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1984 UEFA European Football Championship

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Title: 1984 UEFA European Football Championship  
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Subject: Juventus F.C., Ruud Gullit, Michel Platini, 1984 in sports, France national football team, Portugal national football team, Denmark national football team, UEFA Euro 2008, Romania national football team, Macedonia national football team
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1984 UEFA European Football Championship

1984 UEFA European Football Championship
UEFA Championnat Européen de Football
France 1984
UEFA Euro 1984 official logo
Tournament details
Host country France
Dates 12 June – 27 June
Teams 8
Venue(s) (in 7 host cities)
Final positions
Champions France (1st title)
Runners-up Spain
Tournament statistics
Matches played 15
Goals scored 41 (2.73 per match)
Attendance 599,669 (39,978 per match)
Top scorer(s) Michel Platini (9 goals)

The 1984 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in France. West Germany also bid for the hosting of this event.[1] It was the seventh European Football Championship, a competition held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. The final tournament took place from 12 to 27 June 1984.

At the time, only eight countries took part in the final stage of the tournament, seven of which had to come through the qualifying stage. France qualified automatically as hosts of the event; led by Michel Platini, who scored nine goals in France's five matches, Les Bleus won the tournament – their first major international title.[2]

Tournament summary

Group matches

The opening game of tournament featured France and Denmark. The sides played out a very close encounter until Michel Platini’s goal on 78 minutes gave the hosts a 1–0 victory. The opening game also saw a premature end to the tournament for Danish midfielder Allan Simonsen, who suffered a broken leg. Platini then scored hat-tricks against both Belgium and Yugoslavia as the French recorded maximum points in Group A. Denmark took second-place in the group with victories over Belgium and Yugoslavia, while Belgium finished third with two points. Yugoslavia, despite going out with no points, gave the hosts a fright in their last group game when they took a 1–0 lead into half-time and then reduced France's 3–1 lead to one goal six minutes from time. The games in Group A were unusually high-scoring, and featured 23 goals over the six matches.

Group B provided fewer goals, but produced a huge surprise as West Germany failed to qualify for the semi-finals after a 1–0 defeat in their last match to Spain, Antonio Maceda's goal at the death sending the holders out. Portugal also scored a late goal in their final match, against Romania, to take the second qualifying place behind Spain, while the Romanians finished bottom with one point.

Semi-finals and final

The first semi-final between France and Portugal is often considered one of the best matches in the history of the European Championship.[3] Jean-François Domergue opened the scoring for France but Portugal equalised through Rui Jordão on 74 minutes. The game went to extra time and Jordão scored again in the 98th minute to give the Portuguese a shock lead, but the French rallied and Domergue equalised with six minutes left. Then, with the penalty shoot-out looming, Platini scored his eighth goal of the championship to give France a memorable 3–2 victory.

The other semi-final between Spain and Denmark saw two evenly-matched sides draw 1–1 after extra time, as Soren Lerby’s goal after only seven minutes was cancelled out by Maceda’s strike an hour later. The match went to a penalty shoot-out, and Spain converted all five of their penalties to win 5–4 and reach the final for the first time since 1964.

The final was played to a capacity crowd at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Just before the hour mark, Platini scored from a free-kick to put France ahead following a mistake by Spanish goalkeeper Luis Arconada. France were reduced to ten players when Yvon Le Roux was sent off, but the Spain were unable to equalise, and Bruno Bellone’s goal in injury time made the final score 2–0. France had won their first major championship in world football.


1984 UEFA European Football Championship finalists.

The following teams participated in the final tournament:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France (automatically qualified as host)
  • Portugal (first appearance)
  • Romania (first appearance)
  • Spain
  • Yugoslavia
  • West Germany


Tournament format

After trying out several formats, UEFA finally developed for the 1984 tournament the format that would serve for all subsequent eight-team European Championships.[4] The eight qualified teams were split into two groups of four that played a round-robin schedule. The top two teams of each group advanced to semi-finals (reintroduced after being absent from the 1980 tournament) and the winners advanced to the final. The third-place game, widely perceived as an unnecessary chore, was dropped. As usual at the time, a win was credited with two points only, teams on equal points were ranked by goal difference instead of head-to-head results, and the sudden-death rule in extra time did not apply.

Venues and fixtures

France's winning bid to host the Euro was based on seven stadia. The 48,000-seat Parc des Princes in Paris was the venue for the opening match and the final. Built in 1972, it was still state-of-the-art in 1984 and needed minor improvements only. Marseille's Stade Vélodrome was expanded to 55,000 seats to host one semi-final and some group matches, becoming France's largest stadium on the occasion. Stade de Gerland in Lyon, the venue for the other semi-final and some group matches as well, was thoroughly renovated and expanded to 40,000. Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne and Stade Félix-Bollaert in Lens were the other existing stadia that hosted group matches and were expanded to 53,000 and 49,000, respectively. Lastly, two all-new stadia were built to host group matches (and subsequently provided worthy home grounds for the traditionally strong local club teams): Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes (53,000) was built on an entirely new site while Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg was rebuilt from the ground up on the site of the old stadium into a modern 40,000-seat arena.

