Vol. 5 Num 22 Fri. June 18, 2004  

UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal
kickin' around

Spain and Real Madrid striker Raul has wasted no time in launching into the war of nerves with Portugal ahead of their winner-takes-all final Group A tie on Sunday.

"I think it will be us and the Greeks in the last eight," said the Spanish captain.

In Group A Spain and Greece both have four points while Portugal have three.

"The match with Portugal will be difficult but we will qualify," added Raul. Spain need only draw to qualify whereas the Portuguese must win.

Portugal midfielder Luis of Souza Deco on Wednesday confirmed that plans for him to move from Porto to London side Chelsea were at an advanced stage.

"I have practically sorted everything out with the clubs. I still have to take a medical and sign up with Chelsea and that should happen after Euro 2004", he said after his country's 2-0 victory over Russia.

The Blues have already lured Porto's European Cup-winning coach Jose Mourinho and the club's international defender Paulo Ferreira to Stamford Bridge in recent weeks.

The president of the Italian Football Federation Franco Carraro has given a vote of confidence to his national coach Giovanni Trapattoni despite their toothless 0-0 draw with Denmark at Guimaraes on Monday.

"This result has sparked debate but I have full confidence in Mr Trapattoni. If things turn sour we'll talk about it at the federal council June 25 in Rome," he said, before adding the meeting would be cancelled should Italy qualify for the quarter-finals.

Reuters, Stockholm

An 85-year-old farmer says Sweden's 5-0 defeat of Bulgaria at Euro 2004 saved his life after he went missing in the remote far north.

Soren Gellerstedt, who survived four days without food, told Swedish daily Expressen he owed his survival to the boost he got from listening to radio commentary on Monday's victory.

His car got stuck on Friday on a quiet road in woods outside the town of Jokkmokk. The alarm was raised and a search organised in the area, mainly inhabited by the Sami people and their reindeer. He wasn't found until Tuesday.

"The victory over Bulgaria saved my life," he said. "I had nothing to drink except rain water and I was desperately thirsty.

"The team gave me the best lift I could have had."