Puneet Varma (Editor)

UEFA Euro 2004

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Host country
Greece (1st title)

Matches played

Top scorer
Milan Baroš

12 Jun 2004 – 4 Jul 2004


10 (in 8 host cities)

Goals scored
77 (2.48 per match)

Best player

UEFA Euro 2004 UEFA EURO 2004 History UEFAcom

Greece national football team

UEFA Euro 2008, UEFA Euro 2000, 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1996, 2002 FIFA World Cup

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The 2004 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2004 or simply 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, after their bid was selected on 12 October 1999, over those of Spain and Austria/Hungary. A total of thirty-one matches were played in ten venues across eight cities – Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Lisbon and Porto.


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As in the 1996 and 2000 editions, the final tournament was contested by 16 teams – the hosts plus the 15 teams that successfully overcame the qualification round, 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 France, the defending champions, were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Greece. The Portuguese team 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 football tournament, the last match featured the same teams as the opening match. Portugal was 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.

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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".

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Group A opened with a shock as Greece, ranked outsiders from start, defeated the hosts 2–1. Giorgos Karagounis put the Greeks 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. Greece then drew with Spain, before losing to Russia in their last group stage game. Portugal, meanwhile, recovered from their opening defeat by defeating Russia 2–0, who had their keeper Sergei Ovchinnikov sent off. Nuno Gomes scored the winning goal against Spain, which ensured Portugal finished first place in Group A. Greece advanced to the quarter-finals as runners-up, ahead Spain on goals scored.

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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). France and England qualified from the group as winners and runners-up, respectively.

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Group C featured a 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 the number of goals scored between the three sides, after Sweden and Denmark drew 2–2 and qualified to the quarter-finals as group winners and runners-up. 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 took the first place in Group D after becoming the only team to win all three of their group matches. They defeated Latvia 2–1, the Netherlands 3–2, and Germany 2–1. It was another disappointing European campaign for Germany, which failed to advance from the group stage for the second consecutive time. The Netherlands claimed a quarter-final berth as runners-up.

In the first quarter-final match between England and Portugal, the English opened the score 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 Owen hit the Portuguese crossbar, resulting in a Sol Campbell header that appeared to have given England the lead again, but was ruled out for what the referee Urs Meier deemed a foul on the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo. The sides exchanged goals in extra-time, sending the match to a penalty shoot-out. Portugal won 6–5, as goalkeeper Ricardo saved a penalty from Darius Vassell, and then scored himself 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 Greece 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, even after a dramatic extra-time, in which Sweden, through Fredrik Ljungberg, came as close to scoring as hitting the inside of the Dutch goalpost. The Dutch ultimately progressed after winning the penalty shoot-out 5–4, their first ever victory on penalties in a major tournament. The last quarter-final match 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. Cristiano Ronaldo put the hosts in the lead from a corner kick midway through the first half, and just before the hour mark Maniche made it 2–0 for Portugal with a spectacular goal from the corner of the penalty area. 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 Wilfred Bouma'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. They were favorites to take the trophy, having won all four games. However, 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.

The final was a 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 they could not find an equaliser. Greece won the match 1–0 and were crowned European champions, a title that they were given a 150–1 chance of winning before the tournament. All of Greece's wins in the knockout stage came in an identical manner: a 1–0 win, with the goal being a header off a cross from the right wing. Portugal became the first host nation to lose in a European Championship final.


The draw for the qualifying round was held on 25 January 2002 at the Europarque Congress Centre, in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal. Fifty teams were divided into ten groups of five and each team played two matches against all its opponents, on a home-and-away basis. Qualification matches took place from September 2002 to November 2003. The first-placed teams from each group qualified automatically to the final tournament, whereas the ten runners-up took part in a two-legged play-off to select the remaining five teams that would join the host nation in the final tournament.

Qualified teams

Ten of the sixteen finalists participated in the previous tournament in 2000. Latvia made its first appearance in a major football competition, while Greece returned to the European Championship finals after a 24-year absence. Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia and Switzerland also took part in their second tournament finals since their debut in 1996.

Final draw

The draw for the group stage took place on 30 November 2003 at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon, Portugal, where the 16 finalists were divided into four groups.

The pot allocations were based on the UEFA national team coefficient which measured performance of teams in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying and UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying. The coefficient was calculated by dividing the number of all points scored (three points for a win, one for a draw) by the number of all matches played. Results from the final tournaments, play-off matches and friendly games were all ignored. As host country, Portugal were unranked and automatically placed in Group A. The remaining 15 teams were split into four pots, with title-holders France seeded alongside Sweden and the Czech Republic in the first pot. For reference, the European zonal rankings calculated for FIFA World Rankings from 19 November 2003 are given in tables below.


