1. You kicked your first goal in Euro 2004 in the match against Portugal, would you please comment on it and the game?
I was really disappointed with the result but we had an amazing start to the game and I was fortunate enough to score within 3 minutes. I was careful to avoid accidentally touching the ball - I had to turn 360º around the ball before volleying it into the net. It is always a great feeling scoring goals, especially in the quarterfinal of the Euros for your country but certainly it was unusual to score so early in a game of such importance and the ways the defenders reacted I wanted to make sure I hadn't been flagged offside.
2. What do you think about the team’s performance in Euro 2004?
I think the England team can leave Portugal knowing we have an excellent chance at the World Cup in 2006. We are an exciting team and well balanced, I think in 2 years we will have a number of players coming to the peaks of their careers, as well as lots of new talent coming through pushing for places.
We built up our expectations so high because we thought we had a real chance of winning it and despite what the cynics are saying about us, we did perform well and went out in very unfortunate circumstances. No one can tell me that any of the teams left in the tournament are better than us. I am sure that there is disappointment in France, Italy and Spain just as there is in England. But, unlike the others, the defining moments did not go in our favor and there was little we could do about that.
3. What will you do now after Euro 2004?
I plan to go on holiday with my family and have a nice relaxing break before returning for pre-season training, it will certainly be quiet and I hope to play a bit of golf as well as play with my daughter.
4. What is your most favorite food?
As a footballer I have to be very careful with my diet and I eat a lot of white meat and pasta for carbohydrates. I also really enjoy fresh seafood like prawns?
5. Which team do you think will be the champion of Euro 2004? And which player will score the most goals?
I think Holland and the Czech Republic will be difficult to beat. They both play high quality passing football and have shown great skill in their games so far - they each have top goal scorers in Ruud van Nistelrooy and my Liverpool team mate Milan Baros who is in great form. Obviously Portugal will be a threat to both teams they are a good team and the home support will help the team. Greece have been a surprise to everyone but from what I've seen they are a very good team but I don't know how well they will cope against the powerful Czech team
6. What attitude do you think the England's fans will take towards the result of the match against Portugal?
I think many England fans will be disappointed as we genuinely believed we had an excellent opportunity to win the tournament. However I'm sure the supporters like the players are now concentrating on the 2006 World Cup qualifiers and together we can strive to lift the Cup.
7. What does it feel like too play in front of such large crowds?
It’s fantastic to play in great stadiums such as Anfield, the Millennium Stadium (Cardiff) and the new stadiums built around tournaments. The arenas in Japan in 2002 were amazing and this year in Portugal it was great to play in front of so many traveling England supporters was unbelievable - it felt like they out numbered them on their home turf!
8. What happened in your mind just before you shot in the shoot out?
Ahead of my penalty I was focused and calm. I think penalties are based on confidence - and I definitely wanted to take one. It's a very tense way to settle a game after extra time but it's a horrible to go out of the tournament if you lose on penalties. It is a very fine line between hero and villain.
9. What do you think of your new boss, Rafael Benitz?
I don't know much about the new manager as a person but I have played against his teams and been very impressed. We have been beaten three times by his previous team Valencia in the last few seasons - twice in the Champions League and once in a friendly - and they are a very well-organized outfit. It is important to have a good manager - but just as important to have good players
10. I’ve heard rumors of you heading to Barcelona, is that true?
No, that is not true, as far as I am aware; there have been no talks with anyone apart from Liverpool. Over the next few weeks I expect my advisors will come to me with various contract options and we will sit down and consider them
11. How do you get on with Wayne Rooney since you are both strikers?
I think our partnership is developing really well and there is no jealousy on my part. I think we complement each other well because our styles are so different and there is a lot more to come from us.