They have been called lots of names from,the fluke-rs of the final,the team with the most boring football in the final,a one man team,call them as you wish but they are in the Euro finals and according to me they are the team to beat come Sunday.From history,it’s not always about the big names on the pitch but the chemistry and team work,after all,games are not won on paper,and this competition so far,we’ve already seen that,far and wide.Their team work and patience throughout the tournament has made them pounce on initial dark horses Croatia and the second ranked team in Belgium.
Portugal head into Sunday’s Euro 2016 final after another disciplined performance, proving again in their 2-0 win over Wales that they perform like a well-rehearsed orchestra rather than a solo act.
That has a huge amount to do with their 61-year-old conductor and coach Fernando Santos who took charge in September 2014, vowing to put “tactics first and technical ability second”.
Santos reduced the side’s dependency on glamorous striker Cristiano Ronaldo and sidelined gifted midfielder Joao Moutinho.
The impact has been impressive. Since Santos was appointed, the Portuguese have come through six matches at Euro 2016 without losing and are unbeaten in 13 competitive games.
On Sunday they will play in only their second major final since they lost to Greece in Euro 2004 on home soil.
Santos, who used to coach Greece, has never made any apologies for Portugal’s dour style and said earlier in the tournament that he was happy for his side to be Euro 2016’s “ugly duckling”.
Portugal, who usually dominate possession but rarely throw caution to the wind, owe as much to their young, versatile, dynamic midfield as to Ronaldo in attack and they gave Wales precious little breathing space on Wednesday.
Portugal will be hoping to do the same on Sunday and not only to make History but also show the world they are no push overs, and to be the best you must beat the very best.