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Monday, 16 June 2014 18:22

Ten-man Portugal crash to heavy defeat in World Cup opener

Portugal 0-4 Germany

ronaldo-head-down-germany-game.jpgThe Seleção made a nightmare start to the Brazil 2014 World Cup, getting thumped 4-0 by Germany. A Thomas Muller hat-trick and a Hummels header did the damage for a Portugal side who were completely overrun. Pepe's red card and Fábio Coentrão's injury added to a disastrous afternoon for Paulo Bento's men.


Paulo Bento resisted the temptation to throw in two recent additions to the Portugal set-up, midfielder William Carvalho and striker Éder, opting instead to select Miguel Veloso and Hugo Almeida. As such, it was an identical line-up to the one that played at Euro 2012, bar Almeida in place of Hélder Postiga.

Many (including this author) expected a tight and cagey match, but the first ten minutes were anything but as both teams showed attacking intent from the off. Almeida was released by Ronaldo, but his harmless chip was easily gathered by Neuer, then a dangerous raid down the left flank gave Ronaldo a shooting chance from a tight angle, the German goalkeeper defending his powerful shot for a corner.

Germany were also looking dangerous whenever they attacked, with Gotze threatening twice early on, before Khedira missed a glorious chance when Rui Patrício's poor clearance in the 10th minute gave him an open shot at an empty net from 35 yards but he pulled his effort just wide.

The Germans did not have long to wait to take the lead however, as Gotze tangled with João Pereira and the referee pointed to the spot for a somewhat soft penalty. Muller made no mistake to put Joachim Low's side 1-0 up.

A more sedate period followed the frantic start, and Nani was not far away from an equaliser shortly before the half hour with a terrific strike from the edge of the box that just cleared the bar. Straight afterwards Hugo Almeida was forced off injured, Braga striker Éder replacing him.

Despite some good periods of possession for Portugal, Germany were looking the more incisive side when attacking and nearly doubled their lead when only a superb last-ditch interception from João Pereira prevented Gotze from finding the net. Again, it proved only to be a brief reprieve. From the ensuing corner Hummels rose between Alves and Pepe to thump a header past the helpless Patrício.

Portugal spurned two good chances to get back in the game almost immediately, Fábio Coentrão choosing to pass to Ronaldo when in an excellent shooting position, then Éder heading a corner over from close range when well placed.

Pepe sees red

The end of the first half proved catastrophic for Portugal. When Pepe clashed with Muller the referee showed no hesitation in brandishing the red card to the Real Madrid centre-back. Pepe did himself no favours by catching the striker with his hand then angrily pressing his head against his adversary, but a red card appeared harsh.

Germany were not complaining, and Muller punished more sloppy defending by firing a third goal on the stroke of half time. Alves' attempted clearance fell at Muller's feet and Patrício looked at fault for failing to keep out the shot.

The second half was a more pedestrian affair, with Germany opting to save their energy and ten-man Portugal powerless to change the course of events. Ozil and Gotze were close to adding goal number four for the Germans, while a fizzing Nani shot was beaten away by Neuer, with Éder pouncing on the rebound, falling under a challenge, only for the referee to wave away penalty appeals.

Germany made it 4-0 in the 78th minutes, Muller completing his hat-trick with his right foot after being set up by Schurrle.

But the worst news for Portugal in the second 45 minutes was the sight of Fábio Coentrão being strethered off with an apparent groin strain that must bring his continued participation in the World Cup into doubt.

A clearly unfit Ronaldo had been a passenger most of the game, but almost grabbed a consolation in stoppage time, his fierce free-kick beaten away with difficulty by Neuer.

A match to forget for Portugal, and Paulo Bento now faces a huge task to rally his troops ahead of the USA match on Sunday. Failure to do so and the Seleção's World Cup will be over without ever having got going.

by Tom Kundert

Portugal:
Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Coentrão (André Almeida min. 64), João Pereira, J. Moutinho, Veloso (Ricardo Costa min. 45), Meireles, Nani, Hugo Almeida (Éder min. 27), Ronaldo

Germany:
Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels (Mustafi min. 73), Höwedes; Lahm, Kroos, Khedira; Özil (Schüerrle min. 61), Müller; Götze

Goals:
[1-0] Müller (pen.), 12'
[2-0] Hummels, 30' 
[3-0] Müller, 45'
[4-0] Müller, 78



Comments (201)
previous posts
201 Friday, 04 July 2014 17:44
Trevor / DC-USA
First off, what I was trying to say is that the sort of supporter others were complaining about bother me as much, and it was just very evident after the loss of the US.

Secondly, yes the Portuguese culture is little (if at all known) by the general US public (especially outside of SE Mass and California). It does not mean that Portugal did not have great affect on the shape of the world, cuisines, etc.. But this is a futbol site.. I was being annoyed by the people around me, as they seemed to drop their support of the USMNT as quickly as it seemed they had dropped it for the Seleccao.
@ Trevor US/DC
200 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 16:49
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
'There is a great history, here, both in World Affairs and futbol. I am ashamed of the way the game is dismissed in North America, on the whole.'

What do you mean 'great history'?

Portuguese immigrants are marginalized at best, why do you think there has been so little diffusion as seen in Newark and Elizabeth?
American Soccer Support
199 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 01:53
Trevor/USA-DC
To all those who are hating on the Americans - We/they are so wishy-washy about our interest that when the US lost to Belgium, I heard this statement "Oh, well, we just won't care about soccer for another 4 years..." This is why the US team will not improve.. fan support. The people have to believe in a sport, before it will bear fruit for them. It pisses me off, and I have been a Seleccao supporter for many a year, and did they let me down? yes.. But I, also, am not ashamed to be Luso-American. There is a great history, here, both in World Affairs and futbol. I am ashamed of the way the game is dismissed in North America, on the whole. This is why small European nations will continue to beat the USMNT.. unti that changes.
On Coaching and An Idea to Help Integrate Youngsters - @Marco/Canada
198 Saturday, 21 June 2014 02:16
George/Canada
I've never been a fan of Italian managers with the exception of the current one Cesare Prandelli. I find them to be overly pragmatic and defensive, not to mention stubborn. I fear that appointing an Italian manager would only give us another version of Carlos Queiroz futebol. Unless we could find one like Prandelli who I absolutely love as a manager. Ultimately, it'd be better if we had a manager who was flexible and bold in addition to be being a good motivator. It doesn't matter where they come from.

You know what? If Brazil fails in this World Cup and Luis Felipe Scolari gets let go, and we struggle and Paulo Bento gets shown the door as well, I'd welcome Scolari back in a heartbeat. Not sure if the FPF would though.

I don't know if a B national team would work, unless maybe you do something like this: One thing I've been thinking about is having all-Portuguese friendlies. Not necessarily an A team vs. a B team, but, one A team broken up into two and facing each other to raise money for charity or something. You could use some regulars and slot some youngsters in there as well. For example:

Portugal Red (manager - Luis Figo):

Rui Patricio
Joao Pereira -- Luis Neto -- Bruno Alves -- Fabio Coentrao
Rafa -- Miguel Veloso -- Andre Gomes
Vieirinha -- Eder -- Nani


Portugal White (manager Rui Costa)

Anthony Lopes
Cedric -- Ricardo Costa -- Pepe -- Antunes
Joao Moutinho -- William -- Raul Meireles
Bruma -- Nelson Oliveira -- Cristiano Ronaldo

5 substitutions a side and a penalty shootout at the end of the game regardless of the score. Maybe instead of having legends like Figo and Rui Costa manage, they could jump in and play for a bit. You know, a tie to just celebrate Portuguese futebol and watch interesting combinations play out to see if there's any chemistry. I think it'd be great and I'd love it if all federations did this.
ESPN Bcasters
197 Friday, 20 June 2014 20:10
Luso/NJ
I was listening to the half time show of the SUI and FRA and heard that goofball Lexi whatever his last name is call the Portuguese a wounded animal and that the USA was going to put it down. This coming from a second class futbol player. I hope the national team are reading this crap so that they have bulletin board material as incentive for thrashing the USA.

Who the hell does the USA think they are...they can't win wars, but now they think they can beat anyone in the world in futbol.
Carlos
196 Friday, 20 June 2014 16:17
lusiads/Canada
Further,

So as not to just be speaking out my a**. I went back to look at the Portugal Sweeden games which was the last time we played a competitive and not just friendly match.
I think we can say that in terms of overall quality USA and Sweedan (minus Zlatan) are comparable teams.

Remember that in the first game in Portugal Bento did not start Carvalho and it was Veloso who assisted on Ronaldo's Goal.

In Sweden Veloso again started and Portugal built a 3 goal lead. The mistake that Bento made was that he brought in Carvalho to spell Meireles to late (right after Zlatan scored his second) Having Veloso and Merieles in that game kept Sweeden from zeroing in on Moutinho.

I agree that the primary responsibility on the DM is defense but that does not mean that the position has to be so simple. We all like drawing up our formations and player selections in our posts and I think they are interesting but these static player and formation set-ups don't tell us how the shape will play out in the game. For instance placing Coentrao in the back four does not show (as we all know) that he is perhaps the best box to box wing back in the game and will be way up the pitch a lot of the time. Further placing Ronaldo on the Wing does not show that (in part because Coentrao's ability to go box to box) that Ronaldo will cut into the middle a lot during the game.

Just so, palcing Veloso in the Dm spot vs. placing Carvalho in the DM spot while looking the same on paper does not show that Veloso has a better ability than Carvalho to pinch forward and help in attack. Again when the ball is in the offensive zone the DM's job is now not simply to play defense but to accurately distribute the ball and not disrupt the offensive ball movement. In the friendlies I saw, Carvalho seemed a little slow or unsure in his passes.

That all said Carvalho is great and will be an important piece going forward.
Carlos
195 Friday, 20 June 2014 13:57
lusiads/Canada
I think we agree on what's needed in the midfield we just have different opinions on the abilities of Veloso and Carvalho. I also don't think Carvalho in the midfield is Neccesarily a mistake put Veloso is a better choice for a team interested in scoring. I think it is easier to critic Veloso at the international level because we have a larger sample size. Carvalho looked a little shacky passing the ball in the friendlies to me. I agree that carvalho would command the midfield defensively I just think that Veloso will do a good enough job while providing more offence and experience with this team. Also with Coentrao out the americans will probably be attacking via the wings a lot more than through the middle of the pitch. That said Carvalho would help on crosses and corners.

Since you completely disagree with me do you also disagree with the other points I made?
Comments
194 Friday, 20 June 2014 13:37
JJ/US
@ Matthew - you have to tell your son that story when he is older. If that doesn't show love I don't know what does. Great story, but sorry you had to endure that.

@George - I completely agree with the amateur media coverage. I am a Canadian with Portuguese parents, who lives in the US, so I have been comparing and contrasting the coverage with my brother. I think it has more to do with the media covering a sport that they have no idea about. They don't understand ronaldo's injury, how long it's been going on, what he has looked like in practice, etc. It is entirely possible they are managing him by cutting practice short and then obviously they are going to ice a problem area immediately. I played college soccer and after practice, especially during three-a-days, I would be in the ice bucket or I'd have ice strapped to an area I may have been struggling with. Additionally, if ronaldo cutting practice short on Wednesday is huge news shouldn't him participating on Thursday be just as big?

@Lusiad - great insight into why Carvalho may not have started. I do disagree with that thought process because i think you had to toughen up the midfield against a very talented Germany attack. However, stating bento was going more offensive is interesting and entirely possible. Also, a great rationale for why he may not start carvalho on Sunday, although I think he almost certainly will. There is no need for the team to open up and play more offensive against US. If they just play up to their potential and want the game the result will be there. No team with 6 points as failed to make it to the knockout phase, so just win and don't worry about how much.

Sometimes experimenting brings about new findings.
Completely disagree with post 188 from Lusiads
193 Friday, 20 June 2014 12:53
Carlos/USA
I understand your theory that Portugal need goals but Veloso is not the answer at cdm. If Veloso plays that position his job is to primarily help out the back 4 and distribute the ball to meireles and moutinho. Its not velosos job to distribute precision passes to Ronaldo, eder, or nani. That is moutinhos job and occasionaly meireles. I understand we need goals against USA but more importantly we need to shut down their build up play in the midfield and create turnovers fast so that we can capitalize on our counter attacking game which is what this team is built on. The game on sunday will be won in the midfield and William will be a major factor. Hes very composed and calm on the ball. He distributes his passes fast and very accurate. I find that Veloso sometimes tries to do to much with the ball offensively and pushes up the field to much leaving us vulnerable in a counter attack. What we need is a stout midfield and defense against teams because believe me if we control that midfield the goals will come pouring in. Carvalho will make all the difference come sunday, i just hope he gets the startinf nod.
It's not over until it's over
192 Friday, 20 June 2014 11:12
Jaime/Newark/USA
Let's stop being pesstimists and think more like Jose Mourinho. We win - we win, but we don't lose with out a fight. I been ready all this bullshit in the USA bullshit media about how the USA can beat Portugal.How portugal is depleted. The USA lackey German shithead making claims that they can beat Portugal. News flash for the USA coach - Portugal might have feared Germany, but I Have no doubts they do not fear the USA. Sick of the USA non-fur ok country thinking that they are better than Portugal. I might be Portuguese American... But I will never root for the USA over Portugal in anything. If you cut my veins - I bleed red and green, not red, blue, and white. I don't care if people on here think that I am ungrateful because I live in the USA - but that is how much I love my Portuguese culture and Portugal..
Portugal needs to regroup and make an. Example of the USA. They need to crush them like they did Ireland. They players need to take their shots like they did in the Ireland game and not constantly look for cr7.

Forca Portugal!!!!!!!!!!!!
My thoughts..
191 Friday, 20 June 2014 03:40
Z / Canada
Hello everyone, here are my thoughts on the game...

I was also saddened by this match and result. but lets put this in perspective

1. Squad Selections

Bento went with experience over youth. Portugal is the fourth oldest team in the tournament.
The only players under 25 are William and Rafa, neither of which played against Germany.

Bento also brought some players who are clearly on the downhill. Veloso and Meierles most notably are playing in sub-par leagues. Why not bring in Adrien Silva? or even Josue who was called up in the past and did okay? Bento been sticking with the same guys over and over. we are lucky he even brought in William, and it appears he is reluctant to even use him despite his CRUCIAL intervention in the Sweden playoff 2nd leg.

no proper LB back up - this is an obvious error. Coentrao got hurt and is now out for the rest of the WC. We have a proper backup named Antunes who played against Sweden and Bento didnt even call him. he will instead rely on Andre Almeida for his "Versatility" yes he can play multiple positions but none of them particularly well! even Benfica fans I know are wondering why he was called.

2. Pre-Tournament Buildup

out of form players, key players coming off of injury
a training camp in the USA,
Portugal only arrived in Brazil 2 days before the tournament began, we were the last team to arrive. Germany was there acclimatizing for 2 weeks already.

So much Festas, photo ops, selfies taken , personalized hotel rooms, airplane full of bacalhau, wine, chourico etc

open trainings,

I wonder, are they here for a Vacation or to Train?

this all reminds me of 2002 WC, ridiculous training and prepration in Macau, shopping trips etc etc and coming out flat against USA

3. Germany 4-0 Portugal

Portugal looked flat, and everything that could have gone wrong...welll... did
soft penalty call against us put the Germans ahead
than down 2-0 from horrible set piece defending
than Pepe loses his head, and Ref somewhat harshly red cards him
Almeida gets injured, early sub used
Coentrao injured
clear penalty denied for us in the 2nd half, which could have at least helped us only lose 3-1 and have -2 rather than -4 which could prove decisive at the end of the group rounds

Acabou!
Portugal's greatest humiliation in a tournament complete.

4. Where do we go from here?

Well, Portugal tends to play better with their backs against the wall so they better step up against the USA. it wont be easy, USA look fit and determined and this game will be in the Amazon region where it is extremely hot and humid.

4. Aftermath

No matter what happens, it is clear this squad needs rebuilding for Euro 2016 qualifiers.

guys like Meireles have got to go, Adrien deserves a shot as well as perhaps Josue and Joao Mario (if plays at SCP), Andre Gomes, Andre Martins, etc

I dont wanna name them all here but there are numerous players waiting to break through that need to be given a shot.
Portugal will need to restructure this squad after this tournament, even if we somehow win the World Cup after this disaster.
Cont. New Coach for National Team
190 Friday, 20 June 2014 02:50
Marco/Canada
George, Hareesh and you too Jose, thanks for comments.


Dutch or German sound good, any objections to Italian?
a creative coach and a disciplinarian who is willing to coach Portugal, and can wrestle enough control and concessions from PF, is it possible???

would having a B team be a workable option for Portugal? i.e. two national teams A+B, more options in talent for coach???


Jose:
i apologize for having offend you. No im not new to site, i just dont usually post, in fact i've read many of your comments thoughout the years. This site is an open forum, and my questions are valid, be it now or after tournament. And you may not have notice but Portugal's tournament may be over this sunday - thats called being a realist, Jose. Most of your posts are emotional, aggressive and infantile.
If you read my first post carefully Jose, you will read the following words "MOVING FORWARD", that Jose usually means later on in the future, after the tournament, or the monday after this coming sunday Jose.

i scrolled down and read a few of your posts - basically you are betting on luck and breaks i.e. lucky-breaks. That will get you far Jose. and you also mention odds, well Jose here are the odds for this coming sunday; Portugal could win, Portugal could tie, Portugal could loose. You Jose, think of yesterday and today, im looking towards the future rapazinho. pay attention boy, this is your learning phase. take notes if you must.


Jose if Canada were to play Portugal, i would cheer for Canada, cause its my home, Jose.
Jose in closing i will point this out to you, which you may not have been aware - you and the current NT lack control, thus the NT will never achieve what you and i and many other supporters throughout the world believe is possible.
Jose its not the shirt that makes a team or a supporter.
Jose dont think of this as a spAnking, think of it as a soft penalty, now be a good rapazinho and sit the ----- down.
@ LHE Lighten up
189 Friday, 20 June 2014 02:01
melo Canada
I don't know what it is with you? Do you know what sarcasm is? What i'm saying is Moutinho doesn't impress me and i'm not alone ,neither did he impress at his club. Management and Supporters have been disappointed by his play, he hasn't lived up to all the hype has been given.

Here is more sarcasm... If you had 11 Ronaldo's would you sit 10 of them?
To Add to Nelson, Bento's decisions and the USA game
188 Friday, 20 June 2014 01:31
lusiads/Canada
First of all I love this sight and I appreciate reading people's posts. Agree or disagree I love the passion.

I want to add to what nelson/Canada said. I'm a dad with three kids under 5 and it's tough to comment let alone read everyone's comments. Just because people don't post all the time does not mean they don't love the National team any less. I remembering being in tears when the team lost the final in 2004. I'm always behind the team.

Nelson's point about Portugal not being Lazy is spot on. To add, it is so hard to evaluate the team considering the almost unbelievable circumstances they faced, down a man, a slew of injuries, bad penalty call, less than 100% Ronaldo. What a nightmare!

As for Nelson's point about Bento. I Agree it's easy to question Bento and call for his head but I think Nelson is right this world cup was not about preparing the team for 2016 or 2018 it was about right now because right now a generational player is still in his prime. A lot of the young players that could have been brought up simply were to young and not good enough (yet) during most of the qualifying campaign. Now two years after the qualification process for the world cup started many are ready to be slowly transitioned in as older players transition out. With the added spots available for qualification in the 2016 euro making it easier to qualify I'm sure Bento will do that. It's not like he hates young guys. There are some young players on the team and several had call-ups just before the world cup. Remember that he tried out Nelson Oliveira when he was barely 20 and brought Moutinho back into the fray when he had just turned 23.

As for the criticism of Bento's lineup for the Germany match. Again with all the adversity in the game it is hard judge his plan and choices. That said, I agree with people on Almeida but BEnto must have reasoned that Almeida's experience and continuity with the team and Eder's lack theirof was enough to start Almeida. I get it but disagree because Almeida lacks quality that has nothing to do with his age. He was poor against top opponents when he was 26 also.

As for not starting Carvalho (and I think Carvalho is great and will figure prominently in the build up to Euro 2016). I think two factors played into that decision. 1. Bento was nervous about Carvalho's inexperience at this level and against such a quality opponent in the Germans. 2. Bento made a commitment to positive football. While Meireles and Veloso are not as good as Carvalho defensively (nor ar they as good as they were two years ago) they are much more astute offensively. Let's face it, as good as Carvalho is, he is not going to release Ronaldo with an inspiring pass down the wing any time soon. Also, Notice that Loew went with both Kedeira and Lahm in his midfield. This is a very defensive midfield stance by Loew that weekend his back four (moving Lahm out of the back). I think this decision was because Loew's plan was to nullify moutinho with two strong defensive midfielders thus decreasing quality service to Ronaldo. By starting both meireles and veloso Bento included players in the midfield that could still provide service to the forwards even if moutinho was nullified. It showed a commitment to play positive football that should be appreciated. Unfortunately the card, injuries and penalty made it very difficult to see Bento's plan to fruition.

As for the upcoming game against the USA. I can understand people clamouring for Carvalho to start, but, I think bento will start the same midfield because what we need is goals and while carvalho can help prevent scoring by the USA he is not going to help us as much with scoring. I think meireles and veloso will be adept enough to stop a team of mostly mls players or 2nd tier European league players especially with the likely loss of Altidore. I'm not taking the U.S. likely but because we lost 4-0 we need goals to help us in the event we need to advance on one of the tie breaker rules. Carvalho would be good to bring in to shore up the defence if/when we have a 1-2 goal lead in the last 15-20min when mereiles may be running out of gas.

If we win big against the states (2+goals) then Carvalho would be a better selection to start against an all but eliminated and nothing to lose Ghana side (assuming they lose to Germany) that will be looking to be very offensive.

To bring other guys into the midfield does not make sense at this point as they have less continuity with the rest of the starters. Now is not the time to experiment. Experimentation can begin in Sept. with Euro qualifiers.
Forca let's get behind the team
187 Thursday, 19 June 2014 23:42
Tomtom
Edwardo
Jp alves neto/costa veloso
William Raul
Joao m
Varela cr7
Postiga.
Subs almeida nani Ruben eder rafa Forca portugal this is not a bad team guys we need believe and support awar team stop all negative it is what it is,bento is the manager and these are the players so let's b havin these yanks for dinner weeeooooooooo ...
Pepe
186 Thursday, 19 June 2014 22:19
Matthew
Well said, Nelson at #178.

I actually had to endure the torture of watching the-game-that-shall-not-be-named twice, because my 7 year old son waited for me to get home from work to watch it on DVR with him -- I couldn't tell him I had already seen the game and so I had to watch it again and pretend I was excited. It did not improve on its second viewing.

I have cooled down a bit since Monday, but I'm still conflicted about Pepe getting back into the starting lineup. Like I said in my initial post (#5 below) I have been a fan of Pepe on the national team for a long time, but this one is difficult to forgive. I guess where I stand now is that if Pepe makes some affirmative steps to show that he understands the gravity of his mistake, and gives us (and more importantly, Bento) reason to really believe that he will not do something so stupidly crazy again, he should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed back in the starting lineup.

From my perspective, I am really only basing this on all the heart that Pepe has shown for the Selecao, not anything he does at Real Madrid (because I generally haven't followed them). I'm assuming he doesn't have a history of this overtly stupid stuff with his club teams (if he does, then maybe I wouldn't let him back in the lineup). I'm not talking about red cards in the heat of play, I'm talking about stupid no-reason trash-talking red card nonsense like this.

What do you guys think?
Amazing Comments
185 Thursday, 19 June 2014 20:39
Alex/NYC
@ George/Canada.....Bravo! enough said..............
Portuguese Americans Shame
184 Thursday, 19 June 2014 18:13
andrew/ny
I am quite ashamed of how some Portuguese Americans have betrayed our Selecao. When they beat Ireland, all of these hollow fans yelled and cheered "we are going to win the world cup". Now, when the going got tough, these "fans" started bad mouthing Portugal and cheering for USA. On FB they have been posting pictures and articles attaching the Selecao. This attitude absolutely disgusts me.

