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Snap shot: Arconada agony, France ecstasy

Our series focusing on the big moments in EURO history and the people involved reaches 1984, when the cruel finger of fate pointed to Spain keeper Luis Arconada.

Snap shot: Arconada agony, France ecstacy
Snap shot: Arconada agony, France ecstacy ©Getty Images

Spain were proving equal to the task against hosts and favourites France in the 1984 UEFA European Championship final when the cruel finger of fate pointed to Luis Arconada. The goalkeeper allowed Michel Platini's free-kick to squirm under him, meaning a ninth goal of the finals for Platini, the vanguard of France's 'carré magique' (magic square) alongside Luis Fernández, Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse. There was no way back for Spain, Bruno Bellone sealing a 2-0 French triumph.

Fernández on France's 'Carré Magique'

1 Luis Fernández
Fernández was an integral member of the revered 'carré magique', a ball-winning wing-half who complemented the attacking instincts of his partners perfectly. Two years later, at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, he converted the winning penalty in the quarter-final shoot-out against Brazil. A star at Paris Saint-Germain, he coached the club to three cup wins and has since worked in Spain, where he was born, Israel and, latterly, Guinea.

2 Jean Tigana
Tigana was second only to Platini in the 1984 Ballon d'Or vote. An amalgam of technique and stamina, the Mali-born midfielder demonstrated his class when it mattered most with a scything run to the byline to set up Platini's extra-time winner in the semi-final against Portugal. Tigana also excelled at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and lifted the Ligue 1 title on five occasions, three with Bordeaux and twice at Marseille. He has subsequently coached in France, England, Turkey and China.

3 Luis Arconada
Arconada was always haunted by this moment, yet his career amounted to so much more. Known as 'El Pulpo' (the Octopus) and standing at only 1.78m, he played exclusively for Real Sociedad and was instrumental in his home-town club landing back-to-back Liga titles in the early 1980s. He earned 68 caps for Spain and was the subject of a lovely moment at UEFA EURO 2008 when Andrés Palop donned Arconada's distinctive green jersey to receive his winners' medal ... from Mr Platini.

4 Bruno Bellone
At EURO '84 Bellone shared left-wing duties for France with Didier Six. The speedy Monaco man started two matches, the first and last, and scored the second goal of the final to secure victory for Les Bleus. Only 22, Bellone was expected to make a long-term impact but the player they called 'Lucky Luke' after a comic character had a mere 34 caps when injury precipitated his retirement aged 28. He suffered financial problems but now runs a centre helping former footballers in difficulty.

France celebrate at full time
France celebrate at full time©Getty Images

5 Bernard Lacombe
Lacombe concluded his 11-year international career after the 1984 finals, bowing out as a European champion. Lacombe signed off with 12 goals in 38 appearances, most memorably at the 1978 World Cup when he struck 38 seconds into France's opening fixture against Italy. He netted 255 times in Ligue 1 (still a record for a Frenchman) and then, as coach, helped orchestrate former side Lyon's rise to prominence.

6 Juan Antonio Señor
Scorer of one of Spain's most famous goals and the reason they were in France in the first place. Spain had gone into their climactic EURO '84 qualifier needing to win by 11 goals against Malta and it was 11-1 with six minutes left when a poor clearance fell to midfielder Señor, who drove his left foot through it to atone for an earlier penalty miss. The Real Madrid graduate spent much of his career at Real Zaragoza, picking up the cup in 1986. He remains in the city as radio pundit and columnist.

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