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Revisiting UEFA Euro 2004: Iconic Team Lineups and Legends

00s England EURO football team France Greece line up Netherlands Portugal xi zidane zizou

UEFA Euro 2004 was a tournament that left an indelible mark on the history of European football. With stunning upsets, brilliant individual performances, and memorable team efforts, it provided fans with a spectacle that is still discussed with reverence. Let's take a closer look at the lineups and stories of six standout teams: England, Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Portugal, and the eventual champions, Greece.


England Team Euro 2004: The Golden Generation's Heartbreak


England: The Golden Generation's Heartbreak

England entered Euro 2004 with high hopes, boasting a squad full of talent known as the "Golden Generation." Key players included David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and the young sensation Wayne Rooney. Managed by Sven-Göran Eriksson, England's campaign was notable for Rooney's explosive performances, particularly in the group stage where he scored four goals.

England's journey ended in heartbreak in the quarter-finals, losing to Portugal on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Rooney’s injury in that match was a significant blow, and England's penalty woes continued, denying them a deeper run in the tournament.


Netherlands Team Euro 2004: The Rebirth of Total Football

Netherlands: The Rebirth of Total Football

The Netherlands arrived in Portugal with a blend of experienced players and emerging talent. Managed by Dick Advocaat, the Dutch team featured stars like Ruud van Nistelrooy, Clarence Seedorf, and Arjen Robben.

The Netherlands reached the semi-finals, where they were defeated by Portugal. Despite the loss, Van Nistelrooy's goal-scoring prowess and Robben's electrifying runs left a lasting impression.


France Team Euro 2004: The End of an Era


France: The End of an Era

France entered Euro 2004 as defending champions, led by their legendary playmaker Zinedine Zidane. The squad was filled with talent, including Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, and Robert Pirès, under the management of Jacques Santini.

France’s campaign came to an unexpected halt in the quarter-finals, where they were defeated 1-0 by Greece. This match marked the beginning of the end for France’s golden generation, as they struggled to replicate their dominance from the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Czech Republic Euro 2004 Team: The Dark Horses


Czech Republic: The Dark Horses

The Czech Republic, managed by Karel Brückner, was one of the most exciting teams of the tournament. With a blend of skill, physicality, and tactical nous, they captured the hearts of many neutrals. Key players included Pavel Nedvěd, Tomáš Rosický, and Milan Baroš.

The Czech Republic reached the semi-finals, where they were narrowly defeated by Greece in extra time. Milan Baroš ended as the tournament's top scorer, while Nedvěd’s leadership and Rosický’s creativity were widely praised.


Portugal Euro 2004 Team: The Host Nation’s Near Glory


Portugal: The Host Nation’s Near Glory

Portugal, as the host nation, carried the hopes of a passionate home crowd. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team featured a mix of experienced veterans like Luís Figo and rising stars like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal’s journey to the final was marked by thrilling matches and dramatic moments, including a penalty shootout win over England in the quarter-finals. Despite their valiant effort, they were stunned by Greece in the final, losing 1-0.


Greece Euro 2004 Team: The Ultimate Underdog Story


Greece: The Ultimate Underdog Story

Greece’s triumph at Euro 2004 remains one of the greatest surprises in football history. Managed by Otto Rehhagel, Greece employed a disciplined and defensive approach, which proved incredibly effective.

Greece’s journey to the title saw them defeat holders France, the Czech Republic, and hosts Portugal in the final. Angelos Charisteas’s header in the final was the defining moment, while Theodoros Zagorakis’s leadership earned him the Player of the Tournament award. Greece’s victory was a testament to teamwork, strategy, and resilience, making it one of the most remarkable underdog stories in sports.

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