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Wednesday, 27 June 2012 22:57

Portugal player ratings versus Spain

Selecção take World Champions all the way

Portugal despairPortugal’s Euro 2012 semi-final ended in heart-breaking defeat in a penalty shoot-out after a battling goalless draw against Spain. PortuGOAL runs the rule over the Selecção players.


Rui Patrício

The Sporting goalkeeper was in danger of going through the whole tournament without the chance of enhancing his burgeoning reputation. Blameless with all the goals conceded up to the semi-final, Patrício had, in truth, had little work to do in Portugal’s previous four matches. Tonight was his chance to shine and he took it. Wonderful reflex save kept out Iniesta’s close-range effort in extra time, and another sharp stop soon afterwards denied Navas. Seemed he may be the hero of the night after brilliantly keeping out Xabi Alonso’s penalty, but had no chance with the other spot kicks.
PortuGOAL rating: 8.5/10

João Pereira

Considered by many the weak link of Portugal’s team pre-tournament, Pereira put in another almost perfect display. Defended tenaciously (exemplified by two magnificent interceptions to rob the ball from Iniesta 27’ and Fabregas 94’) and lent good support to the attack, although his crossing could have been better. Valencia must be delighted they paid Sporting around €3million for his services before the tournament began. Surely his price tag would be higher now.
PortuGOAL rating: 8/10

Pepe

Another Euro 2012 game, another masterful exhibition of defending from the Real Madrid centre-back. Always in the right place at the right time, excellently timed interventions, controlled aggression throughout. And a perfect penalty to boot.
PortuGOAL rating: 8.5/10

Bruno Alves

Gave everything he had for 120 minutes. Determined to block Spain’s progress on his side of the defence, and as ever commanding in the air with remarkable powers of elevation. However, as in previous games this tournament, his distribution of the ball was not the best and he tended to overuse the long ball. Whether having to turn back and take his penalty after Nani instead of before him unsettled Alves or not we will never know.
PortuGOAL rating: 7.5/10

Fábio Coentrão

The Real Madrid player was evidently determined to show his full range of defending and attacking capacities, no doubt stung by criticism he had to endure at times during his debut season in Spain. Another lion-hearted performance from the left-back, getting the better of his club team-mate Arbeloa most of the time in an intense battle. An excellent all-round display, as has been the case in all matches this tournament.
PortuGOAL rating: 8.5/10

Miguel Veloso

Like Pereira and Moutinho, Veloso has greatly enhanced his reputation with a wonderful tournament. Another solid display tonight, constantly hustling and harrying Spain’s legion of difficult-to-shackle midfielders. As well as breaking up play well, his composure on the ball and razor sharp distribution helped Portugal to keep possession and make sure they were not overrun in the middle of the pitch. Was by no means an automatic starter for Portugal at the start of this tournament, but now a shoe-in for the first-choice XI. 
PortuGOAL rating: 7.5/10

Raul Meireles

Yet another tireless performance from the Chelsea midfielder, who had arguably his best game of Euro 2012. Made a number of vital interceptions and generally made good use of the ball when he had the chance.
PortuGOAL rating: 7.5/10

João Moutinho

Another monster of a performance from the FC Porto midfielder, who seemed to be everywhere at once. An acrobatic back-heel on 23 minutes and a quickly executed pass on 30’ set up two shooting opportunities for Ronaldo. Thinks and executes his game beautifully - he makes football seem simple. It was no coincidence that Spain started to dominate when his stamina finally broke in extra time. Did not deserve to miss a penalty.
PortuGOAL rating: 8.5/10

Ronaldo

Double or triple marked most of the time, Ronaldo still managed to cause panic in the Spanish defence on the few occasions they ceded him a slither of space. Kick-started Portugal after the team had made another slow start with a superb run and cross in the 12th minute that just evaded Nani’s head. Had the chance to find his range with three free-kicks and a late break, but tonight it wasn’t to be. Gave precious help to the defence at times, as shown by excellent headed clearance in the Portuguese box early in extra time.
PortuGOAL rating: 8/10  

