Portugal 0-2 Georgia match reaction: “now we are better prepared” - Martínez

Portugal coach Roberto Martínez was at pains to put a positive spin on a forgettable night for the Seleção saying, “now we are better prepared” for the next match against Slovenia.

Meanwhile midfielder João Palhinha jumped to the defence of António Silva, and defenders Nélson Semedo and Diogo Dalot talked about learning the lessons from the defeat.

On the other side of the coin, Georgia’s star man Khvicha Kvaratskhelia spoke of his joy at swapping shirts with Cristiano Ronaldo and interacting with the Portugal captain, on what he described as “the happiest day of my life.”

PortuGOAL rounds up the match reaction. 

Roberto Martínez, Portugal coach:

“We made a lot of changes. The focus was on preparing all the players and now we are better prepared for the round of 16. We had players on the bench that had to play.

“We don’t like losing – it’s the first competitive game we’ve lost [under Roberto Martínez] – but the aim was achieved because now we are better prepared. We don’t want to lose, of course, but now all the players have rhythm and others are rested.

“I think we began with little intensity. Scoring early was exactly what Georgia needed. We never equalled the strength and energy of Geogia. Georgia deserved to win.

“The VAR was inconsistent. If the António Silva tackle was a penalty, then in the 27th minute there was an even clearer penalty on Ronaldo.”


João Palhinha, Portugal midfielder:

“António Silva? Whoever is Portuguese can only be proud to have a kid with so much potential playing for us.

“This won’t affect his growth as a player, it will make him stronger to become stronger. I have no doubt that our António will give it his everything in the next match.” 


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Nélson Semedo, Portugal defender:

“We had a lot of time to turn around the result. Georgia also played very well. They parked the bus and hit us on the counter-attack. We weren’t so good and it’s important to recognise that. We have to work hard and get back to our best for the next game.

“The next game? We know it will be tough, like today’s match, but we’ll be ready. We’re going to train over the next four days, prepare well and give a good response.” 


Diogo Dalot, Portugal defender:

“The goal destabilised us in terms of what we had to do and being calm enough to put into practice what we had planned. We were very hasty, always looking to reach the last third quickly, without making the right decisions. Overall we didn’t do what we had worked on and that leaves a bitter taste.

“But we want to learn from this and take the lessons into the next game.

“I’d also like to leave a word of gratitude to our fans who were here, making it a great atmosphere. We really felt their support and we hope they are the same in the next game.” 


Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Georgia goal-scorer and man of the match:

“I got Ronaldo’s shirt, yes. Cristiano is one of the best players of all time. He greeted me at the start of the game and wished me luck. It was amazing. 

“No single individual stood out; it was about teamwork. It’s the best day in the history of Georgian football. We made history when a lot of people didn’t believe we could beat Portugal.

“Winning the Scudetto was unbelievable, but when you play for your country, you feel enormous pride. It’s the best day of my life. It’s more difficult to do this with Georgia than winning the league for Napoli.”

By Tom Kundert, in Gelsenkirchen