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Sunday, 29 June 2014 16:00

Where did it all go wrong for Portugal?

Ten reasons behind the poor showing at Brazil 2014

ronaldo-despair-germany-world-cup.jpgThe Seleção arrived in Brazil with high hopes of adding to their impressive record of three semi-finals and one final in major tournaments in the 21st century. The first match against Germany was an unmitigated disaster, and Portugal were never able to recover. In no particular order Tom Kundert lists ten reasons explaining the failure.
1. Psychological hammer blow
If you were asked to describe the worst-case scenario for the Germany opener before the matched kicked off, you would have been hard-pressed to come up with anything worse than what actually transpired that fateful Monday in Salvador. Rui Patrício’s nervousness, Pepe’s red card, Fábio Coentrão’s injury, the realisation that Ronaldo was no way near fit and a thumping defeat was the cruellest of reality checks for Portugal fans hoping for something special from their team. By the end of the match Patrício and Hugo Almeida had joined Coentrão as injury victims. None of the trio would take part in the tournament again. The squad was physically debilitated, but the real damage had been inflicted from the psychological point of view. Portugal’s morale was in shreds.
2. Poor physical preparation
The FPF made strenuous efforts before the tournament to widely publicise details of how the Portugal squad would be gearing up for the Brazil World Cup, pointing out that “international experts” had been consulted when drawing up the preparation programme. Somebody got it badly wrong. The Seleção looked several steps behind their opponents in the first two matches, and the way the whole team was outrun by the USA in Manaus was particularly alarming. “After 30 minutes I was already tired,” commented João Moutinho. Even accounting for bad luck with injuries, it is impossible not to conclude that Portugal’s players were simply not as physically well conditioned as their opponents.
3. Old squad, even older team
Very likely related to point two is the fact that the average age of 28.3 years on the day the squad was announced made it Portugal’s oldest ever squad sent to a World Cup. The youngest member of the party, Braga’s Rafa Silva, did not see a single minute of playing time, while the second youngest player, William Carvalho, was used for half of the three games. Experience is rightly cited as a fundamentally important asset to any successful football team, but it has to be balanced with the energy and zest provided by youth. Energy and zest were conspicuous by their absence throughout Portugal’s displays in Brazil.
4. Ronaldo’s fitness
Even the most ardent Portugal fans did not dispute that if Portugal were to make a splash in Brazil it was vital that Cristiano Ronaldo was at his best. Some even went as far as to agree with many international appraisals that the Seleção were a one-man team. The Real Madrid man had ended the domestic season suffering from injury, and despite assurances to the contrary (more in hope than based on the cold medical reality) CR7 was evidently nowhere near fitness in Brazil. Watching the World Player of the Year struggling to make a meaningful impact was a painful sight for Portugal fans and scuppered any chance the team had of thriving in the tournament.
5. Ronaldo’s supporting cast have collective meltdown
When arguing that Portugal ARE NOT a one-man team, most fans would point to Pepe, Fábio Coentrão, João Moutinho and Nani as evidence that the Seleção have world-class talent all over the pitch. All four of the aforementioned players were magnificent at Euro 2012, providing the platform for Ronaldo to shine and propel Portugal to the brink of the final in Ukraine and Poland. Pepe’s costly loss of composure against Germany proved enormously costly, Coentrão’s World Cup ended in the same game, Nani, perhaps unsurprisingly after a season playing very little football, never truly found his rhythm, and even the usually dependable João Moutinho confirmed fears that his poor debut season at Monaco had impacted on his form. Such a below-par contribution from all of Portugal’s key players left the team light years away from realising its true potential.
6. Bento takes his loyalty too far, William’s omission
The starting XI against Germany was the exact same line-up that coach Paulo Bento had rolled out (admittedly with much success) at Euro 2012, bar the inclusion of striker Hugo Almeida for the injured Hélder Postiga. Loyalty is a commendable quality, to a point. Taken too far and blindly refusing to infuse any new blood not only makes the team predictable for the opposition and runs the risk of making it stale, it also sends out all the wrong messages. The “established” starters know that however they play their place is all but assured, while young pretenders will feel discouraged and demotivated upon realising no matter how well they perform at club level, the team is a ‘closed shop’. Refusing to start William Carvalho from the outset was an unforgiveable mistake. Here is a player every analyst agrees is destined for the very top of the game, who enjoyed an astonishingly successful season and who offers precisely the qualities so lacking in Portugal’s midfield – an imposing physical presence, strength and stamina.
7. The age-old striker problem
It’s the recurring problem that refuses to go away. Portugal as a nation appear incapable of producing strikers to match the quality of players in almost every other position on the pitch. Never has this been so starkly brought into focus than at Brazil 2014. Even if Hugo Almeida (currently without a club) and Hélder Postiga (zero goals for Lazio since his January move) had been fully fit, it is doubtful either would have had more joy than Braga striker Éder, who looked woefully out of his depth, himself having missed practically the whole season through injury.  
8. Tough group
You can make a good argument that Portugal’s opponents in Brazil were the best teams from each of their respective qualifying zones. Moreover, all three teams are physically powerful – the precise area where Portugal most struggled to be competitive in the sapping heat. To top it all Portugal were the victims of two particular moments of pure inspiration. Will American Jermaine Jones ever score a finer goal than his brilliant 25-yard curler into the corner of Beto’s net? Will Kwadwo Asamoah ever fire over such an outrageously magnificent ‘trivela’ cross as the one that led to Gyan’s equaliser for Ghana, effectively killing off Portugal’s chances of bringing about a miracle?
9. Left at home
Days after the squad was announced, in a collective Twitter conversation we discussed the best possible Portugal XI not going to Brazil. A consensus of sorts was reached: Anthony Lopes, Cédric, Rolando, José Fonte, Antunes, Adrien, Manuel Fernandes (Carriço), André Martins (Josué), Danny, Quaresma, Bebé (Edinho). Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but would any of those players NOT proved useful in Brazil? Why were they not selected? See point 6 above.
10. Portuguese talent eschewed in Portugal
It’s with a strange mix of pride and concern that I watch the likes of James Rodriguez, David Luiz, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo, Islam Slimani and many more stars of Brazil 2014 who have honed their talents in Portugal. Portuguese clubs are more than happy to invest in foreign prospects, but reticent to persevere with home-grown talent. It may be time to force Portugal’s clubs to include a compulsory quota of Portuguese players in their squads or face up to an ever diminishing pool of quality options for the Seleção.

Comments (93)
93 Saturday, 26 July 2014 11:49
where it went wrong?

1) Injuries
2) lack of depth for the bench
3) Pepe's hot headedness
4) lack of passion
5) stubborn coaching

I wouldn't have played Ronaldo against Germany. The coach knew how fragile the team was. Should have saved it for USA and Ghana.
Saw it coming
92 Saturday, 19 July 2014 16:55
My post from the 31st of May:
Team Fitness
10 Saturday, 31 May 2014 16:59

Excellent analysis in the podcast but the wrong conclusion I am afraid.

1-Many first team players injured or coming back from long injuries.
2-Oldest Portuguese squad in a World Cup
3-The bench is not good enough.
4-Heat in Brazil.
5-Group of Death
6-Very physical opponents.

Estamos fodidos! :(
@Adam ... Scolari
91 Thursday, 17 July 2014 21:10
Vasco da Gama / Holland
Yes, I maintain that Scolari was arguably the best coach in recent times to coach the Selecção. If he is a good coach, tactician, strategist, leader, whatever, I don´t know. I leave that discussion for another occasion.

What I know is what we all saw. The team played to win, the team was strong, the team was organized, the team won matches when it counted, the team didn´t make a fool of itself, the team held ground, the team gained status, respect and prestige.

Yes, we lost to Greece. So did France and the Czech Rep. We don´t beat Greece in 18 years. Was that Scolari too...?

But naturally, you might be right and Scolari might have nothing to do with all this. Can you perhaps name any other coach that consistently and continuously took us to a Euro Final (our only, so far), a World Cup semi-final (the first in 40 years for Portugal) and a quarter-final in the following Euro?

Naturally, you might also be right and it was just the quality of the squad in 2006. Do you think we had worse teams in 94, 98, 02, 10 and 14?

You feel we underperformed by not winning the Final at home in 2004 and that the semis in the world cup in 2006, followed by a mere quarter-final in euro 2008, were a poor achievement.

OK, I don´t think we could have done much more in these 3 occasions, but I accept your opinion. But then, how are you happy because in 2010 we lost to Spain in the last 16 without even trying to win, like we had against a perfectly accessible Ivory Coast and Brasil? Brasil was not so strong that year...

About C Queiroz, I think he´s very good to coach Iran. And I also think P Bento did a great job in 2011-2013.
once again my comment not published.... hummm
90 Thursday, 10 July 2014 14:02
Good afternoon to whom it may concern. Could you please explain to me as to why my comment once again was ignored and banned from publication? Was it because i did not use 10,000 words to describe the catastrophe that was Portugal's presence or lack of it in Brazil? I really did not see the point in repeating what had been written in the previous 76 posts prior, or was it because i used the word merda on a couple of occasions... Anyhow, enough said about the National Team at least until new developments occur... It really be great if you could start writing about the new season that's approaching...

Salvador Faustino
@Vasco da Gama...Scolari?
89 Thursday, 10 July 2014 03:45
You still think Scolari was a great manager after their 7-1 embarrassment?

I'll always remember Scolari for losing TWICE to Greece (when they had never won a Euro game) on home soil.

The team Scolari managed was composed of players who just won the Champions League with Porto (except he left Vitor Baia at home). He also left Joao Pinto and Quaresma at home, but regardless. We had Figo, Rui Costa, and a young Ronaldo. We lost to Greece, but did not adjust our tactics in the final.

In 2006, we again, had a great team...but with Scolari now? We would've done even WORSE than Bento (and I am not a fan of Bento at all).

What we should be ashamed of is how we treated Quieroz. Yes, his tactics were negative against Spain, but we lost 1-0 to an offside goal, to a team that was eventually champions. We never looked more defensively solid than we did under Quieroz, and just look at how Iran played under him.

Look at Argentina and Germany. Do they play GORGEOUS football? NO. But they are in the final. With Quieroz, it wouldn't be pretty, but we would have a better chance of getting far in the tournament, than we would with managers like Scolari and Bento.

Hopefully, we get a solid manager in the future.
Brazil and Germany
88 Wednesday, 09 July 2014 18:47
Suddenly losing to Germany 4-0 doesn't seem so bad now does it haha! Wow all joking aside don't be surprised if this German team goes on a run like Spain did . The bulk of that German team is under 25. They will be a force in France for the euros and at the World Cup in Russia they will be favorites.

I don't want to talk about everything all over again with the Portuguese team and bento and tactics and what should of or could have happen. In my opinion the Portuguese will struggle until they develop a different mindset. It's not always about your talent 11 vs 11. Portuguese people just don't naturally have the war mentality and fighting spirit. I'm a first generation Portuguese American surrounded by a huge family that was born and raised in Portugal and migrated to the United States in the 60s. What I've always taken away from being Portuguese is our free spirit and nonchalant attitudes. Don't get me wrong the Portuguese are hard workers and intelligent but from what I have gathered we are very passive people in general. That's a reflection on this team.,.we have skill but we don't have fight. You can even see it I'm our captain Ronaldo (he's my favorite player too). When things get hard he sort of just accepts it. I understand that I may take criticism for this but this has been my experiences.

Not only did my family move here from Portugal but a large group of Portuguese immigrated here in the city I live in currently. I've noticed this behavior from all of them...everyone is usually so peaceful and content with things. Growing up with Americans and witnessing 75% of my friends play football or basketball etc I've noticed how their parents act with sports. America is a melting pot of different cultures and usually my friends that have German, Russian , Italian and Irish blood those friends of mine have a never die attitude and that's something that I don't see in my Portuguese family.

Just watch the games .,, look at how lackadaisical moutinho and meireles or nani play . Pass and pass and nobody gets upset. That's why we struggle to qualify for tournaments because we have this belief ingrained in us that everything will be ok and we will play when we have to. I know I'm getting off topic here but in general I just wanted to share with you my reasoning behind the mentality of this team. The World Cup is almost to big for us and we struggle , the euros we do well in because we are similar to other euro countries in our ways of life. Just my two cents.
NT coach alternatives
87 Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:05
your comments on the following coaches as choices for Portuguese NT.
Jose Peckerman
Jorge Jesus
Louis van Gaal
Jurgen Klinsmann

and was R. Carvalho ever truly replaced? since his departure, defense has been lacking.

86 Tuesday, 08 July 2014 08:24
I request portugoal.net to publish an article about the new golden generation players of Portugal,i mean youngsters.The Euro 2016 qualification is coming and the groups for wc 2018 qualification will be announced in july 2015.This is the right time.
The list is incomplete.
85 Tuesday, 08 July 2014 06:48
Mario / Canada
You can add partying and sex to that list.
Rui Patricio
84 Tuesday, 08 July 2014 00:46
If you get a chance the highlights of the germany game are below and also Israels goal aginst us in qualifying which meant we didnt qualify automatically, which also meant we were not seeded. If you can watch those clips and tell me Rui Patricio is deserving of being portugals number one over A. Lopes than your kidding yourself. Shoudlve saved 3 of Germanies 4 goals outrageous performance.

