Euro 2004: And Zidane overthrew England

Thomas Siniecki, Media365: Posted on Friday, December 09, 2022 at 10:46 pm.

In the group stage of Euro 2004, Zinedine Zidane overcame England in three minutes of added time.

When the Blues arrive in Portugal to kick off Euro 2004, they will no doubt still be traumatized by the bitter defeat of the 2002 World Cup, a first-round defeat that the entire planet, especially France, already envisioned with its second star. If their new manager, Jacques Santini, has already signed a contract with Tottenham for next season, they nevertheless exit the play-offs unblemished with eight wins in as many games (ahead of Slovenia, Israel, Cyprus and Malta). They then went unbeaten in pre-season, conceding no goals in five games for three wins and two draws. In short, the French national team is moving forward again as a natural favorite in the continental competition.

Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu, Claude Makelele, Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry or David Trezeguet are still part of the captains. They are all hosts for the opening match against England at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. Captain Marcel Desailly stays on the sideline and leaves his goal to Zizou. But after David Trezeguen’s (14th) header, the match was particularly tight and there were no great runs or opportunities. At the end of the first half, the “Three Lions” took advantage of the opportunity to score the first goal: it was Frank Lampard (37th) who took the lead from a free kick executed by master David Beckham on the field and opened the scoring in favor. English people.

Bartez: “He trained me a lot…”

They are also showing a golden generation, with Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes accompanying their two companions in the middle. Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney are partners up front. Come to think of it, this match was a rare constellation… in the heart of a 100% English atmosphere, Thierry Henry does not shine above the rest. He tries to claim David James (47, 51), but the ex-Liverpool goalkeeper – who later played for West Ham – is unmoved. The match continues to progress and nothing will shake the Blues out of this ugly torpor. He needed the first shining star to restart the machine. Four years ago, as in the Euro 2000 final against Alessandro Del Piero, 0:1, this role will be played by Fabien Bartez.

In the 72nd minute, he saved a penalty from his former Manchester United partner David Beckham after a foul on Wayne Rooney by Mikaël Silvestre. “He gave me a lot of trouble in training, this time it’s going badly for him…” Despite everything, the following minutes still failed to wake up the reigning European champions. So he’s no longer a star, just a sun who will take care of taking this game to another dimension, the greatest matches in Blues history: At the beginning of extra time, exactly in the 91st minute, Zinedine Zidane executed a spectacular free kick 25 meters from David James’ goal (1:1). And that’s not all…

In a match that has become illogical, Thierry Henry will almost look for a penalty on the mark. After that link with David James, it was ‘Zizou’ who took the penalty, although he vomited before taking it, and didn’t need to ask for a replay of the last English rampage. On the right flank, the same as the free kick a few seconds ago… Leading 1-0 in the 90th minute, France overturned everything in the 93rd minute and won 2-1. “Our goalkeeper made the difference and allowed us to believe again,” hails Fabien Barthes, author of ZZ’s already magical double trick. Jacques Santini uses a formula that has hardly been developed: “In top-level football, things can change quickly; the ball rolled in our direction.”

His colleague Sven-Göran Eriksson is more disappointed, but he too can only sum up what he has just experienced in a prosaic way: “We played extremely well against the best team in the world, we thought we had won the match and we should have. .” But no. “We were lucky to experience these moments, it’s up to us to experience the same emotions as in 1998 and 2000.” Unfortunately, Zinedine Zidane will not be heard. The Blues fail quite miserably against Greece (0-1) in the quarter-finals they will, but it will end their exploits by winning the Euros (every time they win 1-0 in defense thanks to the same scenario. tooth and nail). But this year 2004 will at least allow France-England to register in legend, finally, in the competition much is rare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *