Portugal 2-1 Czechia match reaction: “Today it was about resilience” – Roberto Martínez

Portugal got their Euro 2024 campaign off to a winning start after coming from behind to beat Czechia in Leipzig tonight.

Coach Roberto Martínez was keen to emphasise the resilience and character the team showed, while Bernardo Silva stressed the importance of starting with a win.

PortuGOAL rounds up the match reaction. 

Roberto Martínez, Portugal coach 

“Today it’s not about assessing this game from the technical or tactical point of view.

“Today we won because we showed resilience, willpower and belief. It’s the first time we’ve come from behind to win [under my tenure]. Today we believed, we showed incredible personality.

“It’s a game where we had 13 corners; the Czech Republic had none. If we scored early we could have won by 3 or 4 goals. The atmosphere was incredible. Our fans did not deserve to lose this game.

“Nuno Mendes in a back three? He has the physical attributes to play in a 3-man defence. It’s important to have symmetry in the middle block. The Czech Republic are a physical team. The important thing is not the starting eleven, but how the game ends. We showed we had prepared well.

“Francisco Conceição? He always plays with his eye on goal, he’s very vertical. He’s got a nose for goal. He was the causer of chaos that we needed today.” 


Francisco Conceição, Portugal match-winner:

“It was a tough game, I wanted to help the team score the goal we needed to start the Euro well with a win and that’s what I did. I helped the team and luckily things turned out well.

“It’s a tremendous joy to represent our country. My father, mother, brothers and my girlfriend, lots of people were here, so this victory is for them.” 


Related: Portugal 2-1 Czechia reflection: What to take away from Euros opener

Related: Francisco Conceição scores late as Portugal beat Czech Republic 2-1 at Euro 2024


Bernardo Silva, Portugal midfielder:

“These matches in tournaments are never easy and we played against a team that caused us big difficulties, defended deep, especially in the second half after all the changes.

“We threw more players in the box which I think was what was missing in the first half as we had few players to finish off our moves. When Chicoo, Jota, Neto came on they gave us this.

“I’m very happy mainly with the three points. We’re very motivated to finish top of the group, because we know how important that is, but this is just the first three points to achieve that target and now we have a long road ahead.” 


Nuno Mendes, Portugal defender:

“It’s always good to start a tournament with a win in competitions like this and luckily we managed it.

“Playing as a left-sided centre-back? I had never played in that position, and it’s true that I can’t attack so much, but the coach put me there for a reason. I managed to do my job, both me and the team did a good job and the victory was deserved.”

By Tom Kundert