Tag: Portugal

Euro 2012: Denmark 2-3 Portugal

What a strange game of football this was. Jamie Carragher in the ITV studio called it the tournament’s best to date. But Clyde Tyldesley in the ITV commentary box was struggling for euphemisms for dull in the third quarter. And vast swathes of the first half weren’t much cop either. AND Cristiano Ronaldo got away with a stinker. Not only did his misses not matter in the end (unless goal difference comes into play, which it might if they lose to Holland on Sunday) but Andy Townsend thought he had quite a good game really. Lucky boys, the Portuguese, getting away with this win having dozily let a two-goal lead slip. They didn’t start playing against Germany until they went 1-0 down. And they didn’t really click into gear in this one until they’d let Nicklas Bendtner score twice against them – enough to stir the doziest of teams into action when you think about it. For those few moments between Bendtner making it 2-2 and substitute Silvestre Varela winning the match with a stunning half-volley, Portugal were as impressive as anyone in the tournament to date. Pity it was such a long wait. Jools Holland’s team (the “boogie-woogie piano master” masquerading as Portugal manager Paulo Bento until his next tour) sauntered their way into a two-goal lead, merrily pinging in ideal crosses for 14-foot strikers until Joao Moutinho’s...

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Euro 2012: Germany 1-0 Portugal

It is a reflection of the curve ball that was thrown into Group B of this summers European Championships that, whilst Portugal may have left the pitch at the end of last nights match against Germany disappointed at having failed to collect a point from their endeavours, they’ll probably feel considerably more confident than they were at the start of the day of qualifying from their group. The big result for Portugal came earlier on, when Denmark beat the Netherlands. If we work to the assumption that Portugal were not widely expected to get a result from their opening match, then the consolation of knowing that both Denmark and the Netherlands still have to play Germany while they don’t. None of this is to say that there won’t be a sense of lingering disappointment in Portugal at a result that slipped through their fingers. After all, they had chances. With the clock ticking towards half-time and the score goalless, a shot from Pepe from twelve yards out cannoned down off the underside of the crossbar onto the goal-line but bounced – from a German perspective at least – away to safety. The television broadcasters, of course, showed the replay from every conceivable angle, but there was no controversy to be had here. A little bad luck, perhaps, but there was no questioning the fact that the ball didn’t cross...

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Euro Moments: Portugal

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features Portugal, and in particular everybody’s favourite gesticulating Iberian, Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s very, very good at football, but we suspect that we’re not allowed to like him. Don’t forget, you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. You can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Portugal

It would be a stretch to call Portugal under-achievers, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that they could be considered the nearly men of European international football. This is a country which has periodically come close in recent years to winning a major trophy without actually lifting one, but the development of football in Portugal to even this point has come after decades of being considered a relative backwater in international terms, even though its biggest clubs have been winning trophies at the highest level since the nascent years of pan-continental club football. This summer, however, a fiendish draw and the ongoing suspicion that the team has the unfortunate ability to not live up to the sum of its parts may mean that its involvement in the European Championships could be curtailed early. The History: For many years, there was an international team whose moment in the sun came in the summer of 1966 and wasn’t England. Portugal’s first appearance in the World Cup finals ended with them losing narrowly to the host nation and eventual winners. Coming off the back of the success had been enjoying in the European Cup in the years prior to 1966 this was, perhaps, no great surprise, but Portugal’s success proved to be a flash in the pan and it wasn’t until 1984 that the team managed a repeat of this performance...

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My Favourite Match: France vs Portugal, The 1984 European Championships

Football matches come, of course, in all shapes and sizes – the critically important and the relatively inconsequential, local derbies steeped in decades of mutual loathing and round-trips which measure thousands of miles and have never been undertaken before. Occasionally, though, context isn’t quite everything. Every once in a while, a match can suck an audience in entirely on its own merits and spit you out the other side with a grin the size of the Wembley arch. The presumed importance of the match in a broader sense becomes overwhelmed by the immediacy of the passion play of the moment, and these matches can stand tall, as exhibits of the intoxicating majesty and drama that football can offer those who watch it. The European Championships of 1984 were presumed not to matter very much to a British television audience by broadcasters in the United Kingdom. None of the home nations had qualified for it and the commercial network ITV even decided to abandon all coverage of the tournament, while even the BBC restricted most of theirs to highlights shows in the evening. The previous tournament, held in Italy four years previously, had been a dismal affair, distinguished only by the efforts of English hooligans to create an even worse atmosphere than the football on offer could of its own accord. The result of this insularity was that a British...

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