Almeida

Ran himself into the ground. The game largely passed him by in the first half, but after the break he got more involved. Tried his luck in the 57th, 58th and 67th minutes with powerful shots, but failed to hit the target. Did a commendable job helping out in defence, especially at set pieces with a number of excellent headed clearances. 
PortuGOAL rating: 7/10

Nani

Worked hard to try and get into the game, and looked dangerous on the few occasions he got the ball in attacking positions. A wonderful turn and run on 30 minutes looked like it may open up the Spanish defence, only for the referee to mystifyingly call play back for a non-existent foul. Unfortunately for Portugal, his influence waned as the match went on. Showed the utmost confidence in his abilities by dispatching his penalty with aplomb after stepping ahead of Bruno Alves.
PortuGOAL rating: 7.5/10



Substitutes


Nélson Oliveira

This tournament has been a positive learning experience for Oliveira, who showed in the group stage that he could become an important part of Portugal’s future. But he struggled tonight. Tried to combine with Ronaldo on occasion, but found it difficult to get into the game.
PortuGOAL rating: 5/10

Custódio

Brought on the second period of extra time to try and stem Spain’s incessant attack. Made some good interceptions, but with the rest of his team-mates exhausted was unable to have much influence on proceedings.
PortuGOAL rating: 5.5/10

Varela

As happened throughout the tournament, Varela seemed to shake things up in a positive way for Portugal when he entered the fray, but like Custódio, had little support from his team-mates, most of whom were dead on their feet when he got on the pitch.
PortuGOAL rating: 6/10

by Tom Kundert

 

Comments (32)
Melo/toronto
32 Saturday, 30 June 2012 16:01
Thank you for your comment..i never disrespected your country or team I just gave my opinion but unfortunately people get all riled up if they disagree...voice of reason is one of those who thinks he knows alot but in fact he is doing internet research! The reason we do well in international play is because we play as a team we may not have a Ronaldo but we make up for it by playing as one unit...good defence...good midfielder and fairly good forwards that always gives us a chance..when you rely on one player alone you are leaving yourself for failure..look at Italy in 2006 World Cup not to many people gave us a chance and we won it! Portugal has a good team they need to get a descent striker and leave their egos in the locker room and they will be fine.
Italy is superior to germany
31 Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:41
those football analists and comentators i dont know what kind of game they have been watching so as to take germany as the favourites to win the euro. germans has one of the poorest central diffence in this euro if compare with italy spain, portugal, england etc.

their strikers are not sharp either. apart from the match against holland i have watched all their matches. against denmark they were given the victory by ref. denmark could blame their luck but they could blame the ref more. bentner was held and pushed in the germans box when he was left only with a keeper to beat.

the ref ignore what could have been 2 - 1 for denmark. in the next match joaquim low made four changes cause he knows german attack was weak. greece who were playing for 0 - 0 went and level with germans and even chased the game. germany was favoured once more in that match.
ti tac game means nothing when you dont have decisive player.

against italy truth came up. italy strikers are sharper and their diffence too is better than germany and pirlo is better than ozil through out this tournament. not only this tournament but a better player. italy has knock out germany 9th times in the majour tournaments.

germany met teams in the group stages who were afraid to attack their diffence and the football analists gave then the trophy then.
Voice of Reason / Canada
30 Friday, 29 June 2012 19:45
what age group might you be in?
I'll guess under 23..
Next I am Portuguese and to here someone like yourself say to a Italian supporter, What players have they produced? tells me you are very young and have no actual knowledge of the game.
Thank GOD for the internet where you have the time to collect stats and throw at us. Do you think that you have impressed us with data collecting and presenting it here?

My intention is NOT to disrespect you ,but maybe someone older can make you understand that the Italians have had world class players for years way before the internet.

When it's time to win it's time to win
No ifs ,buts or should haves is the mentality Portugal needs
until then NOTHING.

