To all you devoted soccer fans, the Euro cup is starting to get into the quarter-finals round of play. With favorites including Portugal, and Germany the teams are bringing their best in order to be named champion of Euro Cup 2008.
The buzz is that Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo is the one who is going to carry the Portugal team. In fact, in his last 13 appearances he has scored eight goals. According to soccernet.com he is “the best player on the planet going into the Championships,” (referring to Euro Cup 2008).
Apparently Portugal has the reputation of being inconsistent when it comes to big championships. They made it to the semis and quarter-finals in 2000, and 2002 however, in 2004 in the Euro Cup final they had a shocking loss to Greece, a loss that will not be forgotten.
With Coach Luis ‘Big Phil’ Scolari leading the team the Portuguese have a chance to take it. Sadly, the contract of Scolari is ending soon after the Euro Cup tournament, with many teams looking to hire him.
The problem for Portugal that is critical in play is: the lack of defense. Portugal is known to have an exceptional offense, and a so-so defense. With a team that is not particularly well-rounded it is hard to make it far, and this is what has seemingly been the problem for quite some time now.
It is not that the defense is bad but, they lack discipline. The defense as a whole makes silly mistakes that can be easily corrected with more time and effort.
If Portugal wants to become the champions they are going to have to step up their game, not only in their so-called average defense but, in their incredibly good offense as well. Strategic mid-field play will be pivotal to this team’s success throughout the tournament.
Maybe this will be the year for Portugal, and I guess we’ll find out soon.