Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Italy vs. France

Portugal could not manage to score and now faces a match against Germany for the third place. France was better on the night and deserves to play in the final.

Yet Portugal is to be congratulated after having made every effort possible against a French team in a clean but competitive game – and is now among the best 4 teams in the world.

Once again, France beats Portugal in a semi-final, this time in a FIFA World Cup after two times in a UEFA Cup semi-final (1984 and 2000). France was stronger and controlled the game and Portugal was not lucky with the chances created. History dictates that England always loses on penalties and Portugal loses with France.

However, the excellent work from the group which took Portugal to this phase of the FIFA World Cup should be remembered because if a few years ago the presence of Portugal in a final phase was hoped for, now it is expected or even demanded.

Now Portugal has to face and accept the truth. The team is much better in world football ratings than for example four years ago and it has a team which promises to produce more in future.

Ricardo Carvalho did in fact commit a penalty against Thierry Henry on 32’ because there was contact in the area and Zinedine Zidane showed that there is no possible defence for a well-taken penalty. It is a pity because Ricardo Carvalho was for us the man of the tournament.

But congratulations Portugal for the excellent work done since the beginning of the campaign for this World Cup. The Portuguese flag has not flown so high for forty years in the world of football.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey