Portugal are out of the World Cup 2014 and boy am I glad about it. Let me clarify though that before the start of World Cup 2014, outside the big teams, Portugal was the team I thought would have the best outside chance of winning the World Cup or at least making it through the Semi Finals. I guess a FIFA ranking of 4 did not help them much.
Portugal just could not get scoring in this world cup because of a simple reason. They were shit. That is it.
Were it not for Ghana’s own goal and some woeful attacking, Portugal (for the first time in it’s history) would have been going back home without a single win.
People saying that Ronaldo should have done more to save Portugal or in order to prove himself as amongst the greatest are either not well informed or are downright stupid. Ronaldo’s performance in the qualifying play offs against Sweden was a miracle. It was a miracle that Portugal were even playing this World Cup. Seriously, this Portugal squad is the worst ever and their effort levels are even worse that worse.
Why is it that Portugal stooped to such levels that nobody is even remotely surprised that they are out of the world cup?. 3 reasons are:
- Portugal, apart from Ronaldo, is mediocre by virtue of potential. Yes, potential. Forget about having a purple patch or a good form. Most of Portugal players are simply incapable of playing at a level which would make them competitive at the World Cup or any other Cup. Were it not for the heroics of Ronaldo, Portugal would not have even qualified for the World Cup.
- It’s one thing to have mediocre players and it’s completely another to actually play poorly. USA, Ghana, Colombia, Switzerland did not have much star power either but they all looked motivated and hungry to gain some respect at the World Cup. They were all well drilled and were willing to run to the ground for their country. Portugal lost all 50 50 balls and did not look like a team which wanted to achieve anything.
- Injuries did hurt Portugal. Coentrao got injured in the first match and Pepe got sent off which hurt Portugal even more when they played their second game against USA. Not to mention that had they played with 11 men against Germany they could have kept the scoreline to about 2-0 which would have been enough for them to qualify for the knockout stage ahead of US but I am glad they did not, it would have been a disgrace to have such a poor team in a knockout phase of the World Cup. Team selection did not help Paulo Bento either. He left out Quaresma and included Nani. How does that even make sense? Especially after the kind of season Nani had with Manchester United. This boy is gone. He is useless on the pitch now. Quaresma, I know is not very good at taking orders and he does not like to track back either. But he can offer you a ton of creativity in the final 3rd of the pitch and that too against good teams. Lesser teams like Ghana and even USA, Quaresma can eat them on both wings a bit like Figo did. You’re right, Quaresma would never make UEFA 11 or Mourinho 11 or even Real Madrid 11 but the kind of players Portugal have got, Quaresma would have or rather should have easily made the cut.
After seeing Portugal perform this poorly in the first 3 matches, I think it was better for the sake of the fans and the World Cup even that Portugal were knocked out. They were just poor even when you consider the level of their players.
Ronaldo should just abandon Portugal. There is no point for him to try too hard for a team which simply does not want to be at a stage like the World Cup. He would be better off focusing on his club career with Real Madrid.