THIS SUMMER PROVED AGAIN HOW USELESS THE ‘EXPERTS’ ARE
“We are not going there on an excursion,” insisted Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
“We are going there to win!”
Cue the smirks from the assembled press at the pre-Euro 2016 conference.
Looking back at this summer’s big European tournament, we can all we so maddeningly wise after the event, convinced now having read the statistics at leisure that the best team all along won it in the end.
The elements for Portuguese victory were thus:
Three appearances in the semi-finals out of their last four European Championships, seven consecutive one-goal wins, a tight defence, a focused and unified group of players, the young star of the tournament, oh and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking to 442 magazine before the tournament, Portugal centre-back Jose Fonte’s resonating words should have alerted us to his team’s potential:
“We have the best Situs Qq player in the world,” he reminded us. “We have a strong team, a fantastic manager and the full support of a nation.”
Well that sounds like a recipe for success.
He went on:
“I think we’re very well organised, we’re a close-knit squad and we have players who are extremely dangerous offensively.”
Yup, can’t argue with that.
“I think Portugal have a very good chance, ” ex-goalkeeper Ricardo told World Soccer. “I know there is an excellent spirit within the squad and the team has a very good coach. I think everything is in place for Portugal to have a good tournament.”
Ah, the 20/20 vision…
“I think we’re going to have a great Euro,” added Paulo Futre. “Portugal can beat anybody if we’re at the top of our game…Portugal are a great team when they are in good shape.”
Tom Kundert in World Soccer talked up their chances as well:
“Portugal have …