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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Euro 2004 diary
By Phil McNulty and Paul Fletcher
Our men in Portugal

Portugal's fans revelled long into the night
Visitors to Portugal finally discovered on Wednesday how the locals celebrate when their team win.

Portugal's 2-0 win over Russia was greeted with a cacophony of sound.

Cars took to the streets packed with people of all ages waving Portuguese flags out of the windows and ceaselessly beeping their horns.

Portuguese television supplemented the celebrations with constant reruns of their team's goals - one can only wonder what will happen if they win.


The drive from Lisbon to Coimbra on Wednesday was given a dramatic edge for the English media during a stop at a service station en-route.

After powdering our noses, there was some action at the side of the coach as police circled a nearby lorry.

Re-inforcements quickly arrived as the lorry contained some extra, not to mention illegal, passengers.

It was discovered that there was a bid to smuggle several Moroccan, Libyan and Iraqi citizens into Portugal.


Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren - now part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's coaching team in Portugal - will see a familiar face when England face Croatia.

Spotted among the Croatian media party was Alen Boksic, who spent some injury-plagued years at the Riverside.

Indeed, as Boksic marched imperiously around England's media centre, he looked fitter than he did on many occasions when he turned out on Teesside.


The French make no secret of their belief that there will be only one winner of Euro 2004 - namely France.

The side of their blue team coach is emblazoned with the slogan "La victoire s'ecrit en blue".

"Victory is written in blue" - as sadly it was in The Stadium of Light on Sunday evening.


The only problem with covering tournaments such as Euro 2004 is the language barrier.

After Spain drew 1-1 with Greece the British tried to get some reaction to the result.

Unfortunately no-one in the Spanish squad speaks English.

Just as well then that goalscorer Fernando Morientes patiently waited while the assembled foreign media stumbled their way through questions in Spanish.

Carles Puyol was even more obliging, correcting one reporter's hastily written notes in Spanish.


The barman at the hotel in Porto seems most upset with the army of journalists staying here.

With a major tournament in full swing and scribblers from all over the world in the city he must have been expecting a bumper time.

But instead the lobby bar seems permanently empty.

And the snappily dressed barman can be heard muttering under his breath how Europe's media seem to have lost their thirst for alcohol.





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