The Portuguese are slowly getting used to the fact that Serbia took the ticket for the World Cup from their hands in the middle of Lisbon (2: 1) and that they will have to look for the way to Qatar through the playoff The finger of blame for the failure in the qualifications goes in the direction of the coach Fernando Santos, whom the mass public blames for the national team playing far below the objective possibilities of a team that has so many stars from the strongest leagues in the world in its ranks.
Santos, on the other hand, claims that Portugal has played only two very bad games in the last three years. "We have had a lot of oscillations since 2018. Since then, a new team has played, with different characteristics from the previous one."
"We had very good periods, so in 2019 we won the League of Nations, beat Italy ... We had two weak games, these two with Ireland in the qualifiers and two desperate ones: against Germany at the European Championship and now against Serbia."
"The first half against Serbia was very bad, we were only worse against Germany. Why? Attitude, concentration, it was all ... The plan just didn't work. And that is my responsibility, "Santos said.
Scenes after the match
A picture of Ronaldo shouting at Santos after the defeat went around the world, although the leader of the Portuguese team says that it was a wrongly seen picture.
"When the game ended, the disappointment was brutal. The players fell on the field, some bowed their heads ..." "I went to the field to support the players and when I passed Cristiano I heard him say to a Serbian player: "If they hadn't stolen my third goal (at the match in Belgrade, prim .aut.), you wouldn't be laughing now.
" "I just went to support the other players. " Santos also admitted that his team does not have opponents who play with three in the last line. "We always had problems when the opponent played with three players in defense.
With Belgium and Switzerland, for example. We don't feel comfortable on the field in those situations." "I have time, I believe that I will solve that problem as well. We will make certain changes so that the players are comfortable on the field, regardless of who and what kind of opponent they are," Santos promised.
Portugal will seek happiness through the playoffs, in which they will certainly be the favorites, but they were also favorites against Serbia, so they must be careful