Humble Pi: Portugal v Greece remains my favourite game of Euro2004 so far (that I’ve seen). Partly that’s because it seemed a fine clash between opposing approaches; partly it’s because the underdog won; partly it was the Greeks’ fine defending; mostly it’s that I’m off to Greece tomorrow on holiday so I’d already picked them as my second team.

I watched bits of both the 98 World Cup and Euro 2000 in Greece. There was always a taverna somewhere showing a game and the atmosphere was relaxed – watching USA-Iran in 1998 in the Wave Bar on Samos, drinking wheat beer and cocktails with the harbour lights glittering on the Mediterranean, still seems to me an ideal way for a neutral to enjoy football. But the Greeks weren’t involved in either of those tournaments. By my reckoning Isabel and I get to our apartments about a half hour before Spain and Greece kick off – it’s going to be (fingers crossed) a great atmosphere.

I had a suspicion the Greeks wouldn’t be pushovers – in fact I was assuming all the tournament guides knew something I didn’t, so written off were they (with none of the minnowish glamour of Latvia, even). They’d almost beaten England in 2002, they had beaten Spain last year and they’d rarely conceded in qualifying. I had them down as getting a draw against Portugal or Spain, beating Russia and going out on goal difference: now I wouldn’t be surprised if they get the chance to try their stifling game against France. If they do I sadly won’t be in Greece to watch it, but hopefully I’ll have a good story to tell back on this blog next week.