FRANCE 2-0 SPAIN, 27 June 1984
European Championships final, Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Scorers: Platini, Bellone (France)

Free-scoring France took the UFWC title from Belgium in the first round of the 1984 European Championships with a 5-0 win. The tournament hosts then saw off Yugoslavia and Portugal, both defeated 3-2, to reach the final.

Spain qualified for the tournament courtesy of one of the most ludicrous results ever recorded. Needing to beat Malta by a full 11 goals in their final qualifying match, Spain proceeded to miss a penalty, concede a goal, yet still win 12-1. It was very difficult to imagine that the handing-over of brown envelopes had not occurred, although UEFA and FIFA accepted the result.

For the final, France fielded what is perhaps their classic side, featuring the peerless midfield quartet of Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse, and Luis Fernandez. If they had a weakness, it was that they did not have a prolific goalscorer up front.

On paper, Spain had an inferior side, with future coach Jose Antonio Camacho one of the few notable names. They scraped through to the final, winning only one first round match, and beating Denmark on penalties in the semi-final. Crucially, however, they proved difficult to beat.

Approaching the final in a similarly obstinate style, the Spaniards were able to frustrate the French, and the vast majority of the 47,000 crowd, in a goalless first half.

But, on 57 minutes, France won a free-kick on the edge of Spain’s D. Up stepped set piece maestro Platini. But he did not produce his vintage. His free kick was lobbed weakly straight at Spanish keeper Luis Arconada. But, inexplicably, Arconada fumbled the ball and allowed it to slip over the line. Platini had broken the deadlock, with something of an assist from the goalie.

Spain began probing forward in search of an equaliser, and France were reduced to 10 men after defender Yvon Le Roux was sent off, but the French midfield retained control of the game.

In the final minute Bruno Bellone raced clear of the Spanish defence and chipped the ball over Arconada to seal the victory. It was France’s twelfth UFWC win, but the first time the nation had ever won an official competition.

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

3 thoughts on “France vs Spain 1984

  1. Buddyjen

    This Darn thing ain’t about no football i think it is about that sport called soccor…i mean’t football and soccor ain’t the dang same thing…they stoled the word i’s wants to see the numbers one in FOOTBALL in 1984 come on you ain’t fooling nosbody with this dog gone website. I’s mean it is fine for the soccor website but just ’cause it is soccor are you gettin’ this…somes of us outs here sure as heck ain’t likin’ the sport of soccor i’s mean i do pretty well but this dagone site just fooled the living site right out of me…come on i ain’t about to go tells my friends about this…I seen better websites i mean there are a million websites out there and i seen almost all of theose but not one of those are a diffcult as this here site….i may be from down south but you and this dang website sure ain’t foolin me you gots to understand that you need to spell that word of football in the way of soccor like this SOCCOR or i just askekd my dear cousin Sueannyjinks Dembobuwitz what another way is and she dodgum told me to spell it FUTBOLL…yeah she here is pretty smart she quit the pig farm and dicided to go on to a school and it is something that is called HIGHSCHOOL…have you ever heard of it…i seen it once or twice…and i with my own eye seen someone go to this place collage…anywho…stop makin’ these sites so darn hard to undarstend got it…other than those good reasons… this site is so major good for those vary few out in the large world who like that dang sport of Soccor or FUTBOLL as Suannyjinks Dembobuwitz told i.


    Buddyjen Dembobuwitz

  2. Buddyjen

    I’m sorry my cousin got in to this sorry! she just started typing like she was from the south!!! which we kinda are..but sorry!!!



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