Before France and Poland, look at the top five halves of the blues in the Eurozone

The Blues were not a match for Spain’s dominance during the Euro 1999 semi-finals. (LUTTIAU / L’Équipe)

At home, the French team finds its last four EuroBasket matches for the first time since 1991. In a crowded sports hall in Bercy, the Blues face Spain, which is not yet the best enemy. The outright winners from Iberia During the group stage (74-57), Jean-Pierre de Vincenze’s men advance to the semi-finals with a very positive dynamic. But Spain, led by Alberto Herreros of the Big Nights (29 points), is awakening and raising hopes for the Blues’ first continental final. A narrow defeat (70-63), a precursor to a competition that would reach its climax a decade later.

Demetrius Diamantidis, the man who wiped out the blues at Euro 2005 (N. Luttiau/L'Équipe)

Demetrius Diamantidis, the man who wiped out the blues at Euro 2005 (N. Luttiau/L’Équipe)

The Euro 2005 semi-final remains one of the most traumatic in French basketball history. Against Greece, who won the pool (64-50), Tony Parker and his teammates present a very different opposition to Helen in the semi-finals. After a tight encounter, the Blues lead by seven points (62-55) with 47 seconds remaining after a decisive – we think – immersion from Boris Diao. But everything falls apart: two missed throws and a ball lost by TP, overall efficiency from the Greeks… Going back 11 seconds from the finish, the latter waited until the last minute to land a stab at the blues. Demetrius Diamantidis, without attacking him, throws a three-point shot into the basket. France lost at the bell 67-66.

3. France – Russia 2011 (79 – 71): Liberation

Jill Parker has always missed his big encounters thus far, approaching the Euro 2011 semi-finals with the pressure to qualify for the London Olympics without going through the qualifying tournament and proving she’s not damned. After shocking Greece in 2005, the Blues narrowly failed in the quarter-final against Russia in 2007 (75-71). But in 2011, it was time for revenge. In Lithuania, France beat Greece in the quarter (64-56) and finds in the half … Russia.

Nicholas Batum was the man of the match during the Blues' semi-final win against Russia.  (Martin / Team)

Nicholas Batum was the man of the match during the Blues’ semi-final win against Russia. (Martin / Team)

Held by captain Tony Parker (22 points) and youngster Nicholas Patum (22 years, 19 points, 7 rebounds) named Man of the Match, he won custody (79-71), and qualified for their first final at the Euros and Games. Parker’s statement: I had tears in my eyes at the end of the match. I was so happy… I jumped into my brothers arms, oh Family, the French interact at the end of the meeting. We are in the Olympics! I’ve been chasing after that for eleven years. It is difficult to describe my joy in words, when you have had so many hardships, so many defeats that it was hard for you to bear. There, this year, we take our revenge on the Greeks and then on the Russians. Little by little, we were able to progress and play as a great team. »

4. France-Spain 2013 (75-72, AP): the mythical

After being defeated by Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro 2009, in the final of Euro 2011 and in the quarter-finals of the Games in 2012, the French national team again faces its opponent in the quarter-finals of EuroBasket 2013. And the result in the first half does not give way to optimism: overwhelming Altogether, the Blues are up by fourteen (20-34). Tony Parker, author of Fourteen French Points out of Twenty, then begins in a discourse that has become legendary: ” They control us because they think we are dirty, and it shows on their faces..

Vincent Colette’s men were completely transformed when they came back from the locker room, and started making a crazy comeback. On a mission to win his first title in the blue jersey, Parker holds his team until the end of overtime, scoring 32 points. France won 75-72 and defeated Lithuania in the final.

Pau Gasol was the main architect of Spain's semi-final win against France at Euro 2015 (R. Martin / L'Équipe)

Pau Gasol was the main architect of Spain’s semi-final win against France at Euro 2015 (R. Martin / L’Équipe)

In 2015, the Blues found their Spanish rival in a new confrontation, which has become a classic. After 2013, France doubled its bet in the 2014 World Cup finals by winning the quarter against the Iberians in Madrid (62-52). A year later, at the Stade Pierre Moroy in Lille, France crossed paths with Spain again. At stake: live qualification for the Rio Games. The 2013 scenario appears to be the other way around. The Blues are up by eleven points in the middle of the third quarter, before seeing their opponent come back bit by bit, until they are three points ahead with twenty seconds left. France saved an award-winning shot from Batum and a block from Rudy Gobert, winning overtime. But, carried by the indefensible Pau Gasol (40 points), La Roga showers France at home (80-75 points).

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