While memories of some European championships fade over time, Euro 2004 will live long in the memory for many a fan across the continent.
Taking place in Portugal, the host nation went into the tournament as one of the favourites, Felipe Scolari blessed with a hugely talented and experienced side and bolstered by the talents of an emerging Cristiano Ronaldo.
England went into the competition with plenty of optimism too, their own ‘Golden Generation’ of stars including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard et al, being spearheaded by the prodigious talents of a young Wayne Rooney.
The Portuguese would however go on to knock the Three Lions out at the quarter-final stage, as Big Phil’s side went on to reach the final with victory over a strong Netherlands side in the semi’s.
However, the tournament will be most remembered for the eventual winners, Greece, who overcame odds of 100/1 to be crowned European champions for the first time.
Having beaten Portugal and earning a point against Spain to advance from the group stages, Otto Rehhagel’s side then knocked out holders France in the quarters before seeing off a free-scoring Czech Republic side in the semis.
Werder Bremen’s Angelos Charisteas would go on to etch his name in Euro’s history with the winning goal against the host nation in the showpiece finale in Lisbon, and with the current edition of the tournament well underway, we’ve taken a nostalgic look back at some of the star players of a memorable summer back in 2004.
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Author: Ben Guest