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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Euro 2004 diary
By Phil McNulty and Paul Fletcher
Our men in Portugal

Wayne Rooney
Rooney keeps his eye on the ball
Sven-Goran Eriksson's slip of the tongue when talking about Wayne Rooney raised a few eyebrows at Everton.

The England coach showed little regard for the formalities of transfer business in discussing the long list of clubs eyeing the 18-year-old striker.

Eriksson said: "If I was a club manager, I should like to take my phone and ring his agent."

No mention of the club - or indeed chairman or chief executive, though Everton do not plan to complain.

Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher saw a familiar face as England trained at their Lisbon base on Saturday.

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier was among those in attendance, along with former Scotland boss Andy Roxburgh, as part of their work for Uefa's Technical Group.

Houllier would no doubt have been catching up on the growing whispers around the England camp that Gerrard is nailed on for a 31m move to Chelsea sooner rather than later.

While travelling to Portugal, Houllier bumped into new Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

The former Valencia manager had jetted over to Portugal meet and greet Owen, Gerrard and Carragher.

The two got talking in baggage reclaim and gentlemanly as ever, Houllier told BBC Sport: "I wished him good luck, he's a good manager and his English is better than I thought."

Rumours of player unrest in the Bulgarian camp were rife after their defeat to Denmark.

Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov refused any interviews, cutting a sullen figure as he left the ground.

And striker Dimitar Berbatov answered all questions about his team's defensive strategy with the terse answer: "Why don't you ask the coach?"

Braga's impressive ground, carved out of a disused quarry, really is a sight to behold.

The atmospheric setting is matched only by the ultra-modern glass elevators inside the stadium.

But for some journalists the love affair with Braga hit rocky ground shortly before kick-off in Denmark's game with Bulgaria.

One of the stadium's lifts broke down, leaving them stranded while the rest of the media looked on and laughed.

Some things really do get lost in translation.

A lot of the shops here in Porto seem to have English names.

But one brand of sports shop really does need to have a long, hard look at the letters above its door.

The name? Athletes Foot.

Links to more Euro 2004 stories


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