I will follow Portugal through the thick and thin, just as I always had with Sporting! I cannot be prouder of our tiny nation's record over this century. I don't know if Portugal will win Sunday, but even so only red and green run through my vains and there is room for any other colour! Forca Portugal!!!! Lets make the world swallow their tongues!
Its tournament time so you know the world is ending on Portugoal and Melo again...
183 Thursday, 19 June 2014 15:03
LHE
Diff tourny same story on here.

Melo...
The moment you said Moutinho isnt as good as petit i stopped reading. What you fail to see in your own argument is that Petit maniche and deco all played together and petit was the wink link after what happened to costinha. Apart from that Maniche and Deco were the only 2 mentioned that actually played JM position more so maniche. Vierinha or Nani in the middle and as a destroyer? LOL Your tactical nuance is terrific.
In response to George/Canada
182 Thursday, 19 June 2014 14:25
Felix/Canada
I must say George your comment was excellent. I'm going to talk about one point and that is overconfidence. Although its something that is brought up alot it is extremely key in the game. Of course I'm talking about not being overconfident. The main difference today and usually every tournament is that USA is extremely overconfident and the Portuguese are the complete opposite. Even when looking at teams like Germany and Holland they both tend to do well as these tournaments until the latter stages when they have an over bloated confident group but then tend to lose to teams like Italy. I've been reading quotes from Klinsmen stating that they will just have to beat Portugal or comments such as we should have an easier time versus Portugal than we did against Ghana. If you look at what Beto said in his press conference it was nothing but praise for the American team and rightfully so. I will say though if USA does keep playing like they did and have this overconfidence like they do than don't be surprised when you see a couple American players/coach/media shocked after the game. Again don't mistaken this for overconfidence from a Portuguese fan but it's called being on an even platform without that base you don't win games or tournaments. Let this be a warning to USA you might think of Portugal as third world soccer nation but the lack of respect you have given the team might be your undoing. Here is my lineup against USA.

Eduardo/Beto - Both in great form.

Andre ALMEIDA (Should be Cedric but I move on :) ) Neto Alves Veloso (Will stay back)

William & Meireles (This is a strong base and will provide steel in front of defense)

Moutinho (Given more freedom in an AM/Attacking Midfield role)
Nani/Vieirinha (Starting Vieirinha) Ronaldo

Eder (Looked great against Germany)


Key players added Neto, Almeida, William and Vieirinha.

Player that will change the fortune will be Vieirinha. Plays in Germany and the reason why he should start is because of this ability to cross the ball. After watching the Ghana vs USA game one thing that showed is that Ghana was poor when it came to crossing the ball and that they had plenty of opportunities to do so. With William and Meireles you will start to see a more solid base in the midfield to play off. They have looked good together.

No prediction: Our opposition has great fitness and we need to ensure that the game relies on skill rather than overall fitness. Watch out for corners and free kicks and hope the goalies play better. If the ref is European than the American's won't be able to play so physically which could also be an advantage. Hope the best for our Portugal and FORCA.
You guys are great
181 Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:14
MGS/USA
Really great posts guys. Aside from the very critical posts, you guys are more informative then most of the media coverage. So happy that I found this site cause the ESPN coverage is a joke !

George/Canada
That was great post that not only calmed peoples nerves but was very insightful. GREAT STUFF!
@ George/ Canada
180 Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:00
antonio/orlando
Thank you George for your kind words!
My comments were directed to the people that specific said they were embaress or ashamed to be Portuguese!!!

I probably have one of the saddest experience of the National team here:
In 2004 as I saw Portugal go thru the euro, and looking at tv and newspaper showing how the country put out flags in every corner, was very emotional for me and sure for many of us.
So when we made it to the final, I just had to be part of it, got in a plane to Lisbon n paid 1k euros for a ticket. I wanted to be part of history so much it hurt and I would cry at drop of a hat.
I drank w greeks I knew we were going to win, I was at stadium 5 hours prior to game time.
Well you know the rest, was the sadest moment of my life, but not once I said Im ashmed or embaressed to be Portuguese.!!!
REST MY CASE!!!!!
Carlos would have built a stronger
179 Thursday, 19 June 2014 12:42
Rui/USA
team. It's been said but come on Bento make me eat all my words. PLEASE
Recurring Themes....
178 Thursday, 19 June 2014 11:58
Nelson / Canada
There are some great comments here, just wanted to throw my $0.02 in about a few points that have been made....

1) Newbie posters
I'm one of those people that visits this site almost daily but will not post that often. As someone else pointed out these big tournaments are enough to bring some of us out of the weeds, it doesn't mean we are fair-weather fans as someone else pointed out. That loss left me "gutted", not because I expected a win but rather the way it happened and all the collateral damage (Pepe, Coentrao, Goal differential, wear/tear on CR7 etc.). It was humiliating for the players and the fans, posting on here somehow makes it less painful and gives me some hope that Sunday's game will not be the end of this tournament. Ultimately, Sunday will be a chance for my old man, my son and I to sit down and cheer for the selecao, my dad is in his 80s so these moments have to be savored.... in 2004 when we lost to Greece, my old man was devastated but swore that CR would one day lead the team to greatness. I don't want it to end like this!!!!!

2) RQ7
I've always understood the decision to leave him off the NT. Some still say this was a bad decision and probably feel vindicated now, truth is we will never know. RQ7's inability to stick with a major club should tell us all we need to know, just look at Iker Casillas... dropped by two club managers but still trusted to captain Spain and we know how that turned out (Kudos to Chile and the Dutch though!)

3) Perception that our team was lazy vs Germany
Some posters have made comments to this effect. Germany was a more composed, quietly confident, and focused side to start the game, just look at the teams in the tunnel! Portugal was not lazy, just overwhelmed by a better team that day. Rui Patricio's awful clear early on probably made things worse and they unraveled from there. I could hardly watch after that first goal, it was the worst I've felt as a fan, imagine being on the pitch! That game was a cluster Fu?% of epic proportions. The team was not lazy that day.

4) The media
It feels to me like Portugal is the team that people want to see fail. The generous 4th place FIFA ranking and CR7s polarizing persona add fuel to the fire. This team has won nothing, it should be viewed as an underdog! Instead there is a ton of bad press out there and constant injury reports. Players read this stuff and it only adds fuel to the fire... more pressure, insecurity etc....

5) Bento
It is easy to question Bento. As fans we have to acknowledge that his mandate is to go deep this year, not set the table for 2016 & 2018. He has gone with experience and consistency over youth and exuberance. We have arguably the best player in the world, at 29 he should be in his prime. This was the year to go for it! We may crash out but you cannot blame Bento for CR7s health, the injury to Fabio or Pepe's lack of judgement.
Pépé/Zidane what truly happened
177 Thursday, 19 June 2014 11:35
Ti-joao Canada
There are rumours that before the game Zidane had secretly trained pepe to headbutt opponents! Zidane is reportedly very disappointed with pepés headbutt, pepe stated on rtp10 that mueller said " you re not a real pork & cheese u have a small head, it was at this moment that pepe softly put his against mueller to compare sizes, and said" dont be a nazi! My head is fatter! I fill With fat and stupidities everyday!" It was at this time
That mueller covered his face and starter to cry! Ref had no choie but to send pepe for a time out,
Additional Thoughts On Media Coverage, Etc. - @Steve/Australia, @Antonio/Orlando, @Marco/Canada
176 Thursday, 19 June 2014 09:02
George/Canada
Awesome comments everyone! Been enjoying reading everyone's thoughts. Just wanted to add a few more thoughts and respond to a few people:

Antonio, I understand your frustrations but I think you're misunderstanding where most people are coming from in regards to the criticism. Lets face it, we Portuguese are practically raised to be pessimistic and critical and this is especially true in regards to futebol and the national team. That doesn't mean we aren't proud to be Portuguese, it just means we see so much more potential that what is being realized on the pitch, and that infuriates us. A lot of our criticisms are criticisms that come out of love, not hate; despite being a small nation, we've made an impact in the world and have always been ambitious. Does that mean we should be satisfied though? I don't think so. Satisfaction leads to complacency and complacency leads to mediocrity. In a lot of ways, we HAVE been completely spoiled over these past few years, but, if that sentiment becomes a collective narrative, then, it's only a matter of time before we sink into the abyss and it becomes acceptable to not qualify for international tournaments. I never want to go there again. Also, I've been following this site for years now but I rarely comment unless I'm extremely passionate about something; that something is always the national team. I think a lot of these posters are similar, which is why the comments have exploded since that poor performance. Having said all this, it's so awesome to see just how proud you are to be Portuguese! It's refreshing! There are far too many people out there who aren't for whatever reason and that probably lead to your response. Thank you for not being one of those people. Oh, and I love reading your comments! I encourage you to write more.

Steve, couldn't agree more with absolutely everything you said. Honestly, I don't know about you, but sometimes I get the feeling Paulo Bento isn't following as many players as he should. I still remember I noticed who Nunes was - my jaw dropped when I realized he was Portuguese and I had never ever heard of him. Up until that point I must have assumed he was Spanish. But then came a game against Barcelona 2-3 years ago and all I heard was Ray Hudson's voice, "That's cut out by Nunes! Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! OOOOHHOOHOOOOII!! WHAT A TACKLE FROM THE BIG PORTUGUESE MAN! Like a toddler playing Jenga, he's sending all opponents CRASHING TO THE GROUND!!" Ok, he might not have actually said the Jenga thing, but, that's how I imagine it for some reason. Point is, Nunes was a BOSS in that game and I've been noticing him since. I couldn't believe he was 33 at the time and never so much as got a sniff from the national team. I still think about just how good a Ricardo Carvalho/Nunes partnership might have been. The latest version of Nunes is Jose Fonte. Though not quite as physical as Nunes, he's still plenty physical, and he should've been given an opportunity as well. Eliseu is another one for his versatility. The thing I don't think Paulo Bento gets is versatility doesn't just mean being able to play other positions, it means being able to play other positions WELL. Coentrao/Amorim are truly versatile: they can play well at either wingback position, either flank, in the midfield offensively or defensively, etc. Although not quite THAT versatile, I'd put Eliseu in a similar category. He certainly would've provided more of an offensive threat than either Almeida/Veloso do, and, who knows? If given the opportunity he might have shown himself to be the second-best winger on the team. Antunes should've been there as a quality back-up. I'd argue he did more to prove himself than Almeida did, but, in this squad, out-of-form and injured players reign supreme for some reason. Bento doesn't have any common sense. Which is why I fear for the team even though I believe in the players. And Diogo and Bruno are definitely ones for the future. Solid seasons in difficult leagues with some European experience in there as well. Will that future come under Bento..? I doubt it. Love your comments as well! You should definitely consider writing a blog or something. I'd follow in a heartbeat.

Marco, same questions have been running through my head these last couple of days: IF Portugal don't come out of this, what changes will be made? If Bento is dropped sometime soon, I believe the FPF will simply find a way to recycle Jesualdo Ferreira and hire him as coach because they're familiar with him and I believe he's a free agent right now. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I know he was ousted at Braga but can't remember off the top of my head if he's been appointed anywhere else. I'm not sure how I'd feel if that were to happen: In some ways he'd be a perfect hire given that he likes to attack from the wings and knows the Sporting youngsters well, but, in others he might not be much of a change from Bento in that they both favour the 4-3-3 which may or may not be the right formation for our team. I wouldn't mind seeing a foreign coach come in for once (the Dutch seem to do well with other national teams) but I recognize that won't happen, and, I don't think now's the right time for it either given the difficulty of our Euro qualifying group. It might be too much of an adjustment. In terms of what players leave or fall out of favour if Bento's gone, just look at his favourites: Joao Pereira, Helder Postiga are good bets.


*******************
I just wanted to say something on the coverage of Cristiano and this Portuguese team in general by the media outside of Portugal - it's been an absolute JOKE. Complete AMATEURISM in absolutely every regard. I know a lot of people freak out on a daily basis reading some of this crap. Please don't. When Ronaldo "is unable to finish training with his team", what it really means is he's taking precautionary measures to treat his tendinitis. Rest and ice are staples of treatment for such a condition but clearly the media can't so much as do a google search to realize that. One day Ronaldo is stubborn, egotistical and putting his career in jeopardy, the next day he's fine completing a full training session, and the next day after that he's out for the World Cup. Then the cycle continues...

If you want reliable reports on Cristiano and the team, Tom is your man. If not Tom, then go to PORTUGUESE media sources. It completely baffles me as to HOW/WHY the rest of the world's media is treating reports from SPANISH/ENGLISH TABLOIDS as FACT. It's ridiculous and completely unprofessional! And if you do a bit of research, you can even prove it yourself:

When Cristiano first left training early with his knee wrapped in ice (this was a few days before the Germany game) the story, predictably, that was circulated was, "Ronaldo leaves Portugal training session; could miss World Cup". Now, the PICTURE that was circulated with that first story (at least, on every story I read) was one where Cristiano had both of his hands covering his face as if he was devastated, in tears, and in immense pain. Naturally, I, and everyone else, feared the absolute worst. Please click this link to see the picture I'm referring to, I'm sure you've seen it before if you've been following the story:

http://s.ndtvimg.com/images/content/2014/jun/806/cristiano-ronaldo-trains-fifa.jpg

BUT, in that picture, on the left-hand side was a hand pointing out at Ronaldo which I found curious. After some time, I logged on to FIFA's website to read the story there and found an expanded version of the exact same picture. Check out the picture on this link:

http://cache3.asset-cache.net/gc/450494086-portugals-forward-cristiano-ronaldo-is-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QacW7Kl%2FX0intndCKYe0wH3P2wucBjSW8Bm%2FoGs8VH64

The hand that we see in the first picture belongs to Luis Neto. He's pointing and teasing Cristiano for not pulling a trick off in training and William is smiling, yukking it up as well. This picture comes literally SECONDS after the FIRST ONE. Tell me, does this SECOND PICTURE tell the STORY of a DEVASTATING RONALDO INJURY? Hint: NO. IT. DOESN'T. Yet, EVERY SINGLE MEDIA OUTLET OUTSIDE OF PORTUGAL ran the CROPPED PHOTO to report the STORY. In Portugal, it wasn't even news. Instead, what was news was that young Brazilian Ronaldo fan invading the pitch and ultimately getting to meet her favourite player.

The exact same thing happened yesterday with Ronaldo leaving early to rest a bit and ice his knee, and, magically, these "quotes" from Jose Carlos Noronha appear suggesting that Ronaldo is risking his career by continuing to play in the World Cup. Once again, is this news in Portugal? Nope. Every where else? FRONT PAGE! You know ESPN isn't doing any research into the story. Why would they? It's a great (fictional) story that continues to sell the game in the States and will draw more and more eyes to the match vs Portugal. RONALDO'S HURT!! HE'S RISKING HIS CAREER BY EVEN PLAYING AGAINST US. PORTUGAL ARE A ONE-MAN TEAM AND THAT ONE MAN IS AN ARROGANT IDIOT IGNORING HIS DOCTOR'S ORDERS! USA!! USA!! USA!! WE'RE GOING WIN!!

Please, everyone, trust your common sense and judgment on this issue. Do you really trust the media after their reporting on Ronaldo leaving training the first time? You'd think neither Neto nor William would be laughing if Ronaldo really was devastated and in tears. You'd think there'd be more photos of Ronaldo in tears, being consoled by teammates and coaches if what they actually claimed happened, happened. You'd think it'd be a major news story in Portugal if it was true, after all they're the ones closet to the team. Instead, nothing. And there's nothing to this NEW "story" either.

No way Ronaldo risks his career, he takes care of himself better than anyone else. It's why he's been overworked in the first place - because he's been consistently healthy enough to play many games. And the "quotes" that have emerged sound like something out of a telenovela. "I'm the one who decides whether I play or not," Ronaldo said in tears... REALLY? GIVE ME A BREAK...

Rest easy my friends. Although Ronaldo clearly isn't 100%, things are quite this dire. And if you hear something and it isn't confirmed by Tom, or RTP/Portuguese media, or even FIFA on their website - don't even give it a second thought.

In fact, I've already started writing emails to CBC (I live in Canada so I have to put up with Canadian pundits who have never even come CLOSE to playing in a World Cup, and, basically, anyone they can find with a British accent) to complain about their amateurism and disgraceful unprofessionalism. I encourage all of you to do the same whether it be to ESPN or whomever. In particular, I'm asking them why they should be trusted when they clearly got the reporting on those pictures wrong and haven't even bothered to correct it. They think they can get away with things like this because they believe the majority of their viewers are as ignorant as they are - don't let them. Clearly, in some respects, the world is cheering against Ronaldo and Portugal, dying for them to crash out in the group stage. Although the majority of us are completely frustrated with this team right now, let's do them a service and defend them. Because, frankly, they, and we, deserve much better.
Portugal Germany
175 Thursday, 19 June 2014 08:21
John/UK
The news that Ronaldo is not fit for the next two games leads to two conclusions

1. Bento made a monstrous error playing for 90mins or at all against Germany
2. Ronaldo's PR people don't want to compound the damage he's done to his image by associating with failure to qualify

Silver lining, the squad has the talent to win both games and hopefully Bento has no choice but to pick some new blood (please no Postega or Almeida!)
@marco/canada
174 Thursday, 19 June 2014 05:07
hareesh,kerala/india
With all due respect to my favourite Portugal team i think Portugal need a non Portuguese coach.i mean a coach from outside who very well know the weakness of this team.yes weakness.Germany is the team which clearly revealed all our weakness recently.Why cant Portugal appoint a German coach?Dont laugh at me...i dont think myself great and this is my desire only..i think Jupp Heynckes will be a perfect coach for Portugal.there may be many problems like language,climate etc but a german coach will better suit Portugal.And about retirement players who reached age 32 should be retired because many youngsters are waiting outside.
American media
173 Thursday, 19 June 2014 03:22
George Washington/13 colonies
What is all this garbage about Ronaldo putting the remainder of his career in jeopardy? God I hate the media especially living in America.

Forca Portugal

I'm predicting on Sunday: USA 17 Portugal 2 because Ronaldo can't play. Mainly because of the ghanian witch doctor and my childhood witch doctor and the whole American fan base willing him not to play. Nothing medical just voodoo.

Haha yeah no. Portugal is going to win 3-1.
Spain...
172 Thursday, 19 June 2014 03:15
Adam/Canada
It's really simple. Their defenders stink. Pique and Ramos had circles run around them by Robben and Van Persie, in situations like that, there's only so much Iker can do. Then Pique was dropped, but there's still Ramos. Being a regular member of FIFA's World XI may mean that Ramos is the most overrated defender of all time. His regular errors every game is the reason that Real Madrid rarely win the La Liga. Now that teams are FINALLY unafraid of Spain and press them high, they've shown how beatable they ALWAYS were. I hated watching teams defend in their own half and wonder why they'd lose.
looser
171 Thursday, 19 June 2014 03:10
jose/Can
Marco/Canada,
this is what I'm talking about. Portugal can still progress, and this looser comes on here and asks who our next coach will be.

Marco, please cheers for USA, because we don't need your support, nor do we want it.
Looser
Some people have prayed a 100 Rosaries to OLF
170 Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:53
TC/USA
Some people have prayed a 100 Rosaries to Our Lady of Fatima... think that at least gives them a right to say something about the National Team, even if they don't follow the Leagues closely.
Ideal Line Up
169 Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:27
guess who
Eduardo / Beto

Verinha --- Neto --- B. Alves --- Almeida

---------William----------

Nani ------- Meireles ------- Rafa

Postiga ------- Eder
you guys don't see the problem
168 Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:27
Justin/Rochester
You know what I've noticed about the majority of you guys here? You're a spinning image of this team, a simple reflection in the mirror. All I keep reading here is that we should beat USA and Ghana, we can win the last two games, Portugal plays well when than have to etc. The way you guys think is how this team thinksand that's the problem. This small country thinks they'll win because of their names on paper because they play on big teams in Europe because they are filthy rich. This isn't a video game you guys...their player rankings aren't robotic. I watched the USA and Ghana game and even with their twenty dollar players I have no problem admitting how good thru looked. That's the mentality of this team, they can win with their names without playing. Guess what Portugal your down 4 goals wake the eff up!!!! I'll never forget I think it was scolari that said in 2006 or maybe 2008 that the Portuguese team cares more about the hairdresser or pictures sometimes. That's an indirect way of saying that this team thinks they are paper champions and celebrities. Maybe you can't fault them entirely, small country with poor families and they're young and wealthy. This team is not as good as they "think" they are. I could address the line ups and tactics all day like you guys but the main problem lies in the identity of this team and you guys. Just look at our captain he's what these rich paper champion teammates follow. If you're confused what I mean by paper champions I'm saying that they think they win with their names before games start.
Patricio
167 Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:18
Melo Canada
Put Patricio as striker, for sure the goals will go in
Good news
166 Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:06
John/ toronto
Guy's relax, CR will play Us & Gana he will be on fire with the rest of our boy's . Portugal does not go down that easy, trust me have faith wait for the games we will be all cheering them on as they show there true colours. I'm sure two wins coming , portugal all the way, relax have a cold beer good things are coming.

PORTUGAL FOREVER ! !
Horrible Offensive Attack/Awful Lineup
165 Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:58
Melo Canada
First of all, in the last few years, absolutely NO shots have been taken outside of the 18-yard box. I have such a problem with this because not only do we loose possible goals but we don't apply ANY pressure whatsoever! And what is with the constant unnecessary passing?! The entire team needs to learn how to use the space clearly GIVEN to them AND TAKE THE SHOT, regardless if it goes in or not.

As soon as I saw the horrific squad lineup I knew we lost it. Why put Patricio as the goalie? The man has delayed reactions and can't read a play. Nor will he challenge an incoming player like the Mexican goalie yesterday did.

On top of that... you guys think Mountinho is all that great. But in fact he is not even close to the midfielders we've had in the past... such as Deco, Rui Costa, Petit and Maniche. All of these players took the shot with power, and scored many goals outside that box. We need BRUNO ALVES type of midfielders, who are tough and afraid of nothing... Absolutely nothing. The midfielders we have now, totally FAIL to use any strength when playing. Raul Meireles is the only midfielder on this squad who can take the shot, but has stopped. Why? I would love to see Vierinha in the middle, rather than up top as a forward. This guy is built, solid and has the full capability of blasting the ball in front of the net or even in it. Even put Nani in the middle... at least he'll take a shot! (Just keep the ball down).

Stop bringing up Quaresma, he's not the answer. We don't need fancy talent, we need a team of strong players who will work together, just like the Germans. Muller has no talent or finesse, but he can sure put a ball in the net!

So far, in this entire World Cup, the South American teams don't stop moving! They work hard, all game long and take a countless number of chances. What's stopping us from doing the same?
Stay Positive
164 Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:26
MGS/ USA
In retrospect, we all love playing manager as if we have all the answers and solutions. These guys are the professionals and somehow we all have the answers. Obviously had we won, we would all praise Bento. So instead of criticizing and constantly debating over lineups, lets turn the page and turn a negative into a positive.

We can debate all we want until our heads fall off but come Sunday, we will know what Bento has decided and we can choose to criticize and play the "what if" and "should have" game or we can give them our full support.

