Portugal’s World Cup adventure came to a premature end last night after a narrow 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the last 16. The exit is an obvious disappointment for Seleção fans everywhere, but just as frustrating was the team’s failure to fulfil their potential to perform with what looked a strong group of players coming into the tournament.

One such player who did not live up to expectations in Russia was Bernardo Silva, failing to settle into Fernando Santos’ system throughout the group stage. However, the Manchester City winger was Portugal’s standout performer in Sochi, showing renewed confidence and positivity on the ball even if it was ultimately not enough to help his team through to the quarter-finals.


Portugal 1-2 Uruguay match report


Bernardo’s supreme technical abilities have been on display for a number of years now, and he arrived at the tournament in good form even if perhaps he did not quite get as much gametime as he would have liked in the Premier League last season. Translating his club form to the national side had proved tricky with his previous club Monaco too, the 23-year-old never really seeming able to gel with the manager’s more rigid tactical setups. Although generally strongest on the right flank, as he has been selected in Russia, many fans have been suggesting a move more centrally in order to get the best out of him.

While Bernardo did indeed start again on the right hand side of a 4-4-2 formation, it was when he did begin to drift to more central areas that he caused Uruguay problems in a vastly improved individual performance. His play was direct and incisive, linking well at times with newly instated right back Ricardo Pereira. Bernardo’s excellent close control and dribbling was evident throughout, and was put to use wisely and in a timely manner as many attacks were borne out his creative thinking.

One particularly notable feature of his showing was his reverse passing, creating a few opportunities for Ricardo on the overlap, as well as for opposite full back Raphaël Guerreiro when Bernardo drifted towards the left touchline. Ultimately these chances largely led to nothing though on a dispiriting night for Portugal. Two Edinson Cavani goals either side of a Pepe equaliser effected their demise in a tournament that promised much. Bernardo himself arguably had the best chance of the game aside from Pepe’s headed goal, just not able to maintain his balance and keep his shot low enough after Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had spilled a routine ball into the box.


Portugal player ratings versus Uruguay


So soon after the event it is difficult to see too many positives for Portuguese fans but there is a very talented young group of players for Fernando Santos to work with in the coming years, which will of course include a defence of their European Championship in 2020. Bernardo is still only 23 years of age and has plenty of room to develop, particularly playing at the highest level under a visionary club coach in Pep Guardiola. A chastening defeat on the night, but Bernardo’s performance is a positive beacon for the Seleção’s future.

by Jamie Farr

 

Comments (58)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Time to put an end to the Santos project. Also time for Ronaldo to retire from national team. Thank you both for 2016 but your both destroying our next generation of players. You watch the games and the younger players don't want to take shots...

Time to put an end to the Santos project. Also time for Ronaldo to retire from national team. Thank you both for 2016 but your both destroying our next generation of players. You watch the games and the younger players don't want to take shots they want to feed Ronaldo. Santos kills their creativity with his boring style play. I rather have the team play to win all the time and not to lose like they normally do. We need a new coach that will use our younger player skills, nurture our young players to excel like they did in the u21 and below teams. BTW, Pep, Alves, and Fontes please also retire so we can get some fresh options or use attack more as a defense like Spain.

Finally, please promote Rui Jorge as the coach....

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People like you will soon realize that once CR7 leaves the national team they will not even be relevant anymore and will also possibly not even make tournaments

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Willing to take that chance, since with Ronaldo we crash out anyway. We got lucky in 2016 playing ugly. BTW, we won the final without Ronaldo. I have heard the same argument. Without Future we will never win.... Without Figo we will never win......

Willing to take that chance, since with Ronaldo we crash out anyway. We got lucky in 2016 playing ugly. BTW, we won the final without Ronaldo. I have heard the same argument. Without Future we will never win.... Without Figo we will never win... What's your point... You think Ronaldo will play into his 50's? Necessity breeds creativity....

