Mourinho judges Portugal and Ronaldo harshly

Mourinho judges Portugal and Ronaldo harshly
Mourinho judges Portugal and Ronaldo harshly

Jose Mourinho believes Portugal’s Euro 2024 campaign “didn’t smell good”.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates having only reached the quarter-finals.

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Coach Roberto Martinez was looking to emulate Fernando Santos’ efforts in 2016, when the continental title was won on French soil.

This time, France got the better of Portugal, who won on penalties, and Ronaldo bowed out of what would be his final European Championship. The all-time great has been much talked about without scoring a single goal and must now decide his international future at the age of 39.

Mourinho believes Portugal will be stronger come the 2026 World Cup – with CR7 potentially still at his disposal – but told Sport TV of his latest efforts at the Euros: “There is always frustration when you feel you could do better. The potential of the team was very high. I was close to saying that Portugal, France and England were the favourites. Two of them are in the semi-finals. Spain are the biggest surprise for me, in the way the team has evolved, they are practically a new team. For me, at the moment, they are the team that is playing the best and has played the best throughout the tournament.

“Portugal were not fantastic, even though they reached the quarter-finals. We expected better. I was at the national stadium for the game [amical] Portugal-Croatia and it didn’t smell good. I didn’t have a good feeling. During the tournament we were the team that was progressing, but we weren’t convincing. Often, at the moment of truth, these teams are stronger. It wasn’t the end of Portugal, there was no improvement in the team. But it’s a young team, apart from the two veterans [Cristiano Ronaldo et Pepe]a team that has a future ahead of it. The World Cup is within reach.”

Next up for Portugal is the Nations League, which kicks off in September. Ronaldo has hinted he could be part of that adventure, with the Al-Nassr superstar not ready to call time on his career after 212 caps and 130 goals.

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