Monday, June 27, 2016

27 June 1984 - For France, There's No Place Like Home

On 27 June 1984, France won their first international trophy, beating Spain 2-0 in the Final of the European Championship. Perhaps not coincidentally, France hosted the tournament.

Les Bleus had enjoyed some prior international success, finishing in third at the 1958 World Cup, fourth in the 1982 World Cup, and fourth at the 1960 European Championship, but had not reached a final. That changed in 1984, when, as hosts of that year's European Championship and led by midfielder Michel Platini, they successfully navigated through their first-round group, winning all three matches. Platini scored in all three and recorded hat-tricks in two of them. In the semi-finals, they defeated Portugal in extra time thanks to a 119th-minute Platini goal to advance to the final against Spain.

The final was played before a capacity crowd of 47,368 at the Parc des Prince in Paris. After a scoreless first half, Platini struck again with a 57th-minute goal to give France the lead. His tournament-best ninth goal, it came from a free kick that slipped through the hands of Spanish keeper Luis Arconada. Striker Bruno Bellone sealed the win with a 90th-minute goal.

In 1998, France claimed their second international trophy by winning the World Cup, which they also hosted. Two years later, they won their first international trophy on foreign soil, beating Italy in the European Championship final in Rotterdam.

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