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Portugal v France: Three things that happen to host nations in finals

Les Bleus won to nil in both 1984, sinking Spain 2-0, and in 1998, when they stunned reigning world champions Brazil 3-0."

They usually lift the trophy
From the 1970s onwards, there have been five examples of nations who staged either the World Cup or European Championship progressing to the final, which isn't a tremendous figure when you consider that there were 23 tournaments between 1970 and 2014, four of them with multiple hosts.
Of those five, four made the most of the opportunity by going on to claim the silverware in a stadium crammed full of their supporters, with the sole failures in that timeframe actually being this year's party-pooper wannabes Portugal against Greece in Lisbon in 2004.
France by contrast are the anti-Portugal, accounting for two of the four host triumphs in the past 46 years and never falling short in front of their fans in that period, delivering at both Euro 1984 and World Cup 1998.

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They don't let the scoreboard get too congested...
Whereas the first two finals from our sample quintet were back-and-forth showdowns, with West Germany rallying from a second-minute deficit to beat Netherlands at World Cup 1974 and Argentina surviving a late Dutch leveller to prevail 3-1 in extra time four years later, the most recent three - two of which involved France - were more straightforward.
Les Bleus won to nil in both 1984, sinking Spain 2-0, and in 1998, when they stunned reigning world champions Brazil 3-0, while Greece's upsetting of Portugal at Euro 2004 was also executed without concession 1-0.
Didier Deschamps' men have kept three clean sheets in their last five games, including the latest against World Cup winners Germany, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and co have fired 90-minute blanks in two of their past five.
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...even narrowing down the list of potential first-goal times

The previous four World Cup or European Championship finals involving the side on home soil all had their deadlocks broken in a minute ending in seven. On two of those occasions, the two in which the prize at stake was continental supremacy in fact, the opening strike arrived in the 57th minute.
It was at this minute in 2004 that Angelos Charisteas scored the goal responsible for arguing the most surprising international competition victory of all time, and it was at the very same moment in 1984 that Golden Boot recipient Michel Platini put France in front against Spain.

Bruno Bellone would go on to finish the job in the 90th minute, much as Emmanuel Petit completed the 3-0 win over Brazil late on in 1998.


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