Thursday, 01 July 2010 11:38

Mourinho leaps to Ronaldo’s defence

Carlos Queiroz categorically rules out resignation

Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho has leapt to the defence of Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Widespread criticism has been aimed at the Real Madrid forward in the wake of the Seleccao’s exit from the World Cup and his inability to exert any influence on the game against Spain.
But Mourinho says it is wrong to heap blame on the Portugal captain. “I refused a lot of offers to comment on the World Cup and I don’t like to poke my nose in when I’m not invited to, but because he (Ronaldo) is my player, I have the right to make one simple comment.
“In my teams when we win we all win, when we lose, I lose. So Ronaldo can go off and enjoy his holidays because next season I will not allow anybody to put on top of him the responsibilities of a whole team. Great players make the difference because they are the best, but the team giving them support is everything,” said the new Real Madrid coach, adding that Spain won the game simply because they were the better team.

Muted welcome

Meanwhile, the Portugal delegation arrived back at Lisbon’s Portela airport early on Thursday morning to a low-key welcome. In stark contrast to the huge crowds that welcomed back the Seleccao after their semi-final finish in Germany four years ago, a small crowd assembled and greeted the team with a mixture of timid cheers, applauses and boos.
The waiting journalists did not waste time in asking Queiroz whether he was considering resigning.
“Absolutely not,” he replied. “If the national team coach has to resign because the team lost 1-0 against Spain in the last sixteen, then we are doing something very wrong as regards the Seleccao.”
Queiroz added that he would give a more complete appraisal of Portugal’s performance at the World Cup after a period of reflection, but admitted that injuries played a part in hampering the team’s progress.
“There were a lot of players that could have made the squad more competitive, and next time these players, like Bosingwa, Varela, Ruben and Nani will certainly be in form and will not be injured. We will have more options.”
by Tom Kundert
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Comments (31)
Ricardo Quaresma
31 Monday, 12 July 2010 19:44
Why was Ricardo Quaresma left out of thePortugal team ??
ronaldo is not the best of portugal, not even top 5.
30 Sunday, 11 July 2010 01:59
ronaldo is the best?! what the hell????
i can name 5 WAY better international portuguese then him..
1- Eusebio
2- Pauleta
3- Vitor Baia
4- Luis Figo
5- Rui Costa
...... portugal better impress at euro 2012 or give querioz the boot out of managers position.
Fresh start!!!!!
29 Tuesday, 06 July 2010 20:42
We need a new manager who is willing to produce players who play attacking football. The game against Spain was pathetic in terms of posession and movement. We relied soley on def tactics, which is the complete opposite for what Portugal is known for. For this coming 2012 Euro, if everyone is healthy, here would be my starting 11:


J. Bosingwa R. Carvalho B. Alves F. Coentrao

Pepe R. Meireles

C. Ronaldo Nani
R. Micael
S. Varela

I'm Hoping R.Carvalho is healthy for 2012, however if he's not then I'd probably go with "Rolando".

