“Then I looked and,” – he lets out an extended sigh – “I relaxed a touch . I saw they were concerned, that they had trained, prepared themselves. But they were confident. That was what won us the title. We played as if it were a traditional game.”
They had knocked England call at the quarter-finals, the primary of three meetings that Sven-Göran Eriksson’s men would have with Scolari – subsequent two as manager of Portugal – in consecutive major tournaments. Each match was marked by one among those curious occurrences that outline summers.
In 2002, it had been Ronaldinho’s infamous equaliser. “He wasn’t trying to attain , he was trying to cross”, Felipão says, bluntly dismissing the player’s version of events. “Seaman took two steps forwards which was it.”
In Lisbon two years later; penalties. Hélder Postiga’s Panenka, Ricardo’s gloveless heroics. “I didn’t know what Ricardo was doing. I didn’t understand. Everyone was perplexed. I don’t know if it had been how of inhibiting the adversary, if it had been a sense that he had. But he takes his gloves off, saves the penalty then takes the last penalty. Sometimes as a teacher you’ve got to authorise the players to use their personality.” agen sbobet terbaik maxbetsbobet.org
Perhaps with those two games in mind, the FA offered Scolari the britain job in 2006. But, he says, “They wanted me to sign the contract before the planet Cup, that was the impasse. it might are a wierd situation. Me, coaching Portugal, getting through and arising against England. I’d be Portugal manager but with a contract already signed with another country? It’s not right. [Otherwise] i might have gone with the best pleasure.”
In that match in Gelsenkirchen, Wayne Rooney was sent off for a kick on Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Scolari’s predilection for the dark arts is not any secret. Did he send his players bent finish up the young England forward? “No, no, no. We don’t have that capacity to imagine that the adversary might do something like that”, he says, slightly unconvincingly. “But among the players, they know. They know who’s more explosive.”
He respects Eriksson and his teams, he says, but adds a caveat. “In 2002, England still played therein old-fashioned English way. Long balls up within the air. England now, within the previous couple of years, give the impression of playing a more sophisticated game. they need a far better chance now than they wont to have [at major tournaments]. In 2018, they went well, and that they have improved. The clubs modified their thinking. the essential infrastructure of clubs has developed. I’m seeing more English players with technical skills.”