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Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:03

Portugal player ratings versus Spain

Eduardo and Coentrao… for a change

Fabio CoentraoEduardoAs has been the norm this World Cup, Portugal’s most impressive performers were at the back.

Fabio Coentrao again showed he is a true shining talent, but there can be no doubts as to the PortuGOAL man of the match – Eduardo – who kept the Spaniards at bay for over an hour with a series of breathtaking saves.

Eduardo: 9.5/10 PortuGOAL man of the match

A cat-like leap to turn a Fernando Torres shot round the post in the first minute set the tone as Eduardo proved an almost impregnable shield against the incessant Spanish attack. Further superb saves in the 3rd, 6th, 60th, 69th, and 76th minutes kept Portugal in the game, and as a disconsolate Eduardo left the pitch bathed in tears one could not help feeling the Braga man deserved a better supporting cast.

Ricardo Costa: 4.5/10

Preferred at right-back to Paulo Ferreira and Miguel, Queiroz’s surprise selection back-fired badly. Was all at sea in a torrid first 15 minutes, with Villa given far too much room to cut inside with his darting runs. Improved slightly for the next hour, but was always a weakness and ended up somewhat harshly being red-carded for a flailing arm that caught Capdevila in the face, apparently unintentionally.

Ricardo Carvalho: 8/10

Another excellent showing from the Chelsea centre-back. Despite being overworked, Carvalho stuck to his task gamely, making crucial interceptions all night long, most notably when throwing himself at a goal-bound Xavi Alonso shot in the 36th minute.

Bruno Alves: 7/10

Created a solid wall with his centre-back partner, forcing Spain to pierce Portugal’s defence from the wings. Did well to stem the tidal wave of attacks raining down on the Seleccao and ended the game as a centre-forward as Portugal desperately sought an unlikely equaliser.

Fabio Coentrao: 8.5/10

The Benfica defender has been Portugal’s revelation this World Cup, and another match full of controlled aggression, excellent anticipation and intelligent positioning kept the marauding Sergio Ramos largely at bay. Even found time to lend his support to the attack with speedy and skilful incursions down the left flank.

Pepe: 6/10

Worked hard but obviously lacked match sharpness and was powerless to prevent Spain’s midfielders from passing the ball around at will. One of the few Portugal players to show any aggression, but had played just 60 minutes of competitive football in the last seven months and it showed.

Tiago: 7/10

After coming into the side and playing a blinder against North Korea, Tiago kept Deco out of the team. Produced a powerful shot when set up by Coentrao in the 20th minute that stung Casillas’ hands and came close with a header in the 42nd minute, again benefiting from a Coentrao assist. As for his defensive duties, worked hard but was powerless to disrupt Spain’s dominant possession play.

Meireles: 6/10

The FC Porto midfielder has been one of Portugal’s most consistent players over the past year and has had a good World Cup as a whole, but was chasing shadows for most of tonight. One dreadful mistake on the stroke of half time required emergency action from Carvalho and Alves to prevent a goal. Did produce a peach of a cross in the 38th minute that Almeida almost headed into the net.

Simao: 5.5/10

Anonymous for most of the match, Simao was always a yard behind the pace and never looked like troubling the Spanish defence. A good servant for Portugal over the years, but it is clear his days as a world-class winger are long behind him.

Ronaldo: 5.5/10

Isolated and frustrated for practically the whole 90 minutes, Ronaldo can rightly point to a lack of service, but did little with the ball when it did arrive at his feet. Slipped back into his annoying habit of shooting from all angles and ranges at every opportunity rather than trying to link with his team-mates.

Hugo Almeida: 7/10

Worked hard for the team and caused the Spanish rearguard a few moments of concern with his height and strength. Could not get quite enough on a header in the first half. Started the second half strongly, getting more involved, and on one occasion caused panic in the Spanish defence with a fine break and cross that was nearly turned into his own net by Puyol. Mystifyingly substituted during his most productive period.

