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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
What went wrong for Portugal?
Have your say on Portugal's progress
Portugal crash out of the World Cup after a dramatic 1-0 defeat by co-hosts South Korea.

What went wrong for Luis Figo and co?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.

I expected a lot from Portugal in this World Cup, but after watching them play the US and Korea, the team were completely overrated. I was very disappointed by the so-called "Golden Generation".
Steve Sciaretta, UK

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Portugal did not have a particularly challenging group and they should have made the second round
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Laura, England
Portugal are not overrated, but they do have too many egos. Fifa sacrificed an amazing Portugal side for the Koreans. Portugal's Golden generation still nearly beat Korea, having only nine men, a roaring stadium packed with Korean fans, and the officials against them- they still were better, and had more chances even with the tremendous disadvantages at hand.

Korea do not deserve to be where they are. They have been failures throughout their entire World Cup history. If Fifa wants to promote football in Asia fine, it's obvious that this was their intention by having it hosted by an Asian country; or countries to give Asia a better chance of winning.

But teams should earn their places. Take Politics out of football; let the politicians use other catalysts for their twisted intentions.
D, Portugal

Portugal are a very overrated side who only have a few good players. Figo is a world class player and a very strong link, but they are not a fantastic side just because of one player. However, Portugal did not have a particularly challenging group and they should have made the second round. Their performance was disappointing, but too much was expected of them.
Laura, England

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I would have hoped that Portugal would have leant from the mistakes of Euro 2000
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Tess, England

Portugal could have played a lot better and they should have put their best striker on... Nuno Gomes. Oh well - bring on Portugal 2004!
Sarah, England

Portugal were too cocky for their own good. They deserved to be kicked out of the World Cup and I am glad South Korea have taught them a valuable lesson.
Angela, England

Despite the obvious disappointment of Portugal losing to two sides which had the odds against them, I can't help but think that this is a good thing. Maybe being knocked out so early on was the kick up the backside the Portuguese needed to make them realise that they can be beaten if they don't put 110% effort in.

I would have hoped that Portugal would have leant from the mistakes of Euro 2000 and decided that touching the referee isn't such a good idea. Roll on 2004 and let's hope that the team grow up a bit and do their country proud.
Tess, England

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Portugal deserved to go very far in the World Cup this year. They were cursed with a spell of bad luck
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Danny Vieira,Canada
Portugal are a great team, they have great players like Figo. But the main problem in the World cup was too much self-confidence. Portugal underestimated the USA and South Korea, which caused them to lose. But they have great potential and I wish them luck next time.
Max, USA

Portugal are out of the competition for several reasons, the first and most important one is the coach not coaching the team as he should. The bad luck and the poor physical condition of some key players (Figo and Rui Costa where injured earlier this year and are still not up to speed) also contributed. Referees did not help either.

I am kind of sad to see that the people here are badmouthing the Portuguese team, especially the English. Our Brazilian brothers have set the record straight by sending the talent lacking English team, that only got so far with luck, home!

Portugal will be back in 2004 and Figo will be there to silence the critics - if he isn't unlucky enough to get injured again he will be a shining star.

Open Quote
Portugal should have performed better; they even lost to the US, which is pretty terrible as far as this sport is concerned
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Duece, USA
Portugal deserved to go very far in the World Cup this year. They were cursed with a spell of bad luck which was very obvious and very common for our national team.

The team weren't the only ones crying after the Korea game - all over the world we were weeping for our team and how unlucky they were. Figo could have done better but he was just coming back from injury and we may have been expecting too much out of him... after all he isn't invincible.
Danny Vieira,Canada

Portugal show them all what the love of football means, your skill and talent is great. Quite frankly who cares about Korea/Japan World Cup. Concentrate on 2004, and support our brothers in Brazil.
Linda Ferreira, South Africa

Portugal should have performed better; they even lost to the US, which is pretty terrible as far as this sport is concerned. It was shameful and disgusting to see how they manhandled the referee during the last match. This kind of disrespect and childish antics do not belong in World Cup play. These guys are supposed to be professionals, not adolescents!
Duece, USA

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I hope Portugal win in 2004, but for that they will definitely need to work on their discipline
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Thomas Abraham, India
To Gary Hughes (below), the Portuguese players have a problem with the referee because they're a bunch of spoilt, overgrown babies. I can cope with them playing badly or being unlucky, but I have a real problem with them manhandling the ref when they're representing the country. I hope they get their act together before they make idiots of themselves on home soil in 2004!
Paula, Portugal

I don't know why the Portuguese players have a problem with the referee or the sending off of either of their players. The first was an awful challenge, and he would have been sent off for it in just about any league in the world.

