Joao Pinto: This team will occupy a place in the history of Portuguese football

After Thursday's win over Czech Republic, the former Benfica star believes that Paulo Bento's men have it in them to surpass the achievements of his 'golden generation'
Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) director Joao Pinto has saluted the national team's progression to the semi-finals of Euro 2012, claiming that the players have already sealed their place in the country's proud footballing history.

The Seleccao advanced to the last four with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic on Thursday, with star forward Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the only goal of the game.

Pinto was a part of Portugal's 'golden generation' but he believes that the current team are capable of landing the title which eluded the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa.

"The players have always been focused on what was important, namely thinking only of what we could do, and not what the Czechs could do," he told reporters.

"They were excellent in that regard and this team will occupy a place in the history of Portuguese football.

"I hope that this is the golden generation."

Meanwhile, Portugal president Anibal Cavaco Silva paid tribute to Paulo Bento's men for lifting the nation's spirits during a time of great economic uncertainty.

"Demonstrating sportsmanship, determination and a will to win, our Seleccao once again proved that, in difficult times, the Portuguese can overcome the great challenges posed to them," he wrote on his official website.

"I hope for progression to the next stage of Euro 2012, but the achievements so far have already distinguished Portuguese football and contributed to the positive international projection of the country."

Portugal will now face the winner of the match between Spain and France.