The 2000 UEFA European Football Championship, also known as Euro 2000, was the 11th UEFA European Championship, a football tournament held every four years and organised by UEFA, the sport's governing body in Europe. The finals tournament was played between 10 June and 2 July 2000, and co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, the first time the tournament had been held in more than one nation. Spain and Austria also bid to host the event. The finals tournament was contested by 16 nations; with the exception of the hosts, Belgium and the Netherlands, the finalists had to go through a qualifying tournament to reach the final stage. France won the tournament by defeating Italy 2–1 in the final, via a golden goal. The finals saw the first major UEFA competition contested in the King Baudouin Stadium since the events of the 1985 European Cup Final and the Heysel Stadium disaster, with the opening game being played in the rebuilt stadium. A high-scoring tournament with many exciting matches and a very high standard of play, Euro 2000 is often named by football writers as one of the greatest international tournaments ever.
Belgium and the Netherlands were selected as co-hosts on 14 July 1995 by the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
was a significant problem in the Netherlands in the 1990s, especially the fierce rivalry between AFC Ajax and Feyenoord. There were concerns that hooliganism would overshadow the finals. Many instances of violence occurred, including several football riots in Rotterdam between 1995 and 1999, which would host the Euro 2000 final. One of the most infamous incidents was the Battle of Beverwijk in 1997. Although the violence is normally associated with domestic clubs, there were concerns that it could attach to the Dutch national team. Violence did eventually occur during the Euro 2000 finals, albeit not involving the Dutch team. On 17 June 174 England fans were arrested in Brussels, Belgium, following violence with Germans ahead of an England v Germany match.
One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was Portugal, winning Group A with three wins, including a 3–0 win against Germany, with Sérgio Conceição scoring a hat-trick, and a 3–2 win over England, in which they came back from 2–0 down. Romania was the other qualifier from the group, beating England with a late penalty in their last group game. Belgium had a surprise exit in the group stage, winning the tournament's first game against Sweden, but losing to Turkey and Italy. They finished third in Group B, behind Italy and Turkey. The other co-host and favourite, the Netherlands, progressed as expected from Group D, along with World Cup winners France. The Netherlands won the group, by beating France in their last group match. Also in Group D, Denmark's three losses with eight goals conceded and none scored set a new record for the worst team performance in the group stages of a Euros. Group C was memorable for the match between FR Yugoslavia and Spain. Spain needed a win to ensure progression, but found themselves trailing 3–2, after Slobodan Komljenović scored in the 75th minute. The Spanish side rescued their tournament by scoring twice in injury time to record a 4–3 victory. FR Yugoslavia managed to go through as well, despite losing because Norway and Slovenia played to a draw. Italy and Portugal maintained their perfect records in the quarter-finals, beating Romania and Turkey, respectively, and the Netherlands started a goal-avalanche against FR Yugoslavia, winning 6–1. Spain fell 2–1 to France; Raul missed a late penalty that ended Spanish hopes. Italy eliminated the Netherlands in the semi-finals, despite going down to ten men and facing two penalty kicks. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, who had been drafted into the starting XI as Gianluigi Buffon missed the tournament through injury, made two saves in the penalty shootout to carry the Italians to the final. In the other semi-final, Portugal lost in extra time to France after Zinedine Zidane converted a controversial penalty kick. Several Portuguese players challenged the awarding of the penalty for a handball and were given lengthy suspensions for shoving the referee. France won the tournament, defeating Italy 2–1 in the final with a golden goal by David Trezeguet after equalising with a last-minute goal, and became the first team to win the European championship while being world champion. In Britain, Match of the Day named Stefano Fiore's goal against Belgium the Goal of the Tournament, ahead of Patrick Kluivert's against France and Zinedine Zidane's against Spain.
Qualification for the tournament took place throughout 1998 and 1999. Forty-nine teams were divided into nine groups and each played the others in their group, on a home-and-away basis. The winner of each group and the best runner-up qualified automatically for the final tournament. The eight other runners-up played an additional set of play-off matches to determine the last four qualifiers. Belgium and the Netherlands automatically qualified for the tournament as co-hosts.
The composition of pots 1 to 3 was based on the teams' UEFA coefficient at the end of 1999. The finals draw took place on 12 December 1999, 15:00 CET, at the Exhibition Centre in Brussels, Belgium.
Prior to the draw, the seeded teams in Pot 1 were assigned positions: Germany to A1, Belgium to B1, Spain to C1, and the Netherlands to D1. Teams were drawn consecutively from Pots 2 to 4 into a group, with each team then being assigned a specific position. The draw resulted in the following groups:
Capacity figures are those for matches at UEFA Euro 2000 and are not necessarily the total capacity that the stadium is capable of holding.
Team base camps
The 16 national teams each stayed in their own "team base camp" during the tournament.
Each national team had to submit a squad of 22 players, three of whom must be goalkeepers.
On 15 February 2000, UEFA appointed 12 referees, 16 assistant referees and four fourth officials for the competition, including a referee and an assistant referee from the Confederation of African Football. The event saw assistant referees being allowed to intervene an ongoing game, in particular to help the match official apply the 10-metre rule when deciding free-kicks – as well as warn the referee instantly if he had booked or ejected the wrong player, something that was not possible in previous tournaments. Also, fourth officials were given a larger role in assisting to take command of the match if any decisions are gone unnoticed by the referee or an assistant referee. The German referee Markus Merk was selected to referee the opening game between Belgium and Sweden.
The knockout stage was a single-elimination tournament with each round eliminating the losers. Any game that was undecided by the end of the regular 90 minutes, was followed by up to thirty minutes of extra time. For the second time the golden goal system was applied, whereby the first team to score during the extra time would become the winner. If no goal was scored there would be a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner. For the second time the final was won by a golden goal. As with every tournament since UEFA Euro 1984, there was no third place play-off. All times are local, CEST.
---- ---- ----
;UEFA Team of the Tournament
Fabien Barthez Francesco Toldo
Laurent Blanc Marcel Desailly Lilian Thuram Fabio Cannavaro Paolo Maldini Alessandro Nesta Frank de Boer
Patrick Vieira Zinedine Zidane Demetrio Albertini Edgar Davids Rui Costa Luís Figo Pep Guardiola
A sum of CHF120 million was awarded to the 16 qualified teams in the competition. France, the winners of the tournament, received a total prize money of CHF14.4 million. Below is a complete list of the allocations: Extra payment based on teams performances:
Winner: CHF14.4 million
Runner-up: CHF13.2 million
Semi-finals: CHF10.2 million
Quarter-finals: CHF7.8 million
*Third place: CHF5.4 million
*Fourth place: CHF4.8 million
On 9 July 2000, UEFA refused to hand FR Yugoslavia their prize money of CHF7.8 million, because of alleged ties between the Football Association of FR Yugoslavia and Slobodan Milošević's government. However, no connections were found and the Football Association of FR Yugoslavia later received their money with an additional bonus.
Slogan and theme song
The slogan of the competition was "Football without frontiers". "Campione 2000" by E-Type was the official anthem of the event.
The official mascot for the tournament was Benelucky, a lion-devil hybrid with its mane having the flag colours of both host nations. The lion is the national football emblem of the Netherlands and a devil is the emblem of Belgium.
UEFA distinguishes between global sponsors and national sponsors. Global Euro sponsors can come from any country and have exclusive worldwide sponsorship rights for a UEFA Euro championship. National sponsors come from a host country and only have sponsorship rights within that country.