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I respect your points but I just don't follow you on this road. I think your approach of dumping everyone is being too rash. I'm not willing to take that risk. Don't think that the team can't self analyze themselves. I want them to learn from...

I respect your points but I just don't follow you on this road. I think your approach of dumping everyone is being too rash. I'm not willing to take that risk. Don't think that the team can't self analyze themselves. I want them to learn from their mistakes and move forward.

We have a UEFA nations tournament coming up and I haven't heard that Cristiano will compete with the team so it might be time to see if necessity breeds creativity will happen.

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BTW, if the team revolves around one player we will never win anything anyway. look how easy it was to shut CR7 down, but all the other players kept looking for him. Need to play as a collective and Ronaldo being on the pitch kills that...

BTW, if the team revolves around one player we will never win anything anyway. look how easy it was to shut CR7 down, but all the other players kept looking for him. Need to play as a collective and Ronaldo being on the pitch kills that collective. It becomes 10 players supporting one instead of supporting each other. like I said, willing to roll the dice without him and the other over the hill gang....

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Time for Ronaldo to retire??? He carries this team on his back, brings us to these tournaments, gets us farther than we deserve...Other teams focus on him and give other players space (like on Pepe's goal). That is the dumbest thing I have ever...

Time for Ronaldo to retire??? He carries this team on his back, brings us to these tournaments, gets us farther than we deserve...Other teams focus on him and give other players space (like on Pepe's goal). That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

You think Ronaldo leaving would suddenly make Joao Mario, Guerreiro, Guedes, Andre Silva, Pereira, Gelson, Bruno Fernandes, and Manuel Fernandes not play like shit? (I'd add Andre Gomes to that list as well).

Half the team underperformed. You can't expect the GOAT to rescue us (like he did against Spain and Morocco) EVERY single game.

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I guess Ronaldo will be playing until he's 50. I rather have 11 good players playing as a collective then have a goat with a herd who dont know how to follow because they are scared and intimadated. The goat and Santos will give you the same...

I guess Ronaldo will be playing until he's 50. I rather have 11 good players playing as a collective then have a goat with a herd who dont know how to follow because they are scared and intimadated. The goat and Santos will give you the same results in euro2020. Ronaldo will score a few goals...the preas will blow smoke up his rear... And he wil disappear when most needed...what a GOAT...

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Still some stuff to be positive about despite the loss - Carvalho, Dias, Andre Gomes, Ricardo P, Andre S, Adrien S, Bernardo, Guedes, Bruno F... plenty of players to build a team around and maybe when Cristiano goes they will start taking more...

Still some stuff to be positive about despite the loss - Carvalho, Dias, Andre Gomes, Ricardo P, Andre S, Adrien S, Bernardo, Guedes, Bruno F... plenty of players to build a team around and maybe when Cristiano goes they will start taking more responsibility. Joao Mario baffles me. What does he do? A total waste of space.
Time for a new manager to build a new team. I would have recommended Sergio C from Porto but No - we want to keep him!

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The idea that when Ronaldo goes, mediocre players will magically play better is beyond ludicrous. Clearly, Portugal fans take Ronaldo for granted. You think Quaresma was held back by Ronaldo when he put in that gorgeous trivela, or Renato Sanches...

The idea that when Ronaldo goes, mediocre players will magically play better is beyond ludicrous. Clearly, Portugal fans take Ronaldo for granted. You think Quaresma was held back by Ronaldo when he put in that gorgeous trivela, or Renato Sanches in 2016, winning best young player? Maybe half our team just STUNK.

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I don't think they are mediocre players or that they stunk. The

team
is set up to get the best out of Cristiano and once he goes they can then start to build a system to get the best out of the
other
players.
I know its still raw but I'll wait...

I don't think they are mediocre players or that they stunk. The

team
is set up to get the best out of Cristiano and once he goes they can then start to build a system to get the best out of the
other
players.
I know its still raw but I'll wait and see what happens rather than being so negative!

