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Platini fires hosts France to EURO 1984 final glory against Spain

France 2-0 Spain
Michel Platini scored his ninth of the finals and Bruno Bellone added gloss in the final minute.

EURO 1984 final highlights: France 2-0 Spain

With so much at stake and against such whole-hearted opponents, France were never going to have things all their own way in the 1984 UEFA European Championship final.

Indeed, Spain got into their stride more quickly, Santiago Urquiaga causing problems with his crosses. Yet Michel Platini had captivated the continent as he had opposition defences all tournament, and the moment he netted his ninth goal of the competition at the Parc des Princes (no other team struck as many at the finals) France were firmly in the driving seat. Bruno Bellone made sure late on.

EURO 1984: All you need to know
Highlights: Watch Platini's nine goals at EURO 1984

For all their intent, Michel Hidalgo's charges struggled to create clear-cut openings in the first half; at the other end Santillana, fantastic in the air for a man who was no giant, had a header cleared off the line by Patrick Battiston before shooting narrowly wide.

Salva was penalised for fouling Bernard Lacombe just outside the penalty area early in the second period but Platini's free-kick was not one of his best, sweeping low around the wall but almost into Luis Arconada's hands. The goalkeeper had enjoyed an excellent tournament up to that point, but as he dropped to collect the shot and pulled it in to his body, he somehow let it creep out and over the line as he tried to claw it back.

Spain line up their defensive wall
Spain line up their defensive wallIcon Sport via Getty Images

Despite Santillana's continued aerial defiance, there was no way back, Yvon Le Roux's sending off five minutes from time coming too late. Instead Jean Tigana, the player of the tournament despite Platini's goals, sent Bellone through to chip Arconada for the only one of France's 14 goals to have been scored by a striker.

Even so, no one seriously disputed Les Bleus' right to be called the best in Europe: they played 12 matches in that calendar year, winning them all.


France enjoy their moment
France enjoy their momentIcon Sport via Getty Images

Michel Platini, France midfielder: "It was the first official title won by France in a team sport, so it was a great moment for French football and for French sport as a whole.

"We began to believe we belonged in the latter stages of major tournaments when, during the 1982 World Cup, we lost the semi-final against Germany. We reached a point where French football could honestly say 'hey, we're good'. Before that match we didn't know. We were really a good football team and convinced ourselves we were capable of winning the European Championship in 1984. What's more, in Michel Hidalgo we had a very good coach – under him, we played some wonderful football. [In the final] Spain played very well. Then we had that chance from the free-kick and [Luis] Arconada made a small mistake. For once it didn't go against us."

EURO 1984: Team of the tournament


The teams line up before the EURO 1984 final
The teams line up before the EURO 1984 finalIcon Sport via Getty Images

France: Bats; Domergue, Bossis, Le Roux, Battiston (Amoros 73); Tigana, Platini (c), Fernández, Giresse; Bellone, Lacombe (Genghini 80)
Substitutes: none listed
Coach: Michel Hidalgo

Spain: Arconada (c); Camacho, Gallego, Salva (Roberto 85), Urquiaga; Víctor, Alberto (Sarabia 75), Francisco, Señor; Carrasco, Santillana
Substitutes: none listed
Coach: Miguel Muñoz

Referee: Vojtech Christov (Czechoslovakia)