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A-Z of UEFA EURO 2004™

Published: Wednesday 7 July 2004, 23.42CET
From Jorge Andrade to Theodoros Zagorakis - the full lowdown on the tournament just gone.
by Simon Hart
from Lisbon

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Published: Wednesday 7 July 2004, 23.42CET

A-Z of UEFA EURO 2004™

From Jorge Andrade to Theodoros Zagorakis - the full lowdown on the tournament just gone.

Andrade - Present for every minute of Portugal's campaign, Jorge Andrade formed a superb central defensive partnership with Ricardo Carvalho when they were combined after the opening defeat by a Greece side who had their own colossus in Traianos Dellas.

Baroš - The Czech Republic striker was the tournament's top scorer with five goals. Not bad for a player who scored just one league goal at Liverpool FC last season.

Carnival atmosphere - The Portuguese hospitality was wonderful and each home victory prompted a mass hooting of car horns which seemed to last all night. The Swedes, Danes and Dutch brought plenty of colour, while England's fans swathed their stadiums in St George's flags and matched the Portuguese for noise in their dramatic, seesaw quarter-final.

Dribbling - The old art was alive and well in Portugal with Denmark wingers Jesper Grønkjær, Martin Jørgensen and Dennis Rommedahl, Dutchman Arjen Robben, Czech veteran Karel Poborský and, of course, Portugal's Luís Figo and his young apprentice Cristiano Ronaldo, who thrilled with his trickery, playing "like you'd play in the street" according to Jürgen Klinsmann.

Exit - UEFA EURO 2004™ was the last stand for a number of coaches. Plamen Markov (Bulgaria), Otto Baric (Croatia), Jacques Santini (France), Rudi Völler (Germany), Giovanni Trapattoni (Italy), Iñaki Sáez (Spain) and Tommy Söderberg (Sweden) all said their goodbyes after returning home.

France - "On est champions" is a chant we won't be hearing for a while after the French limped out of the tournament, beaten in the quarter-final by Greece. "I thought the French team looked tired - they didn't have their usual energy," noted UEFA's technical director Andy Roxburgh.

Golden generation - EURO 2004™ was billed as the final chance for Portugal's thirtysomethings to win a major international honour. They had to settle for silver in the end.

Hellas - "Hellas olé" was the cry that filled the Estádio da Luz even before Greece's goal in the final against Portugal. The 15,000 Greeks inside the ground fully enjoyed their country's greatest sporting moment as the rank outsiders completed the unlikeliest triumph in UEFA European Championship history.

Injuries - Who knows how far the Czech Republic would have got had the inspirational Pavel Nedved not limped out injured in the first half of their semi-final against Greece. Likewise England and Wayne Rooney against Portugal.

Joker in the pack - Luiz Felipe Scolari and Karel Brückner received deserved praise for the substitutions which won their teams matches. Five of Portugal's eight goals came from substitutes - including Hélder Postiga who justified Scolari's bold decision to replace Figo by striking the late equaliser against England. Meanwhile, Brückner's decision to send on Vladimir Šmicer against the Netherlands helped his side complete a dramatic comeback win. He then produced nine more jokers as his reserve side beat Germany.

Kinas - A boy with a supernatural gift which gives him the knowledge and ability of all the great footballers, past and present. Either that or the tournament's official mascot. Tall and furry, you know the type.

Larsson - Back at popular demand, Henrik Larsson came out of retirement to spearheard the Sweden attack. He scored three goals including one of the tournament's best - a spectacular diving header against Bulgaria.

Music - Nelly Furtado sang Força, the tournament's official song, which blared out at every ground. She performed it in person before the final - but alas for the hosts, the force was with Greece.

Numbers - Thirty-one matches involving 16 teams were played over 23 days in ten venues across Portugal. A total of 1,165,192 people attended the matches with the highest attendance the 62,865 who watched the final. They saw 77 goals scored - at a rate of 2.48 per match.

Oops - The turf moved just as David Beckham shaped to take England's first spot-kick against Portugal.

Penalties - There were two shoot-outs, Portugal beating England through goalkeeper Ricardo's spot-kick and the Netherlands finally winning on penalties - against Sweden - after four previous failures. Penalty of the tournament had to be Postiga's cheeky chip past England goalkeeper David James. Asked if he would try it again, he said: "Even my father told me to not repeat it because he was close to a heart attack."

Quarry - Playing football in a quarry must have been a novel experience for the players of Bulgaria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Latvia, but this is just what happened to them in Braga. The remarkable stadium there is sunk into a disused quarry, with stands at either side and nothing but bare rock at one end and a lush valley at the other.

Rehhagel - Or King Otto. In his first match in charge Greece lost 5-1 to Finland. Now they are European champions. The 65-year-old German has turned a group of talented individuals into the continent's strongest collective. "One for all and all for one" was his watchword and how it has worked.

Silver goal - Just one was scored in these finals and it came from the head of Greece's Dellas at the end of first period of extra time against the Czechs. It was the first in European Championship history - and the last.

Tears - It all ended in tears for Antonio Cassano, who raced joyfully to his team-mates after scoring Italy's late winner against Bulgaria ... only to learn it was not enough to save the Azzurri from elimination.

Underachievers - France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Villains - Italy's Francesco Totti and Switzerland's Alexander Frei both departed the tournament in shame having received suspensions for spitting at opponents.

Wayne's world - Rooneymania swept across England - and much of Europe too - when the 18-year-old seared his name into this tournament's history books by taking Dragan Stojkovic's 20-year-old record as the youngest scorer. More than his four goals, he impressed with his power and vision. Twelve months ago critics were saying Everton FC relied too much on this irrepressible talent. Now England can't do without him.

X-rated - Nine Russia players' partners posed naked for a newspaper while their men were away in Portugal. An accompanying image of each woman's respective partner was strategically placed to protect her modesty and Svetlana Yeriklintseva, the photographer who took the pictures, explained: "The wives have done their bit, now it's the men's turn."

Youth - Rooney's record as the European Championship's youngest scorer lasted just four days before Switzerland's Johan Vonlanthen scored against France, aged 18 years and 141 days.

Zagorakis - "Zago-who?" some might have said before these finals. Yet the Greece captain left Portugal as the Player of the Tournament. "He was captain and man of the match in the first game and the last. He was influential and showed leadership," said Gérard Houllier of the 32-year-old.

Last updated: 22/07/04 16.27CET

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