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The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship (or just Euro 2004) was the twelfth tournament of the UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament for European nations, and was held in Portugalmarker, for the first time, between 12 June and 4 July 2004. As in the previous two tournaments, in England and Netherlands/Belgium, sixteen teams contested the final tournament after going through a qualification round which began in 2002. The tournament took place in ten venues located in eight cities — Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulémarker, Leiria, Portomarker and Lisbonmarker.

During the tournament there were several surprises: Germany, Italy and Spain were knocked out during the group stage; the title-holders France were eliminated in the quarter-finals by unfancied Greece, and the Portuguese hosts recovered from their opening defeat to reach the final, eliminating Spain, England and Netherlands along the way. For the first time, the final featured the same teams as the opening match, with the hosts losing both of them also for the first time, as Portugal were beaten by Greece on both occasions. Greece's triumph was even more outstanding considering that they had only qualified for two other tournaments, in 1980 and 1994 and their win in the opening match in 2004 was the first time they had even won a game in a major tournament.

During the opening ceremony, the Portuguese portrayed a ship, symbolizing the voyages of the Portuguese explorers, sailing through a sea which gave place to the flags of all competing countries. Such was the enthusiasm that overtook the Greek fans that the ship became the symbol of the Greek victory, as Greeks chanted for the "Pirate Ship" (πειρατικό), as the Greek National Team was instantly named.


Qualification for the tournament took place from September 2002 to November 2003. Fifty teams were divided into ten groups of five and each team played two matches against each other, on a home-and-away basis. The first-placed teams from each group qualified automatically and the runners-up took part in a two-match play-off to select the remaining five teams that would join the host nation in the final tournament.


The sixteen teams that participated in the final tournament were:

UEFA Euro 2004 finalists.


Lisbonmarker Lisbonmarker Portomarker
Estádio da Luzmarker Estádio José Alvalademarker Estádio do Dragãomarker
Capacity: 65,647 Capacity: 50,466 Capacity: 50,476

Estádio Municipal de Aveiromarker Estádio Cidade de Coimbramarker
Capacity: 30,970 Capacity: 30,210
Braga Guimarães
Estádio Municipal de Bragamarker Estádio D.marker Afonso Henriquesmarker
Capacity: 30,154 Capacity: 30,146
Faro/Loulémarker Portomarker Leiria
Estádio Algarvemarker Estádio do Bessa Século XXImarker Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoamarker
Capacity: 30,002 Capacity: 28,263 Capacity: 23,850

Match officials

Twelve referees were selected for the tournament:


Kinas, the UEFA Euro 2004 official mascot.
The tournament's official mascot was a boy named Kinas (derived from quinas ( ), one of the symbols of the Portuguese national flag) who wore a Portuguese kit (red shirt and green shorts) and was constantly playing with a football.


For a list of all squads that played in the final tournament, see 2004 UEFA European Football Championship squads.


Group stage

Group A opened with a shock as Greece, ranked outsiders from start, defeated the hosts 2-1. Giorgos Karagounis put them ahead after only seven minutes and Angelos Basinas made it 2-0 from the penalty spot on 51 minutes. An injury time goal from Cristiano Ronaldo proved no more than a consolation. The Greeks then drew with Spain before losing to Russia in their last game. Greece and Spain finished with identical records but the Greeks were given second place on the basis of more goals scored. Portugal, meanwhile, recovered from their opening-game defeat and took first place in Group A.

France, the holders, and England ended their Group B encounter in furious fashion as the French scored twice in injury time to go from 1-0 down to 2-1 winners; Zinedine Zidane scored in the first minute of injury time and two minutes later, an error by the English defence gave a France penalty and Zidane fired in the winner. England's other two games were memorable for the performances of their young star Wayne Rooney. Only 18 at the time, Rooney's goal-scoring ability proved instrumental in victories over Switzerland (3-0) and Croatia (4-2). England and France qualified from the group.

Group C featured a bizarre three-way tie between Sweden, Denmark, and Italy for first spot. All matches between the three sides had ended in draws and all three had beaten Bulgaria. Italy were ultimately eliminated on goal difference after Sweden and Denmark drew 2-2. The Italians went so far as to accuse Sweden and Denmark of fixing their match as both sides knew that a 2-2 result would advance them both over Italy but UEFA disregarded such an idea.

The Czech Republic were only team to finish the groups stages perfectly; they defeated Latvia, the Netherlands, and Germany. It was another disappointing European campaign for Germany, which failed to advance from the group stage once again. The Netherlands claimed the runner-up place in Group D.

Quarter-finals and semi-finals

In the first quarter-final between England and Portugal, the English opened the scoring after only two minutes through Michael Owen. Portugal's constant attacking pressure from then on resulted in Hélder Postiga's 83rd minute equaliser. A controversial incident came in the dying minutes when Sol Campbell appeared to have given England the lead again, but his header was ruled out for a foul. The sides exchanged goals in extra-time, sending the match to penalty kicks and Portugal won 6-5; Portugal's goalkeeper Ricardo saved a penalty from Darius Vassell and then scored the winning goal.

