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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Lineker's tournament verdict: Portugal

By Gary Lineker
BBC's Match of the Day presenter

Like a fine wine Portugal got better as time went on and were probably the best team to watch in the knockout stages.

But they fell into the trap of falling for the hype they received as hosts.

After a slow start when they lost to Greece, the whole country jumped on the bandwagon when Big Phil Scolari's squad got on a roll.

With Spain, England and Holland already accounted for, the final against the Greeks was about revenge and the locals were convinced they were going to win.

They had some of the best players on show after all in Figo, Maniche, Ronaldo and Carvalho. But football is never that easy or straight forward.

Portugal has been a wonderful place to be throughout Euro 2004. The hospitality has been outstanding and they put on an amazing show almost to the last.

But the car horns were silent after the final and it was instead a quiet goodbye to the last survivors of the "Golden Generation" with the champagne kept on ice.





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