Every portuguese player must be a WINGER.
83 Monday, 07 July 2014 18:16
Ciro/ Brasil
portuguese coaches are obses to make any good player to play as a winger both in their clubs and national team. Rafael Silva is much a better player than C. ronaldo, figo and quaresma at the age of 18 or twenty.

I cant believe that this good number 10 or false 9 will end up as a winger. The same thing P. Bento want from Danny. Every portuguese player must be a winger. I see no quality in Europe better than Rafa silva. He is much a better player than Ryan gauld and Markovic. But is quality is been ignored.
Blame game
82 Monday, 07 July 2014 15:18
Cannigia - S.A.
Its always easier in hindsight but the ill discipline that Pepe showed cost the team badly. Not only did we look heavy footed but to have a man down in the first half against a team like Germany is almost impossible. Each player has to do a little more and run a little more and work more. In that heat ? Impossible . Coentrao was probably our best player against the Germans until his injury . Maybe stretching to a ball he might not have gone for had we been 11 against 11 ? To lose to Germany would not have cost us qualification but the way we lost cost us as we all now know. Pepe let Portugal down big time. Had Pepe stayed on , I think Portugal would have scored at least a goal . Maybe a 3-1 or 2-1 loss . Would have made all the difference. A player obviously has lots of pressure but waiting for 4 years to play a world cup in the country of your birth and then being sent off 20 minutes into the first game , no excuses for that. Carvalho made a mistake and apologized . His mistake did not cost us . Pepe on the other hand .... A coach that selects players for his country to play in the world cup should always select on merit. The players need to have respect for the coach and vice versa . Issues between players and coaches should be put aside for the benefit of the country. Its not only about them...
Same as Usual
81 Monday, 07 July 2014 14:14
Vasco da Gama / Holland
I think what failed is what always fails, when POR goes to a World Cup.

Apart from 1966, we only did good when we had Scolari. Before and after, we had great teams that either didn´t qualify (94 and 98), no matter the reasons, or teams that didn´t even get out of groups (1986, 2002, 2014). Arguably, the 2002 was one of the 2 or 3 best of all 32. And the 2014 team, with all its weak points, was more than enough team to fight for the tittle.

Back home, the football intellectuals still crucify Scolari and blame him for the most ridiculous things. I don´t think P Bento is so bad but I think he has responsability.

C Queiroz pretty much destroyed Scolari´s good work and blew an excellent chance in 2010, with an arguably stronger team than 2014´s. We saw a relatively mediocre WC in 2010, with a mediocre HOL reaching the Final.

P Bento has clear responsability in the 2014 failure. But who do we have to replace him? I think he deserves credit for rescuing the team, after the Queiroz destruction and securing qualifying for euro 2012 and reaching the semi finals.

In short, Portugal needs somebody like a Scolari, or a van Gaal or the Costa Rica coach or Mourinho.
the usual
80 Monday, 07 July 2014 13:40
Vasco da Gama
I think it all went wrong where it always does in a world cup for Portugal. Except 1966, we only did well in a WC when we had Scolari.

In all that time (ex: 1982-2014) we had great teams that didn´t even qualify (94 and 98) or great teams that didn´t get out of groups (1986 and 2002). I remember some of the refereeing in some qualifying matches (against ITA in 1993/4, against Germany in 1997 and against Korea in the group stages in 2002).

But that´s far from explaining everything.

In 2002 we, together with France (who also went home early) had arguably one of the 2 or 3 best teams of the 32. The 2006 team was better than the 2014 team ONLY in the #10 and #9 spot. Which is irrelevant, because in 2014 it was the team defensive work that failed.

It remains to be explained why are we so much better in Euro cups than in World Cups. The competition is even arguably stronger in a Euro Cup.

Looking at the items you pointed out, it sort of all makes sense. But none of it is really a clear cut cause. It is noteworthy the absolutely surreal number of injuries we had.

Quite honestly, with all the weaknesses of our team, perhaps the biggest was that we had a strong 11 but not such a strong 23, we still had more than enough of a team to fight for the tittle. Brasil have big weaknesses, Germany too, Holland and Argentina even more.

Portugal always sort of played at 50%. It was painful to watch. The only exceptions were the last 15 mins against the USA and parts of the Ghana match.

POR played poorly, defensively we were a mess, we didn´t have mental resilience after the 4-0, didn´t have the right players on the bench and some of the coach choices were very questionable.

Nonetheless, the poor guy had so many injuries in his hands he couldn´t really do much.

We can say we lack a #9 (it´s true), we lack a #10 (it´s true, but maybe it´ll change with Rafa), we lacked a #6 (now we don´t) but that wasn´t by far the reason for failure, Coentrão was heavily missed after being injured and that was not properly prepared and a lot more things can be pointed out and correctly so.

But the only decisive and main failure was a collective shut-down. And this reads, to me, IMHO, lack of leadership and lack of quality leadership.

Scolari was by far the best coach we had. The football "intellectuals" hate him and are still crucifying him back home.

I guess they prefer a team that shows-off but doesn´t really win. Germany was not a particualrly overwhelming team. Ee played poorly. We had the USA match under control and lost it. We could have scored the goals we needed in the Ghana match.

In short, we always had a chance and we always blew it. We had too many injuries and bad luck (the ref in the Germany match was clearly one sided). But this is all external. In the things WE could have done, how did we behave? That´s the problem.

It all sort of points to P Bento but I would call him a bad coach. I´d rather have him than any C Queiroz or Guus Hiddink, etc.

In fact I think we have great coaches in POR, technically and tactically. What we need and what we don´t have is a brilliant strategist with a war mentality. Like Scolari, like van Gaal, like the Costa Rica guy, like Mourinho. That´s what we need. Me says...
What should have been
79 Monday, 07 July 2014 04:30
What is interesting, that despite all of the injuries, red-card, bad calls, unpreparedness for climate, players over the hill, bad coaching and our by far best player at way less than 100%, we still had a decent showing in the group of death. Imagine if we just had a couple things go our way. I guess that is why this world cup is so maddening, What If …….

What the FPF needs to do right away is a top notch coach, regardless of the cost. And build a deep team around Ronaldo for the final run. He may have one, if lucky two good tournaments left. It is sad that a once in a generation players was surrounded by so many players that aren’t really that good or out of form. I has been over 40 years since our prior once generational player, Eusebio. Portugal even got lucky with the golden generation, but no senior team results to show for it(silverware).

If the FPF squanders this opportunity, we might be in the dark ages for a while again(let’s hope not). But if we can build a solid, deep, committed team around Ronaldo, even if he can’t play, we can be a long term powerhouse. The time is now, get in the youth, who still want to make a mark and are not on their retirement contracts in some 2 bit league(turkey, Ukraine, etc. ) In other words international games will raise their value and exposure.

I will not criticize any of the players, because I think they all player with sincere effort to the best of their ability. However, Bento should do the honorable thing and offer his resignation. He wasted probably the best chance Portugal has had to win a world cup by lack of preparation. That is bad selection of players, no plan B, not getting the players fit for games, etc. When I look at the teams still left, they are all good, but nothing to be afraid of. This was the best shot any average team had to win a world cup.

I could go over all of the thinks that he failed to do, but many have been already covered. I will just give a game by game issues he could have solved or prevented.

Against Germany, ok, down by two, 10 men, why keep attacking directly? Why not park the bus and hit them with the best counter attacker in the tournament. By parking the bus, you slow down the game and force them to come at you very deep, which creates acres of space for a counter. If you can’t get the counter, that is ok, as long as you don’t let them score. Germany is not that good, we just played into their hands. How did Bento think he could go toe to toe with them with 10 men? Then Almeida and Coentrao go out and still no recognition of the circumstances? I have since better adaptation in youth leagues here in the USA.

Against the USA, this is where player selection would have helped. Like many have mentioned, he should have brought Antunes, a solid and effective left back. If he wanted flexibility, Coentrao could have been used in the midfield, like in the Mexico game. If Coentrao gets hurt you have a true left back to support Ronaldo. Fabian Johnson looked like an All Star attacking our left side, pathetic.

By the time Ghana came around, why was he still using Eder? He should have tried Rafa. Why bring the kid in if he can’t help? My point isn’t that I think Rafa was the answer, merely stating that he should have brought in players who he reasonably thought they could deliver. If he didn’t think Rafa could deliver, why call him up? He should have had someone in that spot who could be a first choice forward, just in case we needed him, which we did.

So what is the solution…..
euro 2016 dreams
78 Sunday, 06 July 2014 16:53
Read an article in bleacherreport.com.'picking a portugal eleven for the first match at euro 2016 qualification'by paul wilkes.nice.who said portugal have striker problem?the worlds best striker today is a portuguese.great CR 7.
Agree with Chris in Canada
77 Sunday, 06 July 2014 15:16
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
I agree with your point about the 4 world class players Portugal has and these 4 should be the only starters with a spot. Moutinho should fight for his position. Moutinho to me is in on past teams would be a very nice reserve. He is a nice little engine to run the midfield and at his best is a box to box midfielder. He needs a strong DM and creative MF to be more effective. He is not a good shooter on goal like a Maniche type player and lacks explosive burst to creative off the dribble.

If Moutinho plays you now have 5 experienced field players and then you bring in 5 new young players, that should be a good mix. CBs like you stated can play the position into their 30s. A few of the WC teams had older CBs.

Regarding the comments on Danny from another post. a player with the burst we need in MF but given chances he did not impress. Moving to the wings did not help his cause but I believe a player is a player and must show something even if not playing his favorite position. The game is simple you still need to use certain skills no matter where you play. I think he is completely out of the picture.

I do agree that Portugal should not be so dogmatic that we need to play 4-3-3. I do believe you take your best players and then develop the system. Look at Holland 3-5-2, probably because there were not great backs so they put in a system so the best players could be on field. If we have no striker then develop a system to not player a striker, always put your best players on the field in position to win a game. Different sport and not a perfect comparsions but I proudly follow the low budget Oakland A's in baseball, they win because the manager can take modest talent and put the talent in situations to be successful, Bento needs to assess the talent and develop the system based on the talent.

Let hope we see at least 5 new field players in the qualifications, develop the talent, and play a system based on the best players available.
Besides a handful, every spot should go to who is fit and in form, NOTHING ELSE
76 Saturday, 05 July 2014 15:35
Aside from Ronaldo, Coentrao, William, and Pepe (he's still world class and early 30's is still fine for CB) every position for euro qualifying should be given to the players who are fit and in best form. That includes Moutinho, because if he has another season like he just did at Monaco he should not be handed a starting spot.

If Bruma, Mane, Illori, Antunnes, Cavaliero, etc. are in better form that the squad we've used for the last 4 years, then play them. No discussion about it.

Oh and Hugo Almeida should never play for the national team again. I don't care if you have to go down to some youth team and start a 16 year old, get that lumbering oaf out of here.
It is a serious situation.It is.
75 Saturday, 05 July 2014 05:52
Many football coaches retired taking the responsibility of WC defeat.Its the minimum gentleness.But whats happening here?No pressure on Bento to retire means,frankly,FPF is not in a right path.Means the system is not in a healthy condition.With this unhealthy and arrogant system how Portuguese football will make its future bright?Forgive me Iam an outsider but an admirer and wellwisher.Bento says 4-3-3 is the real Portuguese style.Ok admitted.But remember it is an attacking formation.An attacking formation itself wont win matches but it need highly supporting attitude from players.Look at Portugals recent 4-3-3 play.It is just like a gun in a coward's hand,I feel.No shots on target.No positive attitude.Who is responsible for this attitude?Portugal vs USA match give you the answer simply.Taking one goal lead what Portugal did in next minutes.Yes..tried to defend that lucky goal.Who is responsible for this attitude?No one other than the coach.Dont blame players.Many talented young players are waiting their call.When will they play for Portugal?We dont know.Look at France,Belgium,Columbia.All fielded young players and got their best result.We all know that the best age of a football player to play brilliant football is between 19-25.We should field them in Euro qualifiers and through that we should tactically avoid the overreliance on Ronaldo.And if foreign coach is not in consideration appoint a Portuguese genius who very well know young talents and can promote them.Iam expecting an article in Portugoal.net about the Coach issue.
RE: #57 & (lusiads/Canada)
74 Saturday, 05 July 2014 04:31
I've said this once before but I thoroughly enjoy using the current PortuGoal template. It's very simple with articles just a click away upon entering the site. Posting a message without requiring to log in or email verification is extremely convenient. Also comment approval which helps keep the site clean.

Just my opinion.. A poll/vote would be nice prior to any possible changes.


