UEFA Euro 2004
The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2004, was the 12th edition of the UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial football competition contested by the men's national teams of UEFA member associations. The final tournament was hosted for the first time in Portugal, from 12 June to 4 July 2004. A total of 31 matches were played in ten venues across eight cities – Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Lisbon, and Porto.
|Campeonato Europeu de Futebol 2004 |
|Dates||12 June – 4 July|
|Venue(s)||10 (in 8 host cities)|
|Champions||Greece (1st title)|
|Goals scored||77 (2.48 per match)|
|Attendance||1,160,802 (37,445 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Milan Baroš (5 goals)|
|Best player(s)||Theodoros Zagorakis|
As in 1996 and 2000, the final tournament was contested by 16 teams: the hosts plus the 15 teams that came through the qualifying tournament, which began in September 2002. Latvia secured their first participation in a major tournament after overcoming Turkey in the play-offs, while Greece returned to the European Championship after 24 years.
The tournament was rich in surprises and upsets: Germany, Spain, and Italy were eliminated in the group stage, while defending champions France were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Greece. Portugal recovered from an opening defeat against Greece to reach the final, eliminating England and the Netherlands along the way. For the first time in a major European football tournament, the last match featured the same teams as the opening match. Portugal were again defeated by Greece with a goal from Angelos Charisteas. Greece's triumph was unexpected, considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments, the UEFA Euro 1980 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they failed to win a single match. As winners, Greece earned the right to represent Europe at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.
During the opening ceremony, one of the tableaux depicted a ship – symbolising the voyages of the Portuguese explorers – sailing through a sea that transformed into the flags of all competing countries. In the closing ceremony, Portuguese-Canadian singer Nelly Furtado performed her single and official tournament theme song, "Força".