From the archives: Laurent Blanc, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira and Zinédine Zidane made up the four victorious Frenchmen in the UEFA EURO 2000 team of the tournament.
GK: Francesco Toldo (Italy)
National team opportunities were scant for Toldo, long-time deputy to Gianluigi Buffon with the Azzurri. An unused squad member at four major finals, he was given his chance when Buffon injured his hand before UEFA EURO 2000. Toldo was brilliant throughout, particularly in the semi-final victory against the Netherlands as he saved three penalties. Toldo enjoyed a memorable UEFA Champions League campaign with Fiorentina in 1999/2000 and left for Internazionale Milano in 2001. He won five Scudettos and the 2010 UEFA Champions League in his ninth and final season with the Nerazzurri before hanging up his gloves.
DF: Laurent Blanc (France)
Blanc was voted into UEFA's team of the tournament in three successive EUROs, making the grade in 1992, 1996 and 2000, where he bowed out with victory in the final – an honour cruelly denied him through suspension at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Nicknamed Le Président on account of his authority, elegance and leadership, Blanc started at Montpellier Hérault as a midfielder before representing Barcelona, Internazionale Milano and Manchester United as a centre-half, winning myriad honours. He won the title as Bordeaux coach and led France at UEFA EURO 2012 before taking over at Paris Saint-Germain.
DF: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
Cannavaro captained Italy to victory over France in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final; a sweet triumph for a player who lost the UEFA EURO 2000 final to the same opponents after coming within seconds of victory. Cannavaro featured in every game in the Low Countries but was at his peak in 2006, a World Cup winners' medal sitting alongside Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year honours. A 1999 UEFA Cup winner with Parma, Naples-born Cannavaro returned to Juventus, after winning two Liga titles at Real Madrid, and finished his playing days at al-Ahli Club of Dubai after collecting a then record 136 Italy caps.
DF: Paolo Maldini (Italy)
One of football's all-time greats, Maldini played over 1,000 matches for club and country and won 126 caps for Italy between 1988 and 2002. The son of ex-international Cesare, Maldini shone from his first major finals, (EURO '88) to his last (2002 FIFA World Cup). He came closest to glory at the 1994 World Cup, where the Azzurri lost the final to Brazil on penalties, and the UEFA EURO 2000 final, in which Italy succumbed to France's golden goal. Maldini won EURO Team of the Tournament places in 1996 and 2000 not to mention five UEFA Champions League titles and seven Serie A crowns in 24 years with his only club, AC Milan.
DF: Lilian Thuram (France)
Guadeloupe-born Thuram accrued a national record 142 caps over a feted 14-year international career, taking in seven major finals and victory at UEFA EURO 2000 and on home soil at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. In 2000 his cool-headed displays and surging runs from right-back were instrumental in France's victory. He came out of international retirement, along with Zinédine Zidane, in 2005 to relaunch another World Cup bid that ended with the final penalty shoot-out defeat by Italy, the country he had called home for a decade, spending five years apiece with Parma and Juventus. Thuram ended his illustrious career at Barcelona in 2008.
MF: Patrick Vieira (France)
The fifth Frenchman to pass 100 international caps, Vieira was a fringe member of the 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning side before becoming a fully integrated titulaire at UEFA EURO 2000, playing all six games. Vieira was just as effective defending as attacking, and it was his run that allowed Youri Djorkaeff to score the quarter-final winner against Spain. In nine years at Arsenal, Dakar-born Vieira won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, scoring the winning penalty in the last. He also claimed four Serie A titles in as many years at Internazionale Milano. He now coaches New York City FC.
MF: Zinédine Zidane (France)
Zidane's jour de gloire came when his two headers won the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The finest footballer of his generation, he arguably played even better leading France to victory at UEFA EURO 2000, his late semi-final penalty against Portugal one of many highlights. 'Zizou' retired from international football only to return in 2006 and win the Golden Ball despite his sending off in the World Cup final. A title winner in Italy and Spain, he partly repaid his world record €76m switch from Juventus to Real Madrid with a spectacular winning goal in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final.
MF: Luís Figo (Portugal)
With 127 international appearances between 1991 and 2006, and 32 goals, Figo is Portugal's record cap holder. The dazzling dribbler and crosser's finest hour came at UEFA EURO 2000 where his brilliance steered Portugal through to the semi-finals and brought him the Ballon d'Or six months later. On home soil in 2004 Figo helped the hosts to the final only to lose to Greece, and he was persuaded to return to international football for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. One of a handful of footballers to have starred for Barcelona and Real Madrid, he won two league titles with each and did the same in Italy at Internazionale Milano before retiring in 2009.
MF: Edgar Davids (Netherlands)
Sent home from EURO '96 after a public spat, Davids made amends by driving the Oranje to the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 semi-finals, even if penalty shoot-out defeats denied him each time. Courageous, determined and dynamic, he was a member of Ajax's 1995 UEFA Champions League winning side and, after a season at AC Milan, spent seven years at Juventus, winning three league titles to add to the three he had won in Amsterdam. He was a semi-finalist with the Netherlands again at UEFA EURO 2004. His international career came to a halt the following year.
FW: Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands)
Nobody has scored more international goals for the Netherlands, yet Patrick Kluivert would have exceeded his record haul of 40 had it not been for a premature decline. The striker went to three UEFA European Championships but shone brightest on home soil in 2000, his five goals including a hat-trick against Yugoslavia, although he missed a penalty in the semi-final versus Italy. Scoring the winning goal for Ajax in the 1995 UEFA Champions League final, aged 18, made Kluivert's name and goals against Argentina and Brazil at the 1998 FIFA World Cup earned a move to Barcelona, before spells in England and France.
FW: Francesco Totti (Italy)
Widely acknowledged as Roma's greatest player, Totti captained the club to the 2000/01 Scudetto and broke the club's appearance and goal records. Although he helped his country win the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he was not one of the main architects of that victory and soon ended his international career on 58 caps and nine goals. Major international tournaments were not Totti's forte – he was sent off at the 2002 World Cup and suspended at UEFA EURO 2004. The exception was 2000, when he was a revelation, scoring twice and bringing flair to the Azzurri attack. The official Man of the Match in the final, he caused the feted French back five countless problems.