The Greeks, meanwhile, continued to stun everybody. Firm defensive play and an Angelos Charisteas goal on 65 minutes helped them defeat France 1-0 and send them through to the semi-finals. This victory made Greece the first team to defeat both the holders and the hosts in the same tournament. Sweden and the Netherlands played out an exciting encounter but neither side could find a breakthrough and the match ended goalless after extra-time. The Dutch progressed after winning the penalty shootout 5-4, their first ever victory on penalties. The last quarter-final saw the Czechs dispatch Denmark as a two-goal effort from Milan Baroš helped seal a 3-0 win.

Portugal and the Netherlands faced each other in the first semi-final. Ronaldo put the hosts into the lead from a corner kick midway through the first half and just before the hour mark a spectacular goal from Maniche made it 2-0 for Portugal. An own goal from Jorge Andrade gave the Netherlands a glimmer of hope. Portugal came close to scoring a third goal that was only stopped by Philip Cocu's blocking attempt. The game ended 2-1 to Portugal and the hosts, after their opening day failure, were through to the final of their European Championship. The Czech Republic looked likely candidates to face the hosts in the final but they would have to see off the upstart Greeks to do so. The Czechs had several chances, including a shot from Tomáš Rosický that struck the bar. The game remained goalless until the dying moments of the first half of extra-time when Traianos Dellas headed home the winner, the first and only silver goal in a European Championship.


Angelos Charisteas puts Greece 1–0 up in the final

The final was repeat of the opening game of the tournament and Portugal were hoping to avenge their opening day loss. Portugal furiously attacked and dominated the possession but once again, sturdy defending and goalkeeping from Greece kept the Portuguese hosts off the scoreboard. Just before the hour mark, Greece earned a corner kick from which Angelos Charisteas scored. Portugal continued to press after the goal but even with five minutes of injury-time added, they could not find an equaliser. Greece won the match 1–0 and were crowned as European champions, a title that they were given a 100–1 chance of winning before the tournament.


All times are Western European Summer Time (UTC+1).

First round

Tie-breaking criteria

For teams that finish level on points, the following tie-breakers are used:
  1. greater number of points in the matches between the teams in question;
  2. greater goal difference in matches between the teams in question;
  3. greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams in question;
  4. greater goal difference in all group games;
  5. greater number of goals scored in all group games;
  6. higher coefficient derived from Euro 2004 and 2002 World Cup qualifiers (points obtained divided by number of matches played);
  7. fair play conduct in Euro 2004;
  8. drawing of lots.

If two teams playing in the final group game have identical records going into that match, and the match ends in a draw, then a penalty shootout would be played, rather than using the above criteria. Euro 2004 marked the introduction of this procedure, although it did not need to be used. The same procedure was also used at Euro 2008.

Group A

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6
3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 3

12 June 2004
1 – 2
1 – 0
16 June 2004
1 – 1
0 – 2
20 June 2004
0 – 1
2 – 1

Group B

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 2 1 0 7 4 +3 7
3 2 0 1 8 4 +4 6
3 0 2 1 4 6 −2 2
3 0 1 2 1 6 −5 1

13 June 2004
0 – 0
2 – 1
17 June 2004
3 – 0
2 – 2
21 June 2004
2 – 4
1 – 3

Group C

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 1 2 0 8 3 +5 5
3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5
3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0

14 June 2004
0 – 0
5 – 0
18 June 2004
0 – 2
1 – 1
22 June 2004
2 – 1
2 – 2

Group D

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 3 0 0 7 4 +3 9
3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 4
3 0 2 1 2 3 −1 2
3 0 1 2 1 5 −4 1

15 June 2004
2 – 1
1 – 1
19 June 2004
0 – 0
2 – 3
23 June 2004
3 – 0
1 – 2

Knockout stage

The knockout stage was a single-elimination tournament involving the eight teams that qualified from the group stage of the tournament. There were three rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round. The successive rounds were: Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, Final. For each game in the knockout stage, a draw was followed by up to thirty minutes of extra time (two fifteen minute halves); if a team scored in the first half of extra time and were still leading after 15 minutes extra time, the team leading would win on a silver goal, if no player scored in the first half of extra time, the full half-hour would be played. If scores were still level after 30 minutes extra time there would be a penalty shootout (at least five penalties each, and more if necessary) to determine who progressed to the next round.






Euro 2004 Top Scorers
5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals
1 goal
1 goal (continued)

Own goals

Fastest goal

2 minutes: Dmitri Kirichenko (Russia vs Greece)


UEFA Team of the Tournament
Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Petr Čech Sol Campbell Michael Ballack Milan Baroš
Antonios Nikopolidis Ashley Cole Luís Figo Angelos Charisteas
Traianos Dellas Frank Lampard Henrik Larsson
Olof Mellberg Maniche Cristiano Ronaldo
Ricardo Carvalho Pavel Nedvěd Wayne Rooney
Giourkas Seitaridis Theodoros Zagorakis Jon Dahl Tomasson
Gianluca Zambrotta Zinedine Zidane Ruud van Nistelrooy

Golden Boot

UEFA Player of the Tournament

See also


  1. Euro 2004 Build-up in Pictures
  2. UEFA Euro 2004 referees
  3. Sweden-Denmark Controversy
  4. Euro 2004 Tiebreakers - Explained
  5. Euro 2004 Top Scorers - Stan James

External links

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