Forca Portugal!!!!
agree on reducing costly "Imports" and
28 Saturday, 03 July 2010 18:26
it is banckrupting our top clubs, and denying opportunity to our own blood. Also agree CR7 needs a new Figo, otherwise he will be the UN-lucky 7! This is basically the point of Mourinho.
Portugal against Barcelona FC!
27 Saturday, 03 July 2010 18:00
Everybody is blaming Ronaldo for the defeat against Spain but Portugal was up against Barcelona FC and Ronaldo was shut-down and singled-out so Mourinho knew why the team failed.
Ronaldo's fan
26 Saturday, 03 July 2010 16:49
Ronaldo is one of the best players in the planet but he needs a good team to win any tournament not by himself? He had no support from his team and never had a chance to exploit his skills.
ronaldo stil da best portuguese player in history
25 Saturday, 03 July 2010 05:43
stop hating on ronaldo! Every one says he is overated but wen he has an awsome season at club level all u haters praise him 4 being portuguese! I do believe dat he puts 2 much pressure on himself wen he plays 4 portugal! He was world class wen figo was around coz he didnt believe dat he had 2 carry da team! Another ting is dat other teams take advantage of da fact dat all referees dnt blow freekicks 4 ronaldo even if it is blatent foul ( puyol kickin him in like da 5 min ) because of his reputation 4 diving! Da last coment i want 2 make is dat queiroz is a terible coach, come on, we r not boring italians, we dnt play counter atack football, we r da brazilians of europe, ful of flair nd atack... Ronaldo plays atacking football nt counter atacking football! I stil believe dat ronaldo is da best on dis planet!
24 Friday, 02 July 2010 21:53
I think that Eduardo should become the next Captain!
He has heart! And we need that right now!
check this out
23 Friday, 02 July 2010 19:47
Ricardo Costa
22 Friday, 02 July 2010 16:49
Not to blame anybody but Ricardo Costa over Paulo Ferreira and Miguel? Both could have easily added to the attack on the opposite to Coentrao and both could have handled Villa better than Costa who ultimately failed. CQ really blew my mind there.
I thought CQ promised more attacking football but that clearly wasn't the case with starting Pepe (a defender) at center mid. Nobody to distribute and that's when Deco was needed.
Of course Ronaldo played dismally against Spain. He was forced to play defense with the rest of the team for an entire game, something that does not cater to his exceptional skill, all questions of maturity aside.

Just poor managing. Portuguese football needs to develop young player from Portugal and not imported. It can be done and it remains to be seen if Portuguese teams are willing to do it.
(Paulo-Australia)-- Good Comments
21 Friday, 02 July 2010 12:41
Great stuff and glad you root for Portugal in Australia. Hope you do not think I blame the WC on CR. CQ made some poor decisions though I believe we should stick with him ... this was a WC that was not favorable for Portugal to win given the limited options in attacking.

I don't blame CR for the WC but I do blame CR for bad leadership and being immature. Also, I do think CR is a overrated player and his development has stopped as he has beome more of a power player with no finesse. I watch probably 20-30 games a year and he rarely beats a defender one on one as he is predictable, he is more like striker relying on other to set him up near the goal, and has trouble with athletic defenders (watch him against top teams). This is not to blame him for the WC but a warning sign that his development may have peaked --- I hope I am wrong.

Anyway great stuff! Keep up the good banter!
We need a new philosphy
20 Friday, 02 July 2010 09:09
To all those people who blame Ronaldo, with all due respect. you dont know football.

Portugal under Queiroz has been a disaster, he's installed nothing but negative football.

I'm from Australia, born here with Portuguese parents. The Aussies with their no fear attitude and limited players are playing better than portugal and in fact I would go to say that if it wasn't for a bit of bad luck would have qualified for the second round.

My point is that Australia play like they dont fear anyone, much like USA, however Portugal played like they were scared to lose.
In my life of watching the portugal national team I've never seen Portugal play so deep in defense. The game against Spain was an utter embaressment. Its no wonder CR& played so bad when the midfield was swamped.

face it people portugal have been playing bad for months now and you cant blame it on Ronnie.

Lets get a Dutch Coach!
19 Friday, 02 July 2010 08:14
The Portuguese Federation and all Football teams (especially the big three Sporting, Benfica and Porto need to contract / or develop more Portuguese players in all positions instead of replacing them with foreigners. Limit the amount of foreigners per team or naturalise them. The portuguese football teams need to be competitive in the Champions league and Europa league.

Look whats being done in the German team due to the Bundes League. The average team age of the German team is 25 years old. Oezil , Kedira and Muellar are approximately 20/21 years old. Imagine the Germans in the next Euro or WC. Eleven players of the squad could have played for other countries.

