Estбdio do Dragгo, Porto. Portugal v.Greece. Let the party begin.
The brand new Estбdio do Dragгo, the home of European Champions FC Porto, is a perfect venue for the kick-off of Euro 2004. Ten new stadiums, sixteen teams, great weather, a wonderful atmosphere and loads of goodwill paint a perfect summer picture for Portugal and Europe.
The Opening Ceremony starts at 16.45, a quarter of an hour before Portugal plays Greece in the first match of the tournament, followed by Spain and Russia in the Algarve (Faro-Loule) at 19.45.
900 people will welcome the 16 teams (Group A: Greece, Portugal, Russia, Spain; Group B: Croatia, England, France, Switzerland; Group C: Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Sweden; Group D: Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands) in the opening ceremony, the tournament’s mascot being “Quinas”, a Portuguese comic strip boy with special powers.
The night that Quinas was revealed to the public, Portugal beat Brazil, the world champions, 2-1 on 29th March 2003. Today at 17.00, Portugal hopes to get off to a good start against Greece, a team which has won 9 of its last 14 games and has lost only twice since October 2002. Out of 21 preparation games, Portugal has won 11, drawn 7 and lost 3.
Spain have won 10, drawn 3 and lost only 1 of their 14 preparation games. Out of 13 games, Russia has won 5, drawn 5 and lost 3. Despite this mediocre record, the team spirit was summed up by veteran midfield player, Aleksandr Mostovoi, who claims that “Russia is not here only for a tourist excursion”.