Spain 2-0 in the final, where Platini scored his ninth goal of the tournament, setting a record for a single European Championship. The two met again in the semi-final of Euro 2000, where France won 2-1 in extra time.

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