It's unreal the lengths you'll go to defend Bento.. I don't bother reading your comments anymore.(probably not the only one) Aren't you tired of repeating yourself? You sound like a broken record. Seriously, give it a break. Poça!!!
Change or Remain Stagnant
73 Saturday, 05 July 2014 03:55
Jose / USA
Time for Bento and all the non-performers to retire from the National Team. The tactics during the Germany game were very poor. No way are you going to score by playing around in your own penalty area.
72 Friday, 04 July 2014 17:52
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
I saw some people commenting on Danny which is great, so why not add to the discussion. Though he could have been great for the team, I think this could be another Manuel Fernandes/ Rock Carvalho/ Bosingwa case, though on a much lesser scale in terms of controversy. Bento is as hard-headed/ full of pride as managers go, and he alienated some of our best ever players (mainly Carvalho) by barring them from the team altogether while he's at the helm. That Carvalho is still playing well is another reason that I think Bento is touched and needs to go-- as slow as Carvalho is he is still probably better than Bruno Alves, and could have helped us the last few years, especially in this World Cup. Carvalho screwed up yes, but he apologised and still Bento wants nothing to do with him. Crazy.

Back to Danny though, remember that Bento used to call him up all the time, and rarely play him, even in friendlies. Danny, playing the best football of his career as a proper #10 since going to Zenit, scoring goals and assisting-- you would think Bento would appreciate that. However Bento, mental as he is would rather throw him garbage minutes when he did let him play-- and as a winger at that. Then Danny withdraws from the Selecção before the Euro's because of a supposed knee injury, but somehow recovers in enough time to play for Zenit the following weekend… And we never see him again.

Honestly I think Danny is probably frustrated-- as frustrated and unmotivated as I, and this article (#6) have said-- as any of our players who are not one of Bento's favourites. I can't lie, if I was Danny and I knew I could help the team but never given a good shot at it, I wouldn't want to play for Bento either. This is a prime example of why this guy needs to go, just add awful man-management to the long list of reasons he's not fit to continue in a position of authority and needs to kick rocks. Danny could've definitely helped this team. In place of Meireles in a 4-3-3 may be questionable, but perhaps a 4-2-3-1 with Danny in the hole and Moutinho (since he doesn't score) and Carvalho in front of the back four would be fine in some cases. Shit, just try it one time in a friendly coach-- just one time... I'm sick of Bento. Can you all tell?

Now that the WC is over, we should get to focusing on younger players. Perhaps Danny could still be a part of the set up as he's playing well, and he could still be a great teammate/ mentor for a Josue or Andre Martins, whoever at attacking midfielder. I don't believe he will be interested in what Bento has to say though, and vice versa. So until Bento is out, Danny, and anyone else he doesn't like regardless of talent may never play for the national team again. Vergonha... Força Selecção. Bento OUT.
Too many foreigners in Liga
71 Friday, 04 July 2014 17:21
An argument that's been repeated many times and also applies to the EPL. I wonder if the many foreigners instead of being the causation of the problem is a symptom.

In other words our youth system isn't producing enough quality players and clubs prefer to see more reliable options (e.g. foreigners) When they do produce quality player they do get to play (such as Coentrao and maybe, William Carvalho)
If that's the case we need to take a hard look at our youth system and perhaps change it similar what the Germans did over a decade ago (to great success) and maybe just maybe we start producing some quality strikers for once.

As for Bento he needs to go. Being a national coach is pretty simple there are only three rules to follow.
1. Select the best most fittest players possible, world class players are an exception.
2. You pick the best system possible that minimizes your weakness and improves your strengths.
3. You keep the player groups happy.

Bento horribly fails at the first two. Some of our players hardly played this year, had a disappointing season or were suffering injuries. So it wasn't a surprise when he had to forcibly make some substitutes. No, it wasn't an act of God or something else, Bento played with fire and he paid the price for it.

Second you change the system when needed, let me bring up Louis van Gaal, he decided to change and try out a completely new tactical system for this World Cup. Instead of sticking with the traditional Dutch school of 4-3-3 (sounds familiar?) he decided to change it to 5-3-2. He decided to change it because he felt the defence was too weak and by playing with more defenders he minimizes the weakness of this team. He first trained for it in May this year and is the reason for the Dutch success against Spain and Chile.

Bento though is loyal to 4-3-3 no matter the circumstances even when our left area is a huge gap where our opponents right back can keep crossing balls in our penalty box creating dangerous opportunities for our opponents. He stays loyal to 4-3-3 because... it's in our Portuguese blood! As armas! *waves the flag*
No Bento, 4-3-3 isn't in the Portuguese blood, you don't have the imagination nor the guts to try another system so you try to hide these personal flaws by using patriotic arguments.

Keeping the player group happy is the only thing he's good at. Sadly his approach, being loyal the same eleven players, contradicts the first point.

Bento needs to go we need a coach that is willing to change the system and is willing bring in and START the most match fit players we have. Instead of being loyal to the same 11 no matter what. Being loyal is what caused so several teams to fail at this World Cup (Spain being the biggest example).
Expectactions and Quotas
70 Friday, 04 July 2014 16:19
It seems it was our motto to tie or barely beat weaker teams and then produce a big bang at the very last moment.

Well, this WC proved that theory wrong!

In the future, if we consistently do poorly against weaker teams, it can only mean two things, really:

1) we are not good enough (I honestly doubt it too) and must accept it, or
2) lack of vision, flexibility at the decision making level.

There is no other option. Surely, a team can have an off day, but that should be the exception not the norm.

I too believe in giving anyone a second chance, but not on critical leadership roles thou - no way! People at high level positions, get the big bucks because their job descriptions don't allow second chances. They get demoted or gracefully resign on failure to produce on current expected results!

Clubs are in the business to make money but they also have an obligation (they get funding) to prepare players for the Seleção and it's FPF's responsibility to ensure that.

Thanks for the link MDCViolenes. I agree with Low that there must be a quota in place, to protect the future development of our players. Someone here also posted a bunch of players who did very well at this WC and also play in the Liga.
Player competition is good at the Club level but not at the National level.

By the way, great site!
Caps on Foreign Players Not Answer
69 Friday, 04 July 2014 15:13
Tony, CA
I do not agree that putting caps on foreign players will improve Portuguese players

1) How many years did Portugal not qualify for tournaments in 70s and 80s when the domestic league was heavy in Portuguese players.

2) Portuguese clubs especially the big three are in the business of winning games and competing for trophies. In this quest they have youth teams composed of Portuguese players (home grown players) and they scout for your players around the world to develop. It is in their best interest to develop the best players possible for their team to do well and to sell later at a high price. It is a cycle that plays out all the time. It is in the clubs interest to develop players who have potential regardless of where they came from.

3) Portuguese players are given opportunities with many as home grown players to compete for the jobs and get developed. These players have access to the same programs and resources as foreign players.

4) Portuguese players who play for the big three can be loaned out to small clubs or play on the B team to develop. Through this process they are given chances to develop through this process.

5) Many Portuguese players are sold at youth to top European clubs at a young age providing opportunity for development. How many of those players come back home not as they did not meet the criteria to stay on their European club? There is always risk with these arrangements. Keep in mind that very few players young players make it to being a good or world class player. You can take 10 players and maybe 1-2 make it, 10%-20% success rate. Keep in mind that countries like Brazil with deep pools of player also have many players who do not make it big (e.g. their striker Joel). The issue is Portugal is small country so our pools are not as deep as big countries so our success rate must be larger and when we have pools of players not live be success like the CR generation of players (24-29 year old players) you get what you saw in the WC -- I have mentioned this numerous times in my posts.

6) In the 90s and early 2000s we saw many Portuguese players apply their trade overseas, resulting in a strong generation of players performing for the NT. Today we see few players have success overseas. How many top rate Portuguese in EPL?

7) Conclusion is that Portugal is small country, our pools are not as deep as the large countries, we need a high success rate from these pools of players. We have not seen it in last 5 years. In are in the middle of testing the next pool of players that looks promising and we need a high success rate from the good pool of players. If the players are good they will succeed in Portugal's domestic league or in a overseas league. We have data that supports this from earlier generations. Caps is not the answer, better players with good coaches and development are the answer, it does not matter where you get it -- you just need the combination.
68 Friday, 04 July 2014 12:51
Mark / Sao Tome
67 Friday, 04 July 2014 09:49
David, UK
I don't disagree with everything Bento did and he did a fine job in Euro 2012, but I honestly think after this World Cup, he's taken the team as far as he can. The team needs a new manager with fresh ideas, also a manager whose willing to give Danny, Quaresma etc more of a chance. Say what you want about Quaresma's attitude... Atleast he would have been match fit for the WC unlike Nani. I also find it hard to believe that he doesn't think Danny's one of the best 23 Portuguese players currently. Not only is Danny a good player, he's versitaile: he can play number 10, on the wing and even as a false 9. I also think people are being way to hasty saying players like Rui Patricio & Eder should retire from the NT. They're still young! Rui had a great Euro 2012. Maybe he shouldn't be first choice but he should still be in contention for a place in the squad for years to come. Eder had a decent game against Germany and I don't think he was fully match fit for the World Cup and Almeida/Postiga are only getting older, Nelson seems to have an attitude problem and I'm cynical as to whether Bebe is good enough.
Familiar pattern?
66 Friday, 04 July 2014 09:34
Something that just struck me about Portugal... It seems that every successful Euro tournament (bar 2004) that they made it to the semis, was followed by a poor World Cup performance:

EC1984: Semi-finals
WC1986: Group stage exit

EC2000: Semi-finals
WC2002: Group stage exit

EC2012: Semi-finals
WC2014: Group stage exit

Why is that? Is a favourites role a kind of pressure the team can't handle or is it a lack of element-of-surprise after a successful EC (with the same teams used as two years prior) that end up hurting good progress? I hope this "curse" is lifted in the remainder of this decade!

Also, IF history repeats itself so often, I hope it means us reaching the finals @ EC2016 and wouldn't it be great if Portugal faced France in the semis and for a change robbed THEM of further glory? ;)

A man can only dream!
Interesting Read Here Gents (Link)
65 Friday, 04 July 2014 02:39
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Here's a link to an article about why Joachim Low, Germany's manager thought England didn't do well at this year's World Cup. I thought it was interesting as it points out the prevalence of foreign players hurting the growth of young English talent in the Premier League, similar to what this article alluded to regarding young Portuguese prospects. I understand kids needing to earn their spots, but one teams trash could be another's treasure. One of the worst things in the world is wasted talent, and I think the Liga should definitely consider quotas for Portuguese players. Lack of quotas to me makes it seem that the league is primarily concerned with money, and not long term prospects. It's a business, but the FPF should still do more for their countrymen if they can.

Just something to ponder… M.

The Portuguese have short memories
64 Friday, 04 July 2014 02:11
Mario / Canada
Many of these points listed in this article I mentioned in my comment in the previous post, so I'm in agreement. The primary reason for Portugal's failure was lack of fitness, it was evident they had trouble finishing a half let alone a full game.

For those of you who have access to Portuguese TV, do you remember what many football commentators were saying about the Portuguese team before they went into the playoff with Sweden. Almost everyday leading up to that game I heard these people say that this was a weak Portuguese team. I heard one person say that this Portuguese team was the weakest in the last 2O years. After Portugal eliminated Sweden these same people started talking as if Portugal was going to win the World Cup. And now they are disillusioned and they act disbelieving of what Ronaldo said, that they have an average team.

The team needs an overhaul players past their prime must be replaced with youth; the current coach must go, someone with imagination who can implement different strategies and adapt to changing game situations is needed.
Portugal could learn something
63 Thursday, 03 July 2014 17:53
Watch the USA vs Belgium game. The US does not have the talent that Belgium has but they kept fighting to the end. Those boys showed a lot of heart, they were playing with a purpose to prove something and their coach believed in their abilities.

The US had a good combination of veterans and youngsters who were ready to prove themselves worthy of being selected. The coach also showed determination and faith in his players, not caring or listening to the calls for Landon.

Portugal could definitely learn something from that team. For starters, how to show some heart and not go into a tournament acting like you already won something and have nothing to prove.

Looking at the empty promises and all the talk they gave their country. Better to keep their mouths shut then to post stupid videos making promises. Then when it all went wrong, there are no answers at all. Everyone is quite now. An embarrassing loss to Germany, and these guys are worried more about stupid haircuts and videos. Sadly, the only star that Nani will ever wear, we always be on his head.

Ronaldo is an all time great, there is no doubt about t, but the Selecao is nothing more than a platform to showcase himself to the world. The national team in now at his service and not vice versa.
Euro2016 Line Up Prediction
62 Thursday, 03 July 2014 13:51
Below is my prediction for Bento's lineup in for 2016

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Beto refreshing...and reward Bento with a contract until 2018....:-)
61 Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:46
I cannot believe you are defending bento. The guy is a moron.

Bento is not a moron. If you don’t think he is a good coach fine but moron? Come on. Exaggeration no?

You make horrible points.
I don’t think so and the fact that your critique ignores or misinterprets most is testament to that. Also it’s not like my defence of over the overly harsh criticism of Bento rests on these arguments I’ve made many different ones in previous posts. Also I never said Bento is perfect but rather, only that I think (and I've said this in the past) he still deserves 4-6 qualification games to see if he can right the ship.

