Francois Mandou: France beat Italy and win Euro 2000

Sunday 2nd July 2000

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was just about to turn 17. It was a hot sunny day. My mates and I met at one of the local bars, we didn’t go to our usual bar because the TV was smaller! We got there early to make sure we had decent seat in the shade and comfy enough garden chairs! We started to order metres after metres of Pastis. (10 glass of Pastis in a line)

We knew it was going a tense affair against Italy so had to settle the nerves. Just before kick-off, some of our girl friends arrived to sit with us and of course my half Italian, half French friend sat next to me. She was clueless about sport but decided to she would support Italy to wind us up! The first half was tense, very tense. The Italians then opened the score half-way through the second half just minutes after missed 2 great chances. We were stunned, everyone put their heads in their hands apart from a couple of tables of tourists and my friend who danced around us for a minute or two! France pushed and pushed but kept missing chances, after chances.

Most of my friends stopped believing, my mate was singing stupid Italian songs. As a Manchester United fans, I was still hopeful. I reminded them about the Champions League final the previous year, all the Bayern players celebrating on the side until Sheringham scored! …

For me, it was the exact same situation, I could see it coming. Italians on the side-line with their hands up in the air singing thinking it was all over! When Wiltord scored the equaliser, OMG!!!!! Everyone went mad, I remember glasses flying, tables and chair flying too, cars going around the town beeping their horns. Everyone was jumping and hugging each other except for my friend. We all jumped on her and poured drinks all over her, it was wild! The party started from then on and thanks to the Trezeguet Golden Goal, madness continued all night and in the early morning!

Memory added on July 2, 2021

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