The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, better known as Euro 2004, was the 12th European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament for European national teams. It was hosted in Portugal, for the first time, between 12 June and 4 July 2004, following its selection by UEFA, in 1999, over rival bids from Spain and Austria � Hungary. As in the previous tournaments in England and Netherlands � Belgium, sixteen teams contested the final tournament after going through a qualification round, which began in late 2002. The tournament took place in ten venues located in eight cities: Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Porto and Lisbon.
The tournament was rich in surprises: Germany, Spain and Italy were knocked out during the group stage; title-holders France were eliminated in the quarter-finals by underdogs Greece, and the Portuguese hosts recovered from their opening defeat to reach the final, eliminating Spain, England and Netherlands along the way. For the first time, the final featured the same teams as the opening match, with the hosts losing both of them, for the first time as well, as Portugal were beaten by Greece on both occasions. Greece's triumph was even more outstanding considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments � Euro 1980 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup � and their victory in the opening match was their first in a major tournament.
During the opening ceremony, one of the tableaux depicted a ship, symbolizing the voyages of the Portuguese explorers, sailing through a sea which gave way to the flags of all competing countries. The ship caught the imagination of the Greek media and public, and the Greek team was dubbed the "Pirate Ship" (πειρατικό) for the manner in which the unfancied team "stole" the title from under the noses of the established sides. Portuguese-Canadian pop singer Nelly Furtado performed her single and official theme song "Força", which represented Portuguese folk music and culture.