Leave it behind, lets move on and get that win over the US!
Forca Portugal!
Joao
163 Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:25
lusiads/Canada
Ah... the majority of Spain's team is still in their prime years the one's that are not play for some of the best teams in Europe and have been some of the best players over the last ten years. Having some old players is too simplistic of a reason to explain Spain's shocking demise in this tournament. Iker is definitely close to done if not done but with with De gea and Valdes both injured It's hard to fault Spain for usng Iker instead of what is really their fourth string goalie.
New Coach for National Team
162 Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:29
Marco/Canada
hi all

two questions for everyone here

moving forward, who do you believe will,
1. be the new coach
2. should be the new coach

PS
who do you think will retire from team

thank you
Joao
161 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 23:33
lusiads/Canada
Ah... the majority of Spain's team is still in their prime years the one's that are not play for some of the best teams in Europe and have been some of the best players over the last ten years. Having some old players is too simplistic of a reason to explain Spain's shocking demise in this tournament. Iker is definitely close to done if not done but with with De gea and Valdes both injured It's hard to fault Spain for usng Iker instead of what is really their fourth string goalie.
Re: From Bad to Worse
160 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 23:27
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Same here Matthew, I saw that too. Sorry if nobody else heard but rumour has it that Cristiano is now out of the World Cup per his doctor's advice. If it's true that the injury is career threatening, I hope he doesn't do something stupid and try to play as difficult as that is to say. Would rather see him play for another few years in top form and possibly another Mundial than never again. Hopefully by then some of our youngsters will have come good, and maybe Mourinho will be ready to take over the reigns for Portugal then. Terribly sad news though, even if unsubstantiated.
Maybe not . . .
159 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 22:33
Matthew
OK - since I posted the first article, I feel obligated to post this one:

http://www.insidespanishfootball.com/112761/portuguese-doctor-denies-reports-he-advised-cristiano-ronaldo-to-withdraw-from-the-2014-world-cup-due-to-tendinitis/

"In statements made to Portuguese newspaper, O Jogo , Noronha has denied the reports in El Confidential as “completely false,” and that he wouldn’t make any statments of that nature until after the World Cup.

Yet, Cristiano continues to battle the knee injury and could very well miss this Sunday’s match against United States."

So maybe it is a false rumor. Maybe it was spread by Real Madrid. Maybe it was put out there by Portugal to keep the Americans guessing about their plans for Sunday. Who knows.

I don't want CR to permanently injure himself, as I'm sure none of us want that. But I do hope he is in shape to play on Sunday.

Forca Portugal.
keep the faith
158 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 22:11
Jose/Can
antonio/orlando,
thank you for your kind words. Your were bang on, when you said that this generation is spoiled.

Im 43 years old, and have lived in Canada for 33 years. There is nothing on this earth other then my family and faith that i love more then our national team.

We went into this world cup, with so many banged up players. The truth is we are up against it….but what are you suppose to do, Roll over?

That is not in the Portuguese DNA. Bento, made a couple of mistakes, Ref, screwed us 12 minutes in. We have to many out of form players, loose canon's….I E Pepe, Penalty that was missed on Eder, {although it wouldn't have helped down 3-0].

People have to understand that you need some luck, and a few breaks along the way, and we had none.

Last and the most important thing to remember, is that Portugal has started the last 4 tournaments on the wrong foot, and went on to do well!!!


Our destiny is still in our hands, and we must support and believe in our players to the very end.

Imagine if our players reacted the way our fans have! [I called them fans because they are not supporters] our world cup would have been over already.


For the real supporters of Portugal, keep believing against all odds, and if we turn it around what a story it will be.

Believe till your last breath.
Is Bento watching Spain?
157 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 20:21
João/Holanda
That is what happens if you keep being loyal to the same players that are clearly over the hill (such as Iker) Don't make the same mistake!
If being a proud Portuguese depends in 1 game, then
156 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 20:14
antonio/orlando
You are not Portuguese at all, Being proud to be Portuguese means knowing the history of a very small country since 1143, appreciate Luis de Camoes, Vasco da Gama e Pedro alvares Cabral!!! "
E se mais oceano houvese la chegariamos"

That my friends is being Proud to be a Portuguese.
Since I don't see most of you here during regular Portuguese soccer season you are what we call in America fair weather fans!!! or Monday morning quarterbacks!!!!
Also since we never won any major tournments, chances are we going to be disappointed period.
Thank you n keep ur spirits up n catch up on Portuguese history and if u do, u always be proud to be Portuguese!!!
From bad to worse . . .
155 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 19:40
Matthew
News reporting that Ronaldo is in danger of missing the rest of the World Cup . . .

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/06/18/portugal-doctor-tells-ronaldo-injury-is-career-threatening
Patricio allowed to save face!!
154 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:51
antonio/orlando
I did not see any injury on the game. so rather than making him look bad we do this.
I am a sporting fan but I was Portuguese before I was sporting. He has no business being a starter at this time. Also sporting trying to get 15 million for him they would be happy to get 5. and doubt it, sporting is stuck w him w a high salary till the end of contract.
to justin
153 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:19
Trevor / USA
Excellent find, Justin, and insightful writing.
What may have been...
152 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 14:25
Nuno canada
What may have been if Portugal played with 2 skilled wingers. Ronaldo can only do so much. Nani was just as I expected (disappointing) I was there front row. And saw nani squander opertunity after opertunity right in front of me. If we had RQ7 on the wing instead of giving the ball away from to many dribbles I saw the perfect oppertunity to use his beautiful trivela to get off a beautiful pass/shot. RQ7 adds a whole new detention of danger for opponents. The fact that he can use both sides of both his feet add extra danger to the opposing teams! Something they would need to watch for. However we do not have that option. I was the one yelling at nani in the second half calling for Quaresma! He heard because he was 15 feet in front of me. Yes I'm bitter. But I love Portugal no matter what!
portugal portugal portugal...
151 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:28
hareesh,kerala/india
If Germany draws against USA and loses to Ghana(biggest shock but possible)and we beat USA and Ghana,what will happen?Portugal G1 and Germany G2.wait...
The Game
150 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:27
Ivo/Canada
So we're well over 100 posts now and I'm sure all aspects of the game have been analyzed to death, but I figured I'd throw my two cents into the mix for what it's worth.

Firstly, the first penalty was soft. There was contact in the box but it was nothing more than your standard jostling for position. You could call a foul but it's extremely soft especially considering that other harder fouls have not been called in the WC and the German player (Gotze if I remember correctly) went down with little or no contact. So right off the bat we are down following a very soft PK.

Portugal didn't dominate possession but they did eventually manage to create some chances. Had Coentrao been more alert Portugal could have had a goal when he was left unmarked in front of Neuer, instead he shanked it wide. Nothing went our way.

The Pepe incident. I think it was harsh. Yes it was fully within the refs rights to send him off with a straight red, but given the circumstances of the game and the nature of the incident, I think it was really a shame he opted to go straight red. It was stupid by Pepe yes, but he did not injure Muller, not even remotely, and the worst thing he did was graze his head with his head and yell at him. Is it really worth potentially ending a player and a team's world cup, hurting the team's chances considerably and disappointing an entire nation of fans for something so relatively minor? A yellow and a handshake between the two players would have surely been enough of a warning to get the message across and wouldn't have instantly ruined the rest of the match. That said, Pepe gave the ref the decision to make, so he is more at fault than anyone.

After the Pepe incident. The team had no belief, which is understandable. Coentrao's injury is a major set back given how influential he has been for us and the loss of Pepe is clearly not a good thing either, but we could manage a group stage escape with Neto, Costa, Antunes or whoever Bento calls upon.

Rui Patricio. Such a terrible performance from start to finish. Actually the worst goalkeeping performance of the World Cup so far. Why he insists on repeatedly clearing the ball out with short low kicks to dangerous positions on the pitch is beyond me. He also could have done better on that muller goal. Probably the worst game I've ever seen him play and is probably bad enough to warrant Beto or Eduardo getting the nod ahead of him in the next game. The good thing is that one of them will repalce him regardless of whether or not Bento agrees with me. I hate to see him injured but it could be a blessing in disguise.

Ronaldo was ineffective, but he's injured and it shows, so it's all he can do.

Moutinho had his moments, like that really nice move in midfield to get around three German players.

Eder was robbed of a penalty that was more of a penalty than the one the ref gave to Germany. Yet another questionable call favouring Germany by the referee.

Most people are overlooking the referee and just blasting Portugal but the ref could have and I think should have taken a more lenient and balanced approach to this match. He could have avoided the spectacle entirely and just given Pepe a warning. That for me was his biggest flaw. If Pepe came at Muller with intent to injure or something along those lines, then fine, but the guy got in his face and yelled at him, and hadn't done anything even remotely concerning to that point, why not a warning instead of a game murdering decision? The English press keep talking about how well germany played and this is true, but if Portugal had 11 v 11 who knows how the game would have turned out. Portugtal were always unlikely to boss possession but they would have had their spells and created some chances. The sending off all but killed that and remarkably, Portugal still should have had a penalty call go their way. All in all, I blame Pepe, I blame Patricio, but I blame the referee more than anyone else for taking an unnecessarily harsh approach to this match. I can't take any articles about how badly Portugal played seriously because the biggest issue for me is the brutal officiating. So biased.

Moving on, Portugal can take these matches, even depleted. We've been here before, in a corner, and we've somehow managed. Granted Ronaldo will likely be less effective, but others can produce to support him and he's still capable of magic. I still have faith.
Agree with the espn article
149 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:12
JJ/US
I was talking to my brother about that same thing. Portugal will force the ball to Ronaldo when there are 2 or 3 better options going forward. It is really problematic especially when transition through the middle of the pitch because at times it's not only the wrong options, it requires a pin point pass with low rate of success and what happens when it's cut out? We lose the ball in the middle of the park and are on our heels scrambling. Additionally, do we really want ronaldo with the ball at half or just beyond half without his burst of speed and ability to take a man on?

Also, I really don't think being a counter team suits the current squad especially against US and Ghana. I think bento needs to stress possession and working the ball up the pitch, especially during the conditions on Sunday.

Somewhere down the line Portugal's identify change so much so that it is like we cant build the play up and be patient in possession. If there is one thing I have always admired about Portugal teams it is that win or lose the football was beautiful. This is why I'd like to see two creative players in the middle Rafa and Moutinho with William providing the deep support. Plus Moutinho is a true two way player anyway, so it's not like our back line would be left on an island. Although I do realize this might leave our outside backs exposed, but no formation or team selection is without it's faults.
MLS & Bullshit Voodoo
148 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 07:47
Dave / Los Angeles
It's time to play up to our abilities , draw from our superior experience, and slap some reality back into ignorant fans & Mickey Mouse commentators.
Bento, let the young guns play, instill a positive attitude and drop Pereira who will be overwhelmed by Dempsey.
Neutralize Bradley, force the play thru Beckerman. Start play deep in our end and create space in the middle to promote the 1 vs 1 . Control must be established from the first second. The US will play for a tie and will attempt to frustrate and exacerbate temperament. So easy LOL
Whatever do you what you want I dint care its not like anyone listens to me.
check this espn article
147 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 06:38
justin/rochester
This is exactly what I was talking about with this team for months before this world cup even started. Even the author who is not portuguese can tell this is obvious. This team has a problem with always acting like they have no ability so they force feed ronaldo and it is sad. I will copy and paste the article on here below.

SALVADOR, Brazil -- There were about five minutes gone when Philipp Lahm, usually the most composed footballer on the planet, seemed to lose his concentration. Only for a second, but at this level, that is enough. Midway inside his own half, the Germany captain paused, as if caught in two minds about what to do. Miguel Veloso, Portugal's tenacious defensive shield, raced toward him. Lahm stumbled. Veloso nicked the ball away.

Suddenly, Portugal had a three-on-two, with Germany's central defenders wheeling back toward their own goal. Nani tore down the right wing. Veloso advanced down the centre. But the pass was always going to his left. That was where Cristiano Ronaldo was, after all.

From high in the stands at the Arena Fonte Nova, you could almost see the thoughts running through Veloso's mind: "OK, Miguel, this is your big chance. Here it is. The perfect pass, that's what you need. Straight into his path. Then he'll come and give you a hug, and tell you how great you are. This has to be just right."

It wasn't, of course. Veloso, too keen to impress, hurried the ball. It was not quite into Ronaldo's path. He had to adjust his stride, just a little, to collect it. The dominoes fell. That interruption meant he could not quite burn off his marker. He had to take an extra touch in the box to make room for the shot. By the time he could release, the angle was too narrow; the hulking figure of Manuel Neuer stood in his way. Portugal won a corner. Ronaldo did not acknowledge Veloso's contribution. There was no hug.

Miguel Veloso did not enjoy such friendly treatment from Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal's World Cup opener against Germany.
Miguel Veloso did not enjoy such friendly treatment from Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal's World Cup opener against Germany.
Still, at least Veloso did better than Hugo Almeida, the elaborately mustachioed striker, and Nani, the extraordinarily frustrating winger. Barely 18 minutes had elapsed before both had invoked Ronaldo's wrath, the former not even trying to find the Real Madrid player when he was in space, the latter failing to do so when he attempted to. Both were greeted with arms being flailed, with shouts of despair and anger and glares pregnant with disappointment.

In those three incidents, though, what became clear was just how deep this Portugal team is in Ronaldo's shadow. As I wrote on the eve of the game, it is entirely right that Paulo Bento has constructed his side to get the best out of Ronaldo. He is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, a one-man attack, a genuine superstar for the ages. When you have something that special, you are honour-bound to seek to provide a stage for it to excel.

But, as with so many things in this most finely balanced of games, there is an equilibrium to be found. Yes, the rest of Portugal's collection of gifted individuals -- Joao Moutinho, Nani, Veloso, Joao Pereira, Fabio Coentrao, all fine players in their own right -- must do all they can to provide Ronaldo with the service he needs. But they cannot allow themselves to be so in his thrall that they become overanxious to please him. At times, as Germany swept past Bento's team with contemptuous ease, it looked precisely like that was the case.

- Coentrao's World Cup over
- Mourinho blasts Pepe for red card
- Brassell: Portugal must regroup, not panic

Take that Veloso incident. Forget the fact the pass was not quite right, that it was a little over-eager, that Ronaldo had to break his stride. Part of the reason that Veloso misjudged the ball is that it was not the right ball in the first place. Nani was far better positioned, running down the inside-right channel, the goal at his mercy.

But Veloso knew that would be considered the wrong pass, that if Nani did not score, Ronaldo would rebuke him. Imagine that: being ticked off by your coolest friend in front of 60,000 people. He dare not contemplate it. So he did what he felt pressured to do. He gave the ball to Ronaldo.

It was impossible to avoid drawing a comparison with the Germans. Joachim Loew's side are precisely the opposite of Portugal. They have a host of richly gifted players, too, but all of them know they are there in service of the system. Mesut Ozil played on either flank; so did Mario Goetze. Toni Kroos found himself playing a little deeper than he might like -- although admittedly he does it often enough for Bayern Munich -- to cover for Sami Khedira's raids forward. The structure, the collective comes first. With Portugal, it is one individual.

Even the way Ronaldo's teammates discuss him seems somehow, well, unhealthy. "The fact we have the best player in the world does not force us to be world champions," according to Bento. "He is the best in the world," said Coentrao, his teammate for club and country. To Bruno Alves, the bruising defender, "The best player in the world had to be here, at the World Cup. We count on our captain, as always."

Cristiano Ronaldo looked none too pleased with his Portugal teammates Monday.
Cristiano Ronaldo looked none too pleased with his Portugal teammates Monday.
Eduardo, the reserve goalkeeper, believes the 29-year-old "deserves to be recognised everywhere in the world, [because] we are talking about the best player in the world, an example as a person and a professional." William Carvalho, the young Sporting Lisbon midfield player, finds having "the best player in the world is an inspiration."

Silvestre Varela, the FC Porto winger, is the only one of his teammates prepared to freestyle a bit, and even he does not deviate from the party line. "A World Cup without Cristiano," he said this week, "is not a World Cup."

It is understandable that Portugal are grateful to be able to call Ronaldo a teammate. It is understandable -- important, even -- that Bento's plan is essentially to use the rest of the side to get the ball to Ronaldo and then let him work his magic, even if the player himself is diplomatically sticking to the line that he is "only here to help" and that he cannot "carry the team on his own."

That has to be his public stance, of course. But you sense that perhaps he needs to get his teammates to believe it. A one-man team cannot always be stopped -- as Diego Maradona, in a side of similar quality, proved in 1986 and, in a far worse outfit, almost managed in 1990 -- but it is fundamentally undermined if the rest of the side feels inhibited around that player, if his presence becomes a burden, not a blessing.
Possibilities
146 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 05:59
SupremoGino
Losing Coentrão is the biggest blow hands down. He eased the weight on Ronaldo's shoulders like no one else could. Bombing up and down the field, linking up intelligently and providing the opportunity for CR to freely drift in the middle along side Eder.

I'm not sure some of you realize how crucial his role was and what effort he gave defensively.

Enormous loss. For me, it killed the objective of a Quarter / Semi final berth. That is why confidence is shot.. not because of Pepe's stupidity, 4-0 crushing or whatever.

To claim in hindsight that we were always going to lose against Germany is illogical. Look at the stat sheet for goodness' sake.

(13) Total Shots (14)
(9) Shots on target (9)
(8) Fouls (11)
(54%) Possession (46%)
(4) Corners (6)
(8) Saves (5)
(2) Offsides (1)

Played with 10 men for nearly an hour..

What if William/Eder started? What if Pepe didn't fail anger management class? What if referees weren't so hostile towards Portugal?

Germany lined up in a 4-5-1.. What does that tell you? they were scared shitless.. Portugal could whoop their asses on any given day.

Moving on from that.. my biggest fear is our mentally enslaved coach. He'll likely go with this starting XI.

CR7----------Eder----------Nani
-------Moutinho---Meireles---------
--------------Veloso----------------
A.Almeida--Costa--Alves--Pereira

Both CB's are old and subject to speedy counter attacks. Almeida out of position is a disaster waiting to happen plus Pereira's failure to defend set pieces.

A draw doesn't look too bad for USA, they easily could park the bus.. counterattacking fiercely. No William, no chance.

Probably best line up -

CR7----------Eder---------Nani
-------Moutinho---Amorim---------
--------------Carvalho---------------
Veloso----Neto---Alves---A.Almeida

It all rests on Bento. Will he be bold enough to make the move? Doubt it.
I just can not understand
145 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 03:47
Difei/China
Why bento cannot just copy the La Marcian front court closing-down strategy, German backs obviously lack mobility, they are quite slow in fact. Almeida and the whole strategy is a disaster. Also, Pepe buried the game.
Relax… Relax.
144 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 03:25
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Agree or disagree, much respect to everyone's comments so far. It's dope to see so many people passionate in a positive or pessimistic (typical of us Portuguese/ supporters no?) way about the Selecção. But let's take it easy and see what goes down this next game. All is not lost. Far from it.

Justin, I appreciate the last comment as I'm sure there are fans, perhaps some who post here that are just like you've said. I also think there are those who see a lot of talent/ potential in the team, and are just hoping to have their faith rewarded and see the team come good consistently. They have the skill, it's just mental fortitude-- some teams just lose their heads when shit hits the fan (always makes me think of Brasil losing to Holland in WC 2010-- true team meltdown) or play down to their competition. Seems we are that way, emotional/ loose up until a point. Which is usually when we face the prospect of going home early.

As cool as it's been to see us finding a way out of trouble in the past, it is frustrating when you see the same selections, and the team struggle until they know they can't anymore. But it is what it is, until it isn't anymore. This is the last event we'll see most of this team, and maybe even Bento when all is said and done. So while we can't get through to the team with our lineups and other suggestions, I'm in the mindset of let the team do their thing and have faith. I'll enjoy it-- painful as it may be at times as they have had us disappointed and then proud all over again.

The Selecção know it's time to lock in, and neither the US or Ghana will lay down against Portugal after seeing 4-0, trust. The problem is that those two still have to play us after a tough loss, as well as Germany. But believe me-- World Cup groups are too tight, just look at what happened to Brasil against Mexico. One thing about Germany is they are professionals, sort of in the hitman connotation. Beatable against top teams yes, but they don't play around when points at major tournaments are on the line. They will not jog out bogey teams against Ghana or the USA, as they still have things to work out with their XI and tactics. They'll look to finish off/ bulldoze the rest of the group because that's what teams like Germany do-- finish the job. I hope Bento was paying attention to their mentality. If Portugal played with that focus and ruthlessness, with the correct player selections we'd be blowing teams away.

USA and Ghana are not poor quality teams-- and if ESPN's annoying, jingoistic Yanks coverage is anything to go by, they will come at us, thinking they need points before Germany. Ghana the same, even if they lose to Germany nobody is afraid of us now. Shades of Sweden, no? Hopefully we see Wiiliam to help control the midfield, plus help shield the back four. If we can break up any oppo play in midfield, plus hit on counters, those two back lines look way more suspect than Germany's at times. The midfield is key, I can't stress that enough. The game in Salvador was a lesson. The Selecção will be fine if they keep their heads. Have faith primos. Força
Portugal Germany
143 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 03:21
JOhn/Portugal
Are we living in the twilight zone?! Bento is hoping that that Hugo Almeida will be fit for the next game...he's a TERRIBLE player - embarrassing - hasn't scored in a Turkey for three months and his replacement was 100x better. Bento has lost perspective. I hope he gets banned by FIFA for suggesting the ref was bias as the reality was we lost the game because we walked into a German trap. Bento stopping picking your "loyal" mates , do your job - inject some young talent into the team - take Ronaldo to one side and tell him to man up and lead the team which means not just performing but motivating those around him.
POSITIVE
142 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 02:40
Dave Los Angeles
My dear Fellow Portugese let us for once deny what is genetically ingrained in our DNA- that pesky morose negative gene. I say the hell with it things aren't that bad, here are some positives.
1- we lost to Germany with a super stacked bench and most likely to win the whole thing.
2 - good news disguised as bad: almeida and patricio are hurt, awesome just too bad they didn't get hurt earlier
3- the youngins, yes the ones who are out to make a name gor themselves are going to have a chance
4- no matter how obstinante Bento is or what he says his ass is now forced to use new players
We lost to Germany seriously if we tied we would be so damn happy right now. So no surprise, no bad feelings
We have the usa with their MLS players And Ghana with their bullshit voodoo. FORCA PORTUGAL. Vamos dar nesses sacanas
jose/canada
141 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 01:55
antonio/orlando
I name your post the best of them all!!!!!
We forget that after 66 took us 20 years to get back.
We are spoiled now.
Thank u for doing it so elegant lol
Too much panic...
140 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 01:23
Joao Cagao Boston,USA
You guys need to RELAX. Portugal have no one else to blame but themselves, as they do EVERY single tournament from qualifiers to knockout stages, Portugal struggles/claws/fights to the very end and usually to a positive result,this is no different.

People are making a huge deal of 4 goals, as if Germany isn't going to score any goals on USA/Ghana or as if we are not capable of blowing out USA or Ghana. Didn't Portugal just drop 5 on Ireland? Sure just a friendly but it shows we definitely have the prowess on our team.

Coentraos injury is huge but if we are meant to be champions we must persevere. The danger I'll admit is Bento is at times a one trick pony, in the sense that...he doesn't ever have a plan b. Hopefully injury forces his hand to get a little creative. However, I feel he may not make any tactical changes and just slide in the next player in the depth chart (I hope I am wrong).

The real comedy is that people feel Germany is going to rollover in favor/aid of any other team. Have any of you played sports competitively?? Since when do you play to lose?? Wouldn't you rather go into the knockout stages as the team coming off ass whooping, rather than the team that got it's ass whooped?? Get real, Germany rarely loses in the group stage, no matter what the situation is.

The topic has been played but yes, Carvalho needs to start, however you can't totally jump all over Bento for this, he played it as safe as he could...sometimes it really backfires on you. Sometimes you need a dose of reality (or to be thoroughly outplayed) before finally getting "IT" ( a quick rundown of the selecaos recent history will uncover this). As of right now this loss, maybe the fuel needed to spark a fire.. or it could be the beginning of the end for us in Brazil..until we find out all we can do is cheer on our boys. FORCA.
@ Post #121
139 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 01:19
Val/Canada
LOL!! Thanks for that, i think we all needed the laugh!
Read this on another forum.
138 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 01:14
Tom/USA
Read this word for word in another forum, Blackburn Rovers forum in fact:

"The German went down pretending he'd been punched in the mouth, when he quite clearly hadn't! Pepe then went 'face to face' with the cheating diving scumbag, which I think is a perfectly acceptable response - after all, the dirty motherkeaner had just tried to get him sent off.

