Watto's Euro 2004 Diary


Paul Watson leaves Portugal at just the right moment


 Day 16: Friday 25 June 2004

The flight leaves at 10:30 pm.  Our transfer is at 7:30 pm.  So it's first half on the radio; second half on telly at the airport.  I sort out the batteries for the radio.  Give back the car keys and the room keys.  We book 20 minutes in the courtesy room, we'll have a shower before we leave.  Nice quiet day around the resort.

The Portuguese are really nervous about tonight's match, they think they are going out.  In the papers Figo says Rooney like hamburgers too much (or something like that).  It is really quite a nice place.  I didn't think so after the missed Italy v Sweden match.  I had no chance to find anything out, the game kicked off 18 hours after I arrived.  Should have rented a car when I arrived. 

I go for a swim in the sea, have a shower.  We go for an Italian meal (10 including drinks).  Then back to the Hotel.  We get the coach, Elaine quickly thanks us for choosing Airtours blah blah blah, please check that you have you tickets and passports.  She shuts up.  We have commentary in Portugues on the coach.  Rooney, Owen blah blah.  I think we have scored.  A few people get texts. Um-zero inglatterra, Michael Owen.  Adverts.  How can you have adverts in the middle of a football commentary?  Ha ha 1-0 to us, maybe it is an ad for the Portuguese Samaritans. 

Rooney stops getting mentioned, Vassell's name appears in the commentary, he must have gone off.  We get to the airport.  Check in, go through.  There are no tellies.  There are two flights going to Germany.  The Germans don't look happy.  Two lads, later three have those 2-inch Casio hand tellies.  We crowd round them to try and see what is going on.  They say Rooney went off with a twisted ankle.  20 mins to go. 

Somebody cheers, what was that?  James has just caught one.  Gerrard taken off.  Postiga scores.  Portugues go wild.  Campbell scores, disallowed, it is France 98, game against Argentina all over again. 

10pm, go to gate.  We go through passport control, wait at the gate, they score again.  That must be it.  Five minutes later, England fans start jumping around, Lampard has equalised.  Must be penalties next.  We go through the gate and onto the bus.  I listen on my radio, I can't really tell what is going on, no commentary just talking.

It is penalties.  I can make out some of the names as I go onto the plane.  Lampard Rui Costa Rui Costa David James Ronaldo Owen Hargreaves, something is still happenning so we must be still in it.  Maniche Postiga Vassell Ricardo Ricardo.  He is the goal keeper.  Ricardo! Ricarrrrrrrdddddoooooo!! RRRRIIIIICCCCCAAARRRRRRDDDDDDOOOOOOOO!!!  Ingles o casa. 

I think we have lost.  Please switch off any mobile phones, transmitting or receiving devices as the plane is about to take off.

Paul Watson


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