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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Euro 2004 diary
By Phil McNulty and Paul Fletcher
Our men in Portugal

Portugal captain Luis Figo
Figo was overcome with emotion after Portugal's semi-final win
Portugal's Luis Figo was almost deprived of his hard-earned man-of-the-match trophy after the semi-final win.

Figo was given the trophy by a fan who had won a competition to watch the game and hand over said trophy.

After the handshakes, the intrepid fan forgot the minor matter of giving the trophy to Figo, walking off with the large ornament and back into the crowd.

Luckily he was caught before any major embarrassment and returned the trophy to the gracious and smiling Figo.


On the eve of Portugal's game with Holland newspaper A Bola listed their team of the tournament so far.

Perhaps not surprisingly there was a hint of home bias in the line-up.

No less than seven of the 11 players were Portugal players.

The only non-Portuguese were Pavel Nedved, Patrick Vieira, Milan Baros and Arjen Robben.

Not a Wayne Rooney in sight.


The Portuguese took celebrations to a whole new level after beating Holland.

In the centre of Porto wild scenes were the norm but one particular example of exuberance stole the show.

With the traffic more or less ground to a halt, people tooted their horns and waved flags.

But one car stood out, with 11 people crammed into a VW Golf.


One of the features of this tournament for the international media has been the mangled translation at news conferences.

Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner spoke to the press on Wednesday before his team's semi-final against Greece.

But whether the answers given by his translator bore any relation to what he actually said remains a matter of debate.

Whether Bruckner actually said "Baros has big instinct" remains open to question.


One of the more intimidating sights at Euro 2004 has been that of former France and Rangers defender Basile Boli, who has been doing media work at the tournament in Portugal.

Fans of the one-time Marseille hard man will be delighted to know the years have not softened him.

He still looks as if he could play even now, and gives the rather frightening appearance of being up for any challenge jostling with journalists from across Europe would bring.

It would be an interesting confrontation if former England veteran Stuart Pearce was out in Portugal, given that Boli once floored the ex-Nottingham Forest defender in an infamous and unseen incident in the 1992 European Championship.





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