5 teams that lost the final of an international tournament at home
Portugal’s memorable victory in the final of Euro 2016, last night, meant France had the unenviable statistic of having lost a final on home turf to shoulder. While France had bedazzled the world with their attacking displays, combining silky smooth passing with eyeball grabbing moves on and off the ball, Portugal had been eking out results the hard way.
However, it was the Portuguese on the night, who went that extra mile to etch their name in the annals of history. Cristiano Ronaldo, having already firmed up his place in the hallowed corridors of football’s hall of fame, made sure he added an elusive feather to his cap. One bearing the sheen of the gold that straddles his neck as a medal, as he returns to Portugal after success on the international stage.
While France had been all conquering on home turf since 1984, when led by Michel Platini, France lifted their first European Championship, 2016 marked an end to that run. Here we take a look at 5 teams, including the French of 2016, who fell at the final hurdle on home turf.
1) Portugal Euro 2004
The 2004 European Championships marked the return of the romance between the Euros and the underdogs. When Denmark of 1992 had become an almost distant dream, Greece popped out of nowhere to beat Portugal, the hosts, in the final and lift the trophy. Euro 2004 saw Portugal field their strongest side in recent times and the hosts were favourites for a reason. With Porto’s resurgence on the European stage, Portugal developed a fine crop of players like Deco and Ricardo Carvalho, who were aiming big on the world stage.
Along with the younger stars, the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa, established names in world football back then, were there to add a touch of class and be the much important guiding lights thanks to their experience.
Another young upstart, Cristiano Ronaldo, was just beginning to make waves in English football, and the whole world was excited to see the hot prospect shine on the international stage. However the underdogs prevailed on that fateful night, and Greece, led by Angelos Charisteas and co. ensured the night which promised so much, ended in tears for Ronaldo and his teammates.