Scotland: James McFadden reflects on wonder strike in Paris, 10 years on

By Sandra BrownBBC Scotland
James McFadden
McFadden says he is still asked about his thunderbolt in Paris

James McFadden is "amazed" that his stunning winning goal in a Euro 2008 qualifier against France in Paris still resonates - 10 years on.

His 30-yard strike, with 25 minutes remaining at the Parc de Princes, gave the Scots a memorable 1-0 victory.

"It's talked about a lot, it's nice. I think there was a lot of euphoria at the time," McFadden told BBC Scotland.

"People got carried away... but are still talking about it being one of the best goals," added the 34-year-old.

The wonderful long-range goal ensured back-to-back wins over a French side featuring greats including Franck Ribery, Claude Makelele, Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira and Lilian Thuram.

Thousands of Scotland supporters had made the journey to Paris to cheer on the side more in hope than expectation.

But McFadden's spectacular effort in the 64th minute beat the despairing Mickael Landreau to stun the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winners and spark scenes of wild celebration from the Tartan Army.

And the forward, who recently joined Queen of the South in the Scottish Championship, says he would have traded all of his Scotland caps to hit the net in such style that September evening.

"It stood the test of time," said McFadden, who has played for Motherwell, Everton and Birmingham City.

"I played 48 times for my country and I scored 15 goals. That was a special night, but I would have taken one appearance for Scotland to score a goal that's talked about now, 10 years after the event - it's brilliant for me."

'Everything went our way'

James McFadden celebrates his wonder strike against France in 2007
"It was just a night that everybody involved, the whole country, they still talk about it"

Scotland were within touching distance of a qualifying spot for Euro 2008 after victories over Lithuania and France at Hampden.

However, a defeat in Georgia and a heart-breaking loss to Italy at Hampden ended the dream of Alex McLeish's side, who won eight of their 12 group games.

"We were on a high, we had been playing well," said McFadden. "Alex McLeish had come in, taken over from Walter Smith. There was just a real club spirit within the team. We felt as though we could beat anybody.

"At that time we knew France were going to be hurting from the fact we had beaten them at Hampden.

"We had a game-plan we stuck to, and it was one of those nights where everything went our way.

"Throughout the team, performance levels were the best in everybody's career. And they had to be because of the superstars France had that night.

"It was just a night that everybody involved, the whole country, they still talk about it. I speak to people and you can see in their face, it takes them back to that time.

"It's good to look back now and see what it means to people. It's amazing that it's 10 years down the line and people are still talking about it."

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