2004, when Greece proved that miracles exist

06/07/2021 at 9:26 PM CEST

Portugal He won the Spanish candidacy, to whom he initially proposed to present a joint one, and convinced UEFA to organize a ambitious edition full of newly built stadiums and remodeling of infrastructures. Luiz felipe Scolari He was in charge of leading the Portuguese team after his success with Brazil in the 2002 World Cup, and everything seemed to be ready for the first international title of the Portuguese.

But if there is one thing for sure in football, it is that nothing can be taken for granted. The Otto Rehhagel’s Greece reached the 2004 edition after qualifying for a single Eurocup before, that of 1980, and achieved one of the greatest miracles ever seen in European football. The Hellenes have already warned Portugal with a win on matchday one with a 1-2 win, but no one could expect what was to come.

In the quarterfinals they eliminated the current champion, France Zidane Y Henry, and in the semifinals they beat Czech Republic, one of the top favorites in that edition, with the latest Silver Goal of the story in the first part of the extension. Both games 1-0, hallmark of Greece. Defensive and rocky equipment where they exist.

Led by names that made themselves known at that tournament, such as Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Zagorakis, Karagounis or Charisteas, the Greek team met Portugal in the final. And there they completed the historical feat. It was the perfect setting for the Portuguese people. Playing before his fans, in a Da Luz Stadium brand new and packed to the brim, against an inferior rival and with one of the best generations in its history. Few could think that that Eurocup he was not going to stay in the Iberian Peninsula.

However, soccer is not like mathematics. Many other factors play a role. Greece He knew how to play his cards and they were feeding the pressure and insecurities of the Portuguese team. Portugal He dominated, but did not materialize his chances. The final was very uphill for the hosts when shortly after starting the second half, Charisteas took advantage of a bad exit from Richard to head to the back of the net the service from the corner of Basins.

From there, bolt the whole Otto Rehhagel, which managed not to fit not a single goal in the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, against teams with as much offensive arsenal as France, the Czech Republic and Portugal. The miracle was worked. Greece so he raised the first and only European Championship in its history, in the edition with the most unexpected winner in memory. The Hellenic team was the faithful successor to Czechoslovakia in ’76 or Denmark in ’92.

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