Spain dropped Raul because they were brave and had a PLAN "B"

Portugal only has a plan "A" which stands for arrogant
Portugal needs a PLAN "B" which stands for BALLS

We need to make a choice: do we stick with a Ronaldo or do we build a 11 man MACHINE ???
voice of reason......my ass
29 Friday, 29 June 2012 16:52
How many world cups have you won and how many have we won? Clown!! Answer that........zero!!!
@ Carmine
28 Friday, 29 June 2012 14:51
Is that you?

That is your new handle now for trolling?

Ok, I'll play along and humour your new personality and your new country.

Wanna know about Portugal's history in the beautiful game compared to your new adopted country?

Eusebio
Figo
Ronaldo

The generational talents that are world renowned for the way the played the game...not for being "tactical defenders" - but for playing the game with flair and being entertaining.

Who has Italy produced? Baggio? Rossi? Totti?

Not really that impressive huh? You could have at least picked France or Germany...really? you picked Italy to post as your new location? (your writing style gives you away every time)

BTW guy - the Copa America is NOT a major trophy. Here is a little footnote about the Copa America for you

1993 is the only edition when neither Brazil nor Uruguay has finished in the top four. There have been only 3 editions where neither Argentina nor Brazil has finished in the top four (1939, 2001, 2011). Likewise, only 3 editions have seen neither Argentina nor Uruguay finish in the top four (1949, 1979, 1997). There has never been an edition in which none of the three countries Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil made it to the top four. All tournaments hosted by Brazil and Uruguay have been won by their respective hosting national teams, whilst Argentina have won 6 South American Championships as hosts and Uruguay have won 3 of their 15 Copa Americas in Argentina (1916, 1987, 2011).

what is essentially a three team tournament can not be considered a major trophy.

and Carmine, since I know you'll understand this

PONTE FINALE.
Keep and eye on Vaz Té for West Ham this season.
27 Friday, 29 June 2012 03:56
He scored the goals that got the Hammers promoted last season and it will be interesting to see how he plays in the Premier League. He 'might' just be the man to fill the striker role.
@Carmine/Italy & Louis/Brasil
26 Friday, 29 June 2012 03:08
Don't misunderstand what I am saying. I never said Portugal has a better national team than Brasil, Italy, Germany, Spain, etc.

What I said was the following: with the limited resources that Portugal have (in terms of population and funding), we have outperformed every other nation in the world.

Uruguay have an excellent team now and they were great in the early years of football but over the last 10 years I still believe that Portugal have outperformed them.

We have competitions to determine which nation has the best team. Unfortunately, the determination of which nation outperforms their resources is much more subjective, so we need to factor in world rankings (as imperfect as they are) as it relates to the nation's resources. If you'd like to debate this aspect then please provide me with your arguments to counter my opinion. If you want to discuss which nation has the best team, well we already have competitions to determine that.
Por vs Uru
25 Thursday, 28 June 2012 21:40
So in other words even though Uruguay won 22 major trophies with 1/3 the population of Portugal you consider yourself the #1 football country in the world without you winning anything? I read this out loud and everybody was laughing!!! Are you serious? So you are better then Brazil and Italy too right?!! You my friend are in denial! You have a good team now though;)
Por vs Uru
24 Thursday, 28 June 2012 21:32
So in other words even though Uruguay won 22 major trophies with 1/3 the population of Portugal you consider yourself the #1 football country in the world without you winning anything? I read this out loud and everybody was laughing!!! Are you serious? So you are better then Brazil and Italy too right?!! You my friend are in denial! You have a good team now though;)
Uruguay
23 Thursday, 28 June 2012 21:10
All the rankings mean little if you dont win......Uruguay still won major trophies against the likes of power house nations like Brazil and Argentina and won two world cups...how on earth can you say Portugal are number 1 and they have never won anything? Nevermind you might be too bias to answer....iam Brazilian but iam not bias I was just using Uruguay as an example.
@Louis/Brazil
22 Thursday, 28 June 2012 18:29
Ivo/Canada - well said!

