Euro Moments: Manuel Amoros nuts Jesper Olsen

France skipper lands a headbutt on Danish winger and misses rest of 1984 success

Euro 1984: France 1 Denmark 0

June 12th, 1984

Zinedine Zidane's headbutt into the chest of Marco Materazzi in the closing stages of the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy provided a thumping crescendo to one of football's great careers.

But while Zizou’s moment of madness - or genius, depending how you look at it - may be one of the most famous examples of a player losing it on the biggest stage, it certainly wasn’t the first.


Indeed, rewind 22 years and it was another Frenchman who received his marching orders for dishing out a Glasgow Kiss while playing for his country.

The 1984 championships were fruitful for France, with Michel Platini scoring nine goals as he guided the hosts to their first major tournament.

Platini's first goal of the tournament came in the opening game against Denmark, but his 78th winner was soon followed by a moment of headloss from his captain Manuel Amoros.

With the clock ticking down Amoros had the ball deep in the Danish half, and he managed to wriggle his way past a few tackles before the impish Jesper Olsen, who was soon to move to Manchester United from Ajax, brought him down with a slightly over-enthusiastic tackle.

And the French skipper, rather than displaying a show of calm to his troops and taking his time over the resultant free kick, lost the plot with the flying winger.

First Amoros attempts to launch the ball - an Adidas Tango, of course - at Olsen’s head, missing by a fair distance. And then, with Olsen sat yards away on his backside looking slightly bemused, Amoros launches himself, standing up and planting a headbutt right between the Dane’s eyes.

In the chaos which ensued Amoros had the brass neck to try and dispute the inevitable red card which followed.

But it was to no avail and the the Monaco defender would miss the rest of France’s successful campaign, apart from the final win over Spain when he came on as a substitute.

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden is a former sports journalist with The Irish Times