Before Betfair: France V Italy, Euro 2000

Since Betfair was invented in 2001 this means we can only imagine how some of the historic betting events would have played out if they had been in-play. This is a light hearted look at how we feel the markets would have reacted to some of the great sporting events that happened before Betfair was invented. The prices are based on similar matches that have happened since and the article is written as if the event was only yesterday….

Today we look back at the dramatic Euro 2000 final between France & Italy.

 France 2-1 Italy – Euro 2000

Probably the best European Championships we have ever seen ended in dramatic fashion which summed up just how great Euro 2000 was. Unless you are an England fan of course!

Many had written France off before this tournament, saying they were unlikely to repeat their 1998 success however they quietly progressed through the rounds and were in the final once again. With, the tournament favourites, The Netherlands eliminated on penalties by Italy in the semi-final the markets were now finding it hard to distinguish the favourite between France and Italy.

Italy were slight favourites to lift the trophy @ 1.80 after being unbeaten on the way to the final and only conceding 2 goals. France were 2.20 to lift the trophy but had shown they were vulnerable at the back during the tournament and also suffered a defeat in the group stage to the Netherlands.

All the pre-match money was going on the Italians with players like Francesco Totti in sparkling form.

When Delvecchio gave Italy the lead in the 55th minute it seemed like the markets were going to get this one right. As time ticked on, Italy traded as low as 1.01 to lift the trophy as France tried and tried to break down Italy but Toldo was in great form.

However, with what was virtually the last kick of the game France managed to find an equaliser from Bordeaux’s Sylvain Wiltord in the 94th minute. It was a shot that squirmed under Toldo who had made his first mistake of the tournament but the most costly of all with Italy literally 30 seconds from winning the title.

With Italy trading as low as 1.01 to win the trophy we were now heading into Golden Goal Extra time where the next team to score, wins!

This meant the markets had both teams priced @ 2 as it really could go either way at this point.

The shrewd in-play traders would have been favouring France in this situation since its very hard for a team to mentally recover from losing the title in the final minute.

In Extra Time, it was clear that Italy were mentally beaten and the France goal was inevitable as David Trezeguet popped up to win Euro 2000 for France with a Golden Goal in the 104th minute.

This was pretty spectacular as France were matched as high as 200 to lift the trophy in the final few minutes of normal time when it appeared certain that Italy would prevail.

This was quite some finish to a tournament and huge gubbing for those silly enough to back Italy down to 1.01 in the final moments. It is never till its over!


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  1. CrackerJack says:

    Best Euros we’ve ever seen? Are you sure your memory hasn’t deteriorated over the past decade?! I remember it being a drab tournament with few goals. I still have the video of goals from the tournament and there are hardly any outstanding ones. It certainly wasn’t a patch on Euro 96 or 88, which were fabulous tournaments. Anyway, just being pedantic – a great read as always 🙂

    1. CrackerJack says:

      Actually, you can scrap my previous comment, I was thinking of the 98 world cup – doh!!

    2. Sports Trading Life says:

      I think you had better take another look Jack.

      Euro 2000 is still the Euros with the highest goal average. Euro 96 on the other hand had the lowest amount of goals and, apart from England, was a drab tournament. Are you sure you are not getting the two mixed up?

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