Euro 2016: 5 reasons why Portugal were not the most deserving team to win the tournament
Since being admitted into the European Economic Community in 1986, this win last night has undoubtedly been Portugal's greatest achievement where football is concerned. Ever since they qualified out of their group and into the knockout stages, there has been a hovering doubt over whether or not Portugal even deserve to go as far as they did.
After coming third in a comparatively easy group, this team had been written off by virtually everybody who followed the tournament keenly. Genuinely deserving underdogs defeated big teams to knock them out and reach the highest stages of the Euro for the first time whereas Portugal dragged themselves to the top.
While their cohesiveness and gameplay that really binds them as a team are worthy of admiration, the general consensus stands that there were better teams that deserved much better than what Portugal got out of the tournament. We look at 5 reasons why Portugal did not deserve the Euro 2016 crown.
1) The attitude of the players and manager
Football is dubbed as the beautiful game and the game loses its charm the second it becomes all about winning rather than about playing good football. This might be an extremely idealistic and romantic concept to modern day football where wins matter more than the technique used to achieve it but the fact remains.
There is a reason why tactics like tiki-taka and “parking the bus” receive a lot of heat from a vast portion of the footballing audience despite the fact that they are completely legitimate and break no rule in the footballing rule book.
Everybody associated with the Portuguese contingent reflected exactly this attitude which should ideally be unacceptable but is slowly gaining ground in modern day football. "Would I like us to be pretty? Yes," said manager Fernando Santos after the penalty shoot-out win over Poland in the quarter-finals. "But in between being pretty and being at home, or ugly and being here, I prefer to be ugly." Furthermore, Nani was reported as saying, “"If we need to sacrifice playing well in order to get a result, we will do so." They are completely within their rights to carry on playing this way but as long as they do so, the better teams will never completely get the glory they deserve.