European Football Championship 2004: Otto, the king of the football gods

From the series: An EM picture and its story

Greece’s title in the football summer of 2004 was the biggest underdog victory in European Championship history. Right in the middle: Otto Rehhagel – 65 years old, from Essen – and his concrete football.

May 23, 2024, 12:39 p.m.

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The European Football Championship begins on June 14th in Germany. A series of highlights the most exciting and bizarre moments of the European Championship. One picture shows the coach Otto Rehhagel, who surprisingly won the European Championship with his team Greece in 2004. They defeated the favorites with concrete football and a master plan. Rehhagel tells in a film about the miracle of Lisbon and the love for Greece. After the triumph, they were celebrated in the ancient Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.


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Remember Otto Rehhagel, immediately after the final whistle of the 2004 European Championship final © ActionPictures/​imago images

The European Football Championship begins in Germany on June 14th. Until then, we’ll be looking back in a series at the most exciting and bizarre European Championship moments – and let one picture do the talking in each episode.

The accreditation, the document that identifies him, flutters upright on the invisible ribbon behind the flying man’s neck. This detail illustrates the speed of the jump at which the coach in the black polo shirt took off – his right arm raised, his face shining with joy, his mouth open for the scream of happiness. In front, his players in white with blue patterns crouch and cheer, while on the right his assistant coach runs with a notebook under his left arm, dressed in a rain jacket, even though it was warm that evening in Lisbon and sunny the day before.


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