Uefa chief leads the plaudits for 'wonderful' tournament

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The Independent Football

Football's great and good have united to praise Euro 2008 as a huge success. Michel Platini, president of the European governing body, Uefa, said the tournament had thrived thanks to exciting games, good organisation and colourful fans.

"I am pleased and delighted that we've been able to convey this wonderful view of football broadcast throughout the world," he said. "I thank Germany and Spain in particular."

The former Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer seemed pleased that the more usual order had been restored following Greece's triumph four years ago with a series of dull 1-0 wins. "Everyone involved in the tournament can be very happy. It really is a big success," he said.

Better behaviour of players towards referees had added to the enjoyment, according to former official Pierluigi Collina. "Respect was shown during the tournament," the Italian said.

There was calm before the storm on the streets of Vienna with only a smattering of fans and ticket touts wandering around early yesterday, but tens of thousands were due arrive in the city later.

In between summits and news conferences, Platini found time to invite the Spanish goalkeeper he embarrassed in the Euro 84 final to be his guest at last night's game.

Platini scored the opening goal of France's 2-0 win with a free-kick that squirmed under the body of keeper Luis Arconada in Spain's last appearance at a major final.

"I was thinking while I was shaving this morning about how I took the trophy off the Spanish 24 years ago but could be handing it back to them now," Platini said.

"When we called Arconada up to ask if he wanted to come and watch the game, he asked if it was a joke. But I think it's nice to be able to invite a former rival."

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