Can England win Euro 2004?

We asked a variety of sportspeople whether they thought England could triumph in Euro 2004?
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The Independent Football



British Olympic athlete

"I've got a good feeling about England. I think they've got a chance, but they need to play like a Premiership side. Let's go direct, let's not sit back, play it across the defence. That's where we come unstuck. We need to utilise the natural strengths of our players. And a flat midfield is better than the diamond."


Ryder Cup golfer

"I just hope that the first match is also the last match in the final because I think France and England are the two best teams in the competition. I think on our day we are capable of beating anyone in Europe and hopefully we will prove that in the next few weeks."


Barnsley's former German goalkeeper

"England have a good young team and a decent chance of making some progress, but I don't see them going beyond the semis. That's better than I think Germany will do. We'll do nothing at all. Everyone in Germany would be very happy with a quarter-final."


British tennis player, conqueror of Mark Philippoussis at Queen's this week

"I'll be supporting England all the way. I was born in Wales, but my Mum and Dad are both from Liverpool. England have the best leader in the world in Becks. I'm sure he'll give them a kick up the backside if they need it."


Former England international

"There's quality throughout the squad and they seem relaxed. The first game is obviously important, and won't be easy, France are unbeaten in 18, haven't conceded for 11. But a positive result for England, avoiding defeat, and the confidence will go up and they'll see a great opportunity to make a bit of history for themselves."


Former Olympic athlete

"I don't think England are the best team there, but they are capable of beating the best if they get things right - whether it's Portugal, Spain, Italy or France. I think the French have the best group of players, but this is a huge opportunity for England."


Formula One legend

"I think they can and I hope they do. The first job is to get a result against the French and I believe they will. The French in general are full of hot air, as you can see from politics in Europe. That's why I voted UKIP. A good start in the France game is important and then we're on the way."


England women's football coach

"Sven's squad is his strongest yet in terms of age, experience and quality. Player for player I'm not sure that they're the strongest squad. But success depends on a lot of factors, luck, and the draw later. It's going to be a tough challenge."


Northants and England A cricketer

"I think England's chances are very good. They are pretty solid at the back and have a very strong midfield, while in Paul Scholes and Michael Owen they have two players for the big occasion. I think Scholes will be a key player."


England rugby union coach

"Yes, they can win. I certainly think they have what it takes to beat France - 2-1 is my prediction. They should remember that all the hard work has been done, that from here on in it's about mental attitude, putting a game plan in place and adhering to it. I think they should play an English game and get stuck into people."


French tennis player

"England have a good chance, even if they don't win the first match of the group. But France will win the tournament. If you think how well Arsenal have done - and then add players like Zidane."


Olympic-winning oarsman

"They definitely can win, they've got all the potential. Whether they will is a different matter. I think it will hinge on players from the second rank, not Owen or Beckham, but someone like Rooney or James having a blinder to keep us in it. We can still win without beating France on Sunday."


Former Wimbledon champion

"I think England against Croatia [on the first Monday of Wimbledon] will be the deciding game to who goes through to the next round. We're going to go through. I'm going to watch it with some of the other guys, like Mario Ancic, and Boban [captain of Croatia in 1998]. I'll have my jersey on."


US Curtis Cup golfer

"Does it start this weekend? I heard something about it on the radio this morning. I have no idea who is going to win. The only player I've heard of is David Beckham but I don't know who he plays for."


England rugby union captain

"Of course. We showed in Australia last year that with the right organisation and the right disciplines, it is possible to achieve something special on the grandest stage. I know the England footballers backed us all the way. We'll all be around a television set here in New Zealand, giving the same support."


World darts champion

"We're in it. We can win it. Never mind the froggies, we'll show them what we can do in the first match. The way they're talking, they're frightened of us. They should be. Beckham and Scholesy are the main men. Beckham's taken flak but he's got a massive tournament in him. This one."


Former Scotland midfielder

"They've got a settled squad, an excellent manager and enough flair in the team to score goals. I don't see any reason why they can't be there or thereabouts. The France game is so important, though. Neither team can afford to lose. I'd like to see them both through."


England cricketer

"Yes, I think they can. There is a good mix of youth and experience and, with a couple of good early results, and a bit of luck, there is no reason why they cannot go all the way. Wayne Rooney could make the difference. This tournament could see him come of age."


British yachtswoman

"They seem to be in good shape but, as with sailing, I think the danger's going to come from tricky Frenchmen who know the territory and have got experience of winning. Getting out of the group could be the biggest hurdle, but that's feasible, and then hopefully momentum will take over."


US Open tennis champion and one of the favourites for Wimbledon

"It's exciting. You get here and you feel the anticipation building. I'm here in England, so they're the team I'll follow."