Danny: 5.5/10

A display that typified Danny’s World Cup. Plenty of running, no lack of effort but little of any consequence. The Zenit St Petersburg forward is clearly a big talent, but has been unable to transpose his ability onto the international stage as of yet.

Liedson: 5/10

Brought on by Carlos Queiroz as a last-ditch effort to give Portugal some kind of goal threat, but hardly got a touch as Spain played keep-ball in the final 20 minutes.

Pedro Mendes: 5.5/10

Came on for the exhausted Pepe and to try and help Portugal string some passes together in the midfield, but by that time the Spaniards were bossing the game and the Sporting man was unable to make any impact.
Comments (24)
24 Friday, 09 July 2010 02:30
ronaldo was the player who was supposed to open defences and lead the portugal team to glory but he did the complete opposite and made the portuguese team more vulnerable and nervous. if nani had played i think we would have played better. also varela, michael, ukra and castro are great players and should be considered for the national team. c mon bring in some young talent! we need creativity and som1 who can break down defencs!
Suspicious....? Time for a New Approach
23 Friday, 02 July 2010 23:24
A part of me wants to believe that it was just a poor selection...but on a setting like this to choose Costa over Ferreira is extremely suspicious!
Ferreira managed to have an even game against Gervinho who is much faster than Villa...... and out of the Blue Queiroz picks our worse player on Villa's favourite side of the field?
Its such a pathetic selection that one can only feel that there is more at play here.
Pepe should never have started! He should've been used as a sub at most. Deco should've started with Liedson. I felt that Portugal had the initial psychological advantage over Spain and with an initial full out attacking approach they could've broken Spain's rhythm. Instead they fell back and allowed Spain the luxury of growing in Stature with every passing minute!
With regards to Almeida I think that Liedson should've been upfront with him and Cristiano as the link from the midfield. Cristiano can change sides so Sabrosa's omission would've been fine.
With 2 strikers upfront Spain would've become vulnerable.
You would have 2 attackers keeping the defence split with the possibility of having a fast advancing Cristiano or even Mirelles.
Spain's midfield outnumbered Portugal by one! The missing link to gain midfield supremacy was Deco and not Pepe.

The World Cup is over for us but our problems remain unresolved!
Queiroz should go but then we will be facing another climb up the hill of success!
For him to stay my anger tells me that the Portuguese authorities should investigate his financial affairs. Not only his but also those of certain close family members. You all might think that I'm exaggerating and you could be right but then anyone who has victory on his mind would not actively introduce weaknesses into his own Team!
Ferreira and Miguel became solid choices after initial stumbles ...but Costa gets the call?
Almeida was the only threat upfront but instead of getting extra support from the fast Liedson he was taken out of the equation.
So I ask myself ......were the Selections based on mind blocking Fear .......or should we become suspicious of Queiroz's integrity?
My Head tells me that instead of firing Queiroz we should force him to bring in another Portuguese Football Brain to share the future emotional turmoil and Selections with him. Someone with experience. Something similar to the Joachim Louw and Klinsman combination for Germany a few years ago.
But my Furious Broken Heart which Fears future disasters tells me that we should immediately fire him and have the authorities investigate his financial affairs to the Core!

Although we all share Pain of another failed World Cup.
I think that the time has come to set our Hearts aside and apply logic to the problems we face.
We as a Nation we are guilty of allowing our emotions cloud our judgment but we have to change our mindset to truly Develop! Not only in Football but in everything we do in life!

Deco's omission by an obviously revengeful Queiroz should serve as a Lesson to all of us!
With Anger and Fear we just like Queiroz ....are Lost within the blindness of our minds!