Fixtures were scheduled according to an innovative rotation schedule in which each team played its three first-round matches in three different stadia. Host France, for instance, played in Paris, Nantes, and Saint-Étienne. This formula had the advantage of exposing residents of a given city to more teams but implied multiple and sometimes costly trips from town to town for fans who wanted to follow their side. In subsequent championships, the organisers reverted to conventional schedules in which teams played in one or two cities only.

Paris Marseille
Parc des Princes Stade Vélodrome
Capacity: 48,360 Capacity: 55,000
Lyon Saint-Étienne
Stade de Gerland Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Capacity: 51,860 Capacity: 48,274
Lens Nantes Strasbourg
Stade Félix-Bollaert Stade de la Beaujoire Stade de la Meinau
Capacity: 49,000 Capacity: 52,923 Capacity: 42,756

Overall impressions

Very few hooligan-related incidents were recorded throughout the tournament. Only one minor instance of fan trouble was recorded, in Strasbourg around the West Germany vs. Portugal match. The small group of German hooligans responsible for the incidents was arrested and deported back to West Germany on the same day using a new law specially passed by the French Parliament ahead of the Euro. Overall, the organisation was flawless, a feat that established France's credentials as a host nation and eventually helped it win the right to stage the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

The entire competition was marked by exceptionally fine weather which, along with the high quality of play throughout the tournament (a welcome change from the 1980 European Championship) and the absence of hooligans, contributed to a very positive and enjoyable experience for teams and fans alike.

Match officials


Group A

  • France were the favourites of English bookmakers to win the tournament with odds of 5/8. Expectations at home were sky-high following the side's brilliant display and fourth-place finish at the 1982 World Cup. Les Bleus of 1984 seemed even stronger, having remedied many of the weaknesses that had dogged them at the World Cup. In Joël Bats, France had found at long last a first-class goalkeeper. The shaky dual-sweeper central defence of 1982 had made way for a rock-solid conventional setup around centre-back Yvon Le Roux and sweeper Patrick Battiston. The midfield, where gritty defensive upstart Luis Fernández had joined 1982 veterans Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse, and Michel Platini in the so-called carré magique ("magic square"), was arguably the best in the world. In offense, manager Michel Hidalgo had worked around the lack of a world-class striker by designing a flexible 4–4–2 system that enabled Platini, then at the zenith of his footballing abilities, to switch from playmaker to centre-forward at short notice. The only major unknown was how the team would fare under the pressure of competition, as it had been exempted from the qualifying round as the host nation.
  • Belgium was a possible title contender with odds of 7/1. The surprise finalists of Euro 1980 and second-round participants at the 1982 World Cup had matured into a very solid side well used to the pressure and rigors of final-round football and built around a backbone of world-class players such as goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff, midfielder Enzo Scifo, or strikers Erwin Vandenbergh and Jan Ceulemans. The team had proven its mettle in past Euro and World Cup qualifying campaigns and was a very tough opponent for anyone on any given day. One crucial caveat was the absence from the squad of defender Eric Gerets, one of Belgium's all-time greats, who was sidelined due to injury.
  • Denmark celebrated its first appearance at a major tournament in decades yet were heavily tipped as a dark horse to win the Euro (with odds of 8/1) due to an impressive qualifying campaign in which they had edged out England, winning 1–0 at Wembley in the process. Manager Sepp Piontek's compact, athletic side relied on experienced professionals from some of the best European leagues of the time (Belgium, West Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy), had no obvious weakness, and could rely on the world-class individual talent of Preben Elkjaer Larsen, Frank Arnesen, Michael Laudrup, or Søren Lerby to make the difference.

Group B

  • West Germany, the defending European champions, were second favourites to win the tournament, with odds of 5/2, after reaching the final of the 1982 World Cup two years before. The squad boasted the usual array of world-class talent such as goalkeeper Harald Schumacher, arguably the world's best at the time, defenders Hans-Peter Briegel and Karl-Heinz Förster, defensive midfielder Lothar Matthäus, or strikers Pierre Littbarski, Rudi Völler, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. However, offensive midfield had emerged as a significant weakness during a hard-fought qualifying campaign in the absence of playmakers such as Hansi Müller, Bernd Schuster (both mired in long-standing feuds with the German football federation), or Felix Magath (in poor form). The team missed their creativity. Still, West Germany's strength remained impressive and the side's legendary ability to rise to the challenge of a major competition was a factor to be reckoned with.
  • Portugal, at 14/1, were widely seen as a rising force that might be a little too green to go all the way in its first participation in the final round of a major tournament in two decades. Having eliminated 1982 World Cup third-place finisher Poland and a strong USSR side was a label of quality for a talented young "golden generation" around midfielder Fernando Chalana or strikers Diamantino and Rui Jordão. Benfica's goalkeeper Manuel Bento was one of the veteran stars of this team, alongside with Fernando Gomes, the fantastic striker of FC Porto. The side bore the traditional hallmarks of Portuguese football with first-class offensive power, an inspired midfield, and a gritty defense. Inexperience in a final round and occasional lapses in tactical discipline were the main concerns of manager Fernando Cabrita as the tournament opened.
  • Romania, at 16/1, were a near-complete unknown whose triumph in qualifying over World Cup holders Italy and Euro 1980 third-place finishers Czechoslovakia inspired awe. Opportunities to observe the side and its star players, who all came from domestic teams, were few at a time when the country was still firmly behind the Iron Curtain. Only midfielder Ladislau Bölöni had made a name for himself with an inspired performance in the qualifier at home against Italy, while a young striker named Gheorghe Hagi was still on the eve of an illustrious career. Romulus Gabor, the best player of the famous Romanian team during the World Youth Championship in 1981 was also present.


