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Surprised by the rather bland 0-0 draw between Portugal and Brazil last Friday? The Portugeezer wasn’t as both teams made a couple of changes on their starting XI and weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders.
Additionally, without prior knowledge of which team they could meet in the Last 16, there wasn’t an incentive strong enough for Queiroz’s men to attack from the start, which is why Portugal had settle for the runners-up spot while Brazil finished on top of Group G.
A few hours later, the last Group H matches were played to determine the remaining Second Round matches and guess what? We got Spain, our neighbours, current European Champions and probably the most talent-rich team of the tournament. Who else can brag about having Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, Pedro, David Silva and Jesus Navas on the bench?
Having tipped them to go the distance and win the tournament, the Portugeezer is disappointed with what he has seen from the Spaniards. They're not the team that played free-flowing attacking football at the Euro 2008 and during qualification – and only a red-hot David Villa has spared their blushes so far.
Three weeks ago, they thrashed Poland 6-0 and at last looked legitimate contenders. One week later, they were stunned by Switzerland and that loss may have shaken their confidence and reawaken their World Cupophobia.
On the other hand, Portugal have been quietly improving. The 7-0 rout of North Korea injected confidence into the players and they can't be disappointed with their showing against Brazil.
Fábio Coentrão was only converted to left-back this season but, boy, has he blossomed! He put in two encouraging performances against Ivory Coast and North Korea but the real test was against Brazil. You can’t get tougher opponents than Maicon and Dani Alves, but Coentrão held his own, which is more good news for a backline that has yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
On paper, the Spanish team is not better. It is far better. They have multiple options for just about any position on the field, but for some reason they’ve been sluggish and this time Villa will come across the likes of Bruno Alves and Ricardo Carvalho.
If we were playing against Germany or France, we would lose. We have never fared well against those two teams, but football is also a matter of match-ups and we don’t have any kind of inferiority complex when playing against Spain.
Make no mistake, it will be a tough match no matter what, but despite being a critic of Carlos Queiroz’s choices, the Portugeezer sees Portugal being able to grind out a narrow win that will see us through. Somehow defying the odds, Portugal will frustrate Spain and book a quarter-final clash against Japan or Paraguay.
The Portugeezer’s prediction: 2-1
What do you think? Portugal or Spain?
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OOOFA... if Portugal defeats Spain, and prevents FIFA from having a Germany/Spain semi-final or Argentina/Spain semi-final, I can see Blatter investing heavily in a time-machine to go back in time and prevent that from happening. Maybe by having all the 7 goals scored on North Korea ruled offside.
Dude, we sucked thanks to Queiroz. This was a train wreck waiting to happen.
Oh dear, never shared your optimism...
Still, we can take heart from this game as Queiroz assured us the team is getting better by the second and he's already planing the Euro...
great posts Sérgio. I like to read your straight comments on football. Sérgio, maybe on your next post you will talk about that but, any idea why CR7 is so disappointing on national team? I think he's trying to hard. I want's to overplay.. And what about David Villa? What a fantastic player. He's playing Left winger and doesn't complain and what about that, he's scoring a lot of goals! A word on Vicente del Bosque, he may have change the tactics but not the essence of the national Spanish team.
@temjin and @m31n3m3n3
Agreed on the Queiroz par. He never quite proved himself as a manager and this campaign showed why he's not up to the tough task of leading Portugal
Appreciated mate. I might give my two cents on both Queiroz and Ronaldo after all the dust settles. Let's just wait for all the knee-jerk reaction in the next couple of days and then analyze more rationally.
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