Press hammer Ricardo, defence

Lisbon, June 20:

The Portuguese defence and goalkeeper Ricardo took a hammering

from the domestic press on Friday following their 3-2 defeat by Germany on Thursday.

Publico was especially scathing about the lacksadaisical marking which saw Miroslav Klose and Michael Ballack head home unopposed — even if the latter slightly shoved Paolo Ferreira in the back.

“German effectiveness and passive Portuguese defending, were the two factors for Portugal’s elimination,” wrote Publico.

“It’s the end of a dream,” was how ‘Record’ saw it. “The decisive German goal was virtually a mirror image of the one that cost us the title in 2004 (they lost 1-0 as hosts to Greece, through a header by Angelos Charisteas).”

“Ricardo lets the dream evaporate”, recounted Jornal de Noticias in capital letters just to make the goalkeeper, who would probably have not played in the tournament if Quim had not suffered an injury prior to their first match, feel better.

Sports daily Bola’s front page regretted the “sad destiny” for Portugal, which saw some good performances but once again their campaign “rests on a moral victory”, but also found the reasons for the defeat “left a bitter taste”: “defending like that, it was impossible for Portugal to go far”.

The photos showed the players reactions, but the analysis by one of their journalists was to the point: the passivity and the loss of concentration of the Portuguese defenders made life ‘easy’ for the Germans, who knew how to play “in a cold and calculating fashion”.