From Platini to Zidane and Spain’s Golden Generation: 5 France v Spain Classics – News18

From Platini to Zidane and Spain’s Golden Generation: 5 France v Spain Classics – News18

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Spanish and French fans at EURO 2024 (AP)

Before they face off in EURO 2024 semi-final, here’s a look at five classic clashes between Spain and France.

Spain and France face off for a place in the Euro 2024 final on Tuesday after taking contrasting routes to the semi-final clash in Munich.

As France have stumbled their way through to the last four, Spain’s flowing football has made them the team to beat in Germany.

However, they will have to overturn a poor record against the French in major tournament competition to do so.

Here’s a look at five classic clashes between the two nations:

Platini’s Euro 84

The first meeting between two of European football’s powerhouses at a major tournament did not take place until the final of Euro 1984.

Hosts France emerged victorious led by the imperious Michel Platini –- whose nine goals in a single tournament remains a Euros record.

Platini opened the scoring at the Parc des Princes in a moment that dogged Spanish goalkeeper Luis Arconada for the rest of his career.

Arconada let the French legend’s low free-kick slip through his grasp before Bruno Bellone chipped the Spanish goalie in stoppage time to seal France’s first major tournament victory.

Djorkaeff stunner at Euro 2000

France also defeated Spain 2-1 en route to their second Euros win in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The quarter-final clash in Bruges was a classic featuring a free-kick from another iconic French number 10.

Zinedine Zidane’s sumptuous set-piece put Les Bleus in front before Gaizka Mendieta’s penalty levelled.

Youri Djorkaeff smashed home the winner for a French side that was captained by current boss Didier Deschamps.

Zidane’s last dance

France’s dominance of the fixture in major tournament matches continued on German soil at the 2006 World Cup.

Spain had appeared the team to beat in the group stage and went in front in the last-16 clash in Hannover through David Villa’s penalty.

But France hit back on their road to the final.

Franck Ribery levelled with his first international goal before Patrick Vieira and Zidane — in the tournament that was his swansong — fired France into the quarter-finals.

Spain’s three-peat

Spain finally managed their first competitive win over Les Bleus in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

On his 100th international appearance, Xabi Alonso scored both goals in Donetsk with an early diving header and late penalty to seal France’s fate.

Spain would go on to win a third consecutive major tournament after Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Mbappe wins the Nations League

The most recent meeting between the sides saw France win the Nations League final 2-1 in Milan in controversial fashion three years ago.

Two goals in barely two minutes sparked the final into life as Mikel Oyarzabal fired Spain in front before Karim Benzema’s stunning strike levelled matters.

Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe then scored the winner as a subtle stepover outfoxed Unai Simon.

Spain were furious the goal was allowed to stand as Mbappe had clearly been standing in an offside position, but the VAR official did not intervene as he deemed Eric Garcia’s attempted clearance as a deliberate play on the ball.

Stay updated with the latest from Euro 2024. Explore Euro 2024 Match Today. Check Updated list of Highest Goal-Scorer in Euro 2024. CheckEuro 2024 Points Table and Euro 2024 Match Results and Euro 2024 Match Schedule .

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)

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