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wtf happened there?!

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true what your saying about players scared too shoot and all about cr7...

I feel he still has alot to give and he won't retire he will b at 2022 world cup no dough in my mind about this...

this tactic pass to cr7 is bull shit...

New look...

true what your saying about players scared too shoot and all about cr7...

I feel he still has alot to give and he won't retire he will b at 2022 world cup no dough in my mind about this...

this tactic pass to cr7 is bull shit...

New look portugal is needed

I felt fonte done really well considering al the talk about him...

I felt we were very unlucky jist like euro 96 2000 and world cup 2012...

we were far better team ,silly header from pepe fucked us...

joao mario i thought played pretty well yesterday bernardo finally woke up...

not sure y he decided to chnage cedric at such short notice...

semedo or cancelo will lock down the right back position anyways , bad luck im deeply disappointed but life goes on 2020 it is haha...

not sure what ever became of Carrico

we have alot of talent but yes a new look is defo needed new energy new vibes

and cr7 to play as a team n pay his position ..

I felt gg was wasted aftrr all the talk ..
.andre silva should be striker n cr7 should have been provider ...

rq7 fonte alvez j.p all need retire hard to ask pepe to retire his a machine haha

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He was great but not my MotM. That's Pepe for me. He was the most defensively solid of the back four, he gave us the crucial goal against a team that rarely concedes, and it is likely to be his last World Cup.

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Agree with both positive and negative comments.

Ronaldo is clutch so often, it’s hard to not have him anymore.

At the same time, we have a lot of talent that was left off the team. Somefor good reason (lack of form), others not so much.

I...

Agree with both positive and negative comments.

Ronaldo is clutch so often, it’s hard to not have him anymore.

At the same time, we have a lot of talent that was left off the team. Somefor good reason (lack of form), others not so much.

I think we have a strong team if we can get the following guys to gel:

Cedric, Ruben Dias, Pedro Mendes/Vezo, Diogo Dalot, Ruben Neves, Danilo, William, Renato, Adrien, Rony Lopes, Bruno Fernandes, Bruma, Gelson, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Rui Patricio, and others.

We need these guys to play together in friendliest and qualifiers.

I was in denial but playing players out of position is ultimately what ruined us.

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@Adam: I have to defend not1butt11's point of view somehow. No, I don't expect mediocre players to becoming exceptional automatically when Ronaldo stops playing for the Seleçao - as you ironically stated somewhere in a comment. But it is now...

@Adam: I have to defend not1butt11's point of view somehow. No, I don't expect mediocre players to becoming exceptional automatically when Ronaldo stops playing for the Seleçao - as you ironically stated somewhere in a comment. But it is now really time to think about the future and develop and implement sustainable concepts. It looks like that as long as Cristiano is a starter, some of his teammates don‘t seem to give everything. You can call this weak, their problem, you can even call it unprofessional and you might be right with that. BUT it does not help. Maybe somehow you feel a little less responsible when you know one of the greatest football players on earth plays in your team.The aim must be to put players into positions where they play best. And as long as Ronaldo does not accept the No 9 role, as long you won't see Bernardo where he could provide the most impact: In the middle of the pitch, Ronaldo as lone striker in front of him. I don't know all the reasons why Santos stays so stubborn with this 442. It worked well at the Euros, but the personnel was different. Now he puts players into positions where they cannot contribute with their full potential. Bernardo on the wings and Guedes as second striker is not a great idea - we all know the results now. Obviously, Bernardo has more influence as No.10 than on the wings. Not proven, but most likely, Gonçalo Guedes works best on the left wing. Other obvious observations: William needs a partner who brings some aggression on the pitch. From the current available players, Adrien was the only one at the WC to offer that. We have to hope, that Renato Sanches will come back on track. Sergio Oliveira and Danilo Pereira can play that role too. Conclusion: If the 2striker formation isn‘t the right one to use Guedes in an appropriate way and in the same time Bernardo shall play in the center, the 4231 seems to be the system that fits the most. Even though Ronaldo has done so much for Portugal, I think it is time now for him do a step back from his ideas and Santos to stop putting players out of position. For Ronaldo, this might mean accepting a role as dedicated no. 9 and more and more being subbed by André Silva or say good bye to the Seleção.