Manager rating
22 Friday, 02 July 2010 11:41
Queiroz: 3/10
His line up looked good. 4-3-3, but they didn't seem to play that. For some reason he had them hold back and defend. Then taking the striker off before a goal is a crazy move. Playing talent out of position is another bad idea. Putting too much pressure on one guy that is already under too much is not understanding the player and just hoping for a miracle.
Coentrao Rules!
21 Thursday, 01 July 2010 22:50
I am Croatian and I really liked the way Portugal played this Cup. Coentrao is fantastic -my favorite player of the tournament and Eduardo, an amazing goal-keeper...too bad this was not the FINAL match of the Cup. I think both teams played beautifully....
Quaresma's a champ
20 Thursday, 01 July 2010 00:47
everyone if portugal had ricardo quaresma, nani, and bozingwa playing, they would have won the world cup.
19 Thursday, 01 July 2010 00:11
Enough with Quaresma, until he does something worth talking about there should be no more discussion about him playing for Portugal. As it stands right now he's no where close to playing for Portugal he has a long way to go before he would ever be considered for again for the team.
Ronaldo and good midfielding
18 Thursday, 01 July 2010 00:08
I don't know why everyone is criticizing Ronaldo for the bad tournament. He surely didn't play well but come on, there wasn't any good midfielding. The coach just put in Pepe and left out Deco who is mainly the main man for Cronaldo. If Ronaldo got real chances he would have scored 4 to 5 goals but he barely touched the ball. I just put the blame on Quieroz even though he did a great job with the Defense, but come on, Portugal is an offensive team, Ronaldo, Mereilles, Centrao, Almeida, Deco ... all of those are great attacking players, why didn't he focus on them a bit ? as for Eduardo, this kid has talent, I see a bright future for him ... he's jsut amazing, and pretty much the best goalkeeper in the tournament.
Please, an injured Nani would have run circles around Quaresma
17 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 20:28
Quaresma was the Liga bomb a few years ago, but that is so, soooo long ago. We'd be better off recruiting Eusebio from the stands.
Quaresma?? Seriously??
16 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 18:44
I'm completely dumbfounded why anyone would want Quaresma on this team. He's done zero in any match he's played for Portugal. He's as conceited as Ronaldo with none of the talent to back it up.
"in form" and how stupid that is depending on the case
15 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 13:54
Everyone loves to bash Quaresma and say look at his time in Inter and Chelsea bla bla bla. Not one player on this portuguese team other than Ronaldo would start on Inter. The way Mourinho coaches I don't think Ronaldo would play either. Maybe carvalho and alves but those teams already have those positions full. When Nani went out I would only think to get the next best winger in Portugal which just happeneds to be Quaresma. Say what you want about his step-overs and lack of playing time and not being in form(I hate that term more than anything). In form what does that mean? Quaresma has played with all of these guys on our team, he trains with the best team in europe everyday, I am guessing you guys just think he forgot how to play. He owuld have needed a couple warm up games to get back. He is what they missed going forward, another guy to take the pressure off ronaldo who can create, draw fouls, shoot on goal and compliment Ronaldo and Coentraos speed. I guess you guys think Simao, Danny, Deco, Ruben and Duda were so great. It must have been how "In Form" all those guys were.
Please, NO more Quaresma.
14 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 13:40
Are people still asking for Quaresma. You have got to be kidding. Quaresma has thrown away his career. He hasn't played in over a year, so to expect him to enter the Seleccao, and do something would be ridiculous.
I don't get the fascination with this guy. Flashes don't make a career, consistant performance does.

What Portugal needs to do is help bring up and develop Sa, and other youngsters.
forgotten injured
13 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 13:30
Things probably would have been different with Bozingwa and Nani and a fully fit Pepe. Portugal's just not deep enough to overcame 3 starters injuries. And the way Ronaldo played was like playing with 10 against 11.
Quaresma 2012
12 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 12:59
I believe that if Quaresma was in the squad he could make a difference in this type of game, To be honest in my opinion right now Portugal doesn't have another player who can put the ball into the box as dangerously has he could, just think of hes Porto days forgot the Inter, he couldnt adapt to the defensive style of play and also Mourinho never used him as a winger he would use him as a Midfielder, I believe that Quaresma will shine in Besiktas as they have wanted to buy him for a long time and will support him as Porto fans did.
Quaresma? Get real!
11 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 08:26
Sometimes I wonder if anyone has actually watched Quaresma played in the last few years.

