Jun 28, 2012 - "Portugal fails again! Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't take a penalty and the best country without a major tournament trophy crashes out in the semifinals of Euro 2012!"
If we rewrote that with a modicum of perspective it would read: Portugal, incredibly, made another deep run in a major tournament, continuing to overachieve and defy all odds or common sense.
It is easy to pick on Portugal, and many people have. Once again, it failed to win a trophy, this time going out in the Euro semifinals on penalties. Spain edged them from the spot, 4-2, while Ronaldo watched on waiting to take a fifth kick that would never come. The country of Eusébio, Luís Figo, Rui Costa and now Ronaldo fell short once again.
But did Portugal really fall short? Fall short of what expectation? The expectation that a country of 10,000,000 should compete with the likes of Spain, which has a population of 47,000,000? That it should produce as many quality players as 60,000,000 Italians or 81,000,000 Germans?
Portugal has the population of Belgium or Hungary, yet the world expects infinitely more of it. That is a testament not to a team of misfortune and disappointment, as one would think in the aftermath of its loss to Spain, but one of tremendous overachievement and accomplishment.
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Thought this was a wonderful article and may actually cheer up some people here. Because I think sometimes people forget how amazing Portugal truly is. Obviously not pleased that we lost, but what we've done in the last decade really is exceptional.