My current eleven (4231)

Patricio
Cédric, Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro
William, Adrien
Quaresma (Gelson), Bernardo, Guedes
Ronaldo (André Silva)

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Well put....

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@Rolf, Obviously we need to look ahead, but I have to repeat: Blaming Ronaldo for the poor performance of these players is insane, especially considering that most of them are ALSO not performing well for their clubs (is that Ronaldo's fault...

@Rolf, Obviously we need to look ahead, but I have to repeat: Blaming Ronaldo for the poor performance of these players is insane, especially considering that most of them are ALSO not performing well for their clubs (is that Ronaldo's fault too?).

Once again, a perfect example was Renato Sanches at EURO 2016. He won the best young player and stole all the headlines. How did having Ronaldo on the field inhibit him? Player selection, formation, tactics, this is Santos, Santos, Santos. Having Joao Mario on the field was like playing with a red card in every match. Guerreiro struggled in EVERY match. Bernardo Silva clearly needs to play in the middle. Guedes is clearly NOT a striker...again, how is this Ronaldo's fault?

You think if Ronaldo played for Spain, the rest of the players would suddenly become mediocre? This logic is completely backward (and a typical Portuguese backlash). If Ronaldo becomes HALF as effective as he is in the next four years, he'd still be light years ahead of any forward we're producing in that time.

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Agree with Adam, that argument makes no sense. This isn't a beer league, and these are professional players. They have all competed on every level of every competition on the planet. This isnt some rookie player going to their first tournament....

Agree with Adam, that argument makes no sense. This isn't a beer league, and these are professional players. They have all competed on every level of every competition on the planet. This isnt some rookie player going to their first tournament. These players play for the top clubs on the planet.

So every player on Real Madrid is mediocre when Ronaldo is on the pitch? Or is it just the Portuguese players? I don't get this at all. So what is Argentina excuse then? Higuain, Aguero, Dybala, DiMaria, Mascherano all put their hands in their pockets and just pass it to Messi and become medicore? Pretty sure DiMaria was Argentina best player.

Every player behind Ronaldo, Pepe, William and Rui P (Quaresma was a great sub) did not show up. That was the problem. Blaming our best player for the performance of the others is baffling logic. BLAME THE PLAYERS! The Ronaldo hate/blame is beyond tired.

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Agreed! I thought I would be safe on this site from hate for Ronaldo but unfortunately even on a site like this there are people spitting nonsense and blindly following sheep who say "the team plays better without Ronaldo".

Do you really think...

Agreed! I thought I would be safe on this site from hate for Ronaldo but unfortunately even on a site like this there are people spitting nonsense and blindly following sheep who say "the team plays better without Ronaldo".

Do you really think Guedes misses those chances because of Ronaldo? Does Quaresma score a trivela because of Ronaldo? Does Ricardo mess up in defense because of Ronaldo?

I beg the mods to not let this place turn into a unsafe place for the real Portuguese fans.

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@Adam & Val: See? That's exactly what isn't helpful. When one thinks the unthinkable and proposes rethink Ronaldo's role in this important phase of the Seleçao the reaction is automatically "you are haters" or "you blame Ronaldo". Know what? NO!...