Unfortunately football isn't a game for men anymore, it's for cheating pantywaists. I hope the guy breaks his leg in spectacular fashion in the next game."

Makes good sense, a few people have said "simulation' but this is more to the point. Hope the wording of the poster is acceptable. Was just an Englishman probably.l
move on
137 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:48
mike/lourinha
It was a bad start to world cup...lost pepe, contreao is out and lost game big..
Portugal has 2 games to make a statment. Bento needs to introduce the youth into line up:
Eduardo
pereria-neto-alves-veloso
William-montinho
Rafa
nani -eder-ronaldo

I don't want to see a conservative portugal. They need 2 wins and have a decent goal difference. Lets go after the game early and worry about protcting it later. Clearly an attacking mid is needed in the cetre of the field. Rafa needs the opportunity to run with it or flop.

Neto is a better player than r. Costa so let him play. Who cares about senority. Its about winning games.

I think veloso is a better option than a. Almedia so he needs to check his ego at the door.
lets get some passion and youth in this team. Forca!!!
Some more thoughts about the squad
136 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:25
Steve\Australia
Sporting players - I beleive we lost the game in midfield. Andre Martins and Adrien Silva would have been great assets to the squad because they "play regularly". Ruben Amorim, Mereiles, Andre Almeida, Veloso, Nani do not and Veloso and Nani in particular have not been in great form

Young players - I don't understand why Bento calls up players like Andre Almeida, Andre Gomes and Ivan Cavaleiro who have either hardly played a game or rarely start in the Liga and for the later 2 have no realistic chance of being in the final squad when other fringe players who have played some games this year for their clubs could have been called up instead.

Here a couple of young alternatives;

(Diogo Figueiras - Sevilla - DR - 22 games - 22 age)
(Bruno Fernandes - Udinese - Mid - 24 games - 19 age)

Note: Again I am not saying we should have called up these guys I am simply saying that they would have been better alternatives right now to players like Ivan Cavaleiro as they are playing regularly and are in form.

I mean seriously you may as well call up Marcos Lopes or any of the other youngsters in the junior teams if your going to call up players with no first team experience.

Midfield - We could argue all day about whether or not Quaresma should have been there but based on what we have seen from Nani those screaming for his name might have had a point. Nani is or should I say was a great player but he hasn't played the whole season and he clearly lacking fitness and out of form. This just means that he'll conserve energy. Instead of making a run to the back post he'll linger around the midfield so he does not have to run back quickly and be caught out. When he has the ball he'll run and do his thing but Soccer is about what you do without it as well and him and others were just short of a gallop.

Cristiano Ronaldo - I feel for him as he must have been frustrated. He's injured and others could either not step up or were coming off injuries themselves

Common Sense - How many out of form, coming off injured and not playing regularly players can you have in a squad

Helder Postiga has played 5 games
Nani has played 11
Miguel Veloso has played 18 for the whole season.

Miguel Veloso can't even get a game in a poor Ukrainian league but he starts for Portugal (really???) and don't even try to tell me he is in the squad due to his versatility. Does anyone think that he can play at left back. He is nothing like Coentrao, being slow, weak, soft in a tackle. I can't see him running up and down the pitch like Coentrao does.

Defence - Why have we not called up a player like Jose Fonte who played 36 games for Southampton this year. He is tall, strong, physical and plays in one of the tops league for a mid table club. I can never understand why Nunes (This is just a rant as at 37 he's too old now) of Real Mallorca was always overlooked. I can understand if we had an abundance of world class Centre backs but we do not. Bruno Alves plays for a mid table Turkish team and he's our starter. The next best is Neto in the Russian league who only played 25 games and then Ricardo Costa for Valencia who only played 20 games

Wingbacks - Antunes for Malaga has had a solid season with 36 appearances. Considering our shortage of left sided defenders, how he does not make the squad I do not know

Versatility - If Bento thinks that he has chosen certain players for their versatility then why not Eliseu. He can cover on the wing and at left back and is a good option against weaker teams due to his attacking play.

Thanks for reading and I would appreciate any feedback on my thoughts

Steve
moving forward
135 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 23:04
joe canada
Most people have it spot on with the mistakes made that led to this embarrassing result. We lost to 'ze Germans in 12 1-0 but played hard and with heart, and that translated into wins going forward. Of course be to made 3 lineup mistakes by not starting carvalho, amorim, and eder and to some extent Eduardo but that is not so clearly debatable. Btw, amorim for miereles in mid, far more industrious, faster and more involved offensively. Carvalho is a no brainer, veloso was never a true dm, and now you have one of the hottest talents in the world who is incredibly mature not starting, unbelievable, I should have turned the TV off and well, eder proves my point when he came on.

The rest of the mistakes made, lack of discipline and poor display has all been obviously stated before.

Coentrao's loss massive without antunes as cover.

Moving forward-our success will depend on alot factors but should bento prove unwillingly and conservative, basically afraid to take a ris in team selection then, just turn your TV off. He gets the lineup right, the rest will fall back into place.

What we should see

Eduardo
Pereira-Neto/Costa-Alves-Almeida
Carvalho
Amorim moutinho
Nani eder ronaldo

My more ambitious and forward thinking nature from what isee would be to diamond the attack as so

Carvalho moutinho
Nani
Varela. Ronaldo
Eder

Moutinho is box to box always has been and is not creative enough to be a no 10 which will work well with carvalho, NA I impressed me when he was moved into midfield in 2nd half and gives us speed dribbbling and more creativity and that adds one more attacking threat in varela for crosses and in the box shooting, which we have seen from him before, this also allows ronaldo to float inside as Nani is more than capable of playing out wide.

Think back to 20004 and that Greece game and the changes made by scolari. Rui friggin Costa was on the bench for deco, can u imagine benching rui Costa, but it worked, carvalho instead of couto, Miguel instead ferriera, and a young ronaldo atarted every game after that. That is some bolas by a couch who wants to win. I pray to see that against the USA.
Negativity
134 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 20:24
jose/Can
126 post of almost nothing but negative crap. If and when my beloved Portugal win's the next 2 games. There will be 30 post of i new they could bounce back.

Everyone could see that everything that could go wrong went wrong.

Real supporter don't kick there own when they are down. Portugal has giving all of us so many great moments over the last 20 years.

No one feel worse then our players and coaches. Time for everyone to take a breath and get back to supports our country and enough of the all the crap…..If you feel that strongly about it.

On Sunday switch the channel to something else, but you can't.

Our players lost on the field, but a few of you are just plain looser's off the field. Forca Portugal
Blessing in Disguise
133 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 19:44
Tony/Turlock, CA
All very good comments on here. There seems to be about a 50/50 spilt on negative and positive.

I will admit I am as negative as they come. I had little faith when the final roster was announced and I have always and still believe Bento is an absolute joke. However, we are stuck with this idiot for at least this Tournament and after going to sleep piping mad I have woken up with a new found optimism.

The reason being we were supposed to lose to Germany. 4-0 or 2-1 it didn't matter. We were not getting 3 points and neither is anyone else in the group. Our Tournament starts Sunday vs USA. Here is the blessing in disguise. Bento now has no choice but to inject the players into the squad we have all been screaming for!

Eduardo for Rui Patricio
Carvalho for Veloso
Eder for Almeida

Bento has no choice now. Rui Patricio is horrible and injured now, same with Almeida. Those subs are automatic. Veloso now has to play left back for Coentrao which isn't ideal but anything to get Carvalho on the field.

And the best part is now Portugal is pissed and has their backs to the wall which for whatever reason makes them elevate their game. That is proven time and time again in qualification.

I am an American born to Portuguese parents and while I love USA I grew up Portuguese and bleed red and green.

We have seen this movie before fellas and our Seleção always fights back.

Now if FIFA wants to keep fucking us then there is nothing we can do but hopefully they realize a World Cup without Ronaldo is a World Cup not worth watching.

I am predicting Portugal blows out USA.

The line-up that does it:

..................... Eduardo

Rubin......Neto.......Alves......Veloso

................Carvalho...... Meireles

.......................Moutinho

....Nani .............Eder........... Ronaldo
Pepe red card
132 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 19:07
Tuhin/Bangladesh
what would be the duration of suspension for Pepe?
Things happen for a reason?
131 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 18:54
Anthony / USA
Besides Coentrao's injury (Obviously HUGE blow), everything that transpired yesterday, just may be a blessing in disguise? Hey, have to look for some sort of optimism, right!? Let me explain:

1) Pepe's Red:
Will require a transformation in the back, but it may, should, and HOPE that now Bento inserts William Carvalho into the line up (SHOULD OF STARTED YESTERDAY) for defensive help.

2) Almeida Injury:
WHY DID EDER NOT START?!?! This was by far the best and probably only positive thing that happened during the game yesterday. Forced Bento to sub in Eder. He was all over the place and it was great for him to get some experience. Again he should of started yesterday and now Bento will be forced to start him, unless maybe Postiga, but I think and hope Bento seen enough from yesterday to declare him the starter.

3) Patricio Injury:
I'll be the first to say I wanted Patricio to start for his outstanding display at Euro 2012. But, I don't know if its because he didn't get any game time experience in the friendlies, which again I have no idea why Bento didn't play him, but he was not ready yesterday and almost caused an easy open net goal. What we do know is Eduardo was simply outstanding in the friendlies, especially vs. Mexico. We don't win that game if it wasn't for him. So again, Eduardo will be forced to play now, that's a positive!
you guys don't see the problem
130 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 18:42
Justin/Rochester
You know what I've noticed about the majority of you guys here? You're a spinning image of this team, a simple reflection in the mirror. All I keep reading here is that we should beat USA and Ghana, we can win the last two games, Portugal plays well when than have to etc. The way you guys think is how this team thinksand that's the problem. This small country thinks they'll win because of their names on paper because they play on big teams in Europe because they are filthy rich. This isn't a video game you guys...their player rankings aren't robotic. I watched the USA and Ghana game and even with their twenty dollar players I have no problem admitting how good thru looked. That's the mentality of this team, they can win with their names without playing. Guess what Portugal your down 4 goals wake the eff up!!!! I'll never forget I think it was scolari that said in 2006 or maybe 2008 that the Portuguese team cares more about the hairdresser or pictures sometimes. That's an indirect way of saying that this team thinks they are paper champions and celebrities. Maybe you can't fault them entirely, small country with poor families and they're young and wealthy. This team is not as good as they "think" they are. I could address the line ups and tactics all day like you guys but the main problem lies in the identity of this team and you guys. Just look at our captain he's what these rich paper champion teammates follow. If you're confused what I mean by paper champions I'm saying that they think they win with their names before games start.
Conspiracies
129 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 18:28
portwood
"They will rest their best players. US has a good chance at winning with a little help from their friends!!! "

I love conspiracies - I have Portuguese blood, after all, LOL. But if anyone thinks Germans willingly play less than their full ability on a soccer pitch haven't watched them play, ever!

I doubt they will "rest their best players" because:
1. that disrupts continuity
2. they play to WIN, not to lose or draw.

If the USA wins (not impossible) it will be because they play better than the best available German players, not because the Germans "help" them.
Portugal fans
128 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 18:26
Tomtom
You all make me laugh with negative attitudes and already assume we're out and out with bento same old shite al the time quaresma bla bla ... Why can't we act like the Liverpool fans and sing and support awar team till the end win or loose I'm half Irish and the Irish would be the last fans to leave the stadium if there team was playing,so man the hell up lads because all this attitude on hear is the same as what all Portuguese are thinking right now negative,cheer the fuck up let's all send message out the load clear and support sing the anthem get behind the team we can do this we just need the spirt and believe ,no one wanted qr7 in the team more than me but it didn't happin build a bridge , every one licks cr7 hole he's a tosser yes he's good but he plays for himself nani passing it to him yesterday when he could have shot same as veloso it's sad, portugal team means 11 ... So let's be havin ya USA and Ghana Forca portugal ...what's wrong with this team nothing ... Edwardo
Almeida alves costa/neto veloso
William j.the man moutinho Raul
Cr7 varela and postiga/eder

Then we have sub beto Ruben nani eder or postiga neto or costa it's not bad group players lad then rafa don't no mush of him perriera Verinha come on let's Forca this shit out of it we can beat USA we can beat ghana we can beat Russia or Belgium n then we got pepe bk n Hugo cheer up
The game, and ones to come.
127 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 18:04
bd/canada/SLB
I absolutely HATE MULLER. He is a pathetic diving sh*t and did not deserve the hattrick.
All of his goals were gifts.
Portugal had close possession to Germany, and shots, even with that card. I feel like we can defeat Ghana and the States easily if we had 11 men on for the full game.
Coentrao's loss is a terrible one... which means Almeida will likely start. Ricardo Costa will probably start for the carded Pepe..
I just PRAY TO GOD Bento starts Eder, because Postiga has been absolutely garbage pre-WC. Veloso played badly... William should start next... and Rafa should be used late-game on the wing or attacking mid for his pace and flair. Patricio played like garbage... even though im a fan of him, Beto or Eduardo should be playing. Beto probably my pick due to his form, but he was injured apparently earlier? I dont know, but Beto should start, if hes not fit, Eduardo.

Im gunna predict the starting 11 for the next game....:

Ronaldo----------Eder-----------Nani

--Meireles-----------------Moutinho--

---------------William---------------------
Almeida-----Costa--Alves------Pereira

------------------Beto/Eduardo-------------
Not Looking Good
126 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:38
Lenny Figo / USA
First I want to say that I will always support Portugal 100% no matter how bad things look...but I must say things are not looking good.

Offense
1. CR7 is clearly not in form. He looked like a shell of himself. Having your best player and only goal scoring threat struggling with fitness / form does not bode well for Portugal.

2. Nani also out of form / fitness. Played but a sniff for Man U this past season. Obviously he is not in game shape.

Defense
1. Coentrao injury is a massive loss. We have no one who can step in and provide even half of the offensive and defensive skill he provides at left back.

2. Joao Pereira's defensive troubles. Decent attacker on the right side but extremely limited defensively.

3. Set piece defending is atrocious. Has been for a very long time. CB's and keeper mainly to blame.

Goaltender
1. Rui Patricio is a huge liability in goal. Not sure why Paulo Bento insists on him as a #1 keeper.

As you can see we have serious issues all over the pitch. I for one will be praying to Nossa Senhora for a miracle because that is what it will take for Portugal to make it out of the group stage unless Paulo Bento gets his head out of his cu. His squad selection and starting 11 options have been questionable at best. Please Paulo...wake up before it is too late.

Cumprimentos e Forca Portugal!!!!
Tie breaker explaination.
125 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:37
João/Holanda
It's a FIFA competition so the first thing that decides a tie, when teams are on equal points, is the goal difference. So even if Germany beats Ghana they still haven't qualified (unless Portugal doesn't win against the USA).

Sadly enough it also means that we need to win big against both Ghana and USA if we want to progress.
We are finished!
124 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:36
Marco Almeida
As I am reading these comments, I cant help but laugh. We are delusional to think we will progress from this group. This team is not physically and mentally prepared to play anyone. Lets face it, we arent as good as we think. We are a good team that beats weaker countries. When we play countries with better players, we always lose.

Its time for Paulo Bento to quit and let someone else take the reigns. Also, time to bring up players from the Under 21, 20 and 19 and start developing players for the national side.

Also. let me add that the Portuguese Federation is responsible for this outcome as well. Our big 3 teams do not develop portuguese talent like they use too. ( aside from Sporting). We need Benfica and Porto to start playing more young portuguese players in the league in order to continue to have a good national team.
Are you guys ACTUALLY surprised?
123 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:35
Jorge/Toronto
Think of the terrible decisions made with the selections, and then with the starting line up...All this "cancer in the locker room" bullshit I keep on seeing in regards to Quaresma...how about the cancer on the field that is Pepe, or Nani and at times Almedia....

I can understand if you're fielding a team for a full season...completely. But this is a tournament and you don't get second chances. You field the BEST players at every opportunity.

It amazes me how people tend to not mention the selfishness that is Nani. It couldn't have been better exemplified than his "collision" with Coentrao. Two players colliding ok cool, that happens...but that was a straight selfish move by Nani and what did it lead to another blunder. This guy is full of terrible decisions...shots from way far outside the box, terrible crosses, terrible passes to player in no position to receive passes...but this has been the Nani we've always seen. It's more than obvious he can't play backseat to Ronaldo.

Speaking of Ronaldo...all the bashing of selfishness and pre-modona...this that and the other thing. We have the best player in the world on our team who puts the ball in the net. Point blank period. Every superstar goal scorer is a shot first player, and that's in any sport. Also, can you blame him...nobody else seems to be able to bury that ball...so I don't blame him if his first choice is to take the shot.

There's two different kinds of selfish...There's Nani selfish that results in NOTHING but wasted opportunity and then there is Ronaldo selfish...the kind that puts 3 in the Swedish net and gets us in the world cup. Let's not forget why we are even here. Some of you sound like you'd rather not have him on the team. It's pathetic...the idea that we'd somehow be better? come on...let's be real.

Granted some shifting would have to occur, but I'd feel way better about a Ronaldo---Eder---Queresma attack than Ronaldo--Almedia--Nani...hey at least it looks like I'll have 2/3 next game.

Alright....those who disagree, have fun bashing me! :)
On Germany possibly not needing a win in their 3rd game.
122 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:34
Tom/USA
First, humbly I thank those running this website for publishing my comments, I have read here for a few years.

Secondly, I see people bringing up Germany may well feel they can rest their players and not care a lot in. their 3rd match against the USA.

Well, currently Belgium are having problems with Algeria. Still, the placement of teams in the final standings are important. If you finish 2nd in group G, you would be playing 1st in group H. So, I think it's a bit more complex than just saying now that Germany has clinched advancing as they may do if they win game 2, they don't need to show up in game 3. I think the World Cup and even UEFA qualifying groups are a bit different in that regard.

Group H. may not be terrifically fearsome but in some of the other groups, it would make a big difference. It is much more likely you would want to face for example Bosnia than Argentina not to take away from any of these teams.

In qualifying for the Euro I believe not long ago, Belgium needed a win vs. Germany in the last game of qualifications to have a chance to make it in. Suffice it to say, Germany had clinched their spot but went on to win anyway.

Nevertheless, it is a scenario worth considering in that before the 3rd game, Germany may have clinched advancing but in not winning, they could give up 1st place.
what i would have done.
121 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:34
Queresma/penthouse suite in monaco
Scored 5 goals.
Had 99% possession.
Baited Muller and Lahm into red cards.
Got every Portuguese player, even the subs, yes even Hugo, laid on the pitch before and after the game.
Keep Calm
120 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:32
David, UK
Germany were good, but Portugal pretty much gifted them the game... However watching USA & Ghana the other night... They're both poor teams & I feel Portugal will be able to beat them. I can't see either of them getting anything from Germany so that should be enough to see Portugal through to the next round. William & Eder NEED to start though... I would drop Patricio for Beto, he seems a very confident man! The biggest dissapoinment is Coentrao's injury... Shame Bento didn't call Antunes up.
Few things
119 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:27
JJ/US
Those who said they were cheering when Hugo got hurt should be ashamed of themselves.

Ronaldo starting up top is an interesting idea at this point and with his fitness issues. He can't beat anyone with pace, so let him receive the ball closer to goal beat one man and have a go.

Coentrao is done for the WC, so the team and us need to accept that and move forward.

After a performance like that you almost have to make wholesale changes to the squad. Bento's adaptability or lack there of will really be tested. If he fields the same squad (other than the changes he is forced to make) and they lose or even tie the US then he will need to answer a lot of questions.

Not putting on a CB and having Meireles fill in with 20 minutes left in the half already down two is utter insanity.

If you are Portuguese and you have that famous temper you can't judge Pepe.

Judging the performance of the team from a stylistic perspective after the red is impossible.
CHANGE THE LINEUP BENTO
118 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 17:18
Canada
Bento ! we're stuck with these players BUT try something a speedy forward line ... Varela and Nani on wings and Ronaldo as the lone striker (postiga , almeida .eder are just not good enough). Time to put William in !!!!
Incident/Mistake
117 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 16:25
Filipe
Yesterday's game vs Germany was not a true reflection of the quality of the Portuguese side but a sign that in order to progress in this competition they will need to have a far more pragmatic approach.

The surprise was not the quality of the German side as none of the goals they scored were well worked goals. It was the sheer stupidity of the Portuguese players to assume they could attack the Germans with fullback rushing forward from very early on and not expect to be caught out every time they lost the ball.

I was expecting a defensive performance (with William Carvalho in midfield) along the lines of the Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich games last season. What we got was a performance that mirrored Arsenal's games away to Liverpool and Chelsea last season.

I still believe with a more cautious approach Portugal will advance from the group stage and they could go far.

One freak performance does not make you a bad team.
Don't be so worried
116 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:33
SportingStrike/Wash,DC
Not sure if you all have followed Portugal the last decade but I feel as if they love digging a hole and getting out of it. No other team plays better with their backs up against the wall then the Portuguese.
Add Ons
115 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:17
NJ/USA/SLB
People that are going after Muller for flopping/theatrics, are ridiculous. Plenty of Portuguese players, even ones I like, flop and take advantage of situations.
It's the same with teams stalling. Everyone, fans and players, scream and complain except when they are up and trying to finish out the game.
The funny thing about the Muller incident, is that the ref didn't even call a foul. He was stopping play because Pepe was going towards Muller while he was on the ground with hands on his head. A nothing moment turned into something by Pepe.
By the way, Figo did the same exact thing as Muller, in the World Cup.

The toughest thing for Portugal is losing their second best player, Coentrao. It will be really tough replacing his energy and threat. Almeida is not ready to play out of position as cover.
I'm really curious to see what Bento will do there.

We still have a shot to advance, but it will be tough even if we win out. The goal differential is horrible, and Germany will rest players verse the US, if they have it locked up.
The loss would have been easier to swallow if it wasn't so demoralizing. We looked awful and showed no options tactically or player wise.
Deep breaths and hoping for the best.
Fire Bento
114 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:14
Jessica/England
Bento , you are Pathetic . Why would you want to pick Almedia .Did he pick him for his skills or intimidate Germans .. well it did not work out.

And who this Ugly face? I know who it is . Bloody Red from Amazon Jungle , they call him poop or pepe . Creepy SOB!! Please ban him.

All the decisions by refree were correct . Good Job Refree !! There is no such thing as soft penalty , medium or high penality . Don't be a Winers, the game was lost when these nervous wreck and the team line up came on.

There is only such thing as CR-Penaldo ...
Quaresma
113 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:05
Paul/Romania
i expect this! is a joke bento is a joke for this national ! come on a player like Ricardo Quaresma is not in national team ??????????nani is a joke ok??????????bento sucks i want Quaresma now!!!
A scary thought!!
112 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:46
antonio/orlando
After Germany beat Ghana they have no motivation to beat USA also US coach is german and won a world cup for Germany.
They will rest their best players. US has a good chance at winning with a little help from their friends!!!
Just saying!!!
All Bento's fault!
111 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:28
Carlos
I blame this loss on Paulo Bento period. The game was already lost as soon as saw the starting lineup. How you dont start a strong composed physical player in the midfield like Carvalho against the tall Germans is beyond me. What does he see in Veloso other than experience that he doesnt see in Carvalho. He took the safe route and he payed for it. Next.....for the love of God, you need to start Eder at striker! Almeida and Postiga's work rate are horrible. They barely get any touches and when they do possession is usually turned over. I always thought Eduardo should have been the starting goalie as well. After that performance against Mexico he deserved it. If Patricio is our keeper, why didnt he play and friendlies. None of this makes any sense. Coaching decisions seem extremely amateurish. If we want to pull out a win against USA, that midfield needs to be solid! The only way thats happening is if Carvalho starts instead of Veloso. He's our Yaya Toure. Hes very calm on the ball and completely controls the tempo in the midfield. Im high on this kid, and blind Bento should be also. Wake up Bento!
USA will be a tough opponent
110 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:04
John
I can assure you the USA will play better than they did vs Ghana. I know the players and that is the worst game they have played in over a year. Americans are goal oriented. Our goal was to win vs Ghana no matter what and that's what we did. Wasn't pretty but we are where we want to be.