Louis/Brazil - Here are the FIFA Rankings at the start of each year for the past 10 years:
2012 = Port(7) Uru(4)
2011 = Port(8) Uru(7)
2010 = Port(5) Uru(21)
2009 = Port(11) Uru(23)
2008 = Port(8) Uru(28)
2007 = Port(8) Uru(30)
2006 = Port(10) Uru(18)
2005 = Port(9) Uru(17)
2004 = Port(17) Uru(21)
2003 = Port(11) Uru(28)

Please find me another footballing nation that does more with less resources than Portugal does. Uruguay is in really good form now, any country can have a good squad for a couple of years every now and then. But Portugal has been doing this for over ten years with a population that's less than the city of Sao Paulo! Again I say, Portugal is the #1 footballing nation in the world.
Ivo canada
21 Thursday, 28 June 2012 17:27
But Uruguay still won 20 Copa Americas against the likes of Brazil and Argentina! And Uruguay has won 2 World Cups against european competition......we have yet to win anything!
ratings
20 Thursday, 28 June 2012 17:16
Subtract 1.5 - 2 from the midfield and forwards from your ratings above and then I think it makes more sense. Portugal did not have a shot on target in the first 90 min. Almeida was/is a joke. The defense was impressive, other than that, the team was severely lacking.
@Louis/Brazil
19 Thursday, 28 June 2012 17:04
You must be joking about Uruguay. No disrespect to them but winning Copa America's is nowhere near as difficult as winning a Euro Cup. There is way more quality in Europe than in South America on a consisten basis. Sure, Argentina and Brazil are always strong and sometimes you'll have countries like Chile or Colombia or Uruguay who develop a decent team and challenge but really there are only two powerhouses in South America Brazil and Argentina. If you can get past these two you're pretty much guaranteed a win. In Europe, you have Spain, Germany, Italy, France, England, Holland, Portugal etc. etc.These teams are consistently strong. You put Uruguay in Europe and they wont win anything.

I also don't want to hear anything about their World Cup wins which are basically ridiculous given that 9 of the 13 teams who competed were from North and South America and from Europe only France, Yugoslavia, Belgium and Romania competed (1930). 1950 was also pretty ridiculous given that a number of teams withdrew or were ineligible because of the aftermath of WW2, leaving Uruguay to, for example, only have to play Bolivia to advance into the final stages.

So let's not get ahead of ourselves Louis.
What?
18 Thursday, 28 June 2012 16:30
Look I watch the game we did not have one shot at goal ...Casillas made no saves!!! I love our team but to say we were the better team is complete bias.....aside for the first ten minutes we let Spain take charge...the one great chance we had was around the 88 min and Ronaldo had no finish ...Spain had way more chances in the 120 mins to win it lets not sugar coated.
Post #14 You make sense
17 Thursday, 28 June 2012 16:20
George, you make sense and I agree.

The worse part of losing is to see all these posts about our inferiority complex and then posts from other countries that we don't demand to win the tournament and are satisfied with semi-finals.

I am sure all of the fans want a 1st place along with the players. All our demanding will not change what happens on the field --- games are decided by players and games are lost by the smallest of margins. I don't want to hear our players don't have confidence, etc. We have players with confidence, we just don't have quite enough cutting edge. That has nothing to do with our demands but just the reality of sport. There is no shame if one finishes second if they play hard and give an honest effort.
George, nj
16 Thursday, 28 June 2012 16:16
Portugal #1 football country in the world?!!!! Uruguay has one third the population of Portugal and are ranked #2 in the world and are tied with Argentina for most Copa America wins....so they produce way more quality then any country including Portugal! You have good teams but you need to win something to be with the elite teams and unfortunately you have come close but have yet to win anything........too bad cause you were close this time.
João Pereira got better as the tournament wore on
15 Thursday, 28 June 2012 15:46
I was completely in the camp that saw João Pereira as the weakest link in the team. Then his sublime assist against the Netherlands... and then he just got better and better.