@Adam & Val: See? That's exactly what isn't helpful. When one thinks the unthinkable and proposes rethink Ronaldo's role in this important phase of the Seleçao the reaction is automatically "you are haters" or "you blame Ronaldo". Know what? NO! Nobody blamed Ronaldo to be responsible for this bad ending at the WC. And by the way I am an admirer of Ronaldo, not a hater... Just to make that clear. What I can experience from you both is a little bit what I experience often with Portuguese: If you critizise something which is not running well at a Portuguese's end, he (or she) often does take this immediately as an insult, takes it personally instead of thinking about it and taking it as a contribution to the matter/topic as such. It is one of the very few unhealthy behaviours which I would call a bit typically Portuguese (well I live in Switzerland, and in that aspect we know this kind of thinking from the many immigrants from the Balcan as well). A little bit more reflection would possibly be fruitful. To prohibit free thinking and sticking to a dogma is sure not the way into a brighter future.

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It's not that I am part of a Ronaldo cult...but after the year he had, his retirement should be dead last priority. I can think of 100 topics that are more important to discuss. The FIRST being that we conceded 6 goals in 4 games. How can you...

It's not that I am part of a Ronaldo cult...but after the year he had, his retirement should be dead last priority. I can think of 100 topics that are more important to discuss. The FIRST being that we conceded 6 goals in 4 games. How can you expect to be a World Champion with that defensive record? Implying that the solution to this is getting rid of this tournament's 2nd highest top scorer is silly to me. I just don't see the connection.

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Pepe will be missed as much as CR when he retires.

As for Bernardo has the same problem as the rest of the forwards, no penetration, no finishing prowess. Not sure why Eder wasn't called up. They won't get very far without fixing that. Andre...

Pepe will be missed as much as CR when he retires.

As for Bernardo has the same problem as the rest of the forwards, no penetration, no finishing prowess. Not sure why Eder wasn't called up. They won't get very far without fixing that. Andre Silva is becoming a donkey and who knows if Guedes or Gelson are going to pan out. For now continue to enjoy the Euro win.

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Long time reader..hardly ever post, but theres a few reoccurring themes discussed over and over and over. I suppose its time to chime in.

The baffling Case of Joao Mario and Bernardo Silva. They both are obviously better equipped to play...

Long time reader..hardly ever post, but theres a few reoccurring themes discussed over and over and over. I suppose its time to chime in.

The baffling Case of Joao Mario and Bernardo Silva. They both are obviously better equipped to play centrally attacking and offer very little in defense...so why play them on the flanks? Thats a simple answer...work rate. Not the best technically defensively but have the endurance and pace to be persistent pests on the flanks. Make opponents run more..work a little more. It may not have been pretty but if theres one thing .. Both players put in work in their shift... Leave it on the field..and both (more so Bernardo) have some of that 'magic' to create/score huge goals. They are best options to use on the flanks because of these traits. Not saying its ideal..just putting it out there. Judge Santos. Not me. Santos would rather have his more defensive savy players In the middle of the park (rightfully so).
so why not just deploy a mid field ofAdrien..moutinho..carvalho..fernandes(Manuel) if you want defense? Because if you do that in Santos 4-4-2..you esstentially choke out all of the offensive potential and creativity ..and with the arguable greatrest player and definite greatest offensive weapon playing in the front ..you just cant go and do that.
This is all in theory ofcourse. We saw what Morroco and Spain were able to do to both. When its Bad ...its Really bad. Over powered..outclassed...outrun by good fullback/wingers.
So why not simply just change formatiom/system to accomodate? It changes the dynamics far too much. Right now 2 forwards are needed so defenses cant totally suffocate cr7..make no doubt about it..this is all tailored to maximiZe ronaldos impact. As it should..when you have a player of his caliber its exactly what you do...build the team that compliments him (See : queiroz vs Spain when ronaldo told media to ask the coach why we lost...as to how NOT to use Ronaldo). If we move to a 433 and ask him to be isolated ...etheir at a wing or as a striker ..your inviting defenses to take away your best weapon. Same in a 4231 .
This is why I dont judge santos harshly. He knows what Bernardo is what his strengths are..but he is choosing to place importance on the system ..shape and tactics over individual talents (as he should...it got us a euro ). These arent easy decisions and with the pressure of having a ronaldo on your team it becomes that much harder.
Greatest example I can give ... The reason vs. Uruguay Silva was able to cut in centrally was because of the switch of cedric for Ricardo. With Ricardo attacking and patrolling up and down the right flank Bernardo had less defensive responsibility....which resulted in his best performance...::? shocker . BUT it arguably resulted in 2 goals back our way when Ricardo was caught with his pants down. Goes to show how complicated these decisions can be.
I trust Santos will take the next 2 years and tweak the team and system to better suit a player like Bernardo. There are players coming down the pipeline..jota..felix..Bruma..neves.. Lopes..that may greatly influence what we utimately become next.
Until then..lets not be too harsh. Santos and the boys did what they could. It just wasnt in our cards this time. We will get it back in 4...Forca