For the USA this match vs Portugal IS our cup. We win and we advance from the group. We know it's going to be HOT in the amazon. A lot will depend on fitness. For sure, the US is in top condition as fitness goes.
No matter what circumstances, CR7 will always be my soccer hero!!!
109 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:03
Ferdy/Singapore
Bravo job well done to Germany though it's a tough game! By looking at tonight's match overall honestly I felt that Germany deserves to win because firstly I can't deny that they have very good Defenders, it's not easy to defeat them. Secondly Portugal don't have great players anymore unlike donkey years ago & precisely they can't be depending only on Ronaldo. And WTH Portugal players for tonight are such an attitude too much drama and putting so much pressure on their captain!! And also the referee another kinda nerve pissing too...But the worst part seriously I really don't understand why initially Portugal coach kept praising that Nani when the actual fact he's such one greedy selfish dumbass on the field, the way he played just killing his own team. And even when he's with Manu not that fantastic though..hope that they learn their lesson!!
Some thoughts
108 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:56
Andre/UK
Well as everyone else has already said, that was a pathetic performance, our worst ever at an international tournament, there aren't any real excuses, the players on the pitch just didn't perform and it was a deserved loss.

However there are two points I wish to make that add to the discussion. First the referee was dreadful in this match, which has been the trend so far in this tournament, the only stain on a so far excellent Mundial. We saw it in the first game with Brasil's non-existent penalty, and we saw it again yesterday. I seem to be in the minority here, but I think both those key decisions were harsh on us. The penalty was definitely soft, both players were struggling with eachother to get to the ball and those kind of situations always happen in matches and normally the referees don't give a penalty.

As for Pepe, of course he should've kept his cool, but I don't think his action was aggressive enough to warrant a straight red card. The ref should've given him a yellow and a warning because he didn't actually physically harm Muller. And to add insult to injury, that pathetic ref didn't blow for our penalty with Eder, a far more blatant penalty than the one called against us. The ref decisions always favour the bigger teams in the big matches, we saw it in the EL final and we're seeing it in this WC. No excuses because we played poorly overall, but those decisions affected the match clearly.

Secondly: Bento! Well as others have said he came back with all his favourites for the match and his strategy for the game seemed clueless. William left out when, as we've all been saying, his physical prowess would have been so useful against the Germans. Almeida because of a couple of tap ins against the Irish, gets the nod in attack. Postiga any day over him! And I have always thought that Eduardo is far better than Patricio. Eduardo conceded one (offside) goal at 2010, against strong opposition too. Patricio has never filled me with confidence. But even worse was Bento's strategy for the match, I mean what was it exactly? I know what it should have been, take advantage of Germany's weakness at the back, expose the lack of pace of people like Mertesacker and Boateng with direct lighting counters. But no, it just didn't seem like there was any clear plan, after the penalty the players dropped their heads, and much of this is Bento's fault, clearly.

Well our worse ever result in an international tournament and in fact the first time the Selecao have lost a meaningful competitive international by more than just a single goal in over 20 years, would you believe. So yes very disappointing. Nevertheless there's never any point other than moving forward, and we have to forget all about this result and set about winning the next 2 matches. Let's not kid ourselves, Germany were always the favourites to win the group (they have 8 times our population) and I always knew the key matches for us were the ones against USA and Ghana.

We can definitely still do it, especially now that we're in our usually favourable backs against the wall situation. This is traditionally when Portugal perform best and we just have to do it again. Even without Coentrao, Pepe and with CR7 not totally fit, we are still stronger than both the other teams, we just have to refocus, Bento has to make the suitable changes, and we have go for it and get it done. Every match is always different and we have to treat both as if they were a final and with full focus. Still very possible to qualify for the next round, keep the faith people!
Hope
107 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:44
Luis Ramos Netherlands
Like all of you I am terrible disappointed. I really had very high hopes on this. I expected no less than a wonder by CR7 and his teammates.
However, an hour after the match I took a shower and it helped to clear my mind. And apparently I found some clues:
A 3 victory groupstage is no guaranty for going all the way, as Portugal experienced before. And there are many other examples.
Because of our temperament, or lack of it, we tend to screw up at some point. So it's better to do it in the groupstage than later on.
Also there are many examples of slow starters going all the way. Again, even Portugal has experienced that before.
Fact is, Portugal has proven to be better in Do Or Die matches in recent years.
I am sure many of our players have learnt their lesson, I just hope our coach did.
In 1978 the Netherlands started off in Argentina as runner up in 1974, with far too many old glory players. With a win, a draw and a loss, they were lucky to proceed on goal average.
Their coach though had leart his lesson, and made the obvious substitutions. With 4 youngster in their team they changed the odds and went all the way to lose the final only on extra time.

We need to substitute Patricio, Meireles, en Veloso,
Are we still allowd to substitute Coentrao? In that case Bento should call for Antunes.

And than CR7: he may have been able to surpass his injury, I am sure he has only be able to train hard only for a 10 days or so. That is not enough, under this circumstances, not even for him.
He will get better with another 1 or 2 matches.
Let's hope it will not be too late.
Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong!
106 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:32
Tiago
Look things do look bleak for our team this morning; however, we need to remember the Germany game was always going to be tough and that going away with any points would have been a blessing. Our last three encounters with Germany all ended with losses. Grand it, everything that could have gone wrong yesterday did: four unanswered goals, injuries to players and of course an untimely red card to boot. Not to mention the USA winning their game when a draw was so close to happen. What we need to do as Portuguese is remember that our team is made of stern stuff. The tournament is not over, it has only just begun. The key to advancement was always the games against Ghana and the States. We need to beat the states with a huge goal margin, at least bringing our goal differential back down to 0.
Let us support our team, as I still predict a successful tournament.

FORCA PORTUGAL!
2 Wins and we're IN
105 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:05
portwood
People, the only way Portugal misses the next round following two wins is IF Germany loses a game. Hands up, anyone that is willing to suggest Germany loses against Ghana or USA?

With Germany winning all three matches, as long as Portugal wins the remaining two, they WILL advance REGARDLESS of goal difference!!!!!!
10 mins
104 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:03
Kevin Portugal
For the first 10 mins of this game prior to the penalty (which should not have been awarded) we were the better team. We had 2 scoring chances to their 1. Almeida's terrible chip shot which he should of put his foot through, and Ronaldo's shot from the left of the box. Pepe wasn't ready for this game clearly and in my opinion was out of position which lead to the penalty. I have no doubt in my mind Ronaldo will put in a performace we'll all be proud of against both the USA and Ghana in fact the entire team will. There will be changes both as a result of necessity and as a result of this performance. We got this no need to worry.
starting lineup
103 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:01
billy/albania
There is something I like to point out. The teams that went on with young players, they either won or at least put a good performance in. The teams that decided to go for experience, were beaten up. What this team needed are guys like Andre gomes, Ivan cavaleiro, Carlos mane, josue, Andre martins, Adrien Silva. Fresh legs. And a great will to play and shine. The fellas like almeida, meireles, veloso, nani and Bruno alves shouldn't be even called. This team looks like the Italy team last world cup, with a mean age of 32. Let's hope they fire bento and appoint a young coach with a winning mentality.
Adrien, Quaremsa, Bebé, Cedric Soares ?!?
102 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 11:57
António, London UK
Firstly, I would like to say while Pepe was stupid in what he did, with or without him we would have suffered a heavy defeat regardless.
Secondly, Rui Patricio is absolute merda! Put Eduardo as 1st choice immediately if not Beto.

We have lost our second best player Coentrão to injury. The future looks really bleak for Portugal in this tournament. If we manage to make it out of the group, it's likely we will probably recieve another beating in the last 16 to Belgium.

If Bento has any sense I expect the team to play USA to look like this:
Eduardo

Pereira Neto Alves Almeida

Carvalho
Amorim

Moutinho
Nani Eder Ronaldo


Vierinha, Varela, Meireles and Postiga all decent options off the bench I think.

Veloso and Almeida deserve no part in this tournament.
Joke!!!
101 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 11:38
Johnnyno5 UK
What the hell is Almeida doing in this squad?!!
Someone who has scored 1 goal in the last 3 months for Besiktas!!! So slow on the ball and obviously playing without any confidence. I was so happy to see him go off!!
Bento is a joke. He has no gameplan. There was no re-shuffle after Pepe was sent off, giving the Germans the opportunity for their third goal!!
Also Nani only played 3 games last season for Utd,
Bento why why why?????????????????
All of you blaming Pepe
100 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 10:47
Joao De Bacalhau/Canada
Grow the hell up.

Ask yourselves this and think about it for 5 seconds.

Do you really want one of the best CB's this country has ever had to be deported back to Brazil?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Stop bringing his ethnicity into this you fascist pigs. It makes me have such a distaste for my own people, so please don't go there. You should be grateful that people from other countries would want to play for Portugal. As one of the smallest European nations, we are at a disadvantage as it is for producing talent, i think it's pretty safe to say that we should appreciate the help any foreigner would want to give us.


As for the red card. Yes, Pepe made a mistake. But you need to look at it from his perspective. Nothing was going their way, and when Muller tries pulling theatrics on top of all that, it gets to your head EASILY. Anybody that has ever played a meaningful physical futbol game in their lives knows this. After the light head-but, Muller quickly got up and starting taunting Pepe. What happened to the spot on Muller's face that was hurting? The pain sure seemed to heal up as soon as Pepe's head had collided with his. It's called simulation, and Muller has always played the game very well. Clearly, Bento did not do his homework on the matter. So be careful as to where you point the blame.

Plenty of people are also not noticing how well Portugal had approached the game before the penalty was given. Had the soft call not have been given, it would have been an entirely different game. What's funny is that we outshot the Germans, and the possession was nearly even and we were down a man.

The USA is going to have alot on their plate. Forca.
lack of confidence
99 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 09:48
Ayan/Kolkata/India
Bento is a dick head. He is making a team into a one man army, which does not work, neither it worked in the past. There is no doubt that Ronaldo is the best player of this squad. arguably the best in the World. The other players have to play their game..... their objective was to pass it to Ronaldo... This is bull shit. No team on the planet playes like that.....

Common guys... You have the best player... utilize him properly....

Two must win game against USA and Ghana...
Forca Portugal...
One Man To Blame - PAULO BENTO
98 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 09:32
George/Canada
It's 2am here in Canada and I'm still wide awake. I should be snoozing with a smile on my face after watching an admirable display by our team (win or lose), but instead, I'm so ashamed by this performance that I'm very much struggling to fight back tears of rage. And I've come here to vent along with my Portuguese brothers and sisters.

Now that I've had a few hours to digest this calamity, I've come to the conclusion that there's ultimately only one man to blame for this result: PAULO BENTO. Not only has he not chosen the right mix of players for the team, but he's gotten his preparation absolutely wrong in the lead up to the tournament. My reasoning is as follows; please tell me if you agree:


- Age DOESN'T equal EXPERIENCE:

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Miguel Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Nani, even Pepe... What do all these players in our starting lineup have in common? That's right - experience. But, it's the KIND of experience that is important here. Out of that list only Pepe has any kind of World Cup playing experience to speak of, and even that "experience" came at a different position as Portugal had Ricardo Carvalho and Carlos Queiroz chose to use a far from fit Pepe as a holding midfielder. That was always going to be a problem once the starting lineup was announced. The World Cup is a completely different animal and I think nerves played a part in the poor performances of many today. One name in particular comes to mind: Rui Patricio.

- Bento got it ALL WRONG with GOALKEEPING:

Personally, I believe Eduardo should've gotten the start ahead of Rui for this game based on his World Cup experience and the decisions that Bento's made prior to the tournament. Do I believe Eduardo's a better goalkeeper? Yes, but I recognize it's debatable and a conversation worth having. And the decisions I'm referring to revolve around the friendlies prior to the tournament. If Rui was the goalkeeper of choice for Bento - I think we can all agree he was - then why in the world would he only play him in the last friendly before the tournament against arguably our weakest opponent of the three games? Surely the Mexico game was the one in which to stick Rui between the posts if Bento had his mind set on only giving him one game. But instead he went with Eduardo and he stole the show. And in addition to that game Eduardo got another 45' of playing time against Greece, another World Cup opponent. Where is the logic in this approach exactly? If Rui's your guy, keep him in the goal against tough opposition to keep him sharp and build up his confidence. Otherwise, go with Eduardo, the one who's been there before and has shown that he's up to the task. At this point, Eduardo appears to not only be the goalkeeper in form, but also the only one without a health issue. That was by far the worst game I've ever seen Rui play, but, I can only imagine his mindset in that position facing a rampaging German side that Portugal simply couldn't contend with on the day. Rui's preparation was mishandled plain and simple through no fault of his own. Eduardo should've started this match, and, given the circumstances, he should now start the next one. Will Bento make this change? No. And Portugal will be worse off because of it.

- Bento got it ALL WRONG with the BACK LINE:

First, let me say that Joao Pereira has declined and I wouldn't have put him in the starting line up against much faster, stronger, and taller German opposition. I would've gone with Ruben Amorim (at least he was on the bench for South Africa 2010 and he's had an outstanding year - he deserved the opportunity). Second, I'd like to say that Pepe is a complete moron for reacting the way he did regardless of whether his actions deserved a red card or not. In a tournament like this you simply CAN'T put yourself or the team in a position like that. And world class players don't. Pepe is not, nor will he ever be, a world class player because of his temper. *BUT* I can sympathize with him as well. First World Cup in the heart of defence, once again less than 100%, and with only 20' or so against Ireland to prepare? Come on Bento! Pepe was completely set up to fail today. He could've done better on the the first opportunity that lead to the penalty (even though Pereira was the one directly at fault), and was directly responsible for poor marking on the header. Pepe simply couldn't deal with what was coming at him, and, as a result, became more and more frustrated until he completely lost his mind. How can someone who's only had about 20' of match time since early May, and who's clearly less than 100% be expected to marshall the defence and be as physical and quick as a CB needs to be against Germany? Once again, poor by Bento. And the fact that he started Pepe WITHOUT a shield like William makes the decision even more dumbfounding. My solution would've been to start Ricardo Costa (another with World Cup experience in defence, although at RB) alongside Bruno Alves BUT move Pepe out to DM to allow him to attempt to work his way back up to match fitness. After 65' or so, I would've brought on William for Pepe regardless of the score, so as to give him a bit of experience in his role as well before starting him in DM for the next game and moving Pepe back into the CB position against a far less daunting attack.

- Bento got it ALL WRONG in MIDFIELD:

I think we can all agree that there are two things you need on your side in midfield in order to challenge the Germans: speed and physicality. While Joao Moutinho can provide some of the speed, he needs A LOT of help in the other two midfield positions to be effective against this team. I've read everyone's comments indicating their dismay and outright shock as to the exclusion of William in the starting XI and I, for one, agree. I've already gone on record as saying I would've started Pepe in that DM role in an attempt to give him some match fitness before the remaining games, but, whether it's Pepe or William, anyone with half a brain realized that our success/failure in this match would come down to play in the #6 position. So, why didn't Bento and his staff realize that? I'm a Miguel Veloso fan, but, his left foot alone isn't enough to stick him in such a vital position. And Raul? He's not what he once was either. The fact that he's coming off an injury as well doesn't help. One thing that I thought Bento actually got *RIGHT* in the friendlies was experimenting with Fabio Coentrao in the midfield. I was very much looking forward to a Pepe/William, Moutinho, and Coentrao midfield against the Germans and I think that's what would've worked. Veloso could've started at LB if his left foot on set pieces was that important (he would've needed time in this position in the friendlies), or, I could've lived with a very conservative approach from Andre Almeida as well. On a side-note: I can't for the life of me understand why Antunes wasn't selected for the squad. The combination of Veloso/Amorim gives you the cover you need for Andre Almeida's versatility. With Raul coming on later in the game for the LB, and, the ability to slot Fabio back there later on either for defensive coverage or an offensive spark, I think Portugal would've been just fine. With the midfield set out the way it was, it's no wonder our entire team was overrun. In truth, it was a miracle and blessing this game didn't end 6 or 7-0. Goal difference WILL come into play if we're not careful.

- Bento got his FORWARDS ALL WRONG:

To me it just makes sense to start Cristiano in the CF position given the circumstances. I know we've al griped about it before (see South Africa) but, at this point, Bento has to make the best of a bad situation. And he didn't in game one. Even without his usual pace, one thing a less-than 100% Ronaldo can do is score goals. Put him in the position to do so! Hugo Almeida might be useful as a striker against Germany later on to help defend set pieces, but, as a starter? NO. I'm sure he's lost races to snails at certain points in his life. What good is a physical presence that barely moves? And if you're dead set on a physical presence in the CF position go to EDER. And Helder Postiga is not only injured, but, well past it as well. I would've started with CR7 at the center with Nani on one side and either Eder/Vieirinha on the other. I'm not sure how effective Eder would be out there in a 4-3-3 against the Germans but I see value in his physicality and speed. And if not Eder then I easily would've started Vieirinha given his familiarity with the German style given than he plays in the Bundesliga. Ultimately, Cristiano's less than 100% so Bento shouldn't of forced him to do any heavy lifting in the first place. And WHY EXACTLY did Bento keep him on THE ENTIRE GAME?!! Surely Amorim could've provided some defensive coverage and still acted as a winger had an opportunity presented itself!

- A Thought on EDER:

There's a reason why everyone is saying he was our man of the match - because he WAS. He helped to defend in midfield, won a few free kicks for us, should've been awarded a penalty, and never gave up despite coming off the bench and playing in a game against perhaps the toughest opponent in the tournament in dire circumstances. There shouldn't be an Almeida/Postiga/Eder discussion anymore. I don't care if he doesn't deposit all of his chances, the other two don't either. For me, Eder won the striker's position this game and he should be slotted in as an automatic starter unless someone better comes along.

- In CLOSING:

This is the lineup I would've started with for Germany given Bento's handling of the previous friendlies and player performance:

Eduardo
Amorim -- Costa -- Alves -- Veloso/Almeida
Pepe
Moutinho -- Coentrao
Eder/Vieirinha -- Ronaldo -- Nani

I would've substituted William for Pepe at the 60' regardless of score so as to give him a bit of experience at the World Cup ahead of starting the next game. I also would've had Raul sub on around 70/75' for Veloso/Almeida to give fresh legs to the midfield. That would push Fabio back to LB like we've seen in friendlies. And the last substitution would depend on the game itself: maybe Hugo Almeida for added defensive coverage on set pieces late on.

Would we have won the game with my line-up? I doubt it. But, I think we would've competed. I'd be thinking about both the short-term and long-term and that's what Bento continuously fails to do. At this point I don't know whether to root for or against Portugal, because, although Bento is still much better than Quieroz, he still has no clue and we desperately need a new manager who'll incorporate our youngsters ASAP.

- MY STARTING LINEUP AGAINST THE USA:

Eduardo
Pereira -- Costa -- Neto -- Veloso
William
Moutinho -- Rafa
Vieirinha -- Ronaldo -- Nani

We need speed, movement, and goals in the amazon. We also need fresh legs. Given that Altidore picked up an injury for the US, there is virtually no physical presence for Portugal to deal with. Give Alves a break, chances are he'll struggle in the heat anyway. Also, a bit of long-term thinking giving Neto some WC experience going forward. He's shown himself to be capable thus far and the pairing of Costa and Neto with William shielding proved to be effective against a side similar to the US in Ireland. Although Pereira stunk it up, we need him offensively in this game. Let's hope he brings it. I have Veloso at left back for same reason - we need a bit of offense from that side and I'm not convinced Almeida can bring any. His left foot is also valuable. William? This is a game he can flat-out dominate. And with Moutinho encourage to push up into play as much as possible we'll need him to read, react and break the US down as much as possible. I included Rafa as well because I believe Raul is spent after that Germany game. I DON'T want to see him in a dreadfully hot day in Manaus. I shudder to even think of the thought. I think Moutinho will hold up a bit better. Nani because I believe he can be better with a stronger midfield performance, Vieirinha because I like his movement and believe he's a better finisher than Varela although he hasn't quite shown it yet, and Ronaldo in the middle because I don't want him straining himself any more than he has to and because I believe he can score goals from that CF position anyway. Eduardo starts in goal because he's better on long shots, more intense, has experience in big WC games, is in form, is confident, and is a better communicator than Rui.


I feel better now that I've vented. Apologies for the biblical-length response, I needed to let a few things off my chest as I'm sure most of us do right now. I have faith in the team that we can make it out of the group but don't have any faith in Bento. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Any comments are welcome.
Disaster...now What?
97 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 09:23
John/Australia
Talk about imploding and the bad luck that follows…..coupled by being plainly out played, outclassed, out disciplined and simply Germany was too strong on the day.

Remember Portugal’s first match in Euro 2004 when we lost our first opening match to Greece – we had Fernando Couto, Rui Costa and a couple of others who were axed for the next game…then came Deco, Ricardo Carvalho,etc. The team went onto the reach the final.

So maybe Bento should start looking at bringing in Neto, William, Eder and even Rafa to add some more youth and freshness into the team. Let’s face it most of these guys should start to hang up their boots after this tournament so why not try to blood some of these younger guys in. Are we just like Spain….the tried and tested and now Tired and slow.

Alves 32, Pereira 30, Pepe 31, Meireles 31, Ricardo Cost 33, Hugo Almeida 30, Helder Postiga 31, Beto 32, Edurado 31

Firstly, the refereeing was again diabolical but even so we capitulated and then Pepe goes and does the most stupid thing…..it was like he wanted to pick a fight and he did it in front of the Ref…so for me if I was Bento I would not play him for the rest of the tournament out principle by letting his team mates and the country down.

For Portugal to concede 4 goals has pretty much condemned the team out of the world cup…in ONE GAME! – Thanks to one mans stupidity….. Germany played a mercy game and did not drive even further with the score line….and at the end conserved some energy.

Loosing Coentrao one of our main threats moving forward and one out best just topped the icing on the day. I think Eder’s inclusion was good…shame he was not given more time to play in the friendlies.

Secondly, we all know Ronaldo is not fit and is not affective….less so against a team like Germany…it’s sad that the supporting cast are not there. Nani was struggling to get ball over the nearest man…he needs to take on players close to the box to draw fouls and cross from dangerous areas.


Unfortunately, we can not afford to play against like this against USA and Ghana…I do believe we should have enough quality to win…..but…..only if we show more ingenuity…we should technically yes…physically…possibly…athletically…not so sure.

This is where a player like William needs to be blooded and the team now built on as we can not afford anything less…we have no options.


Let’s go with -

..................... Eduardo

Rubin......Alves.......Neto......Veloso

................Carvalho...... Meireles

.......................Moutinho

....Nani .............Eder........... Ronaldo
THE UGLY GAME
96 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 09:21
England
Often Football has been described as the beautiful game. Yesterday millions witnessed a truly ugly game. From play acting/ ( lack of sportsmanship ( Muller) to bad refereeing.

Having said that, Portugal needs to find a coach that is able to deal with the lack of discipline showed by players like Pepe. This is a not new issue and our opponents are also aware of that. It's something that will continue to be exploited and hurt us in the future if we don' t take this seriously.

Bento with this selection proved how idiotic he is. As a coach you are supposed to adjust and make bold decisions when necessary. Yesterdays he proved that he cannot do that. Bruno Alves had an off game but Rui Patricio and Joao Pereira were awful and should have been replaced at half time. Bento insistence in keeping players that are not delivering because he trust us them more has cost us dearly.

As for Ronaldo he needs to be reminded that the success of the team should be more import than his ego. If a player is in a better position to score he should not feel obliged to pass it to him.

In general was an ugly game, tainted by Muller's playacting a poor ref, poor tactics by our uninspiring coach, amateurish mistakes ( particularly in defense) no fighting spirit,etc.

I'm truly disappointed with this team but even more with this coach. His mentality is a liability itself. He needs to go. As for Portugal chances of progressing in this tournament they are pretty slim. I saw 2 teams last night( USA & Ghana) that displayed greater levels of fitness and above all a REAL DESIRE TO WIN.
@NJ/USA/SLB
95 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 08:35
Steve/Australia
Absolutely spot on... whilst you have got grief for your comments from others after the result today you have been proven somewhat right. We have a squad of injured, out of form or past their best players and their weaknesses have been magnified with the hot humid playing conditions. I think we needed to blood the youngsters during the qualifiers. William Carvalho should be in the starting line-up by now. I've been saying for a long time that Veloso and Mereiles just should not be starting but then who replaces them... Hopefully William Carvalho and Ruben Amorim.

As a comparison, If you look at the dutch team (similar sized country) last major tournament (Euro 2012) they got smashed with an experienced team. Now, they blooded the youngsters in the qualifiers and in this tournament they basically have 3 aging world class stars in Van Persie, Schneider and Robben and then a bunch of young hard working players and it has been working for them. I think the key is to have a balance of youth and experience

On a side note how good would the team have been if we had William, Tiago (I know hes retired from internationals) and Moutinho in the midfield.

Anyways, I'll still keep supporting but it is very frustrating to be a fan right now when obvious mistakes are being made by the coach.
Updates
94 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 07:45
Monah/Dubai
OKay then! the worse happened: Coentrao and Almeida out for at least ten days! This must turn the others on instead! The most important thing is to have ronaldo safe and avoid injuries, and since he's not able to go back to his speeding power, let us just use his scoring skills and play him as a striker!

My starting 11 for the remaining matches:
Eduardo

Amorim Costa Alves Veloso

Carvalho
Meireles
Moutinho


Vierinha Nani
CR7
Bringing up the past.
93 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 07:23
João/Holanda
Some people like to bring up the past, I do think this match was worse than in 2002. In 2002 we didn't lose by four goals for one but the display was equally embarrassing. The disciplinary record of Portugal in World Cups is a disgrace, we have the highest red cards per game average.

Other people are bringing up past games where we lost the first game and bounced back. And again I'd like to point out that we only lost those games by a single goal difference and in the case of 2012 a lot of people were positive. The team looked good along with the team cohesion and we arguably deserved a draw.
No one in his right mind are saying 'we deserved a draw' from yesterday's game.

Portugal is along with Honduras and Greece the worst team of the tournament. We were total crap, Bento needs to go FPF were really incompetent by extending his contract.
No heart
92 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 05:37
Brian/USA
There were no positives from this game. Although I agree with everyone that possibly this was not the best lineup, the issue I had with Portugal was the attitude. This is a team of 23 players regardless of the starting 11, when you're on the field you give it your all no matter the situation.
Nothing new, but disliked that Ronaldo, our captain, got a bit selfish at the end by taking some non-sense free kicks and demonstrated wildly for a PK for offense on a teammate. Presumably so he show off for the cameras. A team worked goal or rehearsed set piece would of went a long way in terms of team moral, instead of a moment of individual brilliance.
Two more games, but without a change in attitude Portugal could easily be going home and possibly in an embarrassing fashion.
terrible!
91 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 05:17
luigi/USA
Portugal Sucks and if they dont fix this mess they are done!

Beat USA & Ghana and pray Germany do some damage against those teams to even out the goal differential.

Not easy but Possible.

Portugal is known for doing things the hard way so why is this any different...lol

P.S...Pepe is a disgrace. He always involved in some dumb antics!
study the basics.if not go home.good luck.
90 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 05:02
hareesh,kerala/india
Some people still like bento...ok..that means the worst time will go on..leave it.fate!we should learn lessons from brilliant germany.they were cool...wow...superly cool...portugal should understand that its a game.only a game.its not life nor death.its a game.win it with cool heads.preasure cooker heads and panic play is the characteristics of NT i think.we are great talents but when comparing to germany we become average.a player like quaresma is needed here.
Let's be positive
89 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 04:44
Dave Los Angeles
How could you be so positive you ask? Well for once I'd like to repress my morose Portugese self and not dwell on the negatives and look forward to the positives.
1. We most likely lost to the eventual world champs - they had Podolski on the bench ! The Germans could field two strong teams alone. Translation: this isn't a fair assessment of future games
2. No matter how obtuse or pig headed Bento is he is now forced to find alternatives for Almeida, Pepe and Coentrao. Translation: young players out to prove themselves will be given a chance and at this point I'll be game to see anything new than the same two year old set up
3. Ruben, William, Neto etc..
everything has already been said
88 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 04:34
justin/rochester
Not much more to add really. I think everyone is extremely upset by what happen today. I think that was a penalty kick but at the same time I don't like when the referees make a call like that in the 10th minute of a game of that magnitude. It is the world cup finals and both players were grabbing each other. I don't think you make that call that impacts the entire game like that. Similar to the opening game with brazil and croatia...let the teams play a little bit before you change an entire game.

Pepe let me tell you guys something. I honestly would not be shocked if he was told to do something stupid or else someone would harm his family. I'm serious too, brazil is a corrupt country full of favelas and crime. I could easily see someone telling him that his family will be at stake if he doesnt do something wrong. I know what you guys are thinking...why against germany when it has nothing to do with brazil. The simple fact that I am saying this is because THUGS don't care they like starting problems. He knew he was going to get a yellow or red card for that. Think about it he headbutted muller on the ground...did he really expect to not see atleast a yellow. Here's another way to look at it. If he received a yellow card...it was just a matter of time until he got a second one because he plays to wreckless and germany was the better team. He would have done something stupid eventually. I know its a little conspiracy theory I have but when you think about the refs and players that get killed in brazil that play or ref 3rd division games...its not that crazy to think someone threatened his family for being brazilian-portuguese.

What scares me is going into the USA game and our crosses and set pieces we never defend well and the USA is great in the air. That is where we will get beated against the USA team. Ghana looks fast but wreckless but they still scare me as well. Coentrao is out of the tourny and its sad because hes our best player...yes maybe even better than ronaldo. Think about it, he impacts the game defensively and offensively. He plays like two men on the field and you cant take him away from this team.

Anyways, I think they can win the next two but mark my words if he we lose to the USA it will be off of a corner kick or a cross into the box. I could say more but you guys covered it already. Carvalho, eduardo and eder must start next game.

I was speaking to my cousin in portugal and he brought up a good point about the politics in portugal and certrain playes having to play. He mentioned Jorge Mendes the agent for a lot of these players including Paulo Bento are all sort of connected. Bento plays certain guys almost as a favor to Mendes. It's interesting to say the least.
Képler
87 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 04:31
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
So far it looks like Pepe will only miss the next game against the USA. If the Selecção win that game, would you all still want to see Pepe playing against Ghana? I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that everyone is upset with him, i.e. lock him in a cage, leave him in Brasil, go back to Madrid, etc. lol.

I'm just as disappointed in him as anyone for getting caught up in an easily avoidable situation, but primos let's not get overly emotional and throw him into the sea just yet. It's his first red for Portugal-- awful, piss poor timing yes but it could be worse. We could've lost to Germany (which was happening, and always possible) and say had him do this in one of the next two games which would pretty much kill us off playing a man down in must win situations.

I think everyone knows he loves and plays for the shirt, and he's been damn good at it up until today. He just hated Müller more in the heat of the situation. I'm not making excuses for him, he deserves the criticism absolutely, but he's still first choice at CB on this team. He cleans up well, is a tough/ physical presence, and I'll pass the blame of some of those set piece goals to Bento's awful zonal marking that needs to go... Now.

I'm still looking at the officiating too. I swear if I saw Hummels bump heads with Eder, Ron, or Nani and they faced up like Müller and Pepe, I'd be alright with them both getting a yellow. No hands (or feet) thrown at each other, and I'm satisfied with warnings. If any more problems, say facing up again-- add another yellow, throw the instigator out and let's get on with it. Straight dismissal for mere provocation in football is some real soft shit, I stand by that. How can you not expect confrontation in contact sports. That's why we now have grown men falling all over the floor in the modern game like they've been assaulted. Embarrassing. Sulley Muntari and Jermaine Jones got into it yesterday in US v. Ghana for a worse incident-- the ref gives them a talking to for a first offence, they shake hands, and we move on. Decent officiating.

Anyway, I like the amount of comments we have going so far. Let me know what you guys think of Pepe, objectively. Hear from you all soon.

M.
@George NJ/USA
86 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 04:29
Steve/Australia
Hi George,

Individually Veloso is not bad. He reads the play well and has a great cross and set piece. Veloso is a solid player no doubt

The problem I have with him is he plays in the position that would normally be occupied by a tough tackling defensive midfielder which he is not. On top of this he is incredible slow and easily muscled off the ball. Time and time again the wingbacks were exposed in this game and that is because Veloso does not offer any cover in his position. On top of this he is out of form and has not been playing for a weak team in a weak league.

I'm a Benfica fan but I can tell you that the best player in Portugal right now is William Carvalho. He is also a big match player. You should watch some of his games in the liga (pick any I can't remember him having a bad one) and I'm sure you will change your mind about him. He is tough, strong, tall, tackles hard, does the simple things but can also make some great passes, is intelligent, is a team player, Has amazing determination and maturity.

Quite simply he has to start in the next game.
Win the next two
85 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:59
Frank/USA
The only positives of being in a group with Germany and getting thrashed by Germany is we can assume they will proceed to thrash the other teams in the group. Maybe not thrash them but at least win the last two games and top the group at 9 points. Ideally a draw between Ghana and USA would have been the best result but a USA win was the second best result. My reasoning is I think Portugal matches up well against USA and am very confident Portugal will beat USA. I am also very confident that Germany is going to beat Ghana. So after two games that would leave Germany with 6 points Portugal with 3 USA with 3 and Ghana with 0. Going into the last match as long as Germany takes care of business all Portugal has to do is draw to advance from the group obviously a win would do the same. See although USA won their first game they are actually in a tougher postion than Portugal is imo because that was USA's easiest game with portugals game today being the most difficult.

All in all a win against Germany wasn't necessary to advance from the group so as long as Portugal wins out they will advance from the group.

Clearly it was a disappointing result for all the fans and supporters but we need to keep our heads up high because this world cup isn't over because of a big loss. Remember the opening of Euro 2004? On a final note Portugal handled the ball very well even being down a man in the second half with very fluid passing. I think that will only get better with all 11 and against lesser opposition.

Forca Portugal
Done in 30 minutes!!
84 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:55
Veeetor!! Toronto Canada
I never predicted this bad of an outcome, I know some of you did but there was no reason to expect a player to play ridiculous like Pepe was.

Forget the penalty shot ..it was a foul
Forget Ronaldo's chance to score
It was Pepe who was a disaster !! He caused the team to lose

Right from the opening whistle Pepe was a OUT OF CONTROL !!
He caused so many bad plays ,from bad passes, to stupid fouls and then he would complain to the ref about everything ...Alves was yelling at him((just moments befor the 2nd goal) because he was out of position ..Pereira had to cover for him a couple times.He couldnt make decent play passing 20 feet away from Patricio ..

The odd time a player would make a mistake it happens they are only human but Pepe what the hell was he smoking ?

Portugal has a mountain to climb, even if we win the next 2 games Germany plays Ghana next and most likely will win and then they will play the US and since they are already in they will sit out key players and possibly giving the US a good chance to win that game and that would be the end of Portugal on goal difference
Portugal Germany
83 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:54
John/UK
Germany exposed Portugal's weaknesses:

1. Hugo Almeida has scored 1 goal in the last three months for his club and he looked liked a tired old man. Bento is an idiot not having developed someone else for the position. Eder was 400% more effective but my mum would have been. 200%. My son and I we're cheering when he got injured and cheered even more when they didn't bring on Postiga!
2. Goal keeper - Every tournament needs a clown goalkeeper and we have him
3. Pepe let the team and country down - he should be sent home - he's a liability
4. Ronaldo is the worse captain in world football. He sulks, he only cares about glory - disgrace

They have a chance to redeem themselves over the next two games and then face Argentina to see who is the Best player in the world .

However the damage is done by a manager who fields a 29 year old team and has not invested in the future.
Umm..
82 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:50
Larry USA
Just one word to explain that pathetic performance by Portugal.....wow. Better get their stuff together Sunday. Vs USA or else adios, back to their respected clubs. Portugal played with no heart, no flair, no passion, period. Flat as a pancake Ronaldo looked lost, Merieles looked awful, and Veloso looked scared.
Theyre soooooo lucky Germany didn't score again with that scew up by Patricio in the back in the 1st half. Khederia came so close! Maybe it's the dark jerseys in the heat? Maybe they were a little hungover from the night before partying with Brazilain prostitues and vino? I dunno all I know is they better wake up Sunday or back to Lisbon quick and disgraced.
Ronaldo to the 9.
81 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:37
Robert/Marina Del Rey
I do think b/c of Ronaldo's fitness, he isn't going to track on defense at all during the World Cup. Rather than leave his side exposed (ala Rooney), why not limit his defensive responsibilities by moving him to striker where he can play forward - which he looked very good doing.

Eder - continue to use him as a sub and move people around as needed.
REWATCHED TO PEPE'S RED CARD - NOT SO BAD
80 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:33
Robert/Marina Del Rey
Tactically - wrong with Portugal's approach - other than starting Almeida who is a ball stopping forward who had one or two opportunities to set up solid scoring chances and could not make a pass. (I'd rather have Postiga out there as he at least chases the defense and makes them work)

Possession - Portugal had the ball and chances equal to Germany. I don't think Germany controlled the game up to Pepe's card by any means.

It comes down to the PK and a very well executed corner. But those are really only two plays.

Even Patricio wasn't bad early. Neither goal was his fault. And the error giving the ball to Khadeira with the net open was Pepe's fault for back passing far across the net.

I'M OPTOMISTIC ABOUT PORTIGAL - concern is Contraeo.
USA
79 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:19
Nelson / Canada
They smell blood and we should be afraid. Never in a million years did I think I would fear the USA but after today it's hard to imagine things going our way this weekend. Seeing them beat Ghana has changed my perspective since my post earlier.
I'm still hopeful but we are the clear underdogs now.
Laughing Stock
78 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 03:13
Roger/England
I agree with Pedro , S . Portugal is a laughing Stock. Pepe should be banned from Portugal football . He has let our country down . We pay money to travel to support our team , this is what we get in return .

Its over for Portugal. Mourinho never liked Pepe because of his attitude . He is a rowdy . Image of Portuguese abroad is bad because people like him . Get Rid of the Ugly man Please.

If we had won or tied this game , we could be in Semis .
It was shades of Zidane?
77 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 02:56
Tom/USA
Foolish. Immature. Selfish.
Dear Tony
76 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 02:16
Lusiads Canada
1. Messi responsibilities are not those of a right or left back so using him as an example is unfair. Also Messi is a once or twice in a generation player. You can hardly compare his skill to Cedric and Antunes who have not proven themselves. I think we can say that on avg. taller more athletic right or left backs have more success at the higher levels of football then short ones at least in terms of their defense. I think many on this site have commented that Portugal’s lack of height and size has been a problem for Portugal particularly against the best nations like Germany. A better example you could have used would have been Phiip Lahm who bucks the German trend by being an influential player at only 5’7. That said these sized defenders of Lahm’s quality and playing at this level are rare and Portugal does not have many. Are best are the two Bento chose to play today.
2. As for using Uruguay to retort to my population premise. First Uruguay 1st world Cup win was in 1930, they hosted only 12 teams competed with few Euros i.e. no Germany, Italy, Spain, etc… USA finished third that year. Poor example I mean teams from Europe took a a boat to the event. Their next win was also in South America in 1950 64 years ago and the first cup after World War 2 when countries like, France, Italy, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland, etc… had been devastated.
3. If you look at the winners of the other world cups you’ll see that they are either wealthy, have much larger populations than Portugal or both. i.e. Brazil, Germany, England, Italy, Argentina, etc…
4. I don’t disagree that Portugal can produce high quality players but it is difficult for a country or our size and wealthy to produce sufficient numbers of these players at the same time. The closes we came was with our Golden Generation but even then that was not enough that Portugal’s wealth is not comparable to Germany or England. Both these countries are part of the G8 while Portugal is one of the P.I.G.S.
5. Does this mean we have no hope of winning a major tournament like the Euros or the World Cup? No we just need to have sufficiently good players (not all super stars) and some luck, i.e. see Greece 2004 Euro or Denmark 1992.
6. I totally agree with you about the booing Ronaldo received the guy tried against pretty difficult odds.
7. I disagree that Portugal was not attacking at the start of the game. I think they were trying to be positive but it’s hard against the Germans they are a difficult team to navigate against. Then came the penalty and now Portugal’s preferred counter attacking style was nullified because the Germans did not need to initiate attack but chose their spots and countered. The red card only made this that much worse.
portugal
75 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 02:08
Jonathan/Canada
First of all I am disgusted by this effort and performance as all of us should be. No heart no effort just embarrassing. First of all bento, why no Eder, carvalho and Eduardo from the start puzzles me.
Second pepe. Yes the guy dove, but play don't get sucked in by antics, you are veteran guy in your 30s smarten up.
Next game carvalho, Eder, and Eduardo must start.
Even if we beat usa and Ghana which we definitely can/cannot do at the same time we may not even advance with 2 wins based off of goal difference. We have basically screwed ourselves in the rear end in this group. How we respond to this massacre will show what kind of team that we have, one with character and a backbone or one with a fragile image.
Pepe
74 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 02:02
S / Canada
Pepe is a shame for Football in General. When he stomped Messi few years ago, FIFA should have Banned him from Football then. Portugal lost the game because of Pepe today. Portugal had the capability to come back and equalize and even win the match but because of his Stupidity, a nation is facing humiliation. Portugal should strip his citizenship and send him back to Brazil. Pepe is a Shame. I feel pity for Portugal.
Game
73 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:48
Gil/canada
Any good team on any given day could have a bad day look at spain
going forward
72 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:41
portwood/Canada
Those saying this is the worst display by Portugal have short memories:
pretty much the entire WC1986
Game 1 of WC 2002 v USA
Game 3 of WC 2002
Game 1 of Euro 2004
There were many poor displays prior to regular qualification for big tournaments starting around 2000.

Mental breakdowns and disciplinary problems have been too numerous to count over the years. Pepe is just the latest idiot to lose his head at the worst possible moment.

This game was never really the key to the group. A loss was always likely (also lost to Germany in first game of Euro two years ago). The other two opponents should be accessible and since a loss by Germany is extremely unlikely two wins will guarantee Portugal's passage - regardless of goal difference!

I think Portugal can win without Pepe. Losing Coentrao and Ronaldo's questionable fitness, otoh may prove to be what prevents passage to the second round.
WTF!!!??
71 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:19
Orlando/US
All I can say is WTF!! WTF!! WTF!!???? I had a feeling Germany would be tough to beat, but this was a $u@# joke!!

First off, get rid of Patricio, he is careless and jumps all over the place like a loose cricket. Second, next game against the US will not be easy, so 3 points is a must!!
Thoughts
70 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:15
Steve/Australia
Firstly, sorry to everyone who has taken the time to comment if I repeat some of the things that you have already said as I have not had time to read through all the comments. Currently I am struggling at work as most of you probably are after first not being able to sleep with excitement before the 2 AM kickoff and then going to sleep at 4 AM with utter disappointment on my mind.

Personal thoughts about the game - I am stunned and saddened with out performance as I expected more. Once the line-up was announced I had a horrible feeling seeing Veloso (out of form) and Mereiles (not fit) in the same starting line-up. It was very disheartening watching the goals go in but I stuck it out and watched to the end.

Was it a penalty (Germany) - Yes it was and being the last man technically he could have seen red (would have been a bit harsh). The German player just muscled past Joao and he tackled him to knock him off balance. The real question is why Joao Pereira one of our weakest players was left one on one with one of the strong Germans

Was it a penalty (Portugal) - Eder done really well and clearly earn't a penalty when we were already 3 nil down. I guess at this stage the game was already done

Was it a red - Yes, and again sorry Tom but it was not soft. Pepe in an off the ball incident has placed head into an opponent while he was on the ground.

What went wrong (midfield) - The key for me was not playing William. Our wingbacks were exposed time and time again because Veloso just offered no shelter or cover. The other factor was

What went wrong (players) - Bento went with experience with his tried and trusted. The problem is most of these guys were either out of form, coming off injuries, or past their best.

Moving on - Bento needs to get a good balance of youth and experience. With the conditions being tough we can not afford to have passengers and injured players (Cristiano Ronaldo excluded) in the starting line-up. Bento needs to make changes. I would love to see Eder, Andre Almeida/Ruben Amorim and William in the starting next game. I wouldn't even mind seeing Rafa get some game time or perhaps even start. We need to shore up the central midfield area as I feel we lost the game there. I've been saying this since he went to the Ukraine but Veloso is just not good enough to be starting games at the defensive midfield position

Chances - With the USA winning and our horrible goal difference we could still win the last 2 games and go out. In all likely-hood though if we beat the USA then we have a great chance of progression.
bad performance, but can improve
69 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:14
Raja(Goa, India)
That was truly a bad performance by the team. I was sufprised William Carvalho was not on the team sheet. Pepe what were you thinking! Ronaldo you need to stop throwing a fit everytime your teammate loses the ball. Also, you need to stop taking free kicks so far out.
We can still get through the group with good performances vs usa and ghana. USA just lost their CF and don't have much quality going forward. Ghana seem to cross the ball often and tend to bring on senior players near the end of the game.
Eusebio
68 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:00
Jason - Canada
Eusebio was the complete opposite of how Eusebio played and how he behaved on the field. He had class, a fighting spirit, dignity and he would humiliate you with his play not his actions. He was a lethal, silent assassin who never quit.

He is Portugal. He is who we really are. We need our players to remember that and act accordingly.
Villains
67 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:53
Pedro/USA
Pepe is an ugly pathetic moron . He is a bully . No one likes him. I have been saying along , Bento is not the right coach .

No game plan . How in the world can he put Almeida instead of Eder or Postiga .

I am glad Pepe is not around for next 3 games. Bento need to fix the line up. .
Portugese players need to have good ethic's instead being argumentative and showing their rage.

Good Luck Portugal !!
in defence of Pepe
66 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:50
Rui / Canada
i see a lot of negative comments towards Pepe. I can't defend this particular action. he was caught up in the moment, furious after a soft PK and a weak conceded goal, plus Mueller is truly a despicable character devoid of any honour or sportsmanship. however it was selfish and foolish and he should know better.

but i think everyone has to take a deep breath and look back at what Pepe has given the National team. There's been several man of the match performances, and it's foolish to think one single play cancels out all the heart he's shown over the years.

stupid play aside, he is still the Team's top defender, and he'll be missed. I rather see Neto over Costa as a replacement, however Bento won't start the youngster.

Losing Fabio is a huge blow. Hopefully he can make a come back later in the tourney.

All is not lost. If Portugal can beat the US they'll most likely face a Ghana team that will be eliminated by the 3rd match. As long as they can match what the US does against Germany they'll advance.

Next game i hope stubborn Bento wakes up and starts Eder, Carvalho & Eduardo (Patricio was horrid). .
Unexpected, disappointed, sad
65 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:31
Leo/Hong Kong
Pepe stupid, shame on him ! How can I headbuzz him hard ? How many matches banned ? 1 or 2 or 3 ?

Most worrying is Coentrao, hope can recover in last 16 or last 8 if make through.

Bento sucks, such a stubborn idoit. Not playing William to counter the German midfield. Not pressing them to allow them to have possession. Too leisure from the start. Lack of focus e.g. Rui Patricia reminiscent of his mistake towards Israel. Totally suck !

Mentality is most important, portugal players are nervous even in the corridor to the pitch, germans look calm and confident.

Luck always not on portugal. The referees are always turning against Portugal.

What can I say ? Waited for years and then like cold water pouring over your head even just the first game. Shit ..........