I still fault primarily Ricardo Costa for our failure to Spain in WC 2010, so the RB position against Spain was critical. And he delivered far above my expectations. I'm definitely a fan of his now.
Population by Country
14 Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:39
Germany - 80 million
France - 65 million
Italy - 60 million
England - 50 million
Spain - 45 million
Netherlands - 16 million
Portugal - 10 million

I think we all need to remember these figures. I don't mean to insinuate that we should just be content with always finishing in the top 4 but Portugal will always face a tough uphill battle when it comes to international competitions. When you factor the size of the country, Portugal is the #1 footballing nation in the world.

@melo - what game were you watching? Moutinho and Coentrao played great and their ratings are well-deserved.
FUTILITY
13 Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:14
Unless Portugal finds a proven center striker that can create in the middle of the attacking zone, we can expect the same results in the future. We can not blame the officiating for all the shortcomings, we need to put balls in the net at the critical times and the only way that is going to happen is with more offense in the middle ! We need a complete attacking front, not just great wingers. If Portugal wants to win as badly as they say, they will find someone somewhere !
10's
12 Thursday, 28 June 2012 12:39
Huge 10's across the board. The effort by all was incredible. Guys that most thought would fail, came through. The game could have gone either way, and we lost by the slightest of margins.

People need to realize these guys gave their all when many thought they wouldn't. While we questioned, many pundits said we were becoming the best team in the Euros.

Nelson will get better with playing time and this experience was invaluable.

Portugal para sempre.
Super Tournament for us!!!
11 Thursday, 28 June 2012 08:42
We went out by the thinnest of margins, that last Spanish penalty sums up how fine the line is between success and failure. But the boys have done us all proud in this tournament, that nobody (not even many of our own pessimistic fans) expected us to have a big impact on. We proved we are one of the 4 best teams in Europe, and for a country of just 10 million people (Germany has 80 million, Spain 40, Italy 60, England 60 etc etc)...this is very impressive, we are a football nation through and through and I believe eventually we will get our rewards with a trophy, I have faith in this always.

As for the match, it was a nail-biter and could've gone either way in both the match itself and on penalties in the end. They are the World champions yet there was really nothing between the teams, and that's a measure of just how good we are. We had a great first half, where we played exactly as I hoped and knocked Spain off their tiki taka stride...had we managed to get a goal in that first half we really could (and probably would) have won it in the 90 mintutes. We tired as the match went on and the Spanish began to dominate, but our defensive strength was out of this world. Two of the players I was worried about for the tournament, Patricio and Alves, were magnificant, and the Spanish just couldn't get through us. Defence was my biggest worry before the tournament, but in the end was one of the best in the whole tournament. Our midfield trio was fantastic and also one of the best in the tournament.

In the end our biggest weakness and what cost us was our old problem yet again, no world class central striker!!! Had we had one last night I think we would've won that match and been in the final. The reality is Postiga is average, Almeida even more average, while Nelson looks promising, but so far looks very rough and unfortunately doesn't look like being a prolific goalscorer to me. I really think Varela should be tried out in a fluid and inter-changing front 3 with CR7 and Nani...this to me looks like our best attacking option since we simply don't have a class centre-forward.

In terms of the penalties, I think there were some errors. Firstly obviously, why was CR7 left for last? Rediculous decision, put your best takers first and take your chances at the end. Also why was Veloso taken off right before the shoot-out? He would've surely taken one...and how could Bruno Alves take one before Varela or Oliveira?

However I don't want to be harsh on the team at all. We did great overall, and every player gave his all, with a little more luck we would've been in the final, and that's a great achievement. We have to take big confidence from this and look forward to Brasil 2014, where I think we will be big contenders. None of the players in this squad will be too old in 2 years time, and some of the younger ones (Oliveira, Varela etc etc) will be much more experienced. So good things to look forward to.....FORCA SEMPRE!!!!
Well done Portugal!
10 Thursday, 28 June 2012 08:39
What a superb display, made me really proud. We went out fighting, not with a whimper like in 2010 and 2006!
Gutted
9 Thursday, 28 June 2012 06:32
I'm guted and so empty as I too thought this was our best chance. Everyone played for the team and not themselves. It was one of the best performances I have even seen shame that we lost it and in such a cruel way.

