Hélder Postiga is hoping to have the chance to haunt England again and record a hat-trick of victories for Portugal against the hosts of Star Sixes at The O2.
The former Porto and Sporting striker, who spent a year in London with Tottenham Hotspur from 2003 to 2004, helped his country dump England out of two major tournaments in the space of two years back in the mid-noughties.
In 2004, he went on as substitute to score the equaliser for Portugal when they hosted the European Championship, and in the ensuing shootout chipped a Panenka-style penalty over David James, who will be in goal for England at Star Sixes.
Then two years later in Gelsenkirchen, Postiga also scored from the spot as England went out of the World Cup. As well as James, other England stars from that era taking part next week include Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand, so Postiga knows it won’t be easy to make it three out of three.
The two nations line up in different groups at Star Sixes, but could meet in the knockouts if they progress, and Postiga will be ready to face the English.
“England have so many fantastic players, but I hope Portugal can come out winners,” he said.
He is really looking forward to returning to London, where his one season at White Hart Lane left a huge impression. “London is a great city, it was my first experience of playing outside Portugal when I moved to Tottenham. I was still young at the time but very much enjoyed the experience of playing at such a great club.
“When I signed for Spurs it was a fantastic moment for me, and I was so proud to join such a fantastic club. Playing at White Hart Lane in front of the fans was an experience I’ll never forget. I was young at the time but enjoyed my time there and will forever follow Spurs closely.”
He has been really impressed by the array of world-class talent lined up for Star Sixes, which will include Robert Carlos, Rivaldo and Juninho from Brazil, Germany’s Michael Ballack, Alessandro del Piero of Italy, and French stars Robert Pirès and Marcel Desailly.
“It will be a great tournament, with so many big names in football who have played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. I hope it will be a super tournament and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Still only 34, his last game for Portugal was three years ago, having scored in a 3-2 win over Denmark at EURO 2012.
He added: “To represent Portugal was a huge honour. It was like a dream every time I put on the shirt. I’m very lucky that I have lots of amazing memories and moments.
“I played for the national team for 11 years, full of memories and emotions. When you play for the national team it’s the best. I have many favourite moments; the best ones include putting on the shirt for the first time. The goals against England really stand out, as they were so important at the time. But also my goals at EURO 2012 are a massive highlight for me.”
And he is looking forward to linking up with other Portuguese stars of that era, in Deco, Maniche, Vítor Baía, Fernando Couto and Nuno Gomes.
“Yes, it’s always great. They are all good friends and it will be nice to reunite with them and experience that feeling of playing alongside them again.”
Hélder Postiga will be playing for Portugal at Star Sixes at The O2, London on July 13-16. Tickets are still available to buy online from Ticketmaster or AXS, with prices starting at just £30 for adults and £10 for children.