The Euro opened its doors a few days ago now and, that’s it, finally, the Blues will make their debut. It’s extra heavy since it is Germany, last semi-finalist of Euro 2016, beaten by the Habs in Marseille (2-0). However, the Blues have had some success in this competition, the first trophy for the Blues in this event dating back to 1984.
At that time, Michel Platini and others had shown the way and were only waiting for successors. We decided, to Foot 24hfootnews, to review the results of the French in the first match of the competition and also see what happened next for them, how far they were able to go. Even if, of course, this will not bode well.
Table of Contents
A victory and a descent into hell
In 1984, the French team therefore won at the end, but they mostly won their first meeting against Denmark (1-0). They will then beat Belgium and Yugoslavia, as well as Portugal, after extra time, as well as Spain, in the final. Four years later, the reigning champions won’t even be able to defend their title since they had failed to qualify.
Eight years after the coronation of Platini and his friends, the Blues regain the European Championship. This time, it is against Sweden that they start. They will not be able to do better than a draw (1-1) and will not qualify for the quarter-finals since Sweden and Denmark will finish in front and only poor England will manage to finish behind the Blues.
Semi-final and final victory
In 1996, when the Frenchies failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA and they are preparing for the World Cup in France, they will get the job done. First confrontation against Romania and first victory. They will also finish first in their group and will collapse in the semifinals, against the Czech Republic, future finalist, on penalties.
After winning the first World Cup in their history, the Blues are preparing to attempt a fabulous double for the 2000 European Championship, which is played in Belgium and the Netherlands. First match, first victory against Denmark, 3-0. The Blues will however finish second behind the Netherlands. Then it was victory against Spain, against Portugal thanks to Zidane’s golden goal from the penalty spot. In the final, everyone remembers, the Blues conditioned the Italians with the golden goal, this time, from David Trezeguet.
The disappointments follow …
The 2002 World Cup fiasco (0 goals and eliminated in pools) has left its mark. It is therefore very sheepish that France advances towards Euro 2004. We tremble all along, Barthez stops a penalty from Beckham and Vieira and others are led 1-0. Finally Zidane, with a free kick, then a penalty in a few minutes, reverses the course of the match. France finished first in its group, but will fail in the quarterfinals against Greece, the future winner.
Two years after the breathtaking World Cup final lost to Italy on penalties, EdF is rebuilding for Euro 2008. And they will really disappoint. A poor 0-0 against Romania and a good fourth place in the group stage, where the Blues finish behind Italy, the Netherlands and therefore Romania.
… but are not alike
Knysna is a terrible task in the history of the French. It was then that Laurent Blanc arrived and prepared for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Eight years later, England stands again in front of the Blues for the entry into competition, but this time, no jealousy, draw (1-1). The Blues will come out in the quarters against the future winners, Spain.
And finally, 2016 … So many memories. For entry into SON Euro, France welcomes Romania to the Stade de France. Everything is unlocked at the end of the match when Dimitri Payet decides, with a sublime strike from the left, to clean the skylight. For the rest, you all remember, the Blues reach the final and fail, in extra time, against Portugal (0-1). Since 1984, the French have never lost their first match. Even better ! Each time they have won their first match, they have either been at the end or lost to one of the finalists of the event. It will now be necessary to wait until Tuesday evening, for the most superstitious.