Lastly Its up to the National players selected to wear the National jersey with pride ,otherwise leave them at home.
agreed Tony, CA
18 Friday, 02 July 2010 03:22
I think ronaldos developement took a hault over the last 4 was sky rocketing after euro 04 then until last euro it just stopped....hes relied too much on power and speed...his moves are too predictable....and his ball control and passing/crossing ability is dredful....AND HES A WINGER....mourinho honestly needs to do sumthing to him or else he will be a cancer to this team....firts thing, he shouldnt be captain.....what does everybody else think????
CR is overrated
17 Friday, 02 July 2010 01:19
I totally agree with Tony/Ca on CR. I have been watching CR for some time now and he does not have the touch in his passing and he does not have the vision to set up plays for other players with passes. On a counter attack he will run up the field to where there are few defenders stop and do his razzel dazzel foot work letting other defenders catch up to the play. A good player would immediately pass the ball to another well positioned player before other defenders got in to the area. I hope it is an immaturity thing and he learns from Mourinho. Mourinho had Milito trained well in how to do an effective counter attack at Inter Milan.
You're kidding yourself
16 Friday, 02 July 2010 01:16 must be joking. Queiroz was clueless this World Cup. A world class defense? Why because they only gave up one goal while parking the bus in front of there goal for 3 out of 4 games? C'mon...The man played 4 center backs 2 games in a row! Costa had no business being on the team let alone on the field, and I think it's safe to say Pepe wasn't ready and he shouldn't play in midfield anyways. It's not hard to have a good defense when you play 6 defensive players and your center back pairing is one of the best in the world.

To say that being mad at losing in the round of 16 to Spain is unreasonable isn't correct either. It's not the result but the matter of the result just like Torpiano said. He turned a free flowing attacking nation into Italy in the matter of months. Now that is unacceptable!

Yes he doesn't have the players to choose from that Spain does. Spain's bench is obviously much better. But he does have better players than Meireles and Pepe to play in midfield. He does have the options to make better use of Ronaldo. They can't play the same style as Spain but they can play open and attack and if they would have they would have given Spain a better game. To put pressure on their weak defense is the way to go. Spain doesn't counter they like to build up slowly with quick short passes. Attack them but be organized enough to work back in get in position. Don't park it in the defensive area and just clear the ball to Ronaldo and say "be superman please!"

In's not the exit that's's the style of the exit. The only good things to take away from this World Cup is the emergence of Coentrao (him and Bosingwa will be a ridiculous pairing) and also the play of Eduardo. Now let's find a coach to get us back on track please.
world cup
15 Friday, 02 July 2010 00:07
Portugal's problem in the world cup and in the future moving forward is we (Portugal) have no midfield, we have not had a midfield since Rui Costa left. If we had a midfield we would have beat Spain.
Queiroz Out!
14 Thursday, 01 July 2010 23:32
A very disappointing managerial display. Created too much insatability. Poor tactical choices. Ineffective changes in critical moments. Did not know how to use Portugal's greatest weapon, CR7.
Queiroz has essentially modified an attacking, offensive and appealing style of football into a defensive, unimaginative team. No one but the manager can take blame for this disastrous display of NEGATIVE soccer. I wish Portugal luck if he continues to manage this team. Portugal will go nowhere. Queiroz out!
Portugal's Great Defense?
13 Thursday, 01 July 2010 21:35
anyone who thinks Portugal played a great defensive game against the Spaniards should replay the game.... Spain had 10 shots on goal, at least half of which needed great saves from Eduardo.... not to mention at least another 2 or 3 that just grazed the woodwork.... this game could've been another 7-0 massacre.... good defenses don't allow that many quality chances.... the only defensive improvement i saw from this squad compared to others was their work defending set pieces and corners.... allowing the opposition to possess the ball for 60% of the game the way Portugal allowed Spain and Brazil to do is not exactly the best defensive strategy....

as for Mourinho, that's why he's called "the special one".... nice jab at Queiroz for not having been able to put CR's talent to better use....
Agree on Attacking Players
12 Thursday, 01 July 2010 20:08
A few comments.

1) Jose Mourinho can make the statement about CR because at RM he is blessed with talented attacking players so the pressure is off CR.

