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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Greek joy, Portuguese woe
Greek football players and Portuguese fan
The glory and the pain

Greece's unexpected 1-0 win over Portugal in the final of Euro 2004 reverberates across papers throughout Europe on Monday.

In Greece, sheer, unadulterated joy bursts off the front pages.

Elevtherotipia carries the simple headline "Trellas", meaning "madness", with a gap between "tr" and the word "ellas" meaning "Greece".

Instead of its usual editorial, the paper has a single word in large, bold type: "Nenikikamen" - "We have won".

At the summit of Europe... They have raised up Greece
Elevtheros Tipos (Greece)

The centre-left Ethnos also prints "Nenikikamen" as its headline, and adds "Tear down the city walls, our guys are coming home as European champions".

This is a reference to the ancient custom of tearing down the city walls to honour a returning Olympic champion.

'Greek Gods'

Elevtheros Tipos writes "At the summit of Europe... They have raised up Greece."

Its back page carries a series of photos, including one of Prime Minister Karamanlis and his wife cheering wildly.

The Portuguese game was a series of wasted opportunities
Publico (Portugal)

The daily I Vradhini has a full-page photo of the team with the headline "Greek Gods".

The independent Adhesmevtos Tipos has a photo montage including an image of the goal.

Its back page shows the Athens stadium, with an appeal to "tear down the city walls" and to turn out en masse to receive the "returning heroes".

Portuguese pride

Portuguese papers are understandably subdued.

"In contrast to the effectiveness of Otto Rehhagel's men, the Portuguese game was a series of wasted opportunities," wails Lisbon's Publico.

But the paper is able to grab some pride from the tournament.

"Portugal won, even having lost twice against Greece. It won because it was able to reach the final. But it won above all because it organised a great European tournament."

'King Otto' Rehhagel can expect a rousing welcome with his team in Athens following their victory
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Jornal de Noticias laments the team being so near, yet so far from the ultimate prize.

"For Portugal there was the frustration of seeing the collapse of a domino castle built with the support of 10 million fans when only the last piece remained to be placed. It is tough, but it is the truth."

But the paper also tries to extract some comfort.

"It is good that Greece is the champion because it proves that small countries can also reach the top."

The Rehhagel factor

In Germany, much is made of Otto Rehhagel, the German who coached the Greek side to victory.

Zeus, King of the Gods, dispensed order and justice. The Greek footballers dispensed their own
L'Equipe (France)

"Rehhagel is the first foreign coach, and at 65-years-old the oldest coach in European football history to lead his team to the title," writes Berlin's Die Welt.

"'King Otto' Rehhagel... can expect a rousing welcome with his team in Athens following their victory," is how the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sees it.

Croatia's Vjesnik sounds a similar tune.

"Under German coach Otto Rehhagel, they played a game which did not captivate by its beauty but by its defensive strategy."

"Alongside their Mediterranean talent, the Greeks produced football with essentially German traits of discipline, blind obedience of orders and team hierarchy."

In France, the national sports daily L'Equipe is generous to both sides.

Greece won... by rediscovering that ferociously defensive football of which we Italians have been the most famous champions for decades
Corriere Della Sera (Italy)

"Zeus, King of the Gods, dispensed order and justice. The Greek footballers dispensed their own."

"The Portuguese have no reason to feel ashamed this morning. They should be proud of the festival they laid on and the warmth they imparted to us."

'Triumph Italian-style'

In Italy, the pink sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport tries to make up for the shock experienced when the national team failed to get beyond the group stage.

"Greece, an 'Italian-style' triumph" is the headline.

The paper says Greece made its own the successful defensive formula historically favoured by Italy: "First of all, do not concede".

Milan's Corriere della Sera adopts similar tactics: "Greece won... by rediscovering that ferociously defensive football of which we Italians have been the most famous champions for decades."

Only Rome's La Repubblica is generous in praising the quality of the Greek game: "Greece won by playing even better than in the opening match."

"Greece ruined the party prepared by an entire country, but in no way did they steal anything."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




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