The final tournament was played in ten venues located in eight different cities. Lisbon and Porto, the two biggest cities, had two venues each, while Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Faro-Loulé, Guimarães and Leiria had one venue. In order to meet UEFA's requirements on venue capacity and infrastructure, seven new stadiums were built – Estádio Municipal de Aveiro (Aveiro), Estádio Municipal de Braga (Braga), Estádio Algarve (Faro-Loulé), Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa (Leiria), Estádio da Luz (Lisbon), Estádio José Alvalade (Lisbon), and Estádio do Dragão (Porto) – and three underwent renovation works – Estádio Cidade de Coimbra (Coimbra), Estádio D. Afonso Henriques (Guimarães), and Estádio do Bessa Século XXI (Porto). The Estádio da Luz was the largest stadium with a tournament capacity of 65,000 seats, and served as the venue for the final. The opening ceremony and match took place at the Estádio do Dragão.

This was the first European Championship where matches took place in more than eight venues, since the tournament was expanded to sixteen teams in 1996. As of the Euro 2016, the final tournament will be contested by twenty-four teams and matches will be played in ten venues.

The table below lists stadium capacity for the final tournament, which may not correspond to their effective maximum capacity.


A total of 1.2 million tickets were available for the 31 matches of the final tournament, of which 77% were to be sold to the general public, and the remainder reserved for sponsors and partners (13%), media (5%), and corporate hospitality (5%). Public sales for an initial batch of 450,000 tickets (38%) were launched on 28 April 2003, in a ceremony in Lisbon which gathered former European football stars Eusébio and Ruud Gullit. Ticket prices were divided in three categories, ranging from €35 (group matches) to €270 (final).

In a first phase lasting until 16 June 2003, supporters could apply for tickets via UEFA's tournament website or through forms available at the Portuguese Football Federation and match venues. Applicants could request a maximum of four tickets per match but were limited to one match per day. In parallel to individual match tickets, UEFA created a new category of tickets called "Follow My Team", which allowed supporters to see all the matches of their favourite team (group stage and, if qualified, knockout stage matches). If there were oversubscribed matches by the end of the first phase of sales, a match-specific draw would take place to select the successful applicants.

Between 1 August and 24 November 2003, available tickets were placed again on sale in a first-come, first-served basis. After the draw for the group stage on 30 November, a third phase of public sales began on 9 December, which included a second batch of tickets (39%) that could be bought until March 2004 through the national associations of the finalist teams. Every national association was awarded 20% of the venue capacity for each of their team's matches. From 1 to 30 April 2004, surplus tickets from UEFA or national associations were made available to the public for the last time. Ticket distribution began in May, after sales were officially closed.


Nineteen cameras were used in each of the ten venues to broadcast the live matches, with three additional cameras in the opening and knockout stage matches.

Team base camps

Each team was provided a base camp for residence and daily training between tournament matches. An initial list of 25 bases approved by the Portuguese Football Federation, following a selection process started in November 2001, was announced by the organisation on 5 February 2003.


For the list of all squads that played in the tournament, see UEFA Euro 2004 squads.

Match officials

On 4 December 2003, UEFA revealed the twelve referees and four fourth officials. Each refereeing team was composed by one main referee and two assistant referees from the same country.

Group stage

UEFA announced the match schedule for the final tournament on 10 March 2003, in Porto, Portugal. In a change from the previous tournament schedule, where two quarter-final matches were played per day, over two days, the quarter-finals at the Euro 2004 were to be played over four consecutive days, with one match per day.

All times are local, WEST (UTC+1).


If two or more teams finished level on points after completion of the group matches, the following tie-breakers are used to determine the final ranking:

  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 the final group match have identical records going into that match, and it ends in a draw, then a penalty shoot-out 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.

Knockout stage

The knockout stage was a single-elimination tournament involving the eight teams that advanced from the group stage. There were three rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round, culminating in the final to decide the champions. Any game in the knockout stage that was not decided by the end of the regular 90 minutes was followed by up to 30 minutes of extra time (two 15-minute halves).

For the first time in an international football tournament, the silver goal system was applied, whereby the team that led the game at the half-time break during the extra time period would be declared the winner. If the scores were still level after the initial 15 minutes of extra time, play would continue for a further 15 minutes. If the teams could still not be separated after the extra time, there would be a penalty shoot-out (at least five penalties each) to determine which team progressed to the next round. The silver goal replaced the golden goal from the previous two championships and was used in the semi final between Greece and the Czech Republic.

All times are local, WEST (UTC+1).


Milan Baroš was the top goalscorer of the tournament with five goals.

5 goals


UEFA Euro 2004 Wikipedia