Youri Djorkaeff scored the winner as France beat Denmark 2-1 in the final of the 2017 Star Sixes tournament at London's 02 Arena. Les Bleus were worthy winners of the maiden edition of the competition following a final day loaded with goals.
The French beat Spain 5-2 in the first semi-final before Denmark stunned Brazil 4-2. Spain didn't reach the final but still managed to finish third after hammering Brazil 11-3 in the play-off.
Ludovic Giuly scrambled the ball over from close range to put France ahead in the final, yet Denmark have made fighting back a forte in London and were level when Daniel Jensen found the net, a finish relayed on the tournament's official Twitter account:
Denmark were making life uncomfortable for the French, but skipper Robert Pires began to exert his influence. The legendary former Arsenal schemer was running the show and helped drag Les Bleus back in front.
It took Djorkaeff to apply the finishing touch, though, as the 49-year-old, who played for AS Monaco, Bayern Munich and Bolton Wanderers, swept in the winner:
Denmark had chances late on, but neither Martin Jorgensen nor substitute Mads Junker could take them. It meant Pires got to lift the inaugural trophy:
Spain couldn't make it past France in the final four, but they still signed off from the tournament in memorable fashion by putting 11 past Brazil.
An equaliser from Amaral was cancelled out by a brace from Salgado's former team-mate, Fernando Morientes. Goals from Luis Garcia, Joan Capdevila and another from Salgado put Spain 6-1 in front.
Salgado and Capdevila both scored again as the lead increased before Julio Baptista got some faint consolation for Brazil. Carlos Marchena added to Spain's tally.
Brazil had already suffered one heavy defeat earlier in the night when they lost to Denmark in the semi-final.
The Danes put Brazil to the sword when Jorgensen scored twice either side of this wonderful team move to tee up Hjalte Bo Norregaard for a tap-in:
Up by three, Denmark appeared to be cruising. However, it was to their credit that Brazil fought back and did so in style, courtesy of Elano.
The former Manchester City forward bagged a brace, beginning with this spectacular strike:
He almost bettered it with his second:
Elano's goals were also almost enough to peg Denmark back. Yet the Danes held on and even managed to pad their lead, courtesy of Junker, to book their place in the final.
They would meet France in the showpiece match after Les Bleus impressively swept Spain aside. Giuly got things started with this smart finish from a tight angle:
It became two when Vincent Candela turned in from close range after Pires had pulled the strings on the break:
Djorkaeff scored before Gaizka Mendieta and Garcia briefly got Spain back in it. However, two more from Giuly were enough to end any realistic Spanish hopes of a comeback.
Ultimately, Giuly, Pires, Djorkaeff and Co. had too much class and guile throughout what has been a thoroughly entertaining tournament. As a first attempt, this free-scoring legends format has to be considered a major success.