He's been awful from the moment he walked into Inter and they were delighted to get rid of him.

Even his last season at Porto was unspectacular, and as a Porto fan I wasn't that disappointed that he left. On his day he could be fantastic, but all too often he would just give the ball away, fail to track back and help out defensively, do pointless stepovers and trivelas that never worked.

And just think of this - if the Special One Jose Mourinho couldn't get the best out of him, then who exactly can?
10 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 08:15
The ratings are fair.i think our being out of this tournament falls down to the substitutions...from their ratings it's obvious none made an impact, furthermore i think they might have had lower ratings. Personaly, i think our first sub should have been duda for simao.coentrao would push up the flank to left wing,duda would replace him in defence.i dont like duda in defence, but with coentrao's form, duda would hav had help in his defensive role.coentrao im sure would have added a ton in attack.pepe was exhausted and needed to be subbed.i would hav opted for him out and liedson in.our formation would change to 4 4 2 and meireles is capable of performing the holding role.if he couldn't perform the holding role than i think veloso would sub him as our last change.even with 2 strikers i think liedson is full of running and willing to drop into midfield to pick up the ball so i dont think we would loose our midfield strength.almeida would be a good target man for ronaldo and coentrao on the wings and liedson would feed nicely off almeida if we chose to attack down the middle as he is able to hold back defenders.admittedly,we were the weaker side,but we did create opportunities to score,but once almeida was taken off we totally lost all hold on the game.
9 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 02:48
I agree with the ratings.
Eduardo was outstanding. Came up big when called upon.
Coentrao was a huge surprise and find. I'm a Benfiquista and I didn't/couldn't believe it.
Costa was a surprise pick after playing so nervously the previous match. He gave up as much room as Ferreira and wasn't as good as Miguel going forward. We never found someone for the right side.
Simao in my opinon was awful.

Lastly let me just say that the substitutions were once again suspect.
Why exactly did Almeida get pulled for Danny, who also had a bad tourney. Danny is not a forward so he went wide and Ronaldo pinched in, making them both useless.
Mendes for Pepe instead of an attacking player?
I understand Liedson, since we needed a forward at that point. Why we didn't have one for a portion of the game, I don't know.

I guess that we all expected more after seeing the defense and Eduardo play so well.
8 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 01:15
Its sad that some bias Spanish fans voted Xavi as the official MoM. Eduardo was clearly the man. I'm also really sad that the days are over for some players I've been quite attached to since the days of 2004. By 2012, its a completely new generation. A vast majority of the current squad will be in 30s and some in the late 20s by then.

Its time to completely sweep the roster clean and rebuild a new team. The Sporting, Benfica, and Porto youth teams need to focus on developing new talent. Forget about importing all these south americans. We need to start now or the national team will go underground in the near future.
good effort from Portugal
7 Wednesday, 30 June 2010 00:00
As disappointing as it was to see them exit at this stage, I'm proud to say that we have some positives to take from this tournament and that we have also learned some things about our team that we need to fix.

Surely the tournament that Eduardo had (especially his games against Brazil and Spain) will make him a hot commodity this transfer season. He made all the right decisions and made some tremendous saves and was very unfortunate that the Villa's shot rebounded right back to him.
I hope that he will be starting for a big club very soon.
The same goes for Coentrao....he had a tournament to remember and will really help us at Euro (when hopefully we'll have Bosingwa back).

Ronaldo didn't play his best again but I think a lot of that just highlights how badly we need a creative midfielder (or two) to get him involved more. Our inability to score in 3 out of 4 games that we played obviously highlights our need to be able to hold onto the ball better. We can counterattack well and maintain possession against the smaller teams, but when we play someone strong in possession, we need to have midfielders that can disrupt their play and keep the ball from them at times. We'll never play just like Spain because it's not our style, but you can't score without the ball and against Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Spain we just didn't have enough of the ball to score.

