The Euro’s Return To France: 1984 Revisted
March 09, 2016
It’s been over 30 years since France last hosted the European Championships. Frankie Goes To Hollywood were at number one, the Berlin Wall had yet to come down, and it was the year George Orwell predicted that Big Brother would have its eyes firmly on everyone.
During the month of June however, everyone’s eyes were on Euro 1984, and only the second year the tournament would feature eight teams – a far cry from the 24 touching down in France this year.
Like this summer, the Parc des Princes, Stade Velodrome, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, and Stade Bollaert-Delelis all hosted games with the home of PSG opening up the tournament with victory for France against Denmark.
It was Michel Platini who, like today, made all the headlines, this time for the right reasons, netting two hat-tricks and scoring seven goals in the three group games comfortable setting them up with a tie against Portugal in the Semi-Finals. From their group they were joined by Denmark, who eased past Belgium and Yugoslavia in the days when only two points were awarded for a victory.
Spain and Portugal made it through Group B, knocking out West Germany and Romania. It was Platini again who sealed France’s place in the final, after normal time finished 1-1 and Platini struck a 119th minute winner to defeat the Portuguese 3-2 and setting up a final against Spain in the Parc des Princes.
This was to be Platini’s moment. The team was built around him and it was the Frenchman again who took the initiative on the hour mark when his free kick slipped through the hands of Luis Arconada and over the line, before a second in the 90th minute killed the game off.
It was Les Bleus first ever major international title, and to this day Platini’s nine goals is still a record in the tournament. That tournament France were simply magical. With all eyes on the country again, can Pogba, Benzema, and Giroud produce the goods this time around?