Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal playmakers Euro 2024 GFXGOAL

Portugal's superstar playmakers should take a leaf out of Cristiano Ronaldo's book at Euro 2024 and be a bit more selfish

Roberto Martinez always talks a great game - even after a poor one. The focus is always on the positives, never the negatives, so there was nothing surprising about his enthusiastic reaction to Portugal's highly fortuitous 2-1 win over Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 opener in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

There was even a not-so-subtle public plea to avoid over-analysing the performance. "Today, it's not about assessing the game from a technical or tactical point of view," he told reporters afterwards. "Today we won because we showed resilience, willpower and belief. "

He was certainly right in that regard. Tactics had little to do with Portugal's victory; it was all down to fighting spirit and good fortune.

Of course, two of Martinez's substitutes had proven decisive, with Pedro Neto providing the deflected cross from which Francisco Conceicao scored his injury-time winner. They also say that fortune favours the brave, and Portugal had five forwards on the field when the full-time whistle blew. Maybe one could, therefore, argue that they deserved their rub of the green.

"The important thing is not the starting 11," Martinez argued, "but how the game ends." It's a good line, but certainly doesn't hide the fact that both he and his team got away with one against the Czechs. Portugal were poor and there were several reasons why...

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