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Now that I've had a few days to digest, I'll mention a few more of my thoughts. Disappointing exit in truth, when we all know we could have done so much better. Also some bad luck too, had that ridiculous penalty decision against Iran not been...

Now that I've had a few days to digest, I'll mention a few more of my thoughts. Disappointing exit in truth, when we all know we could have done so much better. Also some bad luck too, had that ridiculous penalty decision against Iran not been awarded, we would have been in the other side of the draw and I would've fancied our chances of reaching the final on that side for sure. But we have to accept it, we lost to Uruguay who took their chances magnificently and to be honest I'd much prefer to bow out to fantastic goals like that than to some fluky goal from a corner or something. Good luck to Uruguay for the rest of the tournament!

I mentioned in my previous post already the fault that Santos has for this early exit, so I won't repeat myself too much. What I will say is I hope he has learned a lesson at this tournament, that with the talented group of players we have, he needs to be play more proactive and expansive football. Those tactics he employed at the euro worked at the time, but football is always evolving, and he didn't evolve enough in these last couple of years. People saying he should be sacked is harsh, I don't agree, he won us our first major trophy and I think that warrants him at least 2 more tournaments as coach, he should at least get the chance to defend the euro trophy he won. Nevertheless I do hope Santos has learned from his errors in Russia. We have to start playing more expansive football and he needs to stop playing players out of their position.

A lot of the usual pessimism from some people about our future. I think we have one of the biggest pools of talent of any team in the world and the future should be very bright. If Santos decides to be braver and more proactive in his approach we can do great things with the players we have. CR7 is certainly good for another Euro and maybe even another WC. Pepe is probably good for another euro. Bernardo Silva showed in that second half how he needs to be a central number 10. I think the way forward is to change to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with Bernardo as the central number 10 with two deeper more defensive CMs (I.e William and Adrien) behind him. And play Ronaldo with Andre Silva up front, Ronaldo needs a CF to play off, that's always when he thrives the most. Guedes should be given a chance to shine on the left wing. If Renato Sanches can sort out his club form then he could be another important player for us in years to come, we missed his energy and drive in the middle at this World Cup. So much other young talent we have: Semedo, Ruben Dias, Cancelo, Neves, Jota, Ronny Lopes, Rafa Silva, Bruma etc, a long list of players. I think with the right approach and getting us back to playing the way Portuguese play best (I.e more proactive and more jogo bonito), we would have great things to look forward to with this crop of talent we have.

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As a long-time administrator and journalist for this website I am really interested in reading people's honest opinions about the state of Portuguese football. I always read the comments section for the articles posted on this site, and in truth...

As a long-time administrator and journalist for this website I am really interested in reading people's honest opinions about the state of Portuguese football. I always read the comments section for the articles posted on this site, and in truth they help me better understand Portuguese football culture.

