Can You Give One Hope That We'll Win? Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), June 13, 2004 | Go to article overview

Can You Give One Hope That We'll Win? Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team


Byline: JOE BERNSTEIN;ANGELLA JOHNSON

THE Queen has turned to Sir Bobby Robson for expert advice on England's chances in Euro 2004.

At a lunch in Buckingham Place last week, she asked the Mail on Sunday columnist and former England manager: 'Can you give us any hope?' Sir Bobby said: 'I was sitting opposite the Queen and gave her my honest belief. We have a chance but it is a very open tournament and there are seven countries who can win.' Sir Bobby, 71, was one of eight guests at one of the Queen's regular lunches and was surprised to be the centre of attention.

'I asked the Queen about her trip to France for the D-Day memorial,' he said, 'and she asked me about football. It certainly brought home to me how much everyone is talking about Euro 2004.' The Newcastle United manager will make his ITV commentary debut during England's opening match against France in Lisbon tonight, which is expected to attract 20 million viewers at home.

But in Portugal, where England's players will need every last ounce of team spirit to win, Victoria Beckham was criticised for seeming to distance herself from the other players' partners, who have been nicknamed 'Wags' (Wives and Girlfriends).

She arrived with a dozen burly bodyguards and sons Romeo and Brooklyn at the exclusive Penha Longa resort at Sintra on Friday - which in true Iberian tradition, despite costing [pounds sterling]370 per night, has the builders in.

Posh had hinted that she would not go to Portugal, but relented when it was alleged that this would be seen as a sign of further marriage trouble.

She insisted on renting a private villa, but amid allegations of aloofness and after husband and England captain David pointed out that this was not conducive to team unity, she accepted the Football Association's offer of accommodation with the other Wags.

As Posh sulked in her ground-floor suite on Friday, the partners and families of other England players, including the parents of Phil and Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney's fiancee Colleen McLoughlin, 18, Nicky Butt's ex-policewoman wife Shelley, 28, and Steven Gerrard's partner Alex Curran, 21, ate lunch in the hotel's main restaurant before heading for the outdoor pool. …

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Can You Give One Hope That We'll Win? Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team Even the Queen Catches Football Fever as England Prepare to Take on France in the Battle to Be Europe's Top Team
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