2) I AGREE WITH THE COMMENTS AND PODCAST ABOUT PORTUGAL NOT BEING BLESSED WITH ATTACKING PLAYERS. If you don't believe, how many attacking Portuguese players play for big clubs/eagues and are high scorers? There are few, if the rest of the big clubs know this and show it by having few Portuguese players that should tell us something. If you are not a big performer at a big club you will likely not big a top performer at the NT level.

3) CQ made some mistakes with subs and selections plus the injuries did not help but bringing in a new coach will not help. We need a coach that can develop the generations of players during this transition. Sure we can bring in a coach who will whip the team to success for the next few years given there is some talent but long term will not serve the NT program well.

4) CR is overrated! His game has developed into a power shooting game but he can't beat anyone off the dribble like when he was younger, all he does is try to out run defenders and when he slows down in speed he will hot have any moves or tricks like Figo had late in his career. He is not able to pass and set up his teammates (lacks poise in passing-heavy touch and vision). His leadership is lacking. At 25 there is a pattern developing and I am not sure he will break it, he has one more World Cup left and 2 Euros for sure. One of my social studies teacher once stated you want to know what a person is going to do, look at his past.
the way we went out
11 Thursday, 01 July 2010 16:57
I don't think anyone is disgraced by losing 1-0 to Spain in the second round of the World Cup after coming through the group of death. On paper it looks like a respectable achievement but it is the MANNER of the exit which grumbles me.

North Korea game apart, we looked very tepid in the other games. He may be tactically astute when it comes to setting up a side at the start of the game, but when things aren't going well he HAS NO CLUE how to change a game in terms of tactics & substitutions.

It was a disgrace that we went out of the World Cup without even putting up a fight after going a goal down. I would much rather of lost 3 or 4-0 by at least having a bit more of a go and trying to get that equaliser with some bold tactical changes.
10 Thursday, 01 July 2010 16:43
he is getting old, but he wouldn't be a bad option. I would love to see Jorge Jesus coach the seleccao, but he should stay with benfica for a few more years.
Luis Aragones
9 Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:11
Apparently Luis Aragones is linked with Portugal?

and Mikey I don't not agree with you!
He's Not As Bad as Everyone Thinks
8 Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:05
Queiroz is actually a very competent and realistic coach. About a year ago when CQ first took over, he spoke about Portugal's terrible goal difference in the World Cup. He obviously had a vision to make a world class defensive team, and he did. He is the best man for the job at the moment and he knows the Portuguese youth system inside out (a trait that is very vital since we are trying to bridge two generations of Portuguese football). So before anyone insults the man, look at what he's done for the team so far. After all, we lost against Spain, arguably the best national team in the world.
7 Thursday, 01 July 2010 14:55
I don't think any one is blaming Ronaldo for the loss, what Mourinho fails to recognise is that Ronaldo was very unprofessional during this tournament, he did not behave like a captain. Sort this immature kid out for his own sake please Mourinho, because only teenage girls like him as a person, on and off the field.
We must have been watching different games
6 Thursday, 01 July 2010 14:45
I don't think it matters who coaches this team from CQ to Phil Jackson of the lakers...actually maybe phil can teach our offense the triangle offense that spain just killed us with. WE NEED TALENTED ATTACKING PLAYERS. With no talent you can't hope for much. With a nation of 10.5 million people we need a talented starting 11 no matter what. Our defense is in place now we need varela,pele,quaresma,nani,manuel fernandes,orlando sa, candeias, ricardo vaz te, makukula and some other to step out and play. If mourinho coaches guess what will happen...we will have an even better defense then we do now and draw games for the next 2 cups. So anyone thinking that mourinho will come in and pour magic talent dust on our midfielders is probably smoking that dust. It is not Ronaldos fault it is the lack of talent around him. All you have to do is look at the contenders left in this cup and that will explain itself. Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Holland and Germany all have players who are comfortable on the ball and look to create...we have guys who try to force the ball 35 yards over the defenders for usain bolt/ronaldo to run on to. Until the talent level is fixed I am not convinced of this team.
Fresh Air
5 Thursday, 01 July 2010 14:37
Portugal had a lot of needed parts missing due to injury.
Ruben, Boswinga, Nani and others who weren't chosen will most definately be for the Euro's, Fernandes, etc...

