The qualifying phase showed that the group has the right attitude

Statements by Roberto Martínez in the preview of the Portugal-Czech Republic match, from the first round of Group F of Euro 2024.

The qualifying phase showed that the group has the right attitude
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Scolari reached the final of Euro 2004, in Germany he made it to the World Cup semifinals, and Fernando Santos had a lot of faith. Do you have any superstitions? "No, it's a boring answer, but I don't. Except for Friday the 13th. I don't have any superstitions."

How do you spend the hours before the game? "In national team football, things change. We have a lot of time to prepare for the games. It's important to have a work plan, and when I can't finish it, it's difficult. I think with experience you can use the time better. We need to be calm to help and provide solutions. If I can use the time well, I can enjoy it."

The Czech coach said he wouldn't be afraid to attack... "I think the Czech Republic's style is very clear. I've faced the Czech Republic three times, and the structure can change. A line of four, a line of five... But I really like the idea. It's about taking risks, high pressure, with players wanting to score goals. Soucek has been having consistent seasons, Schick is a German champion... There are players with clear ideas. Individual training defines the style. I agree with the coach. The Czech Republic plays to win, in a way that likes to take risks, and it will be fantastic for the neutral fan."

Any special focus on something? "From the moment we had the draw, we had the opportunity to schedule three preparation matches. We used 25 players and had more than four days to prepare for the game. We had an incredible reception from the Portuguese fans... That warmth and energy have been amazing. Everything is going as planned. We are eager to start tomorrow, after watching other teams play. Winning is a consequence of playing well. We have experience in the locker room. We have three games, winning or losing the first game does not guarantee or rule out the round of 16. We have to work to achieve victory."

Ronaldo said this generation deserves to win the Euro. Can they do it? "I think the qualifying phase showed that the group has a very important attitude and commitment. We won 10 games, but now it's the tournament. There are three games, and we have to demonstrate the level we have here. Cristiano has a lot of experience; he is the only one to have played in five European Championships. He can play a sixth, and his experience is important. What he brings to the locker room is important. As a team, we need to face moments of adversity during the tournament to see if we have the level to go far."

Ronaldo had issues in the 2022 World Cup. How is he now? "Cristiano scored 9 goals in our qualification, many goals for his club, he is a goalscorer who can finish, who can create spaces, and over the years he has changed his style of play."

These comments were made in the buildup to Portugal's highly anticipated match against the Czech Republic in the first round of Group F at Euro 2024. The Portuguese squad, led by manager Roberto Martínez, has shown remarkable form and consistency in the qualifying stages, earning them a place among the tournament's favorites. Martínez emphasized the importance of a solid preparation plan and the value of experience within the team. The warm support from the fans has been a significant boost, and the squad is eager to translate their preparation into performance on the pitch.

Facing a team like the Czech Republic, known for its tactical flexibility and willingness to take risks, will be a true test of Portugal's capabilities. Martínez acknowledged the quality and strategic approach of the Czech team, highlighting key players like Soucek and Schick who have been instrumental in their domestic leagues.

As Portugal gears up for the tournament, the focus remains on leveraging their strengths and maintaining composure under pressure. The experience of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seen many highs and lows in international football, will be crucial. His ability to adapt his game over the years and continue to be a prolific scorer is a testament to his enduring talent and professionalism.

The road to success in Euro 2024 is fraught with challenges, but with a combination of tactical acumen, experienced leadership, and the unwavering support of their fans, Portugal is well-equipped to make a deep run in the tournament. The first match against the Czech Republic will set the tone for their campaign, and a positive result could provide the momentum needed to navigate the group stage and beyond.