Group stage

All times are CEST/UTC+2

Group A

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
France 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 6
Denmark 3 2 0 1 8 3 +5 4
Belgium 3 1 0 2 4 8 −4 2
Yugoslavia 3 0 0 3 2 10 −8 0
12 June 1984
1 – 0 Denmark
 78' (Report)
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 47,570
Referee: Volker Roth (West Germany)
13 June 1984
2 – 0 Yugoslavia
Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens
Attendance: 41,774
Referee: Erik Fredriksson (Sweden)
16 June 1984
5 – 0 Belgium
pen.), 89'
Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Attendance: 51,359
Referee: Robert Valentine (Scotland)
16 June 1984
5 – 0 Yugoslavia
Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Attendance: 24,736
Referee: Augusto Lamo Castillo (Spain)
19 June 1984
3 – 2 Yugoslavia
 59'62'77' (Report)  32'
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne
Attendance: 47,589
Referee: André Daina (Switzerland)
19 June 1984
3 – 2 Belgium
(Report)  26'
La Meinau, Strasbourg
Attendance: 36,911
Referee: Adolf Prokop (East Germany)

Group B

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spain 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 4
Portugal 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 4
West Germany 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 3
Romania 3 0 1 2 2 4 −2 1
14 June 1984
0 – 0 Portugal
La Meinau, Strasbourg
Attendance: 44,707
Referee: Romualdas Yushka (Soviet Union)
14 June 1984
1 – 1 Spain
 35' (Report) pen.)
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
Attendance: 16,972
Referee: Alexis Ponnet (Belgium)
17 June 1984
2 – 1 Romania
 25'66' (Report)  46'
Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens
Attendance: 31,787
Referee: Jan Keizer (Netherlands)
17 June 1984
1 – 1 Spain
 52' (Report)  73'
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 24,364
Referee: Michel Vautrot (France)
20 June 1984
0 – 1 Spain
(Report)  90'
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 47,691
Referee: Vojtěch Christov (Czechoslovakia)
20 June 1984
1 – 0 Romania
 81' (Report)
Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Attendance: 24,464
Referee: Heinz Fahnler (Austria)

Knockout stage

Semi-finals Final
23 June – Marseille (Stade Vélodrome)
 aet) 3  
 Portugal 2  
27 June – Paris (Parc des Princes)
     France 2
   Spain 0
24 June – Lyon (Stade Gerland)
 p) 1 (5)
 Denmark 1 (4)  


23 June 1984
3 – 2 (a.e.t.) Portugal
(Report)  74'98'
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 54,848
Referee: Paolo Bergamo (Italy)
24 June 1984
1 – 1 (a.e.t.) Denmark
 67' (Report)  7'

5 – 4 Brylle
Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Attendance: 47,843
Referee: George Courtney (England)


27 June 1984
2 – 0 Spain
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 47,368
Referee: Vojtěch Christov (Czechoslovakia)



With nine goals, Michel Platini is the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 41 goals were scored by 26 different players in 15 games for an average of 2.73 goals per game. None of the goals are credited as own goal.


UEFA Team of the Tournament[5]
Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Harald Schumacher João Pinto Fernando Chalana Rudi Völler
Karlheinz Forster Alain Giresse
Morten Olsen Jean Tigana
Andreas Brehme Frank Arnesen
Michel Platini


The official mascot of this European Championship was Peno, a rooster, representing the emblem of the host nation, France. It has the number 84 on the left side of its chest and its outfit is the same as the French national team, blue shirt, white shorts and red socks.


  1. ^ Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling: Die Geschichte der Fußball-Europameisterschaft, Verlag Die Werkstatt, ISBN 978-3-89533-553-2
  2. ^ Shemilt, Stephan (2012-05-12). "BBC Sport - Euro 1984: Euro 1984: Michel Platini at his peak inspires France". Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  3. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | History | France 1984". BBC News. 2004-05-17. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  4. ^ John Brewin and Martin Williamson April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29). "Euro 2012: European Championships 1984 | Live football and soccer news". Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  5. ^ "1984 team of the tournament". Union of European Football Associations. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 

External links

  • EURO 1984 Official History
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