memories of a hot summer night in Marseille

The World according to Alain de Martignac / Icon Sport


Posted today at 6:00 a.m., updated at 8:43 a.m.

What if that was the Platini generation match? Much more than the final of the same Euro 1984 that it was first necessary not to lose against Spain, this France-Portugal is a Seville 1982 without tears or broken teeth or wicked West Germans. By its technical level, this semi-final announces Guadalajara two years later, this aesthetic masterpiece offered with the brilliant Brazilian complicity by more than 40 ° C during the Mexican World Cup.

In Marseille, it is hot but good this June 23, 1984. The Stade-Vélodrome has never been so beautiful and colorful. A light mistral waves the thousands of small tricolor flags distributed and the noise echoes in the galleries open to the sky. For its first participation in the final phase of a Euro, Portugal toasted politeness to the FRG in the first round and deprived the Blues of the reunion desired by the players, less by Michel Hidalgo. "I dreaded facing them, admitted the former coach to The team in 2016. The players wanted a form of revenge. "

Read also Back to… France – Spain 1984: only the first victory is beautiful

The complexes are forgotten, the Blues walked on the water in the first round with three wins, ten goals scored, including seven by a Michel Platini at the top of his game. Besides, Portugal is nothing like a scarecrow with its two small goals scored in three games and looks quite close to a united team.

Indeed, in a country where the clubs go first, the Benfica players ignore those of Sporting, who hardly speak to those of Porto. Before choosing one or the other, coach Fernando Cabrita must ask for the approval of a technical commission imposed by his federation. "The atmosphere was not very good, there was discomfort among some and great competition to be in the starting lineup", admits defender Alvaro Magalhães.

Bellona: "We could have died"

They ignore it then, but the Portuguese almost won this match without even playing it. A story of bus, already, twenty-six years before the mutineers of Knysna. On the way to the Velodrome, the driver of the Blues takes a too tight turn on a too narrow departmental road and fails to hit a truck. At 22, Bruno Bellone believes the end has come. "Thank God the driver did not flinch and stayed the course. Otherwise, there are more than half… We could have died ”, assures the attacker, seated next to a Jean Tigana hit in the head by a broken glass after the driver’s window exploded.

Michel Platini (center), June 24, 1984, in Marseille.

The irrational is already in the air. This semi-final will escape all the rules. Even the golden one who wants Platini to retain sole custody of the free kicks. That of the 24e minute returns to him 22 meters in the axis; Luis Fernandez, Alain Giresse and Jean-François Domergue surround him like three extras. But "Platoche" limped again after meeting the mower Pereira, and Giresse slipped him to give Domergue a chance. You never know with these lefties … Besides, the defender saw the fault in the wall erected by the goalkeeper, Manuel Bento, placed for a right-hander. He dashes and hits the ball from the outside of the foot. Full skylight! Even the director did not understand everything about the film and first captures the face of Platini.

The rest should be a simple formality. "We should have won 3-0, we are above", will blow the future player of Juve after the meeting. But no, it would be too simple, not French enough. The Blues can not start the second.

A funny guy then enters the scene. His name is Fernando Chalana and has probably done a lot for the shortcut Portuguese = mustache. Since the beginning of the Euro, this pocket left-hander (whose career Anabela's wife manages) has been the man through whom danger arrives on the Portuguese side. From a caressed center, he finds Rui Jordao's head for equalization at 74e minute.

The same duo does it again during the extension. At the end of a series of feints and hooks, Chalana tries her right foot which still smells new to alert her partner. Become painter and sculptor after his career, Jordao (deceased in 2019) signs a more or less voluntary creation with a resumption of volley with rebound whose trajectory surprises Joël Bats (1-2).

Tigana did not want to go to the "penos"

This game they could not lose, the Blues do not know how to win despite the twenty minutes before them. Seville trembles in the heads, even that of Michel Hidalgo, dropped by his eternal optimism. "I then said to myself:" Well here … once again no luck, we're going to lose … "" The French are stunned and just kept alive by a decisive Bats against Néné launched alone against him.

Portugal missed its chance in a late game where tactics are shattered. Attack-defense, defense-attack, the positions no longer exist and the axial defender Yvon Le Roux transferred by attacking as a backup. At 114e minute, the Breton strikes, an opposing foot returns the ball to a Platini who seeks a little too much the penalty when Domergue (2-2) appears. Like Lilian Thuram fourteen years later against Croatia, the left side has chosen his evening (that of his 27 years) to register his only goals in the France team.

Another penalty shootout is on the way. But a player especially does not want to hear about it. Well recovered from his automobile fright, Jean Tigana is still running for two, even after almost 120 minutes. "Hey guys, we're not going to do 82 again, are we? Penalties are without me ", he warns. The Velodrome is pushing in this direction. "The atmosphere was incredible, recognizes Magalhães. I’ve never known that in my career, this public support has helped the French to outdo themselves. "

Tigana has already crossed the field for the first time and accompanied Bellone, whose shooting center failed to surprise Bento. On the counter, Chalana tries the dribble too much in front of Fernandez, who alerts his friend from the midfield. The rest belongs to the legend of French football. Tigana's race, this intercepted deep pass, this recovered balloon, a whole country that orders it " but knock! ", this dribble too long, then this raging shoulder kick and this last kidney stroke to manage to center in the middle of three defenders.

The end is known, but Michel Platini told it very well to West France. " It’s like I’m still there, the pass happens to me: what am I doing? An hour of reflection! It’s forever, it’s slowed down. Then the joy of 60,000 spectators in Marseille: it explodes, it explodes, it's beautiful. "

At the edge of the field, a young collector from the Septèmes-les-Vallons club runs behind number 10 of the Blues. His friends from the city of Castellane nicknamed him Yazid. At 12 and a half, Zinedine Zidane still has plenty of time before him to make a first and last name.

Find our Top 30 matches that marked the Euro


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