“A lottery”, “a question of luck”: the distress of the Portuguese players, eliminated on penalties by France

“A lottery”, “a question of luck”: the distress of the Portuguese players, eliminated on penalties by France
“A lottery”, “a question of luck”: the distress of the Portuguese players, eliminated on penalties by France

The pill is not going down well for Portugal. Eliminated at the end of the suspense by the French team on Friday (0-0, 5-3 pen), the Seleção leaves the Euro in the quarter-finals despite several big situations. A lack of efficiency regretted by Vitinha, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who felt “a sense of injustice” on the microphone of the Portuguese channel CNN after the match. “There is a lot of frustration at the moment. We felt that we deserved it, we worked hard, we gave everything, and when it is like that it hurts. But that’s football.”

The same goes for his midfield partner, Ruben Neves. Interviewed by Canal 11, the Al-Hilal player considers the Portuguese defeat “unfair for all the work done since the start of the Euro”. “It’s difficult to leave this competition like that. We played an excellent match, we controlled most of the game with the ball and we created chances. We deserved better, but we gave everything we could.”

Positive despite this setback, coach Roberto Martinez also wanted to highlight the collective performance of his men. “It’s a sad moment, because the players fought. They showed the values ​​of Portuguese football,” said the former Belgium coach. “It’s sad, the fans deserved to be happy, but we lost standing. We gave everything. We had very good possession. The defeat is cruel. I leave the message that we lost, but with pride. Portuguese, we will not stop there.”

“Penalties are a lottery”

Qualified after a successful penalty shootout in the round of 16 against Slovenia, the 2016 European champions stumbled this time after Joao Felix missed a penalty. A failure linked to a lack of success for most of the Portuguese players, like Rúben Dias. “Penalties are a lottery and today they didn’t smile on us,” the Manchester City defender told Record. “It’s difficult to start like that, since I’ve been here, this is the most successful match in terms of chances. We had the clearest chances but we faced one of the strongest teams.”

For his part, PSG left-back Nuno Mendes told CNN that the penalty shootout was “a question of luck”. “The last game was for us, today it was luck for them. It’s about continuing, keeping our heads up and continuing the work we’re doing.”

Moved to tears after the match, Pepe, who did not confirm that it was his last match in the Portuguese jersey, was more placid, again for Record: “For what we did, for everything my teammates did, we do not deserve to have lost. Football is cruel, sometimes it gives glory and sometimes it takes it away. Our journey was short. We could have gone much further. We know that this is football and we fell today (Friday).”

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