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UEFA EURO 2020 contenders in focus: France

France are the latest focus in our series looking at the history and pedigree of all 24 UEFA EURO 2020 contenders.

France last lifted the trophy in 2000
France last lifted the trophy in 2000

EURO pedigree

Previous final tournaments: 9
EURO best: winners (1984, 2000)

France's first ever major tournament win came on home soil, in 1984, a 2-0 final victory against Spain following a memorable 3-2 defeat of Portugal in Marseille in the last four. Sixteen years later, and just two years after winning the FIFA World Cup on home soil, France were EURO champions once more thanks to David Trezeguet's golden goal against Italy in the final.

UEFA.tv: France's 2000 win
Every goal on France's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on France's road to EURO 2020


Key players

Antoine Griezmann (86 caps, 33 goals)
The Barcelona forward is the leader of Les Bleus' attacking line. More than just a striker, though, Griezmann's versatility means he contributes creativity as much as goals. He was named Player of the Tournament at EURO 2016 despite France's loss to Portugal in the final. He is now eager to go one better at Wembley.

N'Golo Kanté (44 caps, 2 goals)
The Chelsea midfielder is a cornerstone of Didier Deschamps' team. An elusive figure, Kanté stands out thanks to his work rate, positioning and tackling. He was a central cog in the 2018 World Cup triumph.

Memorable EURO goals

Watch Platini strike in France-Denmark 1984 opener
Watch Platini strike in France-Denmark 1984 opener

• Trezeguet's sensational half-volley against the Azzurri in 2000 sent a nation into hysteria as France became the first ever reigning world champions to win the EURO – a feat they can achieve again this summer.

• Griezmann's toe-poke against Germany propelled France through to the 2016 final in front of a noisy Stade Vélodrome crowd. Alas, Portugal in the final proved a bridge too far.

• Michel Platini's free-kick in the 1984 final initially looked harmless enough, but it squeezed through Spain goalkeeper Luis Arconada to set France on their way to victory and a maiden international title.

Memorable moments

Zidane's last-gasp double against England at EURO 2004
Zidane's last-gasp double against England at EURO 2004

• Trailing England even as the clock ticked past 90 in their 2004 tournament opener, France somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a Zinédine Zidane free-kick and penalty.

• France were pushed all the way by Portugal in their 2000 semi-final, but Zidane's golden goal from the spot took Les Bleus through to what proved to be a memorable showpiece.

UEFA.tv: Zidane's EURO masterclass


• Another semi-final against Portugal, in 1984, and France fell behind on 98 minutes following a 1-1 draw in normal time. Jean-François Domergue looked to have forced penalties only for Platini to strike in the 119th minute in one of the most dramatic moments in EURO history.

Stats

Most final tournament appearances
16: Lilian Thuram
14: Zinédine Zidane
13: Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps

Most final tournament goals
9: Michel Platini
6: Antoine Griezmann, Thierry Henry
5: Zinédine Zidane

Killer stat: Michel Platini is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo as joint all-time leading scorer in EURO final tournaments.

Did you know?

• In 2016, France became the first team to win five games in a single tournament without lifting the trophy.

• France's 5-4 defeat by Yugoslavia in 1960 remains the highest-scoring match in EURO finals history.

• In 2021, France can become the third team – after Germany and Spain – to win the European title on three occasions.

UEFA.tv: Great France EURO goals