1- just the fact that Portugal had to play in a playoff against Sweden to make it to world cup, losing and tie to teams like Israel and Russia explains itself.

Here you ignore what I said about the loss to Germany at the last Euro. The point I was responding to do was a statement about Bento doing the same thing over and over again with bad results. The Sweeden example was a counter example that showed a case where Bento did the same thing and got too big results against a quality opponent in a do or die situation.
That said you bring up a good and new point about Portugal needing to even play the sudden death qualifier. (1) I’ll say that I think for every tournament I can remember Portugal’s road to qualification has always been complicated so the problem seems to be a Portugal thing and not just a Bento thing.
(2) The start to Portugal’s qualification campaign for 2014 (like many qualification campaigns) was bad. However in the loss to Russia we dominated but Russia is a quality soccer country that parks the bus and hopes for a goal (not unlike Greece 2004). In the first game with Portugal it worked in the second it didn’t. That strategy is particularly effective against Portugal because we don’t have strikers to speak of. Also, that sort of loss happens sometimes (look at Spain vs. Switzerland 2012 Euro group match). In our match in Israel where we tied 1-1 we were missing a ton of players including Coentrao, Bruno Alves, Joao Perreirra, meireles, Postiga. So while we still expect to beat them an international team that only gets together every few months dealing with so many changes I can see them having problems against Israel. The other tie to Israel and even worse the tie to Northern Ireland (meu Deus!) were poor no question about it but again it was early in the campaign, Portugal always starts slowly in qualification and if you look at all the top teams they always have one or two bad results against sub-par teams (Belgium tied Wales, Italy tied with Armenia and bulgaria, etc, etc...) in qualification So I agree that the rough qualifying campaign should not have happened but Bento still kept the team unity from falling apart despite the tough start and still did enough to qualify with many do or die games down the stretch. If he had failed to qualify then I think the case to fire Bento would be very strong and it would be hard for me to defend him (and I would not want to) but again as I said many many many times I’m fine with Bento being fired I just don’t think that all the criticism (and I have criticized Bento too) is justified, and I think he has done enough over his four years to deserve a four to 6 game run in euro 2016 qualification to see if he can right the ship.

2- Andrew/USA is right. Bento's favoritism to players he is obssesd with is ridiculous. Miguel veloso played horrible and I'm not even talking about when he had to step in and play left back. Another mistake from bento not bringing a second left back to the tournament.
(a) I don’t think Veloso played Horrible when he was at the DM position. In the games where Portugal was at even strength and he was playing at the DM position he was fine if not good (one penalty shot against as a team vs. Germany and one goal for us as a team vs.the USA) When he was at the full back position he sucked but that is not his position so it is a little unfair. You don’t bring up any examples of him playing horrible at DM so at the end of the day we would have to sit down together and watch the matches while specifically analyzing Veloso’s play at DM to see if he played horrible and I can just as easily say he played well at DM. Unfortunately when we lose or tie it’s easier to remark on the bad than the good.

(b) As for favouritism – two points. First I was responding to the claim that Bento’s loyalty is to sporting academy players by pointing out that William Carvalho is a sporting academy player to show that this point is contrary to the facts. Carvalho was an apt example as the Carvalho vs. Veloso question is almost universally condemned. Secondly, Bento has shown the guts to get rid of high profile Portuguese players he did not think fit the squad (Quaresma, Carvalho, Bosingwa) He made 7 changes from the Euro 2012 squad, He also benched Meireles in the last game.

(c) In retrospect a left back would have helped for sure. But again it is hard to predict injuries which is why a more versatile player like Almeida is a good choice. He has played left back and is not exactly as specialized at Antunnes is. He is younger and more athletic than Antunnes. Almeida is a closer facsimile to Coentrao than Antunnes is. Bento tried Antunnes out (he actually started in one of the Israel ties). What if we brought antunnes and left Almeida out and the older Perreira got injured we would be screwed as well and people would be saying why did Bento not pick the more versatile and younger Almeida (that said your ideal team may have included both). I don’t remember people clamoring for Antunnes before the tournament started but only after the injuries hit. Lastly, the Germany game aside (which was a complicated circumstance being a man down), Almeida played well at left back until he got hurt in the USA game. When he was in the USA could not score from the left and Portugal outplayed them when he got injured and was out Portugal got killed from the left side.

3- not so sure about the most traveling time but I'm sure that impacted the team who was already faxing injuries to begin with. Why bring a 23 man squad where some were unfit. Postiga, rui Patricio, almeida etc.

I can’t speak to Rui Patricio but I think everyone at least had him on the team. As for Postiga and Almeida, again Portugal had few options at striker again. Our dearth at this position makes it almost impossible for Portugal to do well at these tournaments.

4 bento will never win us a trophy and to think he will, must mean you to are insane.

I’m not insane, most coaches don’t win trophies, none have for Portugal, I never said I guaranteed he would win us a trophy all you can hope for is that your national coach can put you in a position to win a trophy (bento has done this in the past – euro 2012) and then hope that other things come together (i.e. no injuries, no suspensions, quality ref, a lucky bounce, good penalty shoot out, etc…)

I say bring on mourinho. The only one who can really make as difference.

I have nothing against Mourinho being coach but it is a Pipe dream.
60 Thursday, 03 July 2014 05:41
disgusted with fitness of meireles and form of moutinho. we also lacked the same intensity shown by other teams. intensity was main problem here. I don't think the USA or chile have a better squad than ours but they played with more purpose I think intensity and purpose boils down to team tactics. when you play your entire game to get the best out of an injured player... that is just !?#@ our most intense player last season, rq7, where was he?
Paulo Bento
59 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 20:16
I know it's easy to say it's not all Paulo Bento's fault because he has a staff he manages and players that he can only influence so much, but think about this from Forbes about Paulo Bento:
"Salary: $2,160,170 -102 times more than the average person in Portugal"

This is a job. He is the highest ranking member of that team and that's why he makes that much money to qualify and compete for a tournament every 2 years by managing a hand full of games. Like all upper level executives, the performance or Paulo Bento's squad starts and ends with him, along with the blame.
Out With The Old, In With The New
58 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:49
Johnny Bananas/Uruguay
Nuno Gomes was chatting on beIN Sports yesterday and his colleague Christian Vieri said it best, "you have to work with the youth." Hopefully Paulo Bento learned from his call up mistakes and starts calling up some young talent. Enough with Beto, Eduardo, J.Pereira, R.Costa, R.Meireles, R.Amorim, H.Postiga, and H.Almeida!

Start integrating A.Lopes, Cedric, A.Gomes, A.Martins, Bruma, A.Silva, and N.Oliveira.
It's time for a message board
57 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:42
Hi, Tom

It's time to get a message board for the posts, I mean all these comments are great to read; but a little structure would simplify things a bit.

I've been visiting this site a few years now and I must say it's my go to site for Portuguese football news and you're doing a great job!

It would have been great to see Portugal beat Belgium yesterday and set up the slaughter of Argentina, oh well... too many things went wrong...

No room for the weak in this world cup of Darwinism
Where to
56 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:16
John / Australia
Most people here make valid points and all have their opinions which is great.

We all agree the WC was a debacle and Bento this time around got it wrong and as mentioned already - too much trust in older and injured players. There is no problem in believing in the same players if they are fit and regularly playing for their respective clubs week in week out .
However apart from all the bad preparations, injured players and not selecting the correct cover in certain positions..... but for me, the most important error was him not believing in the youth and not integrating them into the system allot earlier so that the foundations are built for the next qualifiers/ tournament/s.
I believe Bento has had his time and I do believe he has done well to get the team to certain point...but that was two years ago. A new coach with fresh ideas - preferably a proven International coach would suit the Selecao.

Now, if the FPF do not get rid of Bento and he sticks to the tried and tested or more like Tired and Slow....and if we don't look convincing in the first match of the qualifiers for the Euro.....then the FPF should be totally accountable....as far as I see it....he has only one life left.
Now, if Bento get's to grow some balls and miraculously looses his stubbornness and encourages certain players to retire from International football and starts to overhaul the team from the outset....then give him ago.....but only giving one game to prove it...any longer we will be in the same crap situation as Querioz.

Now CR7, yes he was injured, yes he demands perfection, yes he can act like a spoilt brat...but at the end of the day he is our number one player and in the top two players in the world for close to a decade...so respect.. granted... but his ways need to change to adapt. For that reason only....CR7 is hated in favour of messi..even when Ronaldo has been better(Albeit this World Cup).

Also, the Liga and FPF need to seriously consider a foreigner quota and yes some of you will disagree and will point at other leagues who have no restrictions....but ask yourself this.....apart from this world cup.....where has Belgium been in the last 10-12 years? I believe every country will go through a generation of good players and they must take that window of opportunity to win something....unfortunately Portugal missed out...and yes luck does play a big part in it as well.
Now reflect and imagine if Sporting did not give William an opportunity and sent him into obscurity and let him fade away in the lower leagues never to be seen again...but instead Sporting went for a young South American and they natured him, developed him, provided him with opportunities to the point he plays in Euro leagues competitions and makes a name for himself...taking away an opportunity of a young local...but because he comes from another country must mean he is good.....well.... all we have done is make their countries stronger and it's those same boys putting the ball in the back of the net against us......and they will say... Thank you... Portugal for giving me the opportunity to develop ...now go home....I have scored.
Anyway I'm sure some will agree and others will not. Portugal is a small country in comparison to the big footballing countries and we need to be a step ahead with our youth development.

Back to Bento - has to now get rid of players that served well but their time is up....
Bruno Alves (retire)
Joao Pereira (retire)
Hugo Almieda (retire)
Helder Postiga (retire)
Raul Merielles (retire)
Ricardo Costa (retire)

Miguel Veloso (Reserve Squad)
Nani (Reserve Squad)
Eder (Reserve Squad)
Rui Patricio (Reserve Squad)
Nelson Oliveira (Reserve Squad)

Core Players

Andre Almeida
William Carvalho
Luis Neto

Integrate (Now - into 2 years)

Bruma - Now
Rafa - Now
Paulo Oliveira - Now
Bruno Fernandes - Now
Ivan Cavellero - Now
Adrien Silva -Now
Andre Martins - Now
Cedric Soares - Now
Andre Gomes - Now
Carlos Mane - Now
Joao Mario
Tiago Ilori - 1-2 Year
Anthony Lopes - Now
Marcos Lopes 1-2 Year
Joao Canclao - 1-2 Year

There might a few I may have missed.....all subject to injury and potential of course.

Plan now, integrate now, build now for a strong and steady team into the future and for many more years to come.
Danny not included?
55 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:25
What I don't understand is why Danny wasn't included over Rafa when Rafa didn't play a single minute? If you're not going to play the youth might as well bring someone currently better... Danny had 16 goals in 30 games last season at Zenit. He could have been a great super sub when we needed goals against both the USA and Ghana.

Bento's decisions are really head scratching...
Look at Belgium
54 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 06:16
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
I thought this was a great article and I don't completely agree with each point. It sure stimulated some great discussion and banter.

First, post #39 Jessica in England, respectfully please calm down, Tom K has given us this great site and some of don't feel it is appropriate to insult the host.

Second, after watching Belgium who I predicted would make a case for the final 8, certainly not picking them to win it all still raw but quality at every position. I think 11 EPL players and most of the players play for decent or major clubs. A country of 11 million slight bigger than Portugal produces young talent and enough talent in the 24-29 year range to mix in with the talent.

Nice to see a team that had strong and fast strikers, a creative midfield player like Hazard, great wing play, solid DM, and strong CBs. We can see a huge difference between a Belguim and Portugal.

3) Time to start getting some faster and stronger players out there to mix with low number of players still in top form like CR7, Fabio C, Pepe (yes he still is when you have no options), and Moutinho (he needs a stronger cast around him -- can not be main option). Keep a few vets as back ups and go with young at about half the positions. Not sure what you do with Nani time for Bruma ... it can't hurt. As much as Bebe may not be real maybe our best hope at striker (please no Nelson O).

4) I agree there should be no cap on foreign players, Portuguese like the rest of us must compete for jobs. Most Portuguese players come in through a Portuguese club and are given chances to develop either at the club, on loan with Portuguese club, loaned to a club in another country, or sold. Portuguese clubs want to make money selling players, it does not matter where they come from.

In the past 5 years, European clubs have been selective about paying big money for Portuguese talent as many Portuguese players do not live up to the hype. As a result how many top Portuguese players play in EPL (Fontes is nice but come on, Nani does not count as he does not exist)? How many in at a top level in Spain except for Real Madrid? Very few in Germany, etc. My point is that we are suffering from the last 5 years of a generation that failed to progress. While we failed Belguim passed us up. If the next gen fails we are doomed to go back to the dark days. Lets get on with playing the young players and make all Portuguese young players compete for their spots, no more excuses.

