Expert Football > World Football > Euro 2004 > France
25 June :: France - Greece 0-1
Defending champion France were sensationally eliminated by tournament surprise Greece. The Greeks played lively and through hard work completely shut out France after an uneventful first half. France came out with more verve in the second period and threatened with a host of chances, notably a late Thierry Henry header, but Greece held firm. A powerful header in the 67 minute from Angelos Charisteas stunned the French defense, who looked out of sorts and uninspired. France were helpless in their attempts for recovery regardless of their all-star team featuring Zidane, Henry, Trezeguet, Thuram and Makelele. Greece goalscorer Angelos Charisteas stated during the post-match press conference that "This is the greatest moment in Greek football."
21 June :: Switzerland - France 1-3
After Zinedine Zidane headed France in front after just 20 minutes it appeared that Switzerland was toppled. But Swiss teenager Johann Vonlathen became the youngest scorer in the tournament's history by levelling tah score. However, Henry latched on to Louis Saha's header after 76 minutes to slot home and settle French nerves. Henry, Zidane, Trezeguet and Pires all missed clear-cut chances as France struggled to turn their superiority into goals.
17 June :: France vs Croatia 2-2
In a dramatic battle France drew against Croatia 2-2. The overtime victory against England had obviously fired the French squad and they started the game attacking with style and verve. The French opened the score from a set piece when Tudor misfortunately deflected the ball into his own net. French defender Silvestre reciprocated by giving away a penalty early in the second half. Rapaics finished the opportunity thus equalizing the game. Not long after, a poor clearance by Desailly put the Croatians ahead 2-1. The French responded with another goal when Trezeguet chased a poor back pass and keeper Butina rushed in trying to clear the ball. The ball hit the French striker's hand, who settled it and easily rolled it into the empty net. Unfortunately for Croatia, the referee remained oblivious.
13 June :: France - England 2-1
England dramatically lost 2-1 from the defending European champion France. A header by Chelsea's Lampard opened the score in the 38th minute from a Beckham cross. England's captain missed a penalty in the middle of the second half that could have put away the French. One minute in overtime, Zidane finished from a wickedly curled free kick. Right after the goal, a weak back pass from Gerrard was intercepted by Henry. England's James had no choice but to concede a last-gasp penalty by taking down the French-born Arsenal striker. Ziziou was merciless from the penalty spot and nailed the final 2-1 score.
France Squad - Final Selection
|3.||Bixente Lizarazu||Bayern Munich||09.12.1969||DF|
|9.||Louis Saha||Manchester United||-||AT|
|10.||Zinedine Zidane cap||Real Madrid||23.06.1972||MF|
|13.||Mikael Silvestre||Manchester United||09.08.1977||DF|
|16.||Fabien Barthez||Olympique Marseille||28.06.1971||GK|
|19.||Willy Sagnol||Bayern Munich||18.03.1977||DF|
|21.||Steve Marlet||Olympique Marseille||10.01.1974||AT|
|22.||Sidney Govou||Olympique Lyonnais||27.07.1979||MF|
|23.||Gregory Coupet||Olympique Lyon||31.12.1972||GK|
Coach: Jacques Santini
All kick-offs are in local Portuguese time (GMT 0)
Sunday, 13th June 19.45
France vs England (Group B)
Thursday, 17th June 19.45
France vs Croatia (Group B)
Friday, 21th June 19.45
France vs Switzerland (Group B)
Players to Watch
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past six years, you know that midfielder Zinedine Zidane is a pivotal figure in the French squad as well as an international phenomenon. The last World Cup was a disapointment for Zizou so he will be playing at top gear in what may be his last big tournament.