Road to Euro 2008: Portugal

by : Stephen Lars

?Thus Portugal classified

During the qualification phase Portugal entered Group A only losing one game and managing the second place after a very exciting match against Finland. The Finns needed a triumph in Oporto while for the Portuguese a draw was sufficient.? At the end, the scoreboard remained 0-0 and the team coach by Filipe Scolari moved forward to the next round.

On the other hand, Poland dominated the group achieving the supreme position being the only team that won over Portugal from the group. There is also the worth seeing clash between Portugal and Serbia in the city of Lisbon...a mix of action, aggression and Coach Scolari's 3-game suspension after an intent of aggression to Dragutinovic

During the Portuguese's last game they obtained their best qualification throughout the team's history; despite having lost the final against Greece. To this match Portugal came in with surprises especially as they had played a stronger rivals only a few weeks before; Spain, Holland and England were defeated against a host team that seemed to have all in favor.

Luis Felipe Scolari - The Coach

Scolari can be defined as the best Portuguese football coach during the entire history of Portugal.

The Brazilian coach has helped Portugal enjoy the glory arriving at the EURO 2004 final and to the semifinals of the past FIFA World Football Championship, matching the best record of the Portuguese national team in this competition something they had not experienced since 1966.

During the World Championship Portugal won over teams such: Holland and England in quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, but lost to the French in the semifinals 1-0. After Scolari's exceptional performance with the Portuguese team he was offered the position to coach England but he decided to remain with Portugal for two more years.

The Team

The side-midfields are Portugal's strong potential as well as their main problem. The situation is strange in the Portuguese team as it has big side-midfielders in the attack as in the lateral defense...all are outstanding players and with clear preferences for the right side. Cristiano Ronaldo, Quaresma and Simao are three incredible players who play in the right side; Bosingwa and Miguel are excellent laterals who offer good performances with their local as well as national teams.?

The only situation with Scolari has been his difficulty to close the left side gap and this has been seen in several occasions basically the 4-2-3-1 that he employs regularly instead of a new 3-4-3 game strategy with a very defensive player.

The Star Players

It is well known that Portugal has the new era young football Winner of the Golden Boot, Cristiano Ronaldo who is currently playing for the Manchester United. Ronaldo has it all...speed, strength, agility...but his weakness continues to be the lack solidarity in the game, although is also an error that is being worked on for him to become the "perfect player".?

Also, there is Anderson Luiz de Souza 'Deco' who currently plays for the FC Barcelona where he enjoys great creativity and initiative in the game attacks, excellent game vision and strong shots. Without a doubt, Deco is one of the 'souls' of the team spreading his winning character to all of his teammates.