Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Uefa Euro 2012™

Cristiano Ronaldo © Gallo Images

Stumbling Portugal prove critics right



When Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo tore off his armband after losing 1-0 to Germany in their opening Uefa Euro 2012™ Group B game on Saturday, the frustration summed up all that is wrong with his team.

Before the tournament coach Paolo Bento slammed critics who said Portugal would struggle with an uninspired midfield, out-of-form strikers and a high-profile winger who struggles to fire in big tournaments.

But the match appeared to prove the critics right.

"I haven't done the individual analysis yet but I think it was a very good game by Ronaldo," Bento said.

In truth, the Real Madrid winger did little to justify his top billing.

Ronaldo's goal-scoring feats with Real Madrid are remarkable but the reality is that many of the teams in the Spanish top division are ordinary.

Ronaldo's fancy footwork and stepovers might work well against Getafe and Real Zaragoza but when he comes up against quick top-class defenders who refuse to panic, he finds it harder.

Within the first few minutes of the game he literally bounced off the powerfully-built Mats Hummels and had a similarly frustrating time against Jerome Boateng.

Ronaldo had one good chance in the 64th minute when he broke clear into the German box but was denied by a last-ditch tackle from the excellent Boateng.

Bento will also fret about the way the Germans took control of the game simply by sticking close to Ronaldo and Nani, Portugal's other attacking winger.

On several occasions midfielder Joao Moutinho found himself with plenty of space but when he looked for an outlet in the final third of the field both Nani and Ronaldo were closely marked and the attacks broke down.

Before halftime Ronaldo was remonstrating with teammates about the quality of their passing, yet he too was guilty of misplacing the final ball.

Up front the story was even more depressing, with striker Helder Postiga largely ineffective and Hugo Almeida the only experienced alternative.

Portugal still have hope, since Ronaldo and Nani might have more luck on Wednesday against Denmark, a slower team with a defence which is not as strong as Germany's.

"We have to concentrate in the second game and we have to win it," Bento said.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Thu, 17 Apr @ 05:00
Fri, 18 Apr @ 07:50
Fri, 18 Apr @ 08:00
Fri, 18 Apr @ 09:00

Sports Talk



Iwedi Ojinmah
For Nigeria the noise will come
One just has to look at a map of Africa and South America to understand the special relationship...

Neil Tovey
Climbing the pyramid of success
The fact that an Al Ahly official said the club “have started negotiations with Oupa Manyisa”...

Segun Odegbami
Tradition and history against Africa
It is eight weeks to the start of the 2014 World Cup and predictions are being made on who will...

Carol Radull
Respect your coaches please
I’m a little sick in the pit of my stomach over how Kenyan Premier Clubs are treating their coaches.

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Liverpool staying the course
In an incredible atmosphere at Anfield, Liverpool kept up their relentless pursuit of Liverpool’s...

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Give David Moyes a chance, would you?
All season long the name David Moyes has been on the lips of every football spectator and...