Group B: Denmark v Portugal
All is not well inside the Portugal camp. Paulo Bento, the Portugal coach, has seen his tactics questioned by two of his former team-mates, Luis Figo and Rui Costa, Cristiano Ronaldo’s behaviour has come under the microscope after he stomped off the pitch against Germany on Saturday at the final whistle and Helder Postiga was cross-examined at yesterday’s press conference about his credentials to lead the line against Denmark this evening.
These are testing times for Portugal, who badly need a win over Morten Olsen’s side to relieve the pressure after their 1-0 defeat by Germany. Bento looked a little exasperated as he denied a suggestion Ronaldo had pulled out of training on Monday after an alleged bust-up with him. He chose his words more carefully in relation to his captain’s behaviour at the end of the Germany game and the criticisms voiced by Figo and Costa, who feel Portugal need to play more positively. Bento said. “I won’t say anything against Luis or Rui, they’re my colleagues. But they know it’s harder to do something than say something.”
Ronaldo could not get off the field quickly enough on Saturday, which appears to have gone down badly with some supporters and there were also reports Bento was unhappy with the forward’s actions. “I didn’t read about that [the problem with Ronaldo at the end of the game],” Bento said. “But, if any Portuguese fan was upset with that situation, then it is my job to apologise to them, as a leader of the group.”
Olsen described Portugal as a side “under enormous pressure” as he targets a second victory. “If you are not taking points out of the first game you don’t have the same confidence,” he said. “We’ve got an advantage but we’re not trying to play for one point, we’re playing to win.”