Would like to seek some support and comfort here. Next game is a must-win, even draw means go back to Lisbon or Algraves beaches and enjoying cod fish at home or listening Fado to heal the wound.

So disappointing. No tears though sad.
Absolute SHAMBLES/SHAMBOLIC
64 Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:05
Paulo6
An absolute BRUTAL display by the entire Portuguese team, I'm embaressed to be Portuguese today!, absolute a** kicking today. Not one player played good!, Pepe is a TOOL!. I have followed the national team closeley since 1993, and have never been this shamed!. This actually reminded me of 2002, and the blow up in 2000 (Paulo Bento and Joao the tool Pinto) those 2 tools never had composure, so what do u expect from Pepe.. I am speechless, absolute shambolic performance today. Murphys law happened today.. FACT!...
Carvalho vs Veloso
63 Monday, 16 June 2014 23:58
George NJ/USA
I seem to be in the minority here but I didn't think Veloso had a bad game (when he was in). And I generally like the way he plays. Not sure where all the vitriol is coming from. Dude's a solid player.

I saw Carvalho play these last qualifiers and he seemed nervous and was shaky in possesion. I didn't see much of Sporting's games so perhaps I didn't see the real deal.
Bento hit the nail in the coffin..
62 Monday, 16 June 2014 23:27
SupremoGino
wow 60 comments already..

There's plenty of talking points in this match.. first off the line-up was absolute sh**. I predicted it two years ago, and it left us humiliated.

Bento's selection is unjustifiable. We needed William's presence to stifle the physicality of the German midfield.

Almeida's injury delivered a brief sigh of relief with Eder coming in. Almeida is garbage, good grief Bento. F**king quit catering to your lover boys.

Now I've been catching all world cup games.. (except Argentina's last night) and by far the quality of football, passing, and technical ability between GER-POR is the highest of standards I've witnessed.

The way Germany moved the ball around the field appeared majestic at times.. they are an exceptional team though this could be a testament to the greatness of our own seleccao.

The likes of Nani, Moutinho, and Coentrao surrounded by 2 or 3 shirts still managed to turn and run circles around them. We competed in the most bizarre of circumstances and the final stats prove that but clearly our guys weren't mentally composed, thanks Bento.

Please leave Pepe deserted in the jungle of Maneus or throw him in a cage. His actions are selfish and unforgiveable. One man destroyed the hopes of a nation. Brutal.

P.S Meirda-les is done, won the ball.. slipped it through to Ronaldo and stopped dead. Had he kept running, a return pass would have created a glorious chance inside the box.

The loss didn't just pierce the heart.. it smashed it into millions of pieces. No Coentrao, Pepe, or a fully fit CR and a bone-headed coach. It's over before it started.. gentleman.
it isn't over
61 Monday, 16 June 2014 23:13
Voice of Reason
Today was awful - the refs didn't help at all.

For those of you who say can't fault ref - please. That penalty was a joke - no way, no how that is a penalty. As for Mueller incident - for those of you calling Pepe out, that was a horseshit call.

If you were watching USA and Ghana - Muntari went after a guy after getting booted in the head. The ref called them both over and got them to shake hands. The Serbian piece of shit who probably hasn't reffed a game outside of a sandbox goes straight red? Use some judgement you idiot.

I get worked up for all these tournaments and it is always the same - incompetence and corruption.

That being said - I believe they will overcome and get to the knockout phase...
Germany game
60 Monday, 16 June 2014 22:58
VdC
It was a shameful performance. We can only hope that we find some form of prideful display in one of the last two displays. In all honestly we all know that we are going home.
So now, it's just pride, and recording a few points so we are not last on the group.
Carvalho vs Veloso
59 Monday, 16 June 2014 22:56
George NJ/USA
I seem to be in the minority here but I didn't think Veloso had a bad game (when he was in). And I generally like the way he plays. Not sure where all the vitriol is coming from. Dude's a solid player.

I saw Carvalho play these last qualifiers and he seemed nervous and was shaky in possesion. I didn't see much of Sporting's games so perhaps I didn't see the real deal.
Everything went wrong.
58 Monday, 16 June 2014 22:51
jose/Can
My fellow Portuguese brother, there is no need to blame anyone or 2 players. when every player was sub-par after the Penalty.

This is why RQ7 wasn't taking to the world cup….one moment of madness can ruin a tournament for a nation….I E Pepe

My 2 major concerns were if Bento planned on playing Rui P. then why did he not play in more friendlies to stay sharp…..2 terrible give aways, cost portugal a goal, and should have cost us 2 if not for the open net miss.

Also why on Gods green earth did William Carvalho not start in this game.

Just look at the way our defence was over run by the Mexicans when William didn't play, in that friendly.
Last why start the exact same line up that lost to the Germans in our last tournament?

When you don't learn from history, then history is bound to repeat itself!!
RESPONDING TO THE GUY WITH ALL THE ANSWERES
57 Monday, 16 June 2014 22:39
TONY/CANADA
In regards to cedric and atunes in height wise well messi is 5.5 I did not know that height is the most important factor when it comes to skill. Bento bottom line did not pick the best young talent we have. Also a reference to the size of a bigger population brings better talent, well this a country that has about 3.95 million people named uruguay that has won 2 world cups against argentina and brazil by comparisons population wise bigger countries. Portugal does have resources finacially and otherwise to produce high quality players and we have. The only problem is that even in portugal's own domestic league they are not given the opportunity other countries give to their own domestic players. Getting back to the game before the sending off of pepe Portugal just sat back and let the germans dicatate the play and in retrospect when we had the ball the germans pressured as right away, this is not our game. Our game is to control the ball expecially in the midfield and attack. I completely agree their where 2 plays that pretty well killed the game for Portugal the phantom penalty and the sending off of pepe. Also one last point I was quite disappointed in the amount of boo's that I heard being directed at Cristiano Ronaldo, being in brazil in a portugese speaking country I expected alot more support for Cristiano and our team. I have full confidence in the squad and I believe we will progress to the knock out stages.
squad selection
56 Monday, 16 June 2014 22:16
jesualdo/qatar
I said it before and I'll say it once again... we need a new coach. Bento is still inexperienced and his squad selection has proved it. to take a team full of injured players or players who haven't had much first team football is going to be catastrophic for us. we needed RQ7... what sublime form he had been in... the skills of eliseu and danny would have benefited us... the form of fonts shouldn't have been ignored. we might just qualify for the second round... but not like this. not like this, please Bento prove me wrong
Bento the genius
55 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:57
NJ/USA/SLB
Portugal coach Bento:
"We have 2 injuries and a red card. We'll have to make changes, but reformulating everything would be a mistake."

Maybe because there is no vision or Plan B or even a Plan A in that little brain of his.
Clearly there wasn't any thought before the tourney. Ran Coentrao into the ground during warmups and then have no natural sub for him.
It's embarrassing.
Sorry display from a sorry squad
54 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:54
NJ/USA/SLB
Frankly I don't think Pepe's red card was the game changer. We lost our composure after going down one. We never looked composed or ready for the challenge. No creativity, no drive, nothing. We were done and dusted well before the red card.

I've gotten a lot of grief for how critical I've been of the FPF, Bento and the whole Selecao process in general. We have some really nice names, but if you look closely, most are either coming to the tail end of their careers, coming off injury or have been ineffective for some time.
Cristiano has been put into a no win situation.
The only players that are playing well at this point in their careers are Cristiano, Coentrao, Moutinho, Rui at least should be and Alves maybe. Nani, Meireles, Veloso, Perreira, Postiga, Almeida, Varela, Amorim, Costa are lacking or worst yet done. Vieirinha and Eder are coming off injury, and had little time to prepare. Carvalho seemed to be ready, yet he sat for an old and effective Meireles/Veloso. Rafa and Almeida are not ready yet.
This is the squad that Bento has wanted. Maybe his options weren't the best, but more than Carvalho, Rafa and Almeida should be getting some experience on the world stage.

Let's face it, we'll all continue to cheer and we may yet get out of this group stage. But please don't think this is a world class squad, because it isn't.
Like its been mentioned, if we don't defeat Ghana and the US, what are we doing here to be begin with. Hopefully it will be enough.
Positives
53 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:50
Shawn
Honestly the only positive thing I saw today, was that Hugo Almeida got injured. Hopefully the more influential Eder will start the next games
Bento
52 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:45
verde-rubro - London
bento has a lot to answer for

1. when pepe got the red why oh why he did not make a sub we could of gone in at ht 2-0 down instead of 3-0 down

2. what the fvk with the zonal marking at corners just does not work with us we should be man marking for fvks sake
AI meu deus,
51 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:42
J.Medeiros MA,USA
For starters I am very disappointed in Eder and W.Carvalho being overlooked to start this game. I thought for sure, over the course of the last few friendlies both players showed to be in better form and more effective at their duties than Velso and Almeida respectively. I believe both players could have created more if had started today.

Pepe, no one should be surprised. Throughout his whole career he's had moments like this where he completely loses any sense of reasoning and puts his team in a terrible position. The thing is, I would have forgiven him if it was a hard tackle, or a hard foul on an intense play..but it was a deadball .. even if you feel it was only worth a yellow, the point is there should be no ROOM for that BS in a game of that magnitude being down a goal. Shame on him, as he was viewed as one of the leaders and one of our elite talents..it's all gone to crap now.

Nani - I don't understand why he started.. and what baffles me more is, as the game went on, his play got more and more shocking. Running into players, attempting to take on Germany by himself, bad passes, completely missing duties, bad decisions in the passing game. Selfish,Stupid and Destructive. People praise his effort, yeah he runs extremely hard and plays defense... those should be expectations at this level, not qualities we praise.

Coentrao - this may be the decisive element coming out of this game. Huge loss both offensively and defensively. Right now I dont see a player on the roster capable of filling his shows in both areas.

Ronaldo - He is a leader by example. If you think hes going to rally his team up, scream for more effort and keep his team spiritis up..well you digging in the wrong place. The way Ronaldo leads is by being Ronaldo and scoring goals and shredding defenses. If you're upset hes yelling at his teammates for not getting him the ball you haven't been paying attention. He's not the emotional leader of the team and has never been on any of the teams hes been on. He's always benefited from being on teams with veteran ship and leadership (Giggs,Figo,Ramos and Alonso to name a few).. when these tournaments come around now, we always look at him to be this leader when hes just not... he needs the ball at his feet more than anyone on the team in order to influence the team. With that said.. WE NEED TO GET HIM THE BALL MORE.

Outlook: It's still way to early to spell doom... 2 decisive victories SHOULD get us through..however when putting todays game in perspective.. that doesnt look like a lock. Bento is going to have to let go of his stubbornness and get creative to create a much better attack. At this point with Pepe and Coentrao out... Carvalho needs to start,need that steel in there and I believe starting Varela is the right way to go as he seemed to be much happier supplying the balls to the box rather than try and taking on the whole german side like nani did.

Forca. Keep Faith.
Bad but all is not lost
50 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:28
Mike/Canada
You can't expect to play a man down against Germany for over an hour and give up a penalty goal (bad call, no way Portugal gets hat call if tables were turned) at 10 minutes and not expect this kind of result, so I am less fussed about the 4 nil, it's not a reflection of what this team can do. I am however fussed about
1) composure. Yes Mueller dove and yes the ref should have given him a yellow, but you can't do what Pepe did when you know the refs have the bigger team's backs and and are just looking for an excuse
2)Bento's calls. Patricio, Veloso, Almeida are dead weight. Carvalho, Eduardo, Beto, Eder,, Varela, Amorim all better options
3) Coentrao will be missed, no doubt. Rest of team needs to suck it up, win 2 games and hope he can make it back in 2 weeks for next round
4) the tendency for Portuguese players to be visibly demoralized was evident today again. Some stopped playing, others looked frustrated by their teammates. You need to be a team, during good and especially during bad times.

This is all fixable, however it will require some quick introspection by each player and some shrewd and maybe risky moves by Bento. Unfortunately Bento has not proven that he can be shrewd or take calculated risks. All is not lost, we could have lost 1 nil and been in the exact same spot. Lets see if this team has the character to come back and let's support them. Not disrespecting the opponents, but the toughest is behind us for this round. 2 wins and we advance. FORCA Portugal!
Selecao vs Germany
49 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:19
Towni
For me Nani and Cristiano together can't play well. They are both ambitious and willing to be the Selecao Heroes. Rui Patricio shouldn't have played, I do believe that the Goalkeeping Spot was of Eduardo as he proved much more worthy in the Friendly and the last World Cup.

As for Nani, I do believe that Nani shouldn't have been in the Starting XI. He barely played for Man Utd and he isn't no way in form, I still believe that Quaresma could have proved much more worthy to the team and Ronaldo - Eder - Quaresma could have been much more worthy.

As for Pepe, I don't know what he was doing, he only did care for himself and for the vengeance to prove he is superior and in the end he ended up kicked out of the stadium with a Red Card.

Ronaldo wasn't used and I do believe that he wasn't used much because he was injured, so why we didn't replace him with someone else so we will be more effective.

Against Germany we couldn't have played the same Portugal style with Winger crossing and Header, we should have played with the liked of Ronaldo in the Finishing Position and Long Passes not Crosses as we needed Speed and not Aerial ability.

For me the best player in the game was Eder, although he didn't score and he didn't get much of chances but he was the best player in the match for the Portugese Side.
Perspective
48 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:13
Nelson / Canada
First off, the Germans deserved the win. That penalty call was really unfortunate but I wouldn't call it robbery. They did enough prior to Pepe's send-off to indicate that they were the better team today, and better prepared. Nothing short of a collapse by the Germans or a 100% fit CR7 on fire in the 2nd half would have resulted in a comeback even without the red card.

Now that I got that out of the way... PEPE, WTF?!?!?!?!? To get a red card after the ball was dead? completely selfish!!!

Now for the "perspective"....

George / NJ put it best... "Even still...if we can't beat the US and Ghana then we had no business being in Brasil"

This is not to take away from the US and Ghana but rather highlight the fact that many selecao fans (and writers) would have placed Portugal finishing 2nd in the group anyway with a loss to the Germans.

This is a bigger mountain now with Pepe out and Fabio VERY questionable to return BUT you never know...
2 cents
47 Monday, 16 June 2014 21:11
Ahmad/Lebanon
The Bad:

1- Ronaldo clearly not fit.
2- This is the last we've seen from both Almeida and Coentrao in this World Cup, and if things turn out even worse then the same applies on Pepe as well.
3- Germany hammered us, we proved to the world that we are very very far away from standing toe to toe with the big teams that are planning to win the tournament. This is the exact difference between a team that is "in it to win it" and a team that wants to "keep its feet firmly on the ground". It's all about mentality, I already said that in a comment in previous article, didn't you read!
4- I predicted a 3-2 Germany win which after this game made even more sense as opposed to other predictions. I expected our team to attack better, which they normally do and I was sure we weren't gonna last long against Germany's offense.
5- Pereira, no matter how much some of you might try to defend him I will never accept the idea that he is the right back Portugal deserves, seriously are there no better options? The guy DOES NOT know how to defend, let's cut the crap and talk without any bias. Pereira was responsible for the first and fourth goals and for someone who is supposed to be experienced it is a shame that he has yet to evolve his game.
6- Speaking of 'experienced' Pepe should be ashamed of himself. I still and will always love the bastard but for the love of God Pepe you can't put yourself in such situations anymore, when the ref blew the whistle declaring a foul FOR Pepe he should have just played the foul and not focus too much and Muller. Muller did the smart thing and in the end of the day Pepe is now out of at least our next two games.
7- Other than Eder not a single player deserves a rating above 5/10 in my opinion but usually when the entire team sucks I tend to look at the midfielders of that team and see how they did. For example, when Italy beat England I wasn't surprised to find out that Henderson and Gerrard, the two holding Mids for England were nonexistent the entire game and the same applies for Veloso and Moutinho. How can we expect Ronaldo, Nani and others to be involved more in the game if they don't get enough chances created for them. Don't get me wrong I'm still blaming the entire team for this collapse but the midfielders deserves the bigger slice of the pie on this one. I honestly didn't see anything from Veloso nor Moutinho the entire game so it comes of no surprise to me that we were dominated and all our moves were fairly predictable.
The Good:

1- This is the worst Portugal performance I've ever watched and I've been a fan of this team for 14 years and counting. So based on that I can assure you all we won't play like that against Ghana and the USA despite all the injuries and suspensions we are suffering from.
2- Eder, the only dim light of hope I was able to muster from this miserable pathetic performance by Portugal. He was the only players I felt that he wanted to do something to at least score one consolidation goal.
3- William Carvalho, now will Bento admit that he is a definite starter? To me the message couldn't have been any clearer that William Carvalho is the solution we are craving for.

I am really not sure what will happen in the next 2 games, my mind is blocked and I can't think straight. I already had in mind that Germany will win all 3 matches and that we will be second with 6 pts but the number of injuries we were struck with after just one match is extremely worrying. It's time for Ronaldo to make his World Cup impact, I am demanding something similar to what he did in that memorable game vs Holland in the Euro 2012 third group stage game. The team's morale is in its worst possible condition and its up to our captain to raise us from the shithole we are now in.
I cant believe
46 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:42
johnieooooo
no one is ripping Nani....well ill be the first.
He was horrible today....there is a good reason why he doesnt play anymore at Man U.....its becuz of displays like today. 2nd goal was off a corner kick , but it was nani's horrable give away at mid field that resulted in a quick german counter attack which led to a corner kick,. 3rd goal was his man crossing the ball, nani gave him aaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllll ddddaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy, applied no pressure and the german player (kroos i think) gently crossed the ball which ended up in the back of the net.

For me he is done....you expect players of his potential & age to keep getting better as they get into their prime, unfortunalely for nani, its the opposite....he is declining...i believe his best is way in the past & I dont think he has the heart or the courage to get back to his best....what a waste
Absolutely appalling
45 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:35
Sam/Massachusetts/USA
All I can say is wow... I rather take a kick to the nuts. I thought all the whining and antics where dissappearing from this squad. I guess not.

I cant take it anymore. I feel so ashamed to be Portuguese after a display like that. I dont understand why Portuguese players always seem to whine, cry, sulk, or lose their cool after something like that. There was absolutely no need for Pepe to lose his cool. The ref was going to let play on for Christ's sake! It happens way to often with this team. I dont ever see a team like Germany lose there cool and take reds like candy in recent tournies ex. Euro 2000, WC 2006 etc. Just play on you pricks! Its not hard! Its so easy to aggravate this team into doing something stupid. I hope all coaches who coach the youth teams start noticing this trend ASAP and start having these players play displine and with a humble attitude. Please someone change this culture its been on the team for way to long!

The players looked sloppy out there the whole game. They looked like they didnt even want to be on the field. Eder was the only exception. Nani did not have a great game but at least his effort was their. Every else sucked including Patricio!

The refs have been bad so far. Portugal was clearly offsides on one of the play. I believe it was Ronaldo offsides by like a yard. The penalty shot should have never been called. Eder should of had a penalty shot as well if they are going to call the game that way. Pepe's Red card was deserved unfortunately. He clearly an complete assbag when it come to stuff like that.


Like I said above, someone please change the culture of Portuguese soccer. I hate seeing our players being known for diving, their antics and their whining. I am not going to support this crap much longer we have too many talented players coming out of Portugal for this crap. Man the F$&K UP!!! I hope Portugal can do something in the next 2 games but I doubt it with this team.

Sorry guys for my negitivity....
shit happens
44 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:33
Monah/ Dubai
Hard luck guys! shit happens! The early goal they scored was a back- breaking for us, we were clearly doing well the first ten minutes but then everyone lost it! Then came pepe's usual thing then coentrao's injury to assure us that this wasn't our day! Now wither we move on and hope to win the other 2 games, or we keep on moaning! I'll go for the first option! If we don't win and make it to the second round, then it means that we don't deserve it! It will hurt no doubt but...what can we do now!? Força portugal!!
Response to several posters
43 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:30
Canada
So let me get this straight a 5"6 left back and 5'9 right back in Cedric and Antunes were the answers for Portugal today. I'm sure that would have struck fear into the Germans. Maybe the reason why Germany and England produce more top quality footballers is because they are much wealthier countries and have populations of 82 and 56 million respectively while Portugal has a pop. of 10million. Patricio is in net because he had a good season this year. that said after today I'm sure Eduardo will be in but it's not like we are choosing between Patricio and Baffon here.

As for Portugal's passing game it is difficult to play a possession game or counter game when you are losing because of a penalty and because you are a man down.

Also other people that are blaming Bento for his tactics. Well I'm not sure how you are suppose to draw up a winning game plan for being cheated on a penalty call and playing a man down vs. one of the top three teams in the world. Come on. Name me the coach or line-up of Portuguese players on this team or not that would have come back from that against the Germans.

Barring the penalty and subsequent sending off Portugal was fine. Yes Patricio almost gave a goal away but again the German central defender almost coughed up the ball on the preceding play. However because Portugal did not score but instead we were subsequently scored on we are not talking about the Germans suspect defense but about Portugal's apparent lack of quality.

When the game was zero both teams were dangerous and both teams were giving up chances which is to be expected by two quality teams that were able to play their games. Two unfortunate decisions decided this game (the penalty and the sending off) but note well that they did not decide the tournament for Portugal

As for Quaresma and I wish I didn't even have to comment here, but at the end of the day he has never proven himself against top flight competition (Spain, England, Italy). In an emotional game like this he would not have made the difference and probably would have head butted the ref for the call Pepe. With a delicate locker room right now the last thing you need is a Cancer like Quaresma stirring up trouble behind the coaches back. It is a united team that will determine if Portugal bounce back from this disastrous game and Quaresma would not be a force for good if he was here.
Beat USA. Beat Ghana.
42 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:25
Robert/marina del rey
First goal took Portugal out if game plan.
Pepe's card wrecked game.

Biggest issue is Contraeo.

Good Ronaldo played and looked healthy.

I think its ridiculous to criticize any one player, Rui P ???, otherwise as the team stunk.
Hung Over?
41 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:24
Paulo/California
Even before the implosion, the team look as if they lacked any energy. One bad call, then a great header, down 2-0. Pepe probably was feeling like he got owned on that Header. What’s wrong with Nani, on two occasions he could have made one on one runs into the box, but pulled up? Lost confidence, he has the speed and technique to force the issue. Ronaldo, finally decided to play once there was no shot. Alves, weak clearance cost us goal.

I could go on and on….. Despite the mistakes, I don’t think we were really that outclassed, just lacking in urgency and energy. Also, playing 10 men and being behind did not help . The only positive thing I can take from this showing is maybe that we will be taken for granted in the next game. Or on the flip side we will just implode and go down as huge failures.

How we respond to this will be define this team, not this game. I still think we can get out of this group, but they will have to play like they want to win. And even if we make it out, will it matter? What was wrong with them today?

Fabio loss could be huge, can he call up someone like Antunes and keep Fabio? Or will Fabio be done if they make a call up? Maybe Almeida is hurt and we could call in Quaresma. I know, I know, double down on melt downs, but hey, might as well go down fighting. No fight in the first half today.
Wake Me Up Please
40 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:22
Roberto/Montreal
Pathetic. Frankly, I'm speechless so I won't discuss today's match other than: atrocious...embarrassing. Tough day at the office for all Portuguese around the world tomorrow.

Right. Onto the next one.

Coentrao is most likely out for our two remaining group games. As bad as things were today, that's the only news that actually affects our future in this tournament. Pepe can take the first flight back to Madrid for all I care.

Veloso should start at LB on Sunday. Andre Almeida isn't ready for this stage. He was horrendous on that 4th goal. He reminds me of a young Paulo Ferreira. Nightmare.

We lost our opening match to Greece in 2004 and Scolari didn't panic. He made the necessary changes (Miguel, Andrade, Valente, etc. were all called upon for game 2) and it worked. Bento needs to have the bolas to do the same.

