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XT Oldie
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Oh my...oh my. Nobody (except us Portuguese) expected our team to come this far...but we should have shut those critics up. Yet many so-called "Soccer experts" claim that our team has no chance against the World Champs. Many people say that France will school us and go on to win the tournament. Weren't these the same people that said England would kill Portugal on June 12? Our supposed "swiss cheese" defense has not allowed a goal in over 340 minutes, if it were not for some terrible officiating our card status would be invisible and our "punch less" offence has scored 9 goals in 4 games (that's 2.25 goals/game) more than everyone except Holland. So truly where do we stand? Can we beat the French? Yes. If we come out and play our game there is no team that can beat us. Not France, not Holland...no one. If we come out and give our opposition to much respect then we lose, plain and simple. A re-match of the 1984 semi-final (France beat us 3-2 in Extra-Time), where the great Michel Platini skillfully ruined our hopes and dreams. 
Much is being made of this game as the Figo vs Zidane battle. Surely there are no 2 better players than these 2. Both are marvels on and off the ball and both can change the game with their magic feet and creativity. Surely today we will see who truly deserves the title of the "Worlds best player". By no means are these 2 sides one man teams though. Portugal has the talents of Rui Costa, Joao Pinto, Sergio Concecaio and Fernando Couto on their side while the French can also call upon Youri Djorkaeff, Patrick Viera, Marcel DeSailly and Lilian Thuram. 
French coach Roger Lemerre has already started playing his mind games with the Portuguese. He said that Portugal did not struggle to get here and should be the favorites. Clearly he is trying to mess with our heads. Lemerre is not the only one talking though. Portugal's inspirational #8 Joao Pinto had these words to say;
"We don't want to miss this chance," he said. "We want to take it and go into the final. ... We may be a small country but we have big desires and big hopes at this tournament. And we want to go further."
We can do it! We can show those pundits that we are a talented side worthy of being mentioned with the Worlds elite. We can do it but only if we believe in ourselves. We can do it if we do not give them the respect that many people feel they deserve. We can beat them if we play our game of slick passing and constantly interchanging positions. Paulo Sousa will shut-down Zidane. Luis Figo will drive the French defense crazy and Sergio Concecaio will score the winner coming in as a substitute in the last 15 minutes of the game. Portugal will win......we can do it. 
By Marco Amorim
 

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Community Analyst
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32,844 Posts
Nice post, there, man.

I'm a believer.

Just one request, if I may...

Paragraph breaks!!! Please! It's a little easier on the eyes. :)

But first, we must destroy France!!!

VIVA PORTUGAL!!!
 
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