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11 Aug 1984
Los Angeles 1984

France adds Olympic gold to European title

The summer of 1984 proved to be a golden one for the France and its footballers.

The summer of 1984 proved to be a golden one for the France and its footballers.

Led by the inspirational Michel Platini, France claimed its first major football title when it won the European Championship on home soil with a 2-0 victory over neighbours Spain in the final.

The Olympic football competition started a couple of days after that memorable day in Paris, and France would again be triumphant.

The 1984 Olympic Games was the first to allow professional footballers the chance to play, the only exception being that players that had previously appeared at the World Cup would be barred.

Coached by the great Henri Michel, the French side made an inauspicious start, drawing their opening match 2-2 against the unheralded Qataris in Annapolis.

Francois Brisson struck a second-half winner against Norway in their second game while a 1-1 draw with Chile in their final group match was enough to see them through to the knockout stages as the group winners.

Elsewhere, Yugoslavia and the brilliant Brazilians, who included future World Cup-winning captain Dunga in their squad, won all of their group matches.

France cruised past Egypt in the quarter-finals before they played out an outstanding semi against the Yugoslavs. Two goals up after just 15 minutes, France were pegged back and forced into extra time.

Goals from Guy Lacombe and Daniel Xuereb saw them to a place in the gold medal match against favourites Brazil.

Over 100,000 fans crammed into Pasadena’s Rose Bowl to watch the two joust for gold and it was second-half goals from Brisson and Xuereb that saw the French to the title.

Under Michel’s tutelage, France would again beat Brazil in a classic World Cup quarter-final which ended in a penalty shootout in Guadalajara, Mexico two years later.

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