France v Romania

Episode 1 France v Romania



For just one night, forget about where to play Wayne Rooney, how to maximise Gareth Bale or all those other little parochial questions. Euro 2016 begins with the opening ceremony at Paris’s Stade de France, then the hosts take on Romania, kick-off 8pm.

When you speak to French people and former players, that’s when you realise how anxious France is to put on a show. “You know what we’ve been through in Paris in the space of one year,” says World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit. “For me the most important thing is this is an occasion for different countries to unite. This is the beauty of football.”

And also the agony. After all, why should we expect young men to be peacemakers as well as playmakers? Not to mention asking the organisers to balance a spirit of fraternité with the need for sécurité.

“For me, and for all French people, we need the tournament to find some joy.” The Best of British to you, Emmanuel. Just as long as our sides find some joie de vivre, too.


France v Romania (Kick-off 8.00pm). Coverage of the opening match of the tournament, as the Group A teams face each other at the Stade de France in Paris. This is the third time the finals of the tournament have been staged in France, and the first since it was decided to extend the format to include 24 teams, which is in great contrast to the previous stagings in 1960 and 1984, which featured four and eight nations respectively. The home support will hope to see their team emulate the performance of the national side in 1984, when they won all five of their matches and were crowned champions for the first time, thanks largely to the goal-scoring exploits of Michel Platini, who scored an incredible nine goals, which included two hat-tricks. Romania were one of the nations to qualify for that tournament but had a forgettable experience, drawing one and losing two of their games to finish bottom of their group, and a look at their history illustrates they do not have a record to match that of the hosts, who also triumphed at Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium. Mark Pougatch presents, with analysis from Lee Dixon, Emmanuel Petit, Slaven Bilic, Christian Karembeu and Louis Saha, and commentary by Clive Tyldesley and Glenn Hoddle.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mark Pougatch
Guest Lee Dixon
Guest Emmanuel Petit
Guest Slaven Bilic
Guest Christian Karembeu
Guest Louis Saha
Commentator Clive Tyldesley
Commentator Glenn Hoddle
Editor Phil Heslop
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