Most Scotland fans who were in the Parc des Princes will remember it like it was yesterday, but today marks the nine-year anniversary of James McFadden’s wonder-goal against France.
Thousands of Scots descended on Paris – more than hope than in expectation – for a Euro 2008 qualifier. Scotland had defeated Les Bleus earlier in the qualification campaign thanks to a Gary Caldwell goal at Hampden. Lightning couldn’t strike again, surely?
France, with Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira, Franck Ribery et al in their ranks, bombarded Scotland with wave after wave of attack, but goalkeeper Craig Gordon and a stout back four of Alan Hutton, Graham Alexander, Stephen McManus and David Weir could not be passed. Then – and let’s be honest, totally against the run of play – McFadden latched on to a long goal-kick from Gordon, turned and smashed an unstoppable 30-yard strike that arced beyond a clearly surprised Mickael Landreau in the France goal.
The stadium was a mixture of stunned locals and delirious Scots. It’ll go down as one of the greatest and most memorable goals in Scottish football history. Hopefully the current World Cup qualifying campaign can give us a goal to match it ...
Scotland team: Gordon, Hutton, McManus, Weir, Alexander, McCulloch, Ferguson, Fletcher (Pearson 26), Brown, Hartley, McFadden (O’Connor 76). Unused subs: McGregor, McEveley, Caldwell, Boyd, Maloney.