I'd like to add a comment regarding whether it's a good thing that Ronaldo stays or retires. I agree with a little of what each side is saying. For example, I agree that it is not good that our young players try to give Ronaldo the ball too often. Conversely, I just do not see how removing a player with Ronaldo's skillset is ultimately going to help this team. I saw a similar argument about Messi and Argentina during this WC. I posted a link on twitter in fact, but the case being made was that Messi was so good that Argentina simply could not help but play disjointed football and lose. That is absurd. I would say the same is true of Portugal and Ronaldo.

However, there is still the problem of how we get our young players to do what they do best without just looking to Ronaldo only. It is a problem, I admit that. I just do not think the solution is that Ronaldo should retire. Seems a bit like "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

Portugal are about to come into an era where they will need to do a lot of retooling of the squad. It never hurts to have an ace like Ronaldo around during that time and eventually I think this squad will learn to play the kind of football of which we all know they are capable.

Developing the proper roles for player like Bernardo Silva is key. If players are out of position and uncomfortable with their place in the squad, they will lack the confidence to affect matches and will probably respond by deferring responsibility to Ronaldo. If they are comfortable and well-adapted to their specific role, they will have the confidence to play to the utmost of their ability.

Thanks again to everyone for making this site enjoyable for all of us. Vamos Portugal!

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Good post there Nathan.
I noticed a few times during the last couple of games that Cristiano was also more involved in the through-balls/passing around the box/build-up play than previously and this is a role he could do more of to help the...

Good post there Nathan.
I noticed a few times during the last couple of games that Cristiano was also more involved in the through-balls/passing around the box/build-up play than previously and this is a role he could do more of to help the players around him and link up play rather than always looking to shoot. As he gets older and less mobile I'd expect him to play people in more which would help make it more of a team effort.

Bernardo Silva should get more playing time at City in the next few seasons as David Silva is phased out and I agree he should be played in his proper position for Portugal. I'm expecting him to become the main-playmaker for club and country with Adrien and Carvalho/Danilo in the middle.... and then there's Neves also!

The only real negative for me was I wasn't convinced by the full-backs and this is a worry even though there are quite a few options.

On a separate note - Andre Gomes is at a crucial time as if he joins the wrong club it'll put him back years and he really should be a strong player for Portugal - apart from Renato none of the other midfielders are as direct when carrying the ball.
Interesting times for sure.

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Spot on. This sort of tournament needed to happen for self reflection of the team and where its heading. Playing disciplined and organized defensive futebol helped us get our first Euro... I applaud it because this is s country that badly needed...

Spot on. This sort of tournament needed to happen for self reflection of the team and where its heading. Playing disciplined and organized defensive futebol helped us get our first Euro... I applaud it because this is s country that badly needed that trophy. The contributions portuguese minds and players have given this sport are second to none, to go on without a major trophy would have neen tragic.

However we are not built to continue to be this type of team. The creativity and skill in our attack has too much potential to hold down for much longer..guedes/Burma on the left ..gelson/ lopes on the right and Silva as a 10...possibilities are endless. Add in Neves and the fullback situation and we truly may have the foundation for something special...with or without ronaldo (its time to start looking at life without him.. Wether it comes in 2 or 4 years).

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Very articulate Nathan and well-measured. I wholly agree and wish I had your ability to make a point without upsetting people...

I just couldn't help but be SHOCKED that the FIRST thing we discuss after this World Cup (and one Ronaldo's best...

Very articulate Nathan and well-measured. I wholly agree and wish I had your ability to make a point without upsetting people...

I just couldn't help but be SHOCKED that the FIRST thing we discuss after this World Cup (and one Ronaldo's best seasons) is relishing his retirement...Is that the first priority here? Not our aging CBs, lack of leftback options, a formation that allows for Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes to thrive, how so many players who were outstanding during the EURO are out-of-form...No. It's how this World Cup's 2nd highest top scorer needs to go for the rest to play better? How about how we conceded 6 goals in 4 games? No true champion can get away with that.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Bernardo Silva was incredible."

Pep Guardiola
(Manchester City coach praises Portugal midfielder after a masterclass against Manchester United)

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