5) Lastly, this love affair with Jose Mourinho must stop, he is no fool. He will not coach Portugal until there is enough talent. He will not coach this current group of players and probably not this unproven gen coming up. He will only coach win the talent reaches high.
FIFA - Funny video
53 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 01:25
Hi Guys,

I got a laugh from this article and wanted to share it with you guys. For me, it is not only funny but also quite disturbingly true. My favourite part was when Sepp Blatter the current FIFA president says that FIFA was a non for profit organisation and then stats that they have a billion dollars in a slush fund. That’s is a pretty large amount for an emergency or ‘rainy day’.

Other memorable comments were the 50 degree weather conditions that games will be played in during the World Cup in QATAR, which will be hosted in the summer of 2020 in what is effectively a city in the dessert.


World Cup 2030?
52 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:39
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
Will Ronaldo's kid turn out as good as the ol' man? And, will he play for Portugal or the wife's country of I think Ukraine, or Romania, or someplace?

Personally, I think he looked kind of heavy when Pele tried picking him up during Ronaldo's Ballon d' or ceremony.
Fernando santos Portugal
51 Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:28
Lets b having this guy... Another thing did we c the fight the spirt in USA to day n swizz if Portugal had half that fight in them players give up to easy go down to easy sometimes I'm ashamed just play n play to win fair n square best them all we have the talent we need the spirt believe n the manager forca Portugal 2016 fernando santos lets b havin ya n ronaldo stop always thinking of urself
My only criticism of Bento is this...
50 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 23:47
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
As the coach, it is HIS responsibility to congeal team chemistry and massage attitudes. There is no excuse for not selecting Quaresma it would have been an entirely different WC experience. IF he can't handle Quaresma, than he has no place coaching the NT!
response: lusidadas / canada
49 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 23:01
I cannot believe you are defending bento. The guy is a moron. You make horrible points.

1- just the fact that Portugal had to play in a playoff against Sweden to make it to world cup, losing and tie to teams like Israel and Russia explains itself.

2- Andrew/USA is right. Bento's favoritism to players he is obssesd with is ridiculous. Miguel veloso played horrible and I'm not even talking about when he had to step in and play left back. Another mistake from bento not bringing a second left back to the tournament.

3- not so sure about the most traveling time but I'm sure that impacted the team who was already faxing injuries to begin with. Why bring a 23 man squad where some were unfit. Postiga, rui Patricio, almeida etc.

4 bento will never win us a trophy and to think he will, must mean you to are insane.

I say bring on mourinho. The only one who can really make as difference.
48 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 21:43
MDCViolenes- NY, USA
Haha you guys are getting out of control with the messages! Mr. Montreal and Luisads have taken the melee out across two posts. Seriously though dudes, just agree to disagree. I don't mean to play message board cop, but I think keeping the messages civil is what's different about PortuGOAL than the lixo you find on Goal.com and ESPN. I do find Abola commenters to be hilarious though.

But enough with that, everyone that cares about the team knows that Bento would divide opinion. So Luisads and Nino, though I don't always agree with you on Bento I totally respect your thoughts. I want him to resign, but as long as he's staying I will support him but temper my expectations for the Selecção which is unfortunate. Perhaps it's like Justin/ Rochester has said and it's mostly political. Not a farfetched idea considering it's the FPF.

Nino I agree that WC finals are not for trying untested players. However if you skip the Euro 2012 finals for a minute, the team hasn't been developed by Bento well since 2010. Much of the same cast (and tactical set up) has been out there since he took over, signaling undeveloped youth on the NT. Of course he can't control all that as he is not managing the players on their club teams. But he should have a voice within the Federation and be strong enough to condemn the fact that Portuguese players don't get enough opportunities, yes? He will use some of the younger guys sparingly in friendlies and what not, but he should be bringing them on and keeping them a part of the NT at major tournament finals, similar to how other teams do with talent they believe in. Even at Euro 12 Custódio and Viana were already older players. Micael perhaps shouldn't have even been there. Where was the youth especially in the midfield and on the back line? He needs to believe in the youth more, and now we're looking at Euro 2016 with so many young guys who haven't enough caps or major tournament experience for Portugal. I hope the 'changes' we're all expecting don't amount to seeing Micael or Carlos Martins again. I'm kidding but you all know what I mean with Bento and his 'comrades'.

It's true the starting XI are great when they are on song, but Bento relied too heavily on old men to see it through and he got burned. Throw away the Germany game, and I think with Antunes + Amorim on and Veloso + Meireles off, we'd be playing Belgium right now and I'm not typing this out because I'm watching the Selecção instead of the Yanks. Regardless though-- Moutinho, Pereira, Bruno, and our strikers were not good here but I always think that's the purpose of depth on a squad. Not just for filling in, but to let the starters know that if they don't play well enough there's someone on the bench that would love their spot. The need for this desire doesn't exist with Bento as the article alluded to. The XI don't need to be on their toes bc they know they'll play regardless. I've said it so many times that players being mentally/ physically ready for a game is mostly for a manager and captain-- they need to lead their men and he does a poor job here.

I'm glad Bento used William, the team always looked more balanced with him in the game than Veloso. He's not spraying balls around like Xabi Alonso yet, but he has time to add that to his game. What I like about his passing is that when playing it forward he gives the ball to people who can work it more effectively in the opposing third than him. As long as he continues to tackle/ break up play well, and not give the ball up unnecessarily, Veloso shouldn't play DM again. Ever. Speaking of Veloso, was it not him on the left flank that the US kept exposing repeatedly? The goals in that game didn't have much if anything to do with William-- Nani should have closed down Jones, and Veloso's area was wide open all night which invited the cross that started the mayhem for the second goal. And if speaking in hypotheticals, people have said that Bruno could have gotten himself up off the floor to get level with another defender to put Dempsey offside. Of course its easy to say that looking at replays though, Alves probably had no idea where he was in relation to everyone else. It's rough bro, that's how it goes. But Bento could have saved us the embarrassment by doing his job better in cases of injury, subs, etc.

I'll second that on Nani, he is a world class talent and still one of my absolute favourite players. He either needs Van Gaal to get behind him or leave Manchester though, I don't think there's any way back for him there. We've seen the worst side of United fans this year and they'll continue to be down on him, so another team would do him good. Technical wingers like him should go to Spain where they barely touch anybody in defence. I think he'd find himself again over there and start banging in the goals again too. As a United fan I believe he will make the supporters sorry he's gone, because unless they sign other wingers they will be awful out wide. But for the sake of his career and confidence I hope he goes elsewhere while he's still relatively young.

So overall should Bento go? You guys are right he can't be blamed for everything but except for the Euro 2012 finals, and that emotional Sweden game, he has been a bit sorry considering the talent he has at his disposal. I went into it in depth about tactics and systems in the last post (Luisads thanks for the reply), and I don't see IT from Paulo Bento. Qualification stages are usually painful to watch, and it makes me wonder what a stronger, more creative coach would do with the Seleccaão and Federation. Maybe I believe too much in them, maybe I expect too much from them. However I still think Portugal have the potential to steamroll teams they should beat, and win against Germany, Spain, Italy-- I don't care who... I think we should be beating them all... Força.
47 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 17:12
Great points in this article. Looking forward, the ones that really resonate with me are those alluding to Bento's reluctance to give young players a chance and to the the domestic league's focus on foreign talent at the expense of Portuguese player development. I agree with the idea of a quota being introduced and I wonder how many Portuguese players have had their development stunted by club teams overlooking them in favor of foreign talent.

The good thing is that Bento will be forced to include more young players simply because of how old the team is now. While I thought the team underperformed in Brazil they still had a very good shot of advancing and if a few decisions in the first match had gone their way we could be reading an article about Portugal vs. Belgium right now. Notable, the lack of penalty on Eder in game one which should have been called imo and the straight red on Pepe. I know many will disagree with me but I still think that was harsh. If he had stayed on I doubt we would have lost so heavily and could have advanced to the knockout rounds.

I'm hoping that we get to see much more of Burma and other young players like Josue, Rafa etc. In the coming years. While I respect what Bento has done I would love to see a fresh approach and would welcome a new manager.
@ lusiads
46 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 17:11
mister montreal Canada
Wow! Doesn't take you much to get excited. Bento's your type of man I see...I've wasted enough time with you... You're flushed! I
andrew usa
45 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 16:22
"Are you guys joking? Bento not to blame???"

of course he like everyone shares part of the balme but not as much as some think.

1. poor choice of 23 man squad to bring to world cup. Where was quaresma? How can you include these same old players from last euro(who lost I might add.)

Yes they lost in the semi's by penalty kicks to one of the best teams of all time. Clearly we suck?!?!

Quaresma is a head case, plays individually, starts fights with teammates and coaches, no defensive support, has never done anything for the national team in terms of scoring (3 goals I think) had good offensive numbers the last few months but has never shown the ability to jell with his teammates on the national team and most if not all the teams he has been on. Even Mourinho, who you respect, and want as our coach tried out Quaresma when he was in his prime and soon realized he was selfish, a no it all and useless as a team player so he got him out of town.

2. Poor choice of where to base their hotel in Brazil. Portugal traveled more miles and time then the others in our group because they chose to base their camp so out of the way.

I think this point is over blown. but I don't have time to look into every other teams base camps to see where they played and how they did. (I doubt you did either) Many teams I'm sure that were well placed did poorly in this world cup.

3. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and ovee and expecting different results. Bento is insane. Didn't win last time with this squad and thought he was going to win this time.???

Do you mean like when he lost his opening match to Germany at the last euro and then kept using the same lineup all the way to the semi’s or do you mean when he used the same lineup to beat Sweden back to back to qualify for the world cup? Plus, he used a different line-up for every game in this world cup.

4. The loyalty he has to these players are ridiculous especially to some of these players who came from the sporting youth academy.

You mean like William Carvalho who went through the Sporting Youth Academy?

Hopefully I will see portugal win a major tournament in my lifetime, and that will happen only when Mourinho becomes the head coach.

I hope so to but Mourinho is not coming for a long time if ever. Not enough money and too many clubs would still pay top dollar for him.
Bento has to take the blame, lineup for Euro 2016 qualifiers and beyond
44 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 14:56
Now that Bento won't get sacked, I hope he decides to reinvent the lineup. If he doesn't show any signs of change, he must go during the qualifiers. We should go with:


Adrien Silva/Gomes----------------------Moutinho



A. Lopes
Mourinho our savior.
43 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 14:55
Are you guys joking? Bento not to blame???

1. poor choice of 23 man squad to bring to world cup. Where was quaresma? How can you include these same old players from last euro(who lost I might add.)

2. Poor choice of where to base their hotel in Brazil. Portugal traveled more miles and time then the others in our group because they chose to base their camp so out of the way.

3. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and ovee and expecting different results. Bento is insane. Didn't win last time with this squad and thought he was going to win this time.???

4. The loyalty he has to these players are ridiculous especially to some of these players who came from the sporting youth academy.

Hopefully I will see portugal win a major tournament in my lifetime, and that will happen only when Mourinho becomes the head coach.

Let's go Mourinho.. Come over to the national side...
Bento Not Entirely to Blame
42 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 13:28
Nino/South Africa
I would like to give my 2c worth on the polarising subject of Paulo Bento.
I think footbal fans are all fickle and always need something or someone to blame when things don't go their way. We can't always be winners and as a small country, we cannot always make the final stages of major tournaments. We need to be realistic, adjust our expectations and above all, respect the fact that the other teams in our group were always going to be very challenging.
For me, the only unjustified mistake made specifically by Bento was not picking a recognised left back as backup to Coentrao. Antunes should definitely have made the squad. I like Andre Almeida but he is not a LB and Amorim adequately covered the RB position.
Another unjustified mistake was our preparation and the fact that we did not arrive in Brazil sooner to play friendlies in the conditions we would be facing in Manaus. I don't believe that this is entirely Bento's fault and I apportion most of the blame to the FPF who probably felt that friendlies in the USA would make more financial and marketing sense.
The rest of the mistakes made by Bento can only be recognised in hindsight. In my humble opinion, every other decision he made was justified (even if they did not work out well). This is why:

1) Major tournaments are no time to experiment with untried systems or players. Bento built a great starting 11 that almost won Euro 2012 and qualified us for the WC. It was an experienced, tried and trusted 11 that he picked against Germany which is exactly what you need in the opening game of a world cup against a great side. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong, went wrong in that game. Trigger happy ref, schoolboy defensive errors, injuries, Pepe losing his head and clinical German finishing is what contributed to the disaster. Add to that the clear penalty not awarded to us. Not entirely Bento's fault.

2) We have a great starting 11 when fit and in form. This was proven at Euro 2012 and the playoff games against Sweden. However, there is no depth in Portuguese football. As soon as players like Coentrao, Pepe, Moutinho, Nani & CR7 get injured or lose form, I'm afraid we are screwed. Apart from Antunes, no other player deserved to make the squad. Only some of the "Captain Hindsight's" that have put their comments here, would deny this. Injuries and lack of form at the tournament cannot be entirely blamed on Bento.