Eduardo
Amorim-Costa-Alves-Veloso
Meireles-William
Moutinho
Nani-Éder-Ronaldo
Exactly what I expected..
39 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:20
Scander/Canada
Poor squad selections lead to this defeat. Why must that stupid stubborn paulo bento use pretty much the exact same team from euro 2012 in the startng line up?

heck, one the commentators criticized his squad selection by saying "its a members club only"

Why Veloso and not William? Why Almeida and not Antunes? Quaresma, Adrien and Bebe should've been selected.

Don't know what possessed Pepe to shove his head into mullers.

Eder was the best player out there. Ghana and USA are no pushovers.I hope to see Cristiano score..
Come on Portugal - let's get back in it
38 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:14
Diniz/Canada
A match to forget for sure but it's not over yet. These are harsh lessons to be learned but we are a team that can rebound from this.
The key - we need to start playing simple but effective football when it matters - look at the Germans, they don't try to show boat but unfortunately, we do that a little too much. As for selections:
Rui Patricio? Silly errors that could have cost us - let's get Beto back in - he took Sevilla a long way this past year
Pepe - come on Pepe....keep your cool. You're a great player but you can't loose it. The hope of a nation is resting on all your shoulders and you've got to control yourself
We need the fluid passing like Euro 2004 and Germany 2006.
Let's bring in Eder, Carvalho...we need the faster younger lads who are not afraid.
We can do it, I am sure we will....we have to believe in ourselves.
Viva Portugal!
The Goal Differential
37 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:12
Chuck/USA
Losing to Germany isn't bad. Conceding 4 goals is. That may seriously hurt our chances of getting out of the group.


Here's who will start for USA.

EDUARDO: No doubt. He kept an amazinng clean sheet against Mexico, and only conceded ONE GOAL in South Africa (and that was off a rebound he had just saved).


AMORIM, ALVES, NETO, COSTA
I know Ruben could play as right back but he can definitely push up and attack. I do believe Costa has the ability to play as LB.


MOUTINHO, CARVALHO, MEIRELES
Common sense. There's is absolutely NO reason to bring in Veloso, he contributed nothing to the game. Moutinho and Meireles did have decent games despite our utter destruction. Carvalho will help the shaky defensive line we have.


VARELA, EDER, RONALDO
I know, Varela? Hear me out. Varela can do decent enough crosses and isn't a bad player. Then, in the second half, sub on NANI. Full of energy, and a better winger than Varela. USA can't handle it. Eder and Ronaldo are obvious.



==========Eduardo==========
Amorim====Alves====Neto====Costa
==========Carvalho==========
===Moutinho========Meireles===
Varela=================Ronaldo
============Eder============
Hillarious...
36 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:01
Marco / UK
Truly one of the worst performances ever at a world cup.

No excuses. An embarrassment.
Pepe
35 Monday, 16 June 2014 20:00
Michael/USA
He did deserve that red card, Diego Costa did the same and got away with it. There is no way that throwing your head at another players head is safe or acceptable.
Don't be too hasty ...
34 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:58
Marcello Canada
Full disclosure. Italy is the first team I support, followed by Portugal. Both are in tough groups (unlike France) and were going to have a tough go in qualification even if (as I believe) both will qualify. Both are also teams in transition so they are works in progress.

Yes, Portugal had a bad game but I subscribe to the notion that most nations have a bad game in every tournament and Portugal had theirs in the first and toughest match. That, in a perverse twist, is actually good news because the reality is that Portugal was always going to be hard pressed to beat one of the favourites. Focus now on the US and Ghana, both winnable games.

More of a concern is the injury to Coentrao and the decisions of Patricio. The rest will sort itself out.

Força Portugal.
CR7
33 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:53
vsc/usa
a bounce back in the next two games i hope (and fear) rests on CR7's frame of mind (not so much his fitness) going into the next two games - the teams confidence feeds off of his...therefore he channels the mantra of a CR7 shirt i saw a ways back...ie pic silhouette of him about to take a free-kick...caption reading..."KEEP CALM...AND CALM DOWN...I GOT THIS"

if not, these guys will be on the beach in Vilamoura in 11 days time
Pesadelo é Certo...
32 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:51
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Wow… unbelievable, this game was. No mention of the Pepe red card... I was hoping for thoughts on that. Not saying this because I'm an obvious fan, but I thought there was definitely some questionable officiating from the referee. The penalty was soft, Müller overreacted to Pepe fending him off which led to disaster. I thought the red card was harsh, seeing that, and no wonder some people consider football to be a coward's sport. Still, Pepe has to know better-- he is a target for playacting types like Müller to aggravate. He is such a talent, my favourite CB because of his fearlessness and aggression but too quick to set off and he let us down today. Eder also should have drawn a pen on Howedes late in the game, overall the ref was shoddy at best.

Tactically also-- Bento come on. I've been trying to be supportive considering the stale selections but is it too much to ask to get William in there and let him cover the back four. It's not just Veloso's fault as time and again Germany were finding space behind the back line. After the first goal we weren't very composed in the midfield, but that's one of Will's strengths, não e? Also, I understand that Eder just entered the game before Pepe's red card. But porra he or Veloso have to come off after that and stop the bleeding with a true CB at that point. Müller then puts in the third and all hope is lost at that point. The commentators were also saying that Portugal looked sluggish and unenthused in the warm-up, to me that falls on the manager. Now you have no choice but to get the team prepped/ fired up for the next two games, better get it together because it doesn't get a whole lot easier from here on.

Everyone knows we have to win the next two, thoroughly as the goal difference has the potential to be a problem now. Cris also-- I'd like to see him stop berating his mates on the field. It's embarrassing to watch and that can't feel good especially when it's your captain who everyone esp the media keeps saying is worlds better than everyone else on the team. Galvanise the team bro! Were I the captain, all that media trash about Portugal being a one man team would be pin up material for the team to see and feed off of. How could they not be ready to play, focused, pissed or whatever after continually being disrespected like that? All that said, there were times when we could have passed the ball better whether to Ron or someone else at times. All culpable.

Anyway, as Costa said on Abola after the game-- all we can do at this point is win the next game, and take it from there. Our backs are against the wall already, but hopefully we'll learn from this and come to play next Sunday for the win and for pride. The next 90 minutes can't be any worse than what we saw today. Força…
Don't be too hasty ...
31 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:49
Marcello Canada
Full disclosure. Italy is the first team I support, followed by Portugal. Both are in tough groups (unlike France) and were going to have a tough go in qualification even if (as I believe) both will qualify. Both are also teams in transition so they are works in progress.

Yes, Portugal had a bad game but I subscribe to the notion that most nations have a bad game in every tournament and Portugal had theirs in the first and toughest match. That, in a perverse twist, is actually good news because the reality is that Portugal was always going to be hard pressed to beat one of the favourites. Focus now on the US and Ghana, both winnable games.

More of a concern is the injury to Coentrao and the decisions of Patricio. The rest will sort itself out.

Força Portugal.
I SPEAK DA TRU
30 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:46
Anonymous
Vitor Pereira para treinador da Selecao! From my haar!
My thoughts
29 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:45
Anthony/United States
- Eder should start as striker the next game ahead of Almeida. I was quite surprised to see Almeida in the starting lineup. He offers literally nothing except the occasional header, and he even falls short there and squanders plenty of opportunities. Eder looks like a man that will pounce on the first chance he gets. Hell, he almost did it today, if he wasn't blatantly taken out in the penalty box. His pace will come up big for us, especially during our patented counter attacks. Eder > Postiga > Almeida.

- Let's give Pepe a break. He made a pretty big mistake, but quite frankly, I do not think it deserved a red card. It was stupid for him to do in this moment, but the referee really dropped the ball here. You simply can not show a red that early in a game off what looked like a sole incident. For people saying Pepe deserved a red card: What if he got in Mueller's face the same way while they were both standing up? No way would he have been given a red for that. The only reason he was given a red card is because Mueller

- Rui Patricio hurt us badly. That 4th goal was all him. One would think that after his horrible clearance in the early stages of the game he would take better care of the ball in those situations. If you don't feel like you can get a clean hit, don't kick the ball towards the center of the pitch! Let me not get started on the actual "save" that he made before the last goal.

- Portugal squandered many opportunities by playing scared. Most notably, Fabio Coentrao. This is not FIFA 2013. There is absolutely no reason why he should try cutting back that ball. He was wide open, and the angle was suitable for a strike. Yet, he was looking for Ronaldo.

- Portugal essentially needs to win both games. I don't think goal differential will need to come in to play if we can get 6 points. Let's hope that Ghana comes in to game 3 needing a win as well. I would hate to go against a team that only needs to tie.
Totally disgusted
28 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:44
Roger Pretoria South Africa
Worst game ever seen from our national team.having said that I don't think we handled the heat as well as the Germans.It's as if we didn't have any energy.This coach has to go,his stubboness has costs us big time.We won't win the next two games I'm afraid.The Ghanaiens will be to strong for us and we will be lucky to get a draw from USA.Our national team drops us supporters every tournament. WON'T BE WATCHING ANY MORE GAMES.I'M DONE WITH THIS TEAM.
BENTO AND HIS STUPID SELECTIONS
27 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:38
TONY/CANADA
Why in does bento always choose just incredible stupid selections such as rubin amorim and almeida to replace conentrao when he was injured. The likes of atunes and cedric should of being added to this squad. We should have more young athelitc players like germany and holland and even england. This is why these countries will always be far superior to us in developing players at the highest quality. I have no idea why patricio is starting as a goal keeper he just keeps making pathetic mistakes, he made two bone head mistakes that lucky for us did not result in goals. The penalty that was called on perreira was not only soft but not a penalty. Pepe's stupid mistake at worst should of been a yellow card and mueller should also received a yellow card for emblishing a non foul. He did not headbutt mueller he just got in his face too close because mueller got up pretty fast to confront him. Also again Portugal sat back and let germany pass the ball instead of pressuring them and controlling the ball ourselfves. We have to play our kind of game which is passing and contolling the ball. We need to develope quality strickers and this has been our achilles heel for quite a long time now. The likes of hugo almeida and even that nelson oliveira are not good enough. Having said that our next 2 games I believe are completely winnable and we have to go out and play our game and frankly be pissed off but hold our composure. We are currently ranked 4th lets start playing like it.
"Pepe" means classless a$$hole in Portuguese
26 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:36
Val/Canada
Let him stay in Brazil, he should never play again for the selecao.

Only positive was Eder, thought he at least kept trying right to the dieing seconds. Veloso is a wasted spot and Rui P cant make a save and apparently also cant kick the ball to his team mates (what was that about).

That 4th goal summed it right up, Patricio flopping around flailing his arms, Joao P looks at Bruno A, Bruno A looks at Joao P and Mueller scores...thanks for not even caring guys.

I would drop half the squad but with good ol Bento, probably same lineup next game....completely disheartening to watch that, it was painfull.
Nani?
25 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:29
Dave, NJ
The people on here saying Nani played well or was our best player?..........where do you get the stuff your smoking? It must be amazing stuff. Where can I get it?
Perspective
24 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:27
Lusiads
Their will be many emotional reactions to this game but at the end of the day it is difficult to really evaluate the Portuguese as the game was ruined by the penalty call and subsequent red card which I think merited a yellow card but certainly not a red. Although I will concede that the second goal by Germany was well done.

So what of our prospects moving forward... If Coetrao is able to recover by some time in the knock out stage and Bento is able to restore the teams morale then I think our prospects are the same as before the tournament started and particularly before this loss.

With or without Coetrao and Pepe Portugal should beat both Ghana and the USA, that then sets up a second round game with either Belgium or Russia two teams Portugal should be able to beat particularly with Pepe and hopefully (after almost two weeks) Coetrao back. The last estimate I heard on RTPi was that he would be back in 10-20 days. The injury to Almeida does not matter as Edgar is more than capable and the potential loss of Patricio is not troubling as we have a capable Eduardo. Once we reach the qrt. finals it's gravy and things will depend on match-ups, suspensions, injuries, and moments of inspiration, etc...

This is not the first time Portugal began a tournament with a loss to Germany (euro 2012) or shocking defeat (Greece 2004) and still go on to make noise in the tournament. This team has quality.

Forca Portugal
First Game
23 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:27
Adamski / UK
Well that was embarassing, Almeida and Pepe should not play for us again, the first isn't good enough and the second is a liability.
I'm tempted to take my flag down from the front of the house. That was awful.
@ Tony
22 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:25
Chris (Canada)
Tony, we disagree on tone and optimism at times, and things may get heated from time to time, but I respect your opinion as I try to respect everyone.

I said it before and I will say it again: your calls on this game were spot on. Concentration was the biggest issue. Patricio was off, Pepe was insane, and Bento's selection skills are STILL atrocious.

I don't fault J Pereira for the penalty since it was a clean tackle and the ref had the FIFA officials in his ear. But the defense was absolutely abysmal because we were getting overrun in midfield.

Really, the whole team bar Eder, and maybe Moutinho (who had a below-par game), looked awful. That is down to Peanut Butter and Jam Bento. Honestly, I changed my tune on him after the Euros but he is intent on making me change my mind.

As for Coentrao, if he really is done, than Bento has no choice but to call Antunes back up. Very similar player to Coentrao and near his level of talent. No Andre Almeida's please.

Cheers
shake it off - move on - do your job...
21 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:20
vsc
as bad as the game was and as much as want to rant about several players who should be sent home for being so poor - the reality is this is not the end of the world. its one match with plenty still to be decided. my biggest fear is this team will self desctruct and tank remaining games only to realize come the last game that they would have qualified if they just managed their last two games better...kind of like qualifying ie if they had won their last match they would have actually won the group. nothing is decided and germany i dont think looked that good...portugal made them look better than they are. who know the Ghana might beat them and blow the whole group wide open. just take care of business these next two games and things will be fine...if not expected...the bright side is portugal always has a game like this every so often...better to get it out of the way now before it counts for much more...cool heads must prevail going forward.
somebody wake me up please
20 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:19
Dave, NJ
Im still hoping this was all a bad dream and I will soon wake up.

Pepe, you should apologize to your entire team and to the nation of Portugal. Complete idiot. What were you thinking? The ref didn't even call a foul for Germany on the play. You have ruined the first game and potentially our chances of getting out of the group now with your suspension. Disgraceful, selfish!

I don't want to see Nani on the field for us for the rest of this tournament. He is awful. Had 1 decent shot on goal and everything else was absolutely garbage. The few and far between chances we did manage to create, he did everything possible to waste and destroy them. Varella must start for us. Now that Almeida is injured, let Eder start vs. the USA. He was poor as well but you can see the effort is there and he works to get the ball and try and create space to shoot or combo with his teammates.

Start Carvalho in Veloso's place. With Pepe out now Ricardo Costa and Bruno Alves will need even more help to stop the US from scoring.

The injury to Coentrao is devastating.

We have to forget about this game immediately and Bento must pick his strongest available line up to play the USA. Its simple now. We have to win our next two games and as bleak as things look, we should still be able to do that with the talent on this team. Lets hope Ghana and the US tie later on today.
World Cup
19 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:13
Embarrassed
I am more embarrassed by Pepe then anything else. Seriously the entire team quit and did not perform but Pepe's action are a disgrace and he should not be allowed to represent Portugal ever again. Who does that? What's wrong with him. He is a professional soccer player.
Well we certainly have it all to do now
18 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:11
Nelson from nyc
Pepe should have a seat on the bench for the rest of the tournament. No edge or confidence to our game whatsoever. Disappointed with our lads and that is something I do not say often, especially in the big games.
fvk me
17 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:08
verde-rubro - London
time to play our u20s and 21s
September 7, 2014
16 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:07
George NJ/USA
Portugal vs Albania...2016 Euro Qualifying :)

I can shrug off all the bad things that happened in the game but the Coentrao injury is the back-breaker.

Even still...if we can't beat the US and Ghana then we had no business being in Brasil.

Let's see what you got Eder, Carvalho and A. Almeida...time to shine.
we need Eduardo
15 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:03
Angelo Vieira, USA
Send that F***en Goal Keeper Back to Portugal, he F***en Sucks, we need Eduardo
Transition Squad
14 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:02
Tony, CA
Given I am a realistic and look to data to make my opinions known, I will try to stay positive in honor of my good friend Chris in Canada.

We can still qualify if we win the next two games, and that was a very likely going in. Germany has quality at every position and was a difficult first game draw. In my mind no excuses, we got beat by a better team and lost our way early.

Pepe's moment of stupidity did not help but we still would have come up short. This team is slow and lacking in quality athletes. Time to get William and Eber in starting line up to give ups more athletic play in the next games. Also, keep in mind this is a transitional team with our need to incorporate the next wave of youth for Euro 2016. At best this is a final 8 team and this is still possible if we keep our heads and incorporate a bit more pace into the line up.
Same old story
13 Monday, 16 June 2014 19:00
Disgusted
Totally disgusted...
Quaresma
12 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:58
Berat Macedonia
This is when you dont pick Quaresma you stupid Bentoo :/ he deserved it :'(
Wosrt Start
11 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:54
Tony C
This was our worst start ever. Surprisingly it was our defenders that came out very shaky. It was one bad thing after the other from Penalty, Red cards and injuries. Very disappointing! We need to regroup and give some others the nod to start. We can still bounce back and advance deep just like Euro 2012. Question is...what is this team mentaly made off. Will we crumble or bounce back? I love my team in the good times and the bad. Portugal for life!!! Força Portugal.
Vergonha
10 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:54
Silvio / NJ USA
Sorry I love my country and my national team but that was a disgraceful performance. The lack of fighting spirit was evident from the first whistle and the players generally looked nervous and scared. I have a hard time taking anything positive from this game.

Pereira the weak link in defense - no surprises there.

Almeida's shot in the opening minutes was tame and lacked conviction, which pretty much summed up how Portugal played. I hope we don't see him again in Brazil.

Playing Veloso instead of William was a HUGE mistake. We never had a hold of the midfield. I get the sense that Bento is afraid to trust the younger players and that could hurt us.

Speaking of young players, I thought Eder looked pretty good when he came on. At least he TRIED to make stuff happen.

Ronaldo was irrelevant and we should've just taken him off to preserve his fitness.

Nani was pretty bad, that moment when he got in Coentrao's way said it all.

There were so many moments where I could smell the fear coming from this team; Almeida's shot, Nani's awful pass to Ronaldo on a counter attack, Coentrao's weak pass/shot that could've made it 2-1. Patricio almost gifting a goal with a poor clearance. Our overall play lacked conviction and that's upsetting. I don't care if we lose but at least play fearlessly and with some passion. All week long the players talked about wanting to win against the Germans but to me it never looked like they wanted to win this game.
Embarassing Display
9 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:50
Joe/ Montreal/ Canada
not the only reason they lost but Pepe should be sat for the rest of the tourney and left in Brazil when it's over.... no midfield and why Almeida starts, and is part of the squad, only Bento knows....
let's just hope goal differential isn't needed to decide who advances to next round....
Lets stay positive
8 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:47
Jason Faria/Canada
im glad that this was our 1st game at least, of course disappointing but there was some positive; Eder, Nani, Moutinho seem legitimate assistance to C.Ronaldo in the next couple games...

William has to start, Eduardo or Beto over Rui Patricio...

hoping Fabio Coentrao is ok, our defense will be tested without Pepe & Coentrao in the next game...

that game is done...lets stay positive, 2 winnable games coming up, still a lot to play for - Germany is pre-tourney favorite, shit happens, Portugal wasn't ready for that
That was pathetic.
7 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:47
João/Holanda
Guess my pessimism from two years ago was two years too early. To all the Portuguese in Germany, my heartfelt condolences it won't be easy tomorrow.
I actually had high hopes this time around, till I saw the line up: No Eder. Luckily Almeida got injured, probably the only good thing that happened in the entire match. Knowing Bento however Postiga will start against the USA.

As for Bento made the same mistake as Del Bosque, with the same result: staying loyal a bunch players that are over the hill. He is too damn loyal and predictable and that is what costed us this match and that will most likely cost us the World Cup, the Euro 2014 qualifiers (unless FPF decides to drop him).
His squad selection is now coming back to haunt him, I'm not talking about Queresma (with him on the field we would have ended up with 9 players) we now have no left back, Almeida won't cut it and that is by far the worst thing that happened in the entire match.

As for Ronaldo, he destroyed our precious team cohesion. We performed much better as a team during the play-offs and Euro 2012. I'm guessing winning the CL and Ballon d'Or has gone to his head. Now every player has to pass to the great Ronaldo even though other players or themselves are in a much better position to shoot. I also noticed players getting in each other's way (like Coentrao and Nani)

As for getting to the next round, the first tie break is goal difference not head-to-head and our GD is currently at -4. It will be very hard to get out of the group now, two wins might not cut it.

Ah well congratulations to Germany, well deserved victory they utterly outclassed us.
Not good
6 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:46
Frank / Canada
Most unorganized Portiguese squad I've seen in a long time.

Pepe should never be honoured to wear the Portuguese jersey ever again.

Veloso drop back to defend, Carvalho in mid.

Keep Eder up front and let Postiga fill up water bottles.

Moutinho. Nani, Meireles all played well. Ronaldo will be better next game!

Come on boys, turn it around !
Unfiltered raw reaction / comments
5 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:45
Matthew
Pepe - I have been a big fan of Pepe and the way he puts it all out there for the Selecao. He should not play again for the team -- he willfully destroyed any chance Portugal had to win the game with a stupid, stupid, stupid trash-talking red card. I could forgive any level of an aggressive red-card foul made in the heat of play. But that kind of insanely stupid dead-ball BS cannot be tolerated. He is a liability.

Patricio -- Can someone explain why he is starting instead of Eduardo? Eduardo was a rock at WC 2010. Patricio is average at best.

CR7 -- This is realistically your last chance to lead the team you captain to success at the World Cup. Fans (including here) complain that the Portuguese players are too quick to always pass to CR7, but the flip side of that is that CR7 is too quick to throw a fit if someone (cough cough, Hugo Almeida) makes a poor decision and doesn't pass to him. Brush it off and keep playing.

The rest was just a parade of horribles.

Hugo Almeida starting -- Not the worst idea given his height, Eder would have surely come on as a substitute and made a good impact. Wasting a sub due to an early injury didn't help.

Coentrao -- Why, God? Did not enough go wrong today?

Nani -- Sigh. All I can remember is Nani crashing into Centrao.

Penalty -- I disagree with the decision (one of those very marginal calls that I hate to see being made, changing the tempo of a game early on - just let them play!). Made worse by not calling a foul in Portugal's favor later in the game (which could have at least been a consolation).

This was probably the worst implosion I have ever seen for Portugal. Whether and how we can come back from this is a huge question. I will be cheering the team on against the USA on Saturday, but I can't take anything good away from this game.
What can I say
4 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:41
Tomtom
Fabio injured is big big problem ronaldo selfish cunt only thinks in himself n scoring goals if he thought the team b better needless to say excellent player but wake up mate this mite b what we needed.veloso has no place ahead of William j.perriera stay on the bench Ruben starts ,Edwards lets have ya number 1z ... Pepe it's the wc not game in the park wake up n grow up u cost us the game ... Still fit a for a I hope pray we can fight to the end for Forca Forca ... No quaresma will come b to haunt us ...nani I take my hat of to u best player we has to night
The starting line-up foreshadowed this
3 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:39
Chris (Canada)
As soon as I saw the starting 11 I knew we were in trouble. Why Veloso? He lost the ball 4 times in the opening 10 minutes.

Tony CA was right, Patricio was B-R-U-T-A-L, and the team largely looked awful once the German MVP, the referee, scored that brilliant penalty for the Deutsch.

Uphill battle. Painful to watch. Too early to call for a re-design of the squad, but who knows? I don't see Bento staying if we don't qualify to the knock-out stages.
world cup
2 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:38
G england
I am very disappointed with the way we started this world cup.
I have faith in our players and believe that we will do better in the next 2 games. C'mon Portugal we can still make it through.
Pepe
1 Monday, 16 June 2014 18:33
Virgilio/Madeira
Send Pepe home. Totally selfish action by a selfish player.

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