European Football Championship 2004.
The 2004 European Football Championship was the 12th European Men's Football Championship, which was held from 12 June to 4 July in Portugal. A total of thirty-one matches were played in ten stadiums in eight cities — Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimaraes, Faro, Leiria, Lisbon and Porto. For the first time, the championship was held in cities on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
The title of European champion was won for the first time by the national team of Greece, which, after passing the group, beat France, the Czech Republic, and in the final, Portugal, with 1:0 each. The winning goal in the championship final was scored by Angelos Haristeas in the 57th minute. This was the first triumph of one of the countries from the Balkan Peninsula.
The Greek Teodoros Zagorakis was declared the best player of the championship, while the best scorer was the Czech Milan Baroš with 5 goals scored.
The Stadium of Light was opened in 2003 on the site of the old stadium. The stadium is the home ground of FC Benfica, and the capacity of the stadium is 65,647 seats. Benfica fans call it the Cathedral (port. A Catedral). The old stadium was named after the Church of Our Lady of Light (port. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz) and people called it a Luz ("Light"). This is a stadium of the highest UEFA category four and is among the 25 stadiums with the largest capacity in Europe. It is often used by the Portuguese football team.
Dragao Stadium is a football stadium in Porto, the home ground of FC Porto, and the capacity of the stadium is 50,399 seats.
Qualifying matches were held from September 2002 to November 2003. Fifty teams were divided into ten groups of 5, in which each played each other (one home game, one away game). The first from each group went on, the second from the group played two more games, from which 5 more teams were selected, to get 15 of them (with the host country 16) for the championship.
10 of the 16 countries that qualified for the 2000 championship also qualified for the 2004 championship.
Latvia performed for the first time at the European Championship. Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia and Switzerland qualified after skipping the championship in 2000, while Greece qualified for the first time since 1980.
The draw for the final tournament was held on November 30