3) I have no doubt that William Carvalho will be a great player for Portugal in the future but he still has a lot to improve on and is nowhere near the finished article. He is a great ball winner which is his main attribute. However, he needs to improve when he has the ball. He has a tendancy to get caught on the ball and his range of passing is pathetic. He is nowhere near as technical and creative as Meireles and Veloso. People forget that Bento's system of 3 box to box midfielders is what has allowed CR7 to flourish for the Selecao (Unlike Queiroz's system). Also, after William was introduced against the USA we went on to concede 2 goals so I find it laughable that his omission was the reason for our 4-0 defeat to the Germans.

4) Portugal, like most European teams, struggle in tournaments hosted outside of Europe. We have qualified for 6 world cups. The 2 that were successful were held in Europe, the other 4 disasters were not. Is this all Bento's fault?

I would also like to put a word in for Nani who was our most dangerous player at this tournament. If you truly support the Selecao then please stop acting like the pathetic Man United supporters who always use him as a scapegoat when they play badly. He is a world class player and he played as well as anyone for us so the criticism is unjustified.

I hope Bento keeps his job. He needs to rebuild a team like he did 3 years ago. Some of the older players in our squad need to be replaced and this is the time to do it. NOT DURING A WORLD CUP!
Another point
41 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:37
Anybody who saw Algeria's performance last night, and indeed their entire tournament, will have seen just the kind of passion and fighting spirit, that was totally lacking from the Selecao in this Mundial. Every single Algerian player fought like warriors, gave 100% and above all they were unified in everything they did. As a result they gave the Germans one hell of a fight and really could have won, beyond compare to what we showed against Germany. We made Germany look like the best team at the tournament, when they're not at all. They have clear weaknesses which we should have exploited, and Algeria (and Ghana) were able to.

Now the Selecao has more individual talent than Algeria, without doubt. What's the difference? They played with a fighting spirit and unity that was nowhere to be seen with us in this tournament. Again this is down to Bento. It's the coach, above all, who instils that unity and fighting spirit, and Bento failed on this aspect too. Again, a new coach would likely be a great step up on this particular detail (team spirit and unity) too, not to mention all the others as well....
mister montreal
40 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:15
“Thank you for entertaining my boredom.”

This does not make sense.

“Just like Bento you seem to twist things around and not see things how they are.”

How did Bento do this? How did I? I’m not twisting, I’m simply showing the flaws and inconsistencies in your points.

“It's quite simple. Bento took over Queiroz and did a decent job.”

Well at least you’re acknowledging some good that Bento has done, however to call the job Bento did to pick up the floundering national team after its start to the 2012 euro qualifying campaign and then actually qualify, to resurrect Ronaldo’s international career, and then to take perhaps the greatest international side of our generation (Spain) to the brink of penalty kicks in the Euro semi-final is not merely decent. To call that merely decent is an example of twisting the facts! It was one of the national teams greatest results only one team in our history has gone further (2004). (no third place in euro’s so can’t compare 1966)

"He has taken it as far as he could --- he has reached the end of the road. We have seen his limitations."

These are examples of substantiated claims of opinion and not reasons.

"It is only fair that he should resign and give someone else a chance to take it a step further."

What is this elementary school gym class? This is the highest level of sport there is no fair.

"Again. You are missing the point! It more than your LIST OF 23 PLAYERS."

No you miss the point. Of course it’s not merely about choosing 23 players. But that is a significant part of the equation. My point in asking people to list their 23 is twofold. One it exposes them to the fact that you yourself state, that is, that we are really not qualified and can’t do a better job than Bento. Secondly if someone does list their 23 and starters then their selections can be judged in their totality. For example, does the persons selections show a lot of changes to the starting 11? If it does this is problematic because players will not have adequately jelled. Does it have players that are too young and inexperienced? This poses obvious problems. Does it have players with attitude issues? Does it have out of form injured players, etc… I’m not suggesting that choosing 23 is all there is to it but since most of the criticism leveled against Bento has revolved around player selection I thought it a good exercise to list our 23. It’s easy to say he chose poorly but when you actually have to list, (theoretically), a starting 23 you see that actually you probably would have chosen a similar 23 and that any differences would have been with players who have issues as well.

People say why did he pick out of form injured players. O.k. let’s see. Would you not have picked and started Coentrao? Would you not have picked and started Pepe or Ronaldo? People say well he should have and antunes to cover for an injury. O.k. first I’ve already listed my issues with antunnes in a previous post and two I’m sure we could agree that if going in to the world cup we were told we were going to lose Coentrao half way through game one we would agree that no matter what our line-up was it would be a devastating blow to our chances.

What about Postiga and Almeida? In their cases sadly we just don’t have proven experienced strikers to replace them yet and that is not Bento’s fault. (I’ll be honest here that I’m not sure of Lima’s eligibility) We have some promising young guys but they just have not shown enough or played enough (Oliveira, Cavaleiro for example). People that mention Bebe as a possibility are misguided. I also addressed Bebe in a previous post.

"We can't get rid of 23 players and start from scratch."

Obviously and I never suggested as much.

"Easier to change the coach and supporting staff. It's the nature of business sports (hockey, soccer, basketball, etc...) ...it's the nature and politics of the game."

Easier is not always better or right. Not sure what the rest has to do with anything.

"Are you taking notes..."


"I can't keeping going on like this!"

Nut case
39 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 05:05
The guy who wrote this article is an idiot . You don't need to be scientist to know what went wrong .

Kick the puffed face , arrogant Bento out!!
Nani and Pepe should never play for portugal. Nani's passes are terrible.He is inconsistent .
Pepe is an ugly animal . He needs to be deported to his birth place.
38 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:58
Jaime/NJ. USA
This is how incompetent the FPF are. The team barely made it to the WC, in a group that they should have dominated. They needed a miracle to beat Sweden.

Does this this sound like a reason to extend the coach's contract before the WC even starts?

He should have been sacked just like the Mexico coach who had the same type of qualification results.
Team needed new blood and better conditioning
37 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:57
New blood that was hungry for a chance to shine would have served the seleccao better in Brazil. Time to admit some of our old favorites are past their prime and never were as good as we thought.The team was definitely out of shape, but it turns out now that more players went in with minor injuries than we knew. As for Coentrao and CR7 being injured, nothing you can do about it. Colombia has a chance to beat Brazil and that's without Falcao. Pepe's red card? That's what you live with if he's on the team. I doubt an Anger Management course will do him or Suarez any good at this point. And a last note on having more players on the League. other than Nelson Oliveira are any of the U-21 team that went to the finals in Colombia still heard from?
36 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:48
That's where it went wrong
Some levity
35 Monday, 30 June 2014 21:39
Can we put all this behind us and start enjoying the head Maca Podre again.

This beauty was the latest;
Tanaka: cláusula surpreende a Europa; "Mas quem é Tanaka? Blindado por uma cláusula de 60 milhões de euros. Um atleta prestes a completar 27 anos e que "não faz parte da equipa japonesa selecionada para o campeonato do mundo. "Coisas estranhas do mercado de verão", acrescentam.

I love it. You can call it good business since the transfer cost was around 600k euros and the players value stands around 1.1 million euros. Granted Tanaka is only 26 and not 27. Maybe that;s why he has a 60 million euro transfer clause.
When I looked up his stats in the J League, they seemed ok, until you dig further.

The Head Maca Podre is making a farce out of the transfer clauses. Let's see what he's able to obtain from his more cherished possessions.



Link to article;
Point # 10
34 Monday, 30 June 2014 20:55
Kevin D'Agrella Canada
Disagree completely with the idea that we need a compulsory amount of Portuguese players playing in each squad. That doesn't help our national team if our players are playing top flight football strictly because of their nationality. They should be winning the jobs and if they can't win the jobs then they need to work to get better. We should never be handing out free passes to our players.
Oh My Nerves!
33 Monday, 30 June 2014 19:51
Why are people here still defending Bento? Why?

1) Understand this, the Seleção failed big time, not only to our expectations but in the eyes of the world as well. Whose fault is that if not the designated driver, aka Bento? A competent driver does NOT tolerate back seat drivers, regardless who they are (FPF). If his control is being eroded, a true leader then pull overs and relinquish his position. That is what Helen Costa did, she wanted to take control and be judged on her performances. This is why I believe she can go far in the future. That is a sign of a true leader, one who has confidence in his own abilities and capabilities, one who is flexible but does not tolerate interferences.

Show me a coach who blames often, and I'll show you an average coach!
Show me a coach who adheres to the "caminho do burrinho" and I will show you a loser!
And most importantly, show me a leader who brushes off his failures and I'll show you a follower!

2) "Could you have done better?", is a typical question and the answer is - OF COURSE NOT! We are not coaches, are we? And yes as non-coaches we can definitely judge the team based on performance vs expectations. Heck, guarantee me 1.5 million Euros, I will come out of retirement, get my license, take a few months to analyze in detail perspective players and I have no doubt, I will do a better job than Bento. Even as non-expert in this field, I knew before hand to 1) included William from the start 2) rest Ronaldo for 1st game 3) concentrated on defense after red card 4) prepared the team more efficiently (physically / climateckly) 5) refrained from taking unfit players 6) take fit and proven players (Denny, Autunes, QR7, etc), just top of my head, and NONE of these are based on hindsight -just common sense and having a flexible attitude.

3) The FPF should mandate a quota on foreign players, to protect and further encourage homegrown talent. Plus, for top competitions, it would also be an added benefit cause players become more fine tuned when they play together.

Someone posted an interesting scenario of a match between the U21s vs the Seleção? Hum!
RE: Bento should stay!
32 Monday, 30 June 2014 19:20
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
Go ahead and cut Bento, find the magical solution to our problems, and then cut that coach when Portugal fails to win the Euro. Getting rid of Bento solves nothing! No one on this message board has invested more of their life to this NT than Bento. Do you really think he's not going to take a hard look in the mirror after this one?

Cutting him just means starting all over again, like we've been doing for decades now with all our 'promise'. Lets see how he handles adversity now that he is under the gun.
So what's next?
31 Monday, 30 June 2014 19:18
It seems like the majority/consensus is that Paulo Bento carries a lot of the blame for the Selecao disappointment. So what's next? He isn't going to change his ways ("loyalty", style, etc.). We need a new coach!! We can't have this happen again at Euro 16 and WC 2018!!!
@ lusiads
30 Monday, 30 June 2014 18:36
mister montreal Canada
Thank you for entertaining my boredom. Just like Bento you seem to twist things around and not see things how they are.
It's quite simple. Bento took over Queiroz and did a decent job. He has taken it as far as he could --- he has reached the end of the road. We have seen his limitations. It is only fair that he should resign and give someone else a chance to take it a step further. Again. You are missing the point! It more than
your LIST OF 23 PLAYERS. We can't get rid of 23 players and start from scratch. Easier to change the coach and supporting staff. It's the nature of business sports (hockey, soccer, basketball, etc...) ...iIt's the nature and politics of the game. Are you taking notes...I can't keeping going on like this!
Last straw with Nani...
29 Monday, 30 June 2014 18:20
Nani has been a frustrating figure for many years, but I keep giving him chances, and thinking that maybe this time, Nani will be the player we need him to be. Defensively? Yes, Jermaine Jones took a nice shot, but Nani gave him all the space and time in the world. He didn't press him. He didn't cut off his angle. He didn't foul him. He didn't slide to block the shot.

Offensively, his talent means nothing when his decision making is so poor. I'm done. I don't want him on our team, and I wish that for all these years, that Nani was an instant starter because he was a Manchester United player (usually, just on their bench), that his many, many opportunities went to Ricardo Quaresma instead.
RE: You're all way too hard on yourselves!
28 Monday, 30 June 2014 16:49
Michael Silva/ North Hanover, NJ
(1) We aren't a 'world class' team

(2) We have three world class players in Ronaldo, Coentrao, and Carvalho--that's it

(3) Pepe, Pereira, Alves, Nani... are supporting cast at best

(4) Sure we boast a fourth place ranking by FIFA's standards, but we always knew that wasn't true

(5) Our youth is probably no better than those players called up by Bento

(6) We're a top fifteen through thirty, which is still strong
# 10 foreign talent in portugal
27 Monday, 30 June 2014 16:30
My first reaction to this is that yes we should have less foreign talent in Portugal so that we can develop more home grown talent. But the more I think about it I'm not sure if the fact's match up with that conclusion. Portugal over the last 15 years and especially after the European union was formed has had increasingly more foreigners in Portugal. At the same time we have had our best run in international competitions and have done well at Junior competitions qualifying for U20 world championships etc...

Also, Belgium has zero restrictions on foreign players and they seem to be doing well.
mister montreal
26 Monday, 30 June 2014 16:19
Your post is a complete contradiction. You say you could not do a better job because You're not qualified but then you purport to know what system we should use and you critize bento. That's Basic poor logic I hope you don't use that depth of thinking in your job as an engineer "buddy".

