We’ve reached the final four of this summer’s European Championships. So with the help of fans from each of the respective countries, I’ve profiled all the semi-finalists, and we start with Portugal.
Results so far
- Portugal 1-1 Iceland
- Portugal 0-0 Austria
- Hungary 3-3 Portugal (Portugal finish 3rd in Group F)
- Croatia 0-1 Portugal (AET)
- Portugal 1-1 Poland (AET – Portugal win 5-3 on penalties)
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 2
- Nani – 2
- Ricardo Quaresma – 1
- Renato Sanches – 1
6 questions with the Portuguese Footy Pod (@)
1) What was the general mood amongst Portugal fans before the tournament? What were the realistic hopes/expectations?
General mood? Well that depends. You have people like my father that are always negative and think they won’t even pass the group stage then you have younger people like myself that believe they can go all the way to the end. The expectation was to at least make it to the semis and we did. Anything on wards is a plus. We’re all hoping for the title now though.
2) Portugal haven’t won a game in 90 minutes so far. Does that worry you?
Of course not winning a game in 90 minutes worries me but I’m not sure what we’re lacking, is it luck? We had plenty of shots against our opponents back in the group stage but we couldn’t find the back of the net. For God’s sake even Ronaldo missed a penalty! (his first one for Portugal in a competition) But I’m not sure wins will come over the space of 90 minutes. Fernando Santos is a type of guy that prefers to not concede over scoring but I guess it could go either way assuming we stop hitting the bar and the goal post.
3) Cristiano Ronaldo obviously brings a lot to this side. Is his importance overstated or is he truly key to Portugal?
Ronaldo is a tough topic to talk about because he’s so good that most teams focus their defensive work on him so every time he has the ball he has around three to four men trying to stop him so that means he won’t do as much as he should be able to do however he still is a key player but sometimes he might hurt the team more than he helps because he wants the ball but he can’t do enough to help because of the way he’s tightly marked.
4) Who is the unsung hero of the team?
Not sure. Maybe Nani, he helped the team a lot during the group stage.
5) What kind of state is the national team in? Are they likely to continue to reach the latter stages of competitions or start to go off the boil?
I think Portugal’s aims are always to go as far as possible but I’m not sure Fernando Santos will be able to keep his job because of the way we play however he if brings us a title I don’t think anyone will complain about how we win.
6) What do Portugal need to do to win Euro 2016? Can they win it?
Efficiency. Since we don’t have a genuine striker all chances we get we need to convert them. Also keep our back four stable and healthy is key to win such competition. And yes I believe we can do it.
Many thanks to the Portuguese Footy Pod for taking the time to answer the questions, and you can catch Portugal’s semi-final against Wales in Lyon on Wednesday from 7:15pm on ITV.