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He was part of the all-conquering France team that triumphed at UEFA EURO 2000 yet it was 16 years earlier that Robert Pirès fell in love with the UEFA European Championship.
"I remember the [1984 final] well. I was at my parents' house watching the game. When the national team play I normally watch and that was the case in 1984. I get down when France lose so that day made me particularly happy," Pirès told UEFA.com as he recalled the moment Les Bleus edged Spain 2-0 in the Parc des Princes showpiece.
The 40-year-old would experience for himself the joy of being crowned champions on home soil when France lifted the 1998 FIFA World Cup. "It was incredible. I vividly remember the moment Didier Deschamps lifted the trophy. There was a deep connection between players and fans. There was so much passion for football in France. It was a great moment," said the former FC Metz, Olympique de Marseille, Arsenal FC and Villarreal CF winger.
Two years later, Pirès played a telling role as France came from behind to beat Italy 2-1 in extra time in Rotterdam and win UEFA EURO 2000. "We were 1-0 down and coach Roger Lemerre asked me to replace Bixente Lizarazu. I didn't think I would make a contribution from left-back but a few minutes later I crossed for David Trezeguet to score the golden goal," Pirès explained
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