3 Greece 2004
Greece were one of the rank outsiders to win the European championships in 2004. This was only the third time that Greece had qualified for the finals of a major tournament and they had never won a game in a finals before.
Their first game was a difficult one, against hosts and one of the tournament favourites Portugal with veteran Luis Figo and youngster Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks. Greece came up with a shock victory beating Portugal 2-1. They went on to draw with Spain and lose 2-1 to Russia which was just enough to see them qualify from the group on goals scored.
The quarter finals offered no easier task as they faced reigning European champions France. Up against Zidane and Henry the Greeks showed no respect and took the lead through Angelos Chariteas to win the game 1-0.
The semi final against the Czech Republic strangely looked like Greece’s most winnable game so far. They were by no means favourites but were given more of a chance by experts after their rise throughout the tournament. Greece won that game 1-0 after the first period of extra time with a silver goal from their central defender Traianos Dellas.
The final was a replay of the first game of the tournament, Portugal against Greece. Having already beaten their opponents and with the pressure all on Portugal, Greece went into the game relaxed and confident. Another display of solid defending and counter attacking football was enough for a 1-0 victory and Greece won the European championship.
Coached by German Otto Renhagel, Greece won the Euro’s with a great team spirit and an organised defensive unit. They had no star players and won all three of their knockout games 1-0 to win the competition.