The UEFA Euro 2004 (or just Euro 2004) was the twelfth edition of UEFA's quadriennial European Football Championship and was held in Portugal, for the first time, between June 12 and July 4, 2004. Like in the previous two editions, in England and Netherlands/Belgium, sixteen teams contested the final tournament after going through a qualification round which began in 2002. The tournament took place in ten venues located in eight cities — Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Lisbon and Porto.
During the tournament there were several surprises: the German, Italian and Spanish national football teams were knocked out during the group stage; the title-holders France were eliminated in the quarterfinals by unfancied Greece, and the Portuguese hosts managed a winning streak towards the final, following their opening defeat, by beating Spain, England and The Netherlands along the way. For the first time, the final featured the same teams as the opening match, with the hosts losing both of them also for the first time. Portugal was beaten by Greece on both occasions. Greece's triumph was even more outstanding considering that in their only other appearance, back in 1980, they did not win a single game.
During the opening ceremony, the Portuguese portrayed a ship, symbolizing the voyages of the Portuguese explorers, sailing through a sea which gave place to the flags of all competing countries.
The sixteen teams that participated in the final tournament were:
Twelve referees were selected for the tournament:
Kim Milton Nielsen
Manuel Mejuto González
Urs Meier Match officials
- For teams which finish level on points, the following tie-breakers are used:
greater number of points in the matches between the teams in question;
greater goal difference in matches between the teams in question;
greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams in question;
greater goal difference in all group games;
greater number of goals scored in all group games;
higher coefficient derived from EURO 2004 and 2002 World Cup qualifiers (points obtained divided by number of matches played);
fair play conduct in EURO 2004;
drawing of lots. Notes