Euro 2024: on the eve of the semi-final, moving from Arconada to Benzema, look back at the greatest France-Spain in history

Euro 2024: on the eve of the semi-final, moving from Arconada to Benzema, look back at the greatest France-Spain in history

From Arconada to Benzema, France-Spain have marked the history of football MAXPPP

Before the semi-final of Euro-2024, the 37th France-Spain in 102 years, the Blues have often won in major tournaments, from the 1984 final where Michel Platini trapped Luis Arconada to that of the League of Nations 2021 with Karim Benzema.

1922, the Spanish lesson

Much better prepared, Spain corrects France (4-0) during their very first confrontation. The Iberians are organized, the Blues traveled by night train then by truck to arrive in Bouscat, in the suburbs of Bordeaux. In addition, three of their best players, including goalkeeper Pierre Chayriguès, are suspended for their refusal to honor this selection under these conditions.

1929 8-1, the bullfight

Spain defeated France (8-1) in Zaragoza, where the Blues spent three hours at the famous bullfights in the Aragonese city before the match, under a blazing sun. Gaspar Rubio signs a quadruple for the fourth French defeat in as many matches, all friendly at the time.

1955, Kopa dazzles the Bernabeu

This is one of Raymond Kopa's reference matches. For his 18th selection, he caught the eye of his future spectators at the Santiago-Bernabeu for a friendly match won (2-1) where he scored a goal and a series of brilliant passes. Coach Albert Batteux has found the leader of his French team which will finish third in the 1958 World Cup.

1984, Platini trap Arconada

The first France-Spain (2-0) played in a major competition is also the one played at the highest altitude, a Euro final. He smiles at Michel Platini, author of his ninth goal of the tournament by deceiving the unfortunate Luis Arconada, who lets his free kick slip under his stomach. Bruno Bellone will add a second goal at the end of the match, with a subtle dive ball.

1991, the return of Papin

"Platoche" became coach, and his Blues achieved an irresistible series of eight victories in as many qualifying matches for Euro-1992, including Jean-Pierre Papin's sumptuous upturned bicycle against La Roja (3-1) at the Parc des Princes.

2000, Zidane and Djorkaeff beat Raul

On the road to the 1998 World Cup/Euro-2000 double, the Blues dominated Spain (2-1) in the quarter-finals with a delicious direct free kick from Zinédine Zidane and a goal from Youri Djorkaeff. In the last minute, Raul shoots over the penalty for the equalizer.

2006, no retirement for Zizou

The Spanish media present this round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup as Zidane's retirement pot. But the Blues will overthrow the mockers (3-1) with an irresistible acceleration from Franck Ribéry, his first goal in Blue, a header from Patrick Vieira and a final hook… by ZZ.

2012 the Blues do not exist

The only time Spain beat France in a major competition was at Euro-2012, a one-sided match, much more than the title indicates score (2-0). A double from Xabi Alonso eliminates Laurent Blanc's Blues in the quarter-final.

La Roja is at the top, it will win a third title in a row after Euro-2008 and the World Cup-2010. France is barely recovering after hitting rock bottom during the players' strike in Knysna two years earlier.

2021, Mbappé's Trafalgar shot

The Blues won the last duel between the two teams, in the final of the 2021 Nations League (2-1). Two minutes after Mikel Oyarzabal opened the score, Karim Benzema responded with an unstoppable curling shot. Then Kylian Mbappé scored the title goal, with a convoluted offside rule that made the Spaniards mad with rage.

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