Mourinho has come out and said and acted exactly as he always has.
Players love him because he will put them in a position to win and keep the pressure off them at teh same time.
I'm surprised how everyone says he plays anti-football, since his Porto and Chelsea teams attacked plenty. Inter did as well, but it's a different game in Serie A.
People should also take a look at the 1st leg vs Barca. Inter didn't have 10 behind teh ball and countered very well. The 2nd leg blew up because of Busquets play acting.

This seasons race between Real and Barca is going to be crazy.
4 Thursday, 01 July 2010 13:46
Scolari anyone?

I would take him back quicker than you can say Crapesma.
Stop complaining
3 Thursday, 01 July 2010 13:40
everyone wanting wholesale chances won't help the national team...just like the podcast had mentioned, Portugal isn't blessed with offensive riches in the midfield....Portugal could barely put two passes together to start an attack against Spain, when needed, and Queiroz worked with what he had....don't start with the self-serving Deco, please!...does anyone remember who Spain had on the bench?...try Silva, Fabregas, Navas, Mata etc...i'm sure Queiroz and Portugal's fans would kill for just two of those guys.

i just hope that Portugal produces some great talent over the next two years to cope with the lack of options....there should be more of a push to develop homegrown talent...look at Coentrao...forget the cheap imports...Portugal doesn't need a population of 50 million to develop a championship team, just focus the money in the right places and make the football program a priority and they'll be fine...i hope the Portuguese teams are doing their part.
no more queirozing the seleccao
2 Thursday, 01 July 2010 13:25
Kind of bad news if queiroz does not resign! Portugal isn't greece!Nor Italy!it is so great to have a great defense and it is a must!but playing defensively isn't ours!

So having players such the future Ronaldo(motivated by Mourinho),the reborn Quaresma, more mature Nani and Varela, and the new collection of the young strikers and finishers such as Djalo,Ukra,Orlando Sa...all these player will bring back the attacking style of the seleccao!

But an attacking mind is needed, a new coach is needed, FPF has to keep on its search for such coach! I don't think that Queiroz can do it again!He had Nani and Bosingwa in the qualifications stage, and he made a historical amount of 0-0 scores!even with Albania at home!

SO PLEASE save a new generation that can bring history to Portugal!Just assign a good coach!
1 Thursday, 01 July 2010 12:44
“There were a lot of players that could have made the squad more competitive, and next time these players, like Bosingwa, Varela, Ruben and Nani will certainly be in form and will not be injured. We will have more options.”

Yes! And they will also be more MATURE.

The squad in 2002 failed more miserably than this one (beaten by USA and Korea). At that time, Figo, Rui Costa, and most of the key players were 30 or more years of age.

WIth the exception of Carvalho, the key players on the 2010 squad are 4 years younger than the 2002 squad!!!!!

Remember that Ronaldo is 25 years young. Compare that to Figo who was 32 (Euro) and 34 (WC) during the two most successful tournaments since 1966!!!

Lets not forget that the "golden generation" that gave us such joy also gave us much heartache, AND embarassement. The scenes after losing to France in 2000 and the game against Korea in 2002 were signs of player immaturity and to a certain extent the state of national self-doubt.

Although players still whine and do stupid things, the last 8 years have shown great maturity of the Portuguese game. This will hopefully continue as the seleccao qualify on a REGULAR basis for major tournaments and maintain a top 10 ranking.

By all accounts Mourinho is a great motivator and manager. Hopefully he will be instrumental in developing Ronaldo's leadership abilities! Time will tell, but I have a feeling that Mourinho will be a key element to future success of the seleccao without actually being the manager.