Conversely, the game against N Korea demonstrates what we can do when we are stronger in possession. We can DEMOLISH teams if we can hold onto the ball.

I said it before the tournament: the lack of solid midfield play would really hurt us, and it seems it was our downfall. I do think the lack of a solid striking core hurts, but not as much as our woes at midfield.

I'm glad that we escaped the group of death and only conceded one goal in 4 matches though. The world cup surely won't be the same for me without Portugal there but all is not lost and remember at one point it didn't even look like we were going to South Africa at all.

Let's all keep our heads up and hope for positive changes in the near future. Maybe we can make a serious run at Euro 2012 if all goes well.

Forca Portugal.
Agree with Justin (strong opinion)
6 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 23:30
I agree with you, if you read my posts on the other string you will see we agree. We need to become faster and less predictable with a few more creative and speed type players. We don't have enough at midfield and striker. Danny was a disappointment but worthy of one more chance.

Quaresma did not deserve a call up but a in form or near form Queresma would been ideal for this game but I have given up on Queresma. I have no problem with welcoming him back if he can regain some form. It in the hands of Quaresma to regain his form.
2012, quaresma, Strong opinion that should be read!
5 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 23:05
Everything has been said but the fact is we do not have enough in terms of ball control and talent. Our midfield is always trying to make the magical one touch pass that ends up backfiring. Just like against brazil we kept on forcing passes everywhere. I understand the Portuguese mindset and that is to play beautifully but we just don't have the talent on this team. Look towards 2012 for our boys to be a force. We have to find someone to back up Carvalho because his days are numbered. Like everyone says if we have Nani, Bosingwa and another couple guys to posses the ball to go along with Ronaldo we are SPAIN and BRAZIL. Last world cup our team could hold onto the ball because of a sharper deco, experienced Figo and tenacious Maniche. Look for manuel fernandes, varela, pele and company to join our team, a team that right now is slow and predictable. What Spain and brazil has is the ability to hold on to the ball and not force anything. Every player is comfortable on the ball and we have a few of those kinds of players but not nearly enough. Ronaldo can't do it on his own and I think that is the game goes on he gets selfish because he sees the talent around him. He is so succesful on Real Madrid and Manchester because the players around him make it easy for him. Real Madrid is basically spain and ronaldo and higuain from argentina. Higuain has help with Messi and Tevez up front to create. Who does Ronaldo have right now honestly? Coentrao is the only player along with Eduardo that really showed up this world cup. Carvalho and Alves are solid we already knew that. Meireles plays ok but he will never be a Xavi or Iniesa player, those players move with the ball and look to create. Meireles forces passes and hopes for the best. 2012 will be a different team and hopefully the guys I mentioned earlier develop. I hate to say it again but RICARDO QUARESMA was built for this type of game. He would have frustrated the Spanish Defense as well as get fouled in dangerous areas where Ronaldo could hit a free kick or be dangerous on a headball that Quaresma would have delivered.
the captain fell off the deck?(or did he leap?)
4 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 23:02
captain ronaldo,when you're swimming back to the cape and look over your shoulder to see the spanish galleon sail in to the sunset remember this the captain is suppose to go down with his ship,this should be the last time you command a ship! the next portuguese man of war that sails across the atlantic to brasil should be under the command of a salty weather worn battle hardened commander......may ..the portuguese flag fly high over the main mast in a nother voyage of discovery .........
3 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 23:01
to finish my last paragraph, we have a left back, we have a great goalkeeper in Eduardo. I wonder if Sir Alex would be interested in bringing him to Manchester considering the age of Van der Saar and no real replacement in sight. We're still missing a couple of things, we need an attacking midfielder to distribute the ball and provide service for Ronaldo and we need a striker who can help open the field for Ronaldo, until we get those things we'll always come up short to teams like spain.
Well done
2 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:56
Spot on Tom.
1 Tuesday, 29 June 2010 22:56
Its a shame we're out, a couple of lucky bounces and we might have pulled this out. We have positives to take from the tournament we've finally found a LEFT BACK

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