Second learn to read. i'f you look at all of my post you'll see that i too have criticized bento and said it wouldn't bother me if the federation chose a new coach. I'm trying to make the point that The guy was not born yesterday. If people actually list the their 23 man roster with starters they will see that even their team selection would have question marks like players that are too young have not proven themselves or only this year had decent seasons on good clubs (fonte antunnes). Also in my posts about carvalho vs. Veloso I have also said that I would not be upset about carvalho starting only that I can see the reasons for choosing veloso. Outside of the games that he was played out of position veloso did not play that badly. Was he amazing no. was carvalho? No I don't think so. Was he good yeah for sure. Should carvalho be the starting dm moving forward? Yes. And with a two year euro qualification process ahead of us their will be time to properly integrate him into the starting lineup and create a system that works with his and the other players skill. My depth of thought is that I don't summarily dismiss Players or coaches and I don't simply look at one side of an arguement or make Exagerated arguments.

Based on bento's euro 2012 performance and the fact that we qualified for this tournament I think bento deserves a run of 4-6 qualifying game. To see if he can remake the squad as he did before 2012. if we come through those games with ties and loses against teams we should beat or if he is not integrating the young players that are entering or will be entering their prime years then he should be fired. If on the other hand we see youth come in and portugal is at the top of the table then he should stay on.

Another important thing to remember is that no other coach, not even scolari, has gotten as much out of ronaldo.
Why we lost
25 Monday, 30 June 2014 13:23
The reason we lost was because of the poor squad selection. If bento wanted a chance to win, he should of called up our inform players. Why call up Hugo almeida and postiga? They couldn't even play over like 10 minutes of the World Cup without getting subbed off from injury. Instead of those 2 clowns, we should have called up Lima who had 2 good seasons for Benfica plus his good season with braga. Also we should have called up bebe since he also had a good season scoring a good amount of goals on a shit team like pacos F where he clearly didn't get good support, just imagine him on portugal with the support he'd get... As for the wingers, we should of called quaresma instead of veirinha, qr7 had a better season and he's inform. And why didn't we have a back up for coentrao? Wth call up Antunes or Cedric. Since ronaldo was injured and couldn't run too much he should of played striker while having nani and qr7 or varela on the other wing since ronaldo can still head and finish better than all our strikers combined. William C should of started all 3 games.. Miguel Velosos time is up, he's looking like a Abercrombie model and plays too much FIFA 14, nba 2k14 and cod, he's always posting pics on instagram of how good he is at these video games wtf is that. Same goes to joao mountinho, he says he's tired after 30 mins? Stop fucking playing nba 2k14 all day nobody wants to see that shit on instagram lol. Honestly if bento was smart and called up these inform players, we would made it outta the group, beat Belgium and for a fact go to the quater finals and maybe even would of won the whole thing since all them big teams are out. But whatever hopefully things chance for the euro 2016 cause that's the only thing we can look forward to now
Not all bento
24 Monday, 30 June 2014 12:41
While I agree with what the majority of you guys are saying I really don't think it was all bento. I think the fpf has to much control and it's political and I think bento had to be loyal to agents. Think about this for a second. If all of us agree that the players selected weren't correct, we all agree that William should have been playing for veloso, some of us think it's a no brainer to have quaresma there...why don't you think bento knew? Of course he knows I just think he had very little say. The powers above him had control too. Velosos father played for the national team so he has the name that William doesn't. Meireles is supported because he gave his all for Portugal for so many years. A few of you here are saying Ronaldo should have been benched for Ireland and maybe benched for Germany...what's comical about that is do you guys really think someone would tell cristiano Ronaldo that he can't play? Never would happen.

A couple other things not in bentos control is he can't make his players try harder and create scoring opportunities. Why didn't moutinho or nani or neuron or eder or anyone else step up. Only Ronaldo shoots the ball on this team it's embarrassing. All of these players play on big teams year round and none of them had the mentality to do something themselves. That's why I wanted quaresma because Ronaldo was always going to become isolated..,we needed another selfish player. Look at Robben and how he just dribbles and dribbles. I realize that Robben is better than quaresma but the principals remain the same. Dribblers create space and fouls for set pieces and penalty kicks.

I'm getting off topic with quaresma but anyways...players win games and bento can't go and hold their hands on the field. Coaches very rarely impact the game...scolari won games because of his roster. Ronaldo, figo, deco, maniche, tiago, rui costa, carvalho, bosingwa, Simao etc those players won games not scolari. If bento had to feel restricted with player selections because of the people above him it's not his fault. Combine player restrictions with the general mentality on this team to never step up and take a player on and take a shot on goal other than Ronaldo and that's the problem.

Last thing..so every Portuguese person on the planet know the wrong players were selected or not used properly. Well if the fpf keeps bento after we all know this that should be a clear indication that they had control over him and they like that.
23 Monday, 30 June 2014 12:11
A Europa finals berth does not make a successful season. The Domestic Trebel does.
If anything all Portuguese clubs have been very poor in Champions League play. It must be due to lack of Portuguese talent. Lol.
Love how people think "world class" can just be manufactured. It takes a special individual with the right drive.
In retrospect
22 Monday, 30 June 2014 10:39
I agree with many of the comments. There were various reasons for our WC failure, but the main reason is Bento's incompetency. I would say at least 70% of the reasons we failed to advance beyond the group can be directly blamed on Bento. I have already mentioned them in previous posts, but to quickly summarise: wrong selection of squad and starting line-ups, no flexibility in tactics and formations, total wrong approach and tactics after taking an early lead against USA, and persisting with various out of form or over the hill players.

I firmly disagree we are a one man team, but still if we were going to have a successful WC CR7 needed to be in top form. He shouldn't have started the Ireland friendly just a few days before the WC started. Even against Germany he probably should've been left on the bench (and certainly taken off at half time when we were 3-0 down) and saved for the 2 key games for us: USA and Ghana. He brought no real back up to Coentrao. Persisted with the likes of Veloso, Meireles, H. Almeida, Eder and Pereira when they were all not good enough and took until the 3rd game to start the most in-form player in the squad, William. All these points, directly Bento's fault.

Even our lack of strikers situation, he still can't be excused totally. It's clear to see that Lima is miles and miles better than Postiga, Almeida and Eder....but because Lima is Brasileiro born (like Pepe and Deco) Bento makes no effort to call him up. Bebe, who had a good season even in a poor Pacos team, is not even experimented with in friendlies leading up to WC. He has pace, energy and movement, way more potential than the 3 aforementioned strikers, yet wasn't even considered. Imo both Lima and Bebe included in the squad from now on are no-brainer decisions. Of the other 3 I would only keep Postiga (on the bench) for his experience and knack of getting important goals.

Even the effect that the injuries (especially Coentrao) had on us, Bento is not cleared of the blame, because his squad selection didn't have necessary replacements to cover for them. The only factor not connected with Bento imo, was the poor referee in the Germany match, both those harsh decisions in the first half cost us big time, and the general standard of refereeing in this Mundial has been the worse I've ever seen in a major tournament, it has to be said, Mexico the latest team to be robbed.

Anyway all signs at this point are that the FPF are going to continue with Bento in charge. It's no surprise since the FPF is a joke in all honesty. What kind of loser mentality is this? The 4th ranked Fifa team at start of WC, should really have been no less than quarter-finalists with the players we have, we crash out meekly in the group with most of the blame directly attributed to the coach, and the FPF keep him, when I'm pretty sure at least 80% of Selecao fans worldwide would think it best he was replaced. Looks like we're gonna be stuck with him for the Euro qualifiers, which is a shame, because a new coach would inject something new and fresh into this team.
Order Listing
21 Monday, 30 June 2014 09:49
I agree with every word you said Tom, excellent spot on article. I'll just list my personal top 4 (too lazy to write top 5) reasons of why we didn't rise to the occasion from most important to the least:

1) Bento: Regardless of injuries, regardless of individual form and regardless of the weather, Bento should have at least been able to muster a tactical plan that would give Portugal an advantage over the USA and Ghana. We never had that advantage, we never really dominated those two teams enough to create enough chances to score enough goals. We only did that in the final 15 minutes against Ghana when our chances were practically over thanks to a Gyan goal, so I'm writing those 15 minutes off. As Tom said, Bento is stubborn and it seems to be trait that's hard to wash off; his insisting on playing Meireles and Veloso in midfield proved catastrophic in the first two games, those two players just don't cut it anymore and Bento knows it yet for some reason he still has faith in them. In the third game Carvalho in midfield with Ruben replacing Raul and Veloso going back to LB produced a better Portugal showing; not a world class showing, but at least 2-3 times better than our first two games and had he played like that versus the USA surely Portugal would now be looking forward to facing a shaky Belgium side who only got 9 points in their group because the caliber of teams they are facing is just not good enough.

2) Coentrao: Of the 6 players who got injured in those 3 games none had the most effect on the team's performance as much as Fabio. I think it's a no brainer and a waste of time to list the reasons why he is important to the team generally and to Ronaldo specifically. Without Coentrao there is no top Ronaldo and it is understandable, a fullback always supports his forward in both defensive and offensive situations.

3) Bad luck: always the loser's favorite alibi but since we're being fair to other teams and giving them credit for their results against us we have to also acknowledge that we ourselves didn't have enough luck. Conceded a wonder goal from Jones versus the USA, without that goal I find it hard to believe Uncle Sam's team would have kept pushing for the winner for the remaining time of the game. Moreover we had a clear penalty versus both Germany and Ghana not given, the first was against Eder and the other against Ronaldo. Both penalties could have been given by any other slightly stricter referee. The push was obvious in both cases and had the penalties been given I am 100% sure Portugal would have qualified because first that means we had to score just one goal by the time we scored our un-given penalty versus Ghana and that also means the USA would have forced themselves to attack more against Germany to try and avoid any surprises which also means they'll be more vulnerable to concede another German goal. Of course, these are all just "What-if" scenarios that are probably just a waste of time to just think about but they nevertheless killed any chance of this depleted Portugal team to make it to the quarters. Oh and there was also Ronaldo shot that hit the crossbar... that damn crossbar, I'm pretty sure he meant to cross it but seriously why wouldn't lady luck just allow it to go down just 5 centimeters more? That would have meant finishing the first half 2-0 if not more depending on how we would have managed our momentum swing.

4) Ronaldo's fitness: With a team that had no serious strikers to speak off it was obvious that we were going to rely entirely on Ronaldo to score our goals. He scored one consolidation goal in a game where he should have scored at least two more. A combination of lack of luck and mental fatigue killed our captain's chances of taking us into the round of 16. Do I blame him for being that mentally fragile? Of course, do I blame him for trying his best even though it wasn't remotely enough? Of course not. The guy tried his best we all know that but lack of match fitness means Portugal were gonna have to try and win the last two games without their best player being in the zone. That was never gonna happen.
Bento and FPF failed more then the players
20 Monday, 30 June 2014 08:30
Alexandre / Switzerland
In my opinion the players, while disappointing are less to blame then the FPF and Bento.

FPF are responsible for the training in public, woeful physical preparation leading to more injuries then I remember ANY team suffering in such short order.

Bento is a clown. When you are 2 nil down and a man down agaisnt Germany, park the bus to save to goal difference, esp with CR/ obviously still hurt and out of form. In Bento's place I would have taken CR7 off and played defensively to save the GD. Instead we ran around like headless chickens getting demoralized and tired. Nice move. All previously mentioned issues with Bento I mainly agree with and wanted to add this on top.

Sad thing is Bento is staying on, when he has demonstrated no talent at this job
Out of Form Old Players and Few Young Players Ready
19 Monday, 30 June 2014 05:50
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
I'll summarize what went wrong.

!) Complete failure by federation, coaches, and players. I have supported Bento because I feel Portugal has few WC ready players (old and young) and he had limited options. In this case I have to put heavy blame on Bento for failed leadership and vision to not see what most of us could who are not there with all the inside information.

2) Portugal is a one man team with the exception of Pepe, Fabio C, and perhaps John Moutinho. Worse Portugal team in 20 years As much as I love Bruno Alves (good back up at this point of career) and a few other players, they are not world class anymore. You can not win with 3 players in top form if we exclude Joao M.

3) I have lamented Portugal's lack of talent between ages 24-30 where you need a few world class players to round up your team. I see alot of names thrown out but how many Portuguese players are playing for top teams in Europe right now at a peak peformance? How many Portuguese players scored over 7 goals this year in any league?

4) Young talent with the exception of William not ready for this stage. Most of our young players are in the 18-21 and probably not ready to play in this WC. Perhaps you could have taken a few but the top one Bruma got hurt.

5) The generation of young talent maybe ready for Euro 2016, I don't think we have a choice but to get a few playing in the qualifications Keep in mind that probably for every 5-6 names of top young talent (this is the best pool in 10 years) probably 1-2 maybe World Class. Youth brings potential but no guarantee for results. Most troubling position I see is CB, example people talk about Illori but he did not impress in the U-20 WC last year and has not held a regular position. From what I have seen of the other CBs I would be a bit concerned. Hope I am wrong but I make this point to say there is no guarantee.

6) After all this analysis what do we do, we take the players who can still play and mix them with the young ones who are ready and start over with Euro 2016. Do we keep Bento, not sure but if we do we the primary criteria is if he is able to develop young players. What does the audience think?
Some Thoughts
18 Monday, 30 June 2014 03:48
I couldn't agree more with the assessment except for #10.

