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France and Yugoslavia were involved in an absolute classic in the first European Championship finals fixture
France and Yugoslavia were involved in an absolute classic in the first European Championship finals fixture

Throughout Euro 2020, LiveScore will be looking back at classic games from previous tournaments. Ahead of France’s opener against Germany on Tuesday, we remember the first European Championship fixture ever a nine-goal thriller against Yugoslavia.

Inaugural tournament

The European Championship tournaments continue to increase in size but the first edition, which took place in Paris in 1960, was contested by just four teams.

Seventeen nations initially entered at the qualfying stages — with England, West Germany and Italy all notable absentees — before the final tournament took place in a straight knockout format.

Well-fancied France were without the key duo of Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine through injury and temporary retirement.

Championship finals

Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union were the other two teams to make it through to the inaugural finals after progressing through their respective qualifiers a few weeks earlier.

However, the first match saw hosts France take on Yugoslavia at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

What was to unfold was an incredible advert for this new continental tournament coming together and still holds the record for the most goals in a single European Championship fixture.

Breathless start

The Parc des Princes, which looks a little different today to how it would have back in 1960, hosted the clash
The Parc des Princes, which looks a little different today to how it would have back in 1960, hosted the clash

Yugoslavia took the lead after just 11 minutes in the French capital when Milan Galic cracked home a thunderous 25-yard strike.

The hosts were soon level, though.

Jean Vincent dinked a cross in from outside the penalty area and, despite the best efforts of Maryan Wisnieski to claim the goal with a deft header, the ball went in without intervention.

End-to-end action

After a dramatic start, things calmed down before a flurry of four goals in 19 minutes.

Francois Heutte put France in front for the first time with a thumping drive before Wisnieski cracked home a third.

Yugoslavia pulled one back through Ante Zanetic and then Heutte bagged his second to restore France’s two-goal advantage.

Tomislav Knez again halved the deficit in the 75th minute before Drazan Jerkovic got two in the space of a minute from close range to turn the game on its head and seal a dramatic Yugoslav win.

Fallout

Valentin Ivanov would go on to lift the trophy as he captained the Soviet Union to the 1960 title
Valentin Ivanov would go on to lift the trophy as he captained the Soviet Union to the 1960 title

The incredible victory did Yugoslavia little good in the final, where they were beaten 2-1 in extra-time by the Soviet Union.

France, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to Czechoslovakia in the third place play-off. 

Les Bleus would fail to qualify again until they hosted the tournament in 1984, when they promptly won their first European Championship.

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FranceEuropean Championship

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