Our look back at Chelsea’s involvement in the last six Euros finals begins in 2000, when a trio of Frenchman became the first Blues to triumph at a major international tournament.

For the last time a European Championship concluded without any Chelsea interest in the final, you need to go back all the way to 1996, ironically when the tournament was played in England.

Since then, we have had a stake in six consecutive finals, starting with a glorious moment at Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium. From London to Rotterdam, Wembley to De Kuip, the summer was summed up by a pair of photos showing three of Chelsea’s Frenchman celebrating with a trophy on the pitch, after winning for club and country.

Blues at Euro 2000

Denmark - Jes Hogh

England - Dennis Wise

France - Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Frank Leboeuf

Netherlands - Ed de Goey

Norway - Tore Andre Flo

Romania - Dan Petrescu

The story started back home in the UK, with Gianluca Vialli’s Blues triumphing over an Aston Villa side featuring current England boss Gareth Southgate in the 2000 FA Cup final.

French trio Frank Leboeuf, Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps were all in the starting line-up that day at Wembley, as Roberto Di Matteo’s goal have us a 1-0 win, and saw us lift the FA Cup for the second time in four seasons.

The three French players marked the occasion by posing together with the trophy on the Wembley pitch for a photo for the fans and media back in their homeland.

Three weeks later, two of those – close friends Desailly and Deschamps – were lining up together again, this time in Bruges as world champions France opened their European Championship campaign with a 3-0 win over Denmark, with Leboeuf an unused substitute.

Desailly would play every minute of France’s campaign, Deschamps would start all but one match and Leboeuf joined them in the starting line-up for the final group game against hosts Holland. It turned out to be quite a tournament for the stellar Les Bleus side, which also included future Blues duo Nicolas Anelka and Emmanuel Petit.

Elsewhere, Chelsea players were finding it difficult. Denmark and Norway were both eliminated in the group stage, as were England, after Dan Petrescu’s Romania defeated them through an 89th-minute penalty in the last game.

Romania’s tournament came to an end in the next round, leaving us with just the French trio and Dutch reserve goalkeeper Ed de Goey remaining, going into what turned out to be a pair of incredibly tense semi-finals.

The Netherlands missed from the penalty spot five times – twice during the game and three times in the shoot-out – as they were knocked out by Italy, but the Frenchmen kept Chelsea’s interest alive by coming from behind to beat Portugal with a sudden-death golden goal from the spot with less than three minutes of extra time remaining. Skipper Deschamps earned his 100th international cap in the process.

That meant just Italy stood between France and a European crown to add to the World Cup they had won on home soil two years earlier, and again Les Blues would do it the hard way with plenty of drama.

The Italians took a second-half lead through Marco Delvecchio but France levelled in injury time to take the match into extra time, where they pulled the same trick again. David Trezeguet smashed home a golden goal in the 107th minute, meaning Les Blues were champions of Europe as well as the world. They were the first nation ever to win both competitions in that order, and only the second to hold both titles simultaneously.

Cue the celebrations in Rotterdam, including the French Blues recreating their Wembley photo with a second trophy in less than two months - a chance for the three players to show the Chelsea supporters they were still thinking of them.

‘It was absolutely fantastic,’ recalled Leboeuf. ‘It’s funny because we took a picture at Wembley because there was a few French players playing for Chelsea, so for the French fans we took a picture together. So when we won the Euros we took that picture for the Chelsea fans.

‘We were proud of that. I was really proud of winning something with the national team, with being a Chelsea player. It was important for me. I never forgot Chelsea when I was playing international football.

'I did an article for The Times the day before the final saying: 'Don’t worry, I won with Chelsea so now I’m going to win with France'. And we did!’

The Blues were proud of Les Bleus too. During most of our history, having any players to root for at an international tournament was a rare novelty. Now, in the space of two years, our French contingent had become world and European champions while flying the flag for Chelsea.

The famous chant of the French football fans suddenly had added significance as they celebrated on the Champs-Elysees. Allez Les Bleus! Go Blues!