Portugal happy despite early exit

Last Updated : 28 June 2014, 20:08 IST
Last Updated : 28 June 2014, 20:08 IST

Follow Us :


Portugal's players were in no mood for an in-depth analysis of their World Cup failings as they prepared to return home, preferring to trot out time-honoured cliches about doing their best and leaving with their heads held high.

Their post-tournament comments were as lacklustre as their football as they tried to explain their group stage elimination which followed a 4-0 defeat to Germany, a 2-2 draw with United States and 2-1 win over Ghana.

"That's football. I'm proud of all the players, the coaching staff and the directors. We're going to carry on working," defender Bruno Alves told Portuguese media. "I'm proud to be Portuguese," he added.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who never lived up to his World Player of the Year status, used one of Portuguese football's favourite cliches in a succinct analysis of their overall displays following the 2-1 win over Ghana.

"That's football, we are leaving our heads held high," he said. "We tried out best and we didn't succeed."

Nani managed a slight variation by saying: "Our aim was to leave with our heads held high."

Midfielder Ruben Amorim plumped for another old favourite, the "time to look ahead" cliche.

"We didn't have a good World Cup, we are aware of that but we finished with a win," he mused. "It wasn't enough, but now it's time to lift our heads and look to the future."

Portuguese footballers are masters of saying very little, and their answers at press conferences during the World Cup were so off-hand and repetitive that they bordered on the disdainful.

Pepe, whose chirpy off-field personality is a stark and baffling contrast to his volatile behaviour on the field, veered a little bit off course by admitting there were mistakes, before coming out with the inevitable "we did our best" line.

"We couldn't afford to make the same mistakes again," said Pepe, who was sent off against Germany and did not enlarge on what the mistakes were.

"We wanted to go through to the next stage, we tried our best but unfortunately, it wasn't possible. We fought hard but we didn't get there."

Midfielder Joao Moutinho was the only player who offered any sort of insight when he complained about the heat in Manaus where Portugal drew with the United States."I was tired after 30 minutes, although I know that the conditions were the same for everyone, so it's not an excuse," he said.

Moutinho also addressed the vexed issue of why Portugal had gone to train in the United States for 10 days before the World Cup, instead of preparing in Brazil.

"The conditions there were very similar to Campinas (Portugal's training camp in Brazil)," he said. "People are asking questions about this now because things did not go well."But there was no suggestion that anything else had gone wrong.

"We have an excellent team who can beat any opponent, and two years ago we came within a whisker of reaching the Euro 2012 final. We musn't now throw everything away and say that we are the worst."  

Published 28 June 2014, 20:07 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us