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Football has an uncanny ability to create special memories. Michel Platini inspiring France to UEFA European Championship glory on home soil in 1984 is one of them, especially for ex-national team defender Willy Sagnol.
"I recall Platini sliding on his knees and players like Jean Tigana. We remember legendary games such as France v Portugal [in the semis], the final [against Spain] and winning the title. It was a EURO finals full of emotion, and even though I was very young at the time the memories are very strong," said the former FC Bayern München right-back.
Now, 32 years after that triumph, France will be hosting the famous tournament again in an expanded 24-nation format, and Sagnol is envisaging another event to savour. "I'm sure it will be a successful EURO," said the 37-year-old. "It will be a great competition played in quality stadiums. There is a strong desire in France to organise this competition and every football lover will ensure it goes well."
Home support also spurred France to win the 1998 FIFA World Cup and it could prove decisive again according to Sagnol, who holds high hopes for Les Bleus. "France often surprise," explained the ex-AS Saint-Étienne and AS Monaco FC player. "They can quickly turn things around from being two or three down. They have very good players and a very competent coach. If the country gets behind them, we can do really well."
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