NUNO GOMES never quite got his hands on the Henri Delaunay trophy. There were a couple of near misses, none more so than in 2004 on home soil, when Portugal went all the way to the final only to suffer a shock defeat at the hands of relative minnows Greece.

Indeed, in three successive championships from 2000 to 2008, Gomes did not fail to reach at least the quarter-finals with Portugal, scoring six goals along the way.

It is his first finals that he remembers fondest, in particular the group game against England in Eindhoven, when Portugal overturned a 2-0 deficit thanks to goals from Rui Costa and Luis Figo before Gomes scored a 59th minute winner; his first international goal.

“It was a great moment. I think all of Portugal still remembers that match and that fantastic comeback,” he says. “Then managing to turn the game around in the way we did, with an amazing atmosphere and three goals. For me, personally, being able to score the winner, which was my first goal for the full national team, is a moment I’ll remember forever.”


The former Benfica and Fiorentina striker is one of only a handful of players to score in three successive finals notching six goals over the piece. Four of those came in that debut tournament, a finals that Gomes still holds dear not least given what happened four years later. Asked today for his clearest recollections of the finals, it comes as no surprise to hear that the defeat to Otto Rehhagel's side remains fresh, however he refuses to let it cloud his memories.

“Even though our experience at EURO 2004 perhaps didn’t finish in the best way, I’ll always remember reaching a EURO final hosted in Portugal with an amazing atmosphere. So, EURO 2004 always comes to mind. However, I was also involved at the EURO in 2000 and 2008. It’s mainly EURO 2000, which was my first one, I have fantastic memories of the goals I scored and also the amazing run we had with Portugal.

“However, to have been one of the players who scored at three consecutive EUROs… I think that anyone should feel proud of that achievement and I’m no exception. And it’s important for a striker to score goals, so for my name to go down in history with that record or feat is one of the most special moments in my career.

“I think… I speak for myself, and this is my opinion, when I say that playing at a EURO as a footballer, representing your national team, is the highlight of a player’s career.”