Golden boy Trezeguet relives France's 2000 glory

One of two men to make their name at the UEFA European Championship by scoring a golden goal in the final, David Trezeguet gives the lowdown on events in the Low Countries.

An emotional Trezeguet reacts after scoring his golden goal
An emotional Trezeguet reacts after scoring his golden goal ©Getty Images

In the brief era of the golden goal, two men were fortunate enough to win a UEFA European Championship by such a method – Oliver Bierhoff and David Trezeguet. The latter's goal edged France to UEFA EURO 2000 glory, yet their progress through the competition had been magisterial, the first reigning world champions to collect the European title. The striker believes it is one of the finest major final tournaments ever staged.

Memories of UEFA EURO 2000...
Personally, my memories have to start with the final against Italy because I had the good fortune to score an important goal. But the tournament as a whole was played at a very high standard and I have to say the organisation was very good in the Netherlands and Belgium. We knew we had a chance of winning the competition and things went very well for us in terms of the football we played. We were well set up from the point of view of preparation and training so we were very pleased to win the competition.

France's tough route to the final…
There were three key matches. The first was the opener against Denmark because we recognised the importance of making a winning start. Then the semi-final against Portugal proved to be fairly difficult – we won it thanks to a penalty. And then the final against Italy was played with a lot of intensity and proved to be very difficult. Fortunately, we found a way of winning those key matches.

Watch Trezeguet's dramatic final winner
Watch Trezeguet's dramatic final winner

The final...
It was a very tough game. The Italians scored first and we soon realised they were going to be very hard to beat. They were tactically very disciplined like all of their teams are in the Italian championship. Our coach, Roger Lemerre, ended the game with four attackers and we had the chance to equalise in the 94th minute [through Silvain Wiltord] and score the golden goal during extra time that decided the competition.

France's mental strength…
In physical terms, I would say we finished the match stronger than Italy and scoring the equaliser when we did gave us even more will to win. I think Italy were more affected by fatigue than we were and, on top of that, they had to face a mental challenge after not winning a match they practically had in the bag. We knew we had to concentrate on playing to our qualities and strengths – and we took our chance.

The golden goal...
It started with a great move by Robert Pirès on our left. He dribbled past Fabio Cannavaro and got to the byline. Then he put in a cross that was fairly difficult, but I was on the penalty spot and I hit the ball as it dropped. It went in and we became the first team to win the European Championship after winning the World Cup. It was a great thing for our country.

All my force was in that shot – it had been a difficult championship for me because I had hoped to play a greater part. At first I was happy for my team-mates; then I was happy for my family; and then I was happy for me. We had dreamed of being champions of the world and Europe. It gave me enormous satisfaction at the time and it's a satisfaction I still feel.