Dont worry I'm sure this team will be back. Remember how bad Spain was before they finally won something and now look at them nothing can stop them.

It wasn't our time but it will come champion teams win not teams of champions this is modern soccer
Excellent ratings
8 Thursday, 28 June 2012 03:13
I agree with all.

I'd ultimately like to thank PortuGOAL for their commitment to actively writing the knowledgeable articles throughout the tournament and keeping it's regulars updated. Over the years, it has never been easy to find a Portuguese football website that has English as it's primary language. I can't really read Portuguese because i grew up in Canada although i was born in Portugal. I personally believe more people were attracted to the website due to the Portuguese success at the tournament so that's a reward!

But yeah, props to you all and thanks for the great worthwhile articles.

Forca PortuGOAL.
A tale of two posts
7 Thursday, 28 June 2012 03:00
I am too tired, and depressed to say much except that I do agree with Supremo

Team is aging, and Ronaldo has had his best tournament for Portugal thus far in my opinion and it is hard to see that he surpasses this, even though I certainly hope to be wrong.

Portugal were the better team for 100 minutes and in the end undone by penalties. They might as well have just drawn straws.

Glad to see Patricio block a shot in penalties, had a glimmer of hope there for a few minutes.

In the end, it wasn't Alves that undid the team, it was a bounce from a post.

If only we could have gotten the Fabregas bounce maybe we could have been celebrating once more, but alas the football gods are cruel and even more so to Portugal.

They played well today, and I look forward to them winning a tournament soon, you don't dance around the finals for the last 15 - 28 years and not land there one day.

I will be praying for the next one and also praying that come November Portugal will have 12 points from there next qualifying group, yet knowing Portugal maybe even that will be wishful thinking.

Overall, proud of the display.

Forca, till next time
I shake my head
6 Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:17
wow what game did you watch? your rating are a joke...João Moutinho is Portugal's weakest link,he had a chance to shoot just outside the 18 and he passes it off to his right,takes a BABY shot on the penalty kicks as well Fábio Coentrão cannot kick with his right foot at all,his crosses are becoming worse,he is not a threat .
ronaldo
5 Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:53
You give him a 8?!! Missed two sitters.....aside from scoring goald he contributes nothing to the team....and he was rarely tripled team so what game were you watching?! Typical we win nothing...like always!
Strong vs big teams
4 Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:10
Once again the lack of a world class striker has prevented little Portugal (lowest population of the final 8 teams!!!!) from achieving the pinnacle of international competitions.

Although we lack depth compared to Germany/Italy/Spain/Netherlands, we have great players that can compete against them. All we need now is the belief that we can beat them. Today's game showed me this group has the capacity to do so.

The challenge now is to keep up the strong team spirit and pile on the goals/points during WC qualifying. Doing so will ensure a high point coefficient in order to go into the draw as a seeded team. If we get in through the back door again, another "group of death" may await.

Our time will come ... No better place than Brasil 2014 to show the world the greatness of PORTUGAL and its language!!
Fine with Ratings
3 Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:07
I am sure there will be debate about the PK's. The reality is the PK's got lost in the first round. Had we been able to get the 1st one it could have reversed the situation but that is the drama of PK's. Maybe Varela would have been a better option over Moutinho but that is second guessing. I believe Pepe and Bruno Alves were good options to take the PK's. Spain had their CB take PK's Portugal had very few options and I have seen Bruno bury penalty kicks.

There is no need to second guess the what if. Lets go with the facts:

1) Portugal played well enough to win in 90 but the lack of poise in attacking and cutting edge bit us. This game was there for us if we had a cutting edge. I thought CR and Almeida could have done better with at least putting the ball on target. The reality is that not having a true striker and one creative midfielder hurt us in this game.

