Tag: Portugal

The 200% World Cup: Germany vs Portugal – Live!

Tonight marks the beginning of the World Cup group stages for three-time champions Germany, or more specifically West Germany, who have also reached 4 other final appearances. Meanwhile their opponents in Salvador this evening, Portugal, haven’t managed to better their third place finish back in 1966. It’s widely expected that their star man Cristiano Ronaldo, of Real Madrid fame, will start the game after some injury concerns coming into the tournament. He did limp off on Thursday’s training session and it was suspected that his reoccurring knee problems had returned. On the flip side Germany have some concerns over...

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Euro 2012: The Semi-Finals – Spain 0-0 Portugal (Spain Win 4-2 On Penalty Kicks)

So it was all about Cristiano Ronaldo doing nothing. And I pilloried BBC commentators for fawning over him even while he was doing nothing, when they’d actually spotted the defining moment of Portugal’s tournament. “Look at Ronaldo, just waiting for his opportunity” said Steve Wilson, midway through the stultifying second half against Spain. An hour later, he was still waiting, as Cesc Fabregas’s scuffed spot-kick snuck in off a post, where Bruno Alves’s thunderously well-struck effort moments earlier had cannoned back off the crossbar. Spain’s victory was the inside of the width of the frame of the goal and Ronaldo could do nothing about it. “He fancied the big moment,” noted Gary Lineker in the BBC corner-flag cubbyhole, on Ronaldo being the fifth, rather than the first, Portuguese shoot-out penalty-taker. “I don’t understand it,” bleated Shearer, blandly unaware that he’d just heard the explanation. Portugal’s penalties had already raised eyebrows when burly centre-back Alves strode confidently forward to take their third kick, only to be overhauled in the final furlong by Nani, whose turn it actually was. The defender was blamed by the pundits for his stupidity, as they always do – hence the surprise that Sergio Ramos had both the composure and the intelligent to chip-drive his spot-kick down the middle of the goal. But Nani must have been at least as culpable. For once, though, the squanderer...

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Steady Now, Jonathan: Pearce Shouts For England & Ronaldo

It has become the cheapest thing in football writing to criticise its television commentators. I almost feel like I’m cheating if I get cheap laughs out of an article on the foibles of Alan Green, Peter Drury et al… So, let’s get serious. This European Championship has seen the usual mix of poor research and inanity from the commentary boxes of both the BBC and ITV. The inanities have come at a much faster rate than I can ever remember. But, as I say, it is the usual stuff. When Craig Burley says he has to “rely on reputation” to comment about international footballers, you calm yourself by remembering that he’s only an ex-footballer, not a journalist… Then you also remember that he is supposed to BE a journalist. And whatever his insights into international football tournaments (he played, and scored, in Scotland’s 1998 World Cup finals campaign), they are no help if he can neither utilise that experience nor recognise Ukraine’s Oleksandr Aliyev other than by “reputation” (DVDs of how he got that reputation must be available to a national broadcaster like ITV). However, the performance of Jonathan Pearce and Martin Keown in Warsaw at the Czech Republic v. Portugal Euro 2012 quarter-final plumbed further depths of unprofessionalism. Instead of enhancing the viewers’ knowledge and enjoyment of the evening, the pair ruined the latter with their obsession with...

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The Euro 2012 Quarter-Finals: Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal

So, we have had our twenty-four hour break and it is on to the quarter-finals – the business end, if you will – of the 2012 European Championships. And if there is one player above all others who looks as if he may be the one that is talked about in hushed tones when this tournament is talked about in years to come, it is likely that it will be the moustache-twirling pantomime villain of European football, Cristiano Ronaldo. After eighty minutes of knocking insistently at Petr Cech’s goal, he summoned forth a glorious diving header to win this game to send Portugal through to the semi-finals of the competition. If the Czech Republic had found themselves a trifle bemused to find themselves in the quarter-finals of the competition after their opening thrashing at the hands of Russia, though, they didn’t demonstrate it over the first thirty-five minutes of this match. They put in a strong performance in the opening stages of the match, albeit without creating very much by way of goalscoring opportunities, and it looked as if they might even have found a way to snuff Cristiano Ronaldo out, albeit by parking five or six of their players in a circle around him and refusing to move, but with ten minutes to play of the first half an injury to the surprisingly-still-only-twenty-seven-years-old Helder Postiga, who pulled up...

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