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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 June, 2004, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Euro 2004 diary
By Phil McNulty and Paul Fletcher
Our men in Portugal

Danny Mills
Only a cardboard cut-out of Mills made it to Portugal
England's impressive pitchside hoardings at their Lisbon training base carry only one blemish - the face of Danny Mills.

Not because his face is not appealing but because he is not with the squad.

The FA quite rightly decided not to commission expensive new livery for the sake of dear old Danny's mugshot.

And presumably the sight also provides the squad with a permanent reminder of how things have improved since the 2002 World Cup in Japan.

Music was used to stir Portugal's passions ahead of Euro 2004 with a massive concert in Lisbon on Friday.

The turns were led by an apparently popular combo called The Pixies - referred to as The Fairies by a clearly out of touch English music critic.

Top of the bill was the one and only Fatboy Slim, or Norman Cook to give him his less ridiculous real name.

Presumably Sir Cliff couldn't make it to this particular gig because he was rehearsing for Wimbledon.

England's players are well-guarded at their Lisbon hotel - with the media several miles away to avoid contact.

In contrast, France booked into the English media hotel on Saturday and happily mixed with other guests.

We can report Robert Pires politely holds lifts for BBC website staff - but does not conduct interviews on the way up to the seventh floor.

Coach Jacques Santini did not stop smiling - maybe he does not know much about the Spurs squad he is inheriting?

Luis Boa Morte was a controversial omission from Portugal's squad for Euro 2004 - at least according to his former Fulham team-mate Louis Saha.

This did not stop Boa Morte from lending his support to the national team ahead of the big kick-off.

He was seen mooching around the England media hotel - although the look on his face did not suggest he was about to cast his disappointment aside.

Come on Luis, give us a smile. It hasn't even started yet.

The bus from the airport to Porto on Friday afternoon was fairly quiet except for one distasteful group.

Loudly recounting sordid tales from previous excursions and hilariously joking about riots were a less than pleasant group of English fans.

Supporters from other nations pulled subtle faces of disapproval.

We cannot be sure what those continental fans were thinking but the ironic chant 'It's nice to know you're here' sprang to mind.

"These legs were made for walking" might have been a phrase invented for Porto - the journey from the airport to the city centre was excruciating.

At one point two Portuguese teenagers spent over 30 minutes marginally outpacing the bus.

They walked casually while our supposedly efficient mode of transport plodded through the city traffic.

Luckily the metro to Estadio do Dragao is working, otherwise it would be a miracle if anyone got there on time.

Links to more Euro 2004 stories



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