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Euro 2024: “It’s over” for Portugal, neutralized by an “ugly” France


“The history of football is not that of the just, but of the merciless,” breath But Football. On Friday July 5, in Hamburg, in the quarter-finals of the Euro, Portugal showed “courage” against France, according to the Portuguese specialist site. The Seleção probably played better, and deserved just as much as their opponents to win after regulation time and extra time, which ended 0-0.

But the Blues were “irreproachable” in the penalty shootout, won 5-3, concedes But Football. Didier Deschamps’s team thus joins Spain, which beat Germany a few hours earlier (2-1, after extra time), in the semi-final of the European tournament. That football is “cruel, merciless”, deplores the online sports newspaper.

“It’s over,” is the headline in French of the Portuguese sports newspaper “O Jogo” on the front page of its July 6, 2024 edition.
“It’s over,” is the headline in French of the Portuguese sports newspaper “O Jogo” on the front page of its July 6, 2024 edition.

The fight between the French and the Portuguese was “slow, gray and boring”, tell The World, Spanish general daily newspaper. Eyelids even had to close “during a first quarter of an hour of pure indifference”, which contrasted with the “hot flush” felt by the Spanish during their extra time against the Germans in Stuttgart a few minutes earlier, writes the conservative newspaper.

The Seleçao dictated “the rhythm of the game, making your opponent run”, analysis But Football, but his “firepower” failed him. On the other hand, the Blues applied a strategy that they master to perfection, observes The World : play “ugly. That’s how they won the World Cup in 2018, and it remains the norm in Germany (where the competition is held), even though they have the supposed best team in the tournament in their locker room.”

The ugly French way

But play “ugly”, It is also, in a sense, playing well. Indeed, for the conservative Madrid newspaper, France “defends extraordinarily, they are the strongest team in the competition and it is extremely difficult to surprise them in transition. Even if you are Portugal.”

The expected duel between the attackers Cristiano Ronaldo“even if he is only a shadow of himself” − and Kylian Mbappé“he too is far from his best and aspires to be a noble successor to his idol” – ultimately did not excite the crowds at all, underlines A Bola, Lisbon sports newspaper. Worse, defenders William Saliba (Blues side) and Pepe (Seleçao side) “were the best in the first half, and that says it all,” insist The World.

In the second half, as the minutes ticked by and the chances failed to materialize into goals, “the extensions were long overdue”, summary But Football.

“The end of an era” for Portugal

In the round of 16 against Slovenia, the Portuguese had already played a penalty shootout, which they won 3-0 (after a goalless draw at the end of the match). Their goalkeeper Diogo Costa had then stood up “at the rank of Olympus” by stopping all Slovenian attempts, remembers To Bola. This time, the FC Porto goalkeeper “could not stop a single penalty taken by the French”, while the attempt by the Portuguese João Félix crashed into Mike Maignan’s post, the daily regrets.

The front page of the Portuguese sports daily “Record”, July 6, 2024.
The front page of the Portuguese sports daily “Record”, July 6, 2024.

For But Football, this failure, as well as “Pepe’s (41) tears, hugging Ronaldo (39) after the penalty shootout, signify the end of an era” for Portugal. The Seleção fans can, however, look back with joy on seeing this golden generation deny France a home Euro, in 2016.

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