Bento and the FPF has proven to have gotten it all wrong. When I hear how; “international experts had been consulted when drawing up the preparation program" it leads me to believe that said experts were economists.
- Portugal played a friendly five days prior to the first WC match, in the US. Knowing they had a difficult travel schedule in Brazil.
- Portugal was the last team to arrive in Brazil.
- Portugal charged people to watch practices which allowed scouts to attend.

As for Bentos squad selections, they speak for themselves. He picked "names", even though;
- They barely played
- They were coming off injury
- They were poor the whole campaign
- All of the above

As for Bentos match selections;
- See Bentos squad selections, they apply here too.

Now #10
If I recall Portugal didn't qualify for much of anything when the league was full of Portuguese players. Granted it may have been harder to qualify, but I don't hear of much "world class" talent coming out of the league. Even the "Golden Generation" failed miserably when it counted.
(Ivory Coast's "Golden Generation" just blew its last chance to accomplish anything)

I happen to be very proud to see how much talent is being showcased in Brazil, that's gone through our league. That only brings prestige to the league.
As for Portuguese players being developed, there's plenty of them. The much revered Sporting "talent developmental team" threw Carrico away, and he's being developed abroad. Sporting may have found Cristiano, but he developed at Man United. I'm not beating up Sporting, you can find much of the same throughout all the squads.
Miguel Lopes has made his rounds through the league. At one point or another Benfica, Porto, Sporting and even Braga (when they were decent) had him and let him go. At 27 and coming off a loan at Lyon, what will he accomplish?
Bruma couldn't get out of town fast enough.
Why should Benfica feel it has to be stuck with Nelson Oliveira, if he's failed at lesser clubs? People kept saying Miguel Rosa deserved a shot in the main squad, yet he's gone on to Belem and has been so so. Will Miguel Vitor go on to be world class? Will the aforementioned Carrico?

What I'm asking is, will a quota on foreign players develop Portuguese players or diminish our league. The so called foreign stars that honed their talents in Portugal, only bring prestige to our league. We're a selling league and the foreign talent helps with that.
Just because we force teams to play Portuguese talent, it doesn't mean our league and the selecao would be better. I actually believe the contrary. You need to play against great talent in order to become great.
Another thing....
17 Monday, 30 June 2014 01:21
One more thing..

Portugal's U21 team would give our senior squad the runaround, in my opinion.

Oh, and put Cedric RB not Cancelo, he's too young and on the Benfica B squad, hasn't broken through senior yet...
PT = Embarrassing
16 Monday, 30 June 2014 00:58
Not only does the NT (i.e. Pepe, Perriera, Bento) embarrass our country but now the Portuguese referee makes us look like fools in the Dutch v Mexico match.

The flying Dutchman was diving the whole game and then you take the bait in the 90th minute. What a joke referee.

One thing I do want to say is that winning the WC requires as much luck as it does skill. Teams in your Group, penalties awarded, red cards awarded, etc, etc. These are highly critical and influence a team's progression.

Let's use Greece as the poster boy for this:

1. They get a relatively easy Group (Japan, Ivory Coast and Columbia).

2. They score 1 legitimate goal in the Group stage and are awarded a penalty shot in the 90th minute to qualify for Rd 16. Are you kidding me !!!!

3. They are awarded a 10 men situation for a full 60 minutes in the Rd 16 game (score equalizer in normal time but can't score in extra time).

4. They nearly qualify for Rd 8 game in a penalty shoot out.

If Greece had average offensive skill they may gone very far in this WC.

I use this as an example of how a team like Greece will be praised for their result even though luck played a large part of their success.

Of course there are other examples (and opposite examples of bad luck... Mexico for example).

One of the arguments against instant replay was that it would interrupt the flow of the game. Today I saw a "cooling break" which took 3 minutes. Are you telling me that FIFA can't take out some of the "luck" involved in some of these calls (i.e. penalties, red cards) by adding instant replay. Get your act together.
15 Monday, 30 June 2014 00:15
Lol Bebe you lot being serious haha, just need another golden generation to come along pleaseeeee...

Tbh when I saw that starting 11 against germany I was like no chance!!
The midfield I wanted all along came against Ghana, Moutinho William Carvalho and Ruben Amorim, with Carvalho being quality for sporting, and ruben being in good form for Benfica, that was the midfield to play, not raul or veloso both playing in below par leagues..
Strikers, we never had many lol, Cristiano Ronaldo not being 100% did dent our hopes of qualifying but tbh Pepe getting sent off and creating our poor goal differance at the end, and Fabio Coentrao getting injured, whos always been so key for Portugal really dented our hopes of qualifying to the round of 16.
Still didn't understand why Quaresma didnt get called up, if he was one of our inform players, and one of 2 inform wingers unlike Nani who has been out of Manchester uniteds team for way too long!

Bento, well hes decent at organising teams, we were great team in euro 2012, with quality and good tactical shape, losing to penalties to Spain in the semi's is no bad feat, but he just lacks any ideas, creative ideas to improve the team, at the end playing with practically the same team from 2 years ago was a poor mistake.

And another thing, Danny probably the best player at Zenit, and has been voted in the past as the best player in that league, why can't Danny fit in the Portuguese set up, change the formation, 4-3-3 has been overused, we need to fit a formation to the teams needs..
Imagine a 4-2-3-1 with Danny as the attacking mid, with Cristiano and Quaresma on the wings, O myy lol, with Ronaldo a more free role to move upfront if he wants, while our strikers that are not great, can be used more as players that can can chase the ball all day long at put pressure on the opposing team, well even though eder aint great I'll have him over Almeida and Postiga so he will play upfront lol
William Carvalho and Moutinho in midfield, then the usual defence, with Southamptons Jose Fonte, maybe included alongside Pepe in the heart of the defence...Beto in goal whos been quality for Sevilla...Why didnt we just make Lima of Benfica Portuguese and just start up front, then are front line would be scary!!!!

Bang my fantasy Portuguese team, we would have won the world cup with this I'm telling you lot :D

...Coentrao.....Pepe....Jose Fonte.....Perreira...

What do you lot think of the 11 ? ha

But Forca Portugal will win Euro 2016 XD ;)
14 Sunday, 29 June 2014 23:52
Antonio/ Viseu
What went wrong .....Paulo "douchebag" Bento

Now enuff with this lame ass national team , its club soccer time !!
Forca Benfica !!
Simply not good enough
13 Sunday, 29 June 2014 23:19
Marco / UK
And that's it, really.

Bento should leave. He is not doing Portuguese football any good.
What went wrong?
12 Sunday, 29 June 2014 21:55
The major impact to the team was Ronaldo not playing to his potential, Coentrao's injury and Pepe's stupidity.
dark ages
11 Sunday, 29 June 2014 21:30
pork n cheese/ca nada (here is nothing-we never make it into the world cup)
sorry my porkchop friends but we are headed into the dark ages like in the 70's n 80's n 90's i really hate to say this :(
A Bento problem
10 Sunday, 29 June 2014 21:17
All problems point to bento but we have corrupt FPF officials, humberto coelho (VP) had no money all of sudden he can buy everyone rounds...
Bento is no good with youngsters couldnt control moutinho or veloso, this guy is the burro of burros, he wont want young blood in his squad. If he is in charge and makes no changes expect us to be bottom of the group, hopefully he loses the first game and the portuguese mobilise into revolution mode. He also didnt instill confidence in to the players which means they rely on ronaldo and become scared of him.
Also its not loyalty its most players belong to Jorge mendes portugals biggest agent and trying to get one last payday which backfired for his ageing stars who shouldn't even of played at the Euros.
9 Sunday, 29 June 2014 20:26
Oh no Eddie Gomes is gonna have a sh i t fit about #10 and write a novel defending club over country(europa league finals is now a succesful season) and blah blah blah.I also love people claiming cancelo is already better than cedric (like they did with almeida last year) when he doesnt even play for benfica A. People talk about coaches favorites and politics yet they practice the same nonsense oh well this WC was just a reflection of the national attitude nothing new here.
Comment#10 Sums It All Up
8 Sunday, 29 June 2014 18:41
Well said with the point made in comment #10. The Portuguese are the own worse enemy. The greedy FPF and the La Liga clubs are responsible. They rather buy cheap South American players, rather than build local talent. Basically it is all about greed. The FPF should impose a quota on the amount of foreign players who can be on the team, but we all know they won't. How else are they going to fund their huge houses on the Gold Coast of Lisbon...

Fire Bento...Fire the entire FPF...Force Almeida, Postiga, Meirles, and Alves to all retire.

I bet the same team, with William being the only exception, will be lined up for the first Euro2016 qualifier. Bento is not a good coach...I guess he was hired because he did so well at Sporting...He embarrassed Sporting against Bayern Munich and got the ax ...He embarrassed Portugal and should get the same ax...but instead the FPF rush to protect him.

Until Bento gets fired... Forca U...S.... A....
Future of Portugal.
7 Sunday, 29 June 2014 18:21
Cristiano should go up front since we have young wingers coming in wonderfully.

Rafa, Bruma, Mane, Cavaleiro.

Get rid of Veloso, Meireles.
Bring in Adrien Silva, Andre Gomes.

Get rid of every striker brought to Brasil.
Bring in Bebe, N. Oliveira, Tomane (maybe), Paciencia.

Get rid of Pereira, Alves.
Bring in Paulo Oliveira, Cancelo, Diogo Figueires

Bring in Anthony Lopes.

I hope to the soccer gods Bento gets sacked.. but he won't. I pray he chooses a new lineup for Albania in September.


..........Adrien Silva.......................Moutinho/A.Gomes


Thanks Tom - Great Coverage
6 Sunday, 29 June 2014 18:11
Robert/Marina Del Rey
Glad you enjoyed Brazil.

Fitness, Age, Loyalty (to older and off form players).

Regarding #5 and #7.
I love Nani. Clearly he carried alot of energy and I still see no other Portuguese player being capable of doing what he does when at his best. But, he was also clearly off his game, losing the ball too often.
I also have high hope for Eder. And if Portugal is going to play a 9, I prefer him too any other option. But he too was off form and sloppy with touches.

Forca Portugal
portugal team.
5 Sunday, 29 June 2014 17:44
south africa
only ronaldo made an effort. the rest of the team were shit & useless including the coach.
@ lusiads and Bento fan club
4 Sunday, 29 June 2014 17:20
mister montreal Canada
In reply to your questions and comments:
If I was given Bento's position ....I would have won all games by a margin of 5 or 6 goals! I would have rewarded players with a case of Sagres and because we're in Brazil a bottle of cachaça! Nani a bottle of Sumol.
Buddy you're missing the point but I forgive your lack or depth of thought. However I will give you this much credit: I would be incompetent if I was in Bento's place. Probably do a worst job! I'm an engineer. If Bento would work in my place he would fair the same (i.e. the building would crash like the NT!!!) Therefore, lets compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. As for the 23 man squad I agree with previous posts that we should look at Dutch and Spain mentally and selection process. That is my humble opinion.
My list
3 Sunday, 29 June 2014 16:55
Brian/ Canada
1. Bento
2. Bento
3. Bento
4. Bento
5. Bento
6. Bento
7. Bento
8. Bento
9. Bento
10. Not having lucky breaks on their side....who am I trying to kid, BEEEEENNNNTTTOOOO!
Youth is Key
2 Sunday, 29 June 2014 16:54
Our team needs to change. The starting XI hasn't changed for the past 3 years and that's not good. We need our youth to come to the WC.

Marco Lopes
A. Almeida
Anthony Lopes
Miguel Lopes

These people are our future. Let's give them some playing time.

On another note, dear Portuguese clubs:

Make some more portuguese stars!
My breakdown of what went wrong
1 Sunday, 29 June 2014 16:50
Rui / Canada
These were the factors that resulted in Portugal's early exit, in order of magnitude :

1) Coentrao Injury. As bad as the Germany game was (and it was a horror show) the worst part was losing Coentrao. His loss directly affected Ronaldo's performance, and not having a capable backup destroyed any semblance of a decent back line defensively.

2) Bento. His squad selection was poor and short sighted. Taking so many players that were carrying injuries and not having a real fullback option to replace Coentrao underlines his inability to adapt and rethink his strategy. His stubbornness is a serious character flaw. He devoted 3 spots to the striker position, all 3 of which were probably our worst players, 2 of which were carrying injuries into the tournament, all the while refusing to call up Lima to the team which would have been a significant upgrade.

3) Fitness level. The opening loss against Germany was something that had to be seen as a reasonable possibility, but where Portugal really got knocked out was in their 2nd game against the US. In that game it was obvious that the training staff and WC preparation was miles behind where it had to be.

In conclusion, yes Portugal was hammered with injuries, and Ronaldo's injury would have made winning the tournament a pipe dream, there is still no reasonable excuse why they were unable to advance from their group. Every team must deal with injury, and squad selection has to directly game plan for that. Bento was exposed as a fool on this front, and has to shoulder the majority of the blame. His post tournament remarks demonstrate that he still plans on using the majority of the same squad :


He is too stubborn to resign, so the FPF's only option is to fire him.

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