Winner: France | Runner-up: Spain
The format changed again with two groups of four providing four semi-finalists and the French organisers were rewarded with two superb games.
France, still stinging from their 1982 World Cup semi-final defeat by West Germany won all three of their group games under the inspiration of midfield maestro Michel Platini.
Their semi-final meeting with Portugal is still considered to be one of the finest matches of all time. France deservedly led through Jean-Francois Domergue but after superb goalkeeping by Portugal's Manuel Bento, Jordao took the game into extra time. The striker then put Portugal ahead before Domergue equalised and Platini got the winner a minute from the end. Time seemed to stand still as he collected the ball, controlled it and scored with the Portuguese defenders seemingly mesmerised by his brilliance.
Awaiting France in the final were Spain, who had made it to the tournament controversially with a 12-1 win over Malta in their final qualifying match. Once there, they performed well, a group win over West Germany and a penalty shoot-out success after a 1-1 semi-final draw with Denmark sending them through.
The final turned in the 56th minute when Spain goalkeeper Luis Arconada allowed a tame Platini shot to squeeze under his body for the French skipper's ninth goal of the tournament. Bruno Bellone added a second in the final minute to give a superb French team some long-awaited silverware.
Top goal scorer:
Platini (France) -- 8
- 1960, France
- 1964, Spain
- 1968, Italy
- 1972, Belgium
- 1976, Yugoslavia
- 1980, Italy
- 1988, West Germany
- 1992, Sweden
- 1996, England
- 2000, Belgium and Holland