2) Rui Patricio proved he is the #1 GK and somone to trust for the next 10 years.

3) Our CB combo is one of the best in the world. We can get another 2 years from this group.

4) We need to develop our depth. We had very little after the first 11.

5) Get a striker, not sure where. Low confidence in Nelson O and I hope I am wrong. Vez Te has no proven history not sure about him. If no striker no goals and more pressure on CR.
6) We are one of the best 6 teams in the world! We can with some tweaks get another good 2 years out of the main core.
Help Wanted: Quality Striker
2 Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:43
Congratulations on the whole Portuguese team. I am proud of how they fought and played as a unit. They played their hearts out against the defending world and European champions. The reason they came into this tournament with fear is that they barely qualified! But after this tournament I am sure they will demand that they win their world cup qualifying group. I can’t fault anyone’s play, because they played hard. The referee did definitely blow some calls, but not as bad as some other past tournaments. Also, even though the bad calls could have led to something, we can’t be sure. We had a great break away with Meireles who passed correctly to our most dangerous player, but the chance was blown. Almost wondering what would have happened if Postiga had been in. Almeida just hasn’t been confident since he took the money and decided to play in an inferior league. Nelson isn’t up to the task yet. A quality striker would have enabled us to dismantle Spain’s suffocating ball control. Sure they play controlled when they are even, and can even manage to score when they are a goal down early. But what can they do if they are down a goal after halftime. Maybe Germany will be able to test that theory or maybe like the last two competitions they will lose 1-0.

In order to be a feared and respected side, we need a quality striker, end of story. Bento’s mission is to find and develop one in the next couple of years. If we get one, we can then walk into the tournaments as favorites. Sure Ronaldo was stopped, just as Barcelona has stopped him at times in La Liga competition. But remember without his great run and clinical finish, we wouldn’t have beaten the Czechs and possiblily been in a losing penalty shootout with them. The fact that we played the best team in the world to a draw without a finisher should be a great conciliation, that is if we ever get one.

On the penalty’s it is easy to second guess. But the fact is that the players usually volunteer and I give Bruno credit for stepping up. Usually your central defenders aren’t the best ones to take the PK’s but Pepe did great and Alves was inches away from being a hero. Fabregas was inches from being a goat and he is a forward. Maybe that is why you should have forwards instead of defenders take your PK’s. That is the way it goes.

There has been a lot of criticism for Bento. I have also wondered about his choices sometimes, but one thing is clear. He gave his team a unity and confidence to battle and fight, and for that I respect his effort. Over time I think he will become a better tactician, but he has mastered the confidence game. Currently, I think only Mourinho is a master of both, instilling confidence in his teams and out strategizing the other team. Maybe Pep is as good, but we will see once he coaches some other place other than Barcelona.

Overall a quality effort given the odds. But to become the cup winning generation we need a striker to help our talented wingers.
Nothing to look forward to...
1 Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:23
This was Portugal's year to win the Euro. The best chance Ronaldo will ever get at the prime tender age of 27. He'll be 29 by the next tournament and surely will have lost a step by then. Infact this was the year for many of our players. Meireles, Almeida, Postiga, Alves, and Pepe to name a few.. they will decline in the next couple of years.

I'm gutted with this result because we lost by the smallest of margins. Had Meireles played a better ball in that final counter attack, Ronaldo could've sped past his marker and have a much better angle to test Casillas.

I don't know why Bruno Alves or even Pepe were used in the Penalty shootout. Putting the responsibility on a defender is never a good feeling. Why couldnt we use Varela, Coentrao, Oliveira? I'm sure even an injured Postiga would've been able to sub just to bury one. The match was decided by a ball that hit the crossbar and kept out and one that hit the post and deflected into the net. It's just our luck. The SO was suppose to be our justice for this cheating scum of a referee. Why couldn't the man upstairs answer my call? Where is the justice?

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