The second sending off was right as well, two bookable offences and you are off, no argument.If the Portuguese put effort into their football and not berating the officials then they probably would have made it past the second round!
Gary Hughes, Great Britain

Once again when the Portuguese go out we see the players behaving disgracefully, and the fans trying to justify this. The reason why the Portuguese have not fulfilled their potential is clear - they look for excuses rather than take responsibility.
Ian, England

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Portugal have badly underachieved in this World Cup
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Dawn Williams,Wales
I am a huge fan of Portugal and Figo. If they had a tenth of USA's luck, they could have gone through to the second round. I have never seen a team with nine players, do so well against eleven, and Vitor Baia was outstanding as a defender! I hope Portugal win in 2004, but for that they will definitely need to work on their discipline.
Thomas Abraham, India

It's really amazing to read the comments. Why are Koreans sad for Portugal and English glad? Were you afraid of something, boys? We lose and we deserve it. That's our problem. But can the country of hooligans speak about violence in football? Why did you loose to organize 2006? I think it's a bigger shame than to lose against Korea. See you in 2004.
Maria, Portugal

The "Golden Generation" halo around this team has proven to be a curse on the players. Here is a group of footballers who played as though they were already through the group stage. I had hoped to see Portugal win. Now I'm glad they're out.
James Wills, Australia

Portugal have badly underachieved in this World Cup. They are a great footballing team, but were sadly not on form - their first match defeat by the USA cost them dearly. Hopefully they will go on to win Euro 2004 - I'll be behind them, as always!
Dawn Williams,Wales

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Despite being reduced to nine, I think the Portuguese played well
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WJ Chang,Korea
Portugal have only themselves to blame for their disgusting lack of discipline and sportsmanship. It was Portugal's fault that they were down to only nine men - how anybody can dismiss those red cards is beyond me.
J Kim,Korea

No disrespect to the USA, South Korea and Poland but if Portugal's much lauded "golden generation" can't find their way out of that lot then they don't deserve any sympathy. It's time to stop blaming bad luck, referees and everyone else and start asking some questions of themselves.
Nick, Portugal

Joao Pinto deserved the red card for a tackle that could have broken his opponent's legs. The sight of grown men like Figo and Conceicao crying inconsolably touches one's heart. Portugal could have and should have done better.
Suet Lee,Singapore

Joao Pinto should offer a heartfelt apology to Park Ji-Sung for his shameless tackle from behind. What was he thinking?! He could have ended the promising career of this little giant!
Ho-Yul Lee, Korea

The first sending-off was perfectly alright, the second not so convincing. Despite being reduced to nine, I think the Portuguese played well, and it was their lack of luck that denied them their equalizer in the last five minutes. Portugal really should have gone through, but what can I say...their flop against USA cost them.
WJ. Chang,Korea

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Even though I wanted Korea to win the match, I also hoped you would qualify
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H.S. Kim, Korea
Eusebio apparently did not have many kind words for this bunch. He personally dragged Joao Pinto to see the referee and apologise for the punch. I hope that the ethics displayed by the great man of Portuguese football like Eusebio, Mario Coluna, Simoes et all rub off on the young ones and that we can finally give this so called "golden generation" what they deserve: retirement.
Teresa, Australia

Portugal are out and they deserve to be. That challenge deserved a red card and the referee could not ignore it. The way the players manhandled him in an effort to get him to change his decision was disgraceful. The S. Koreans played as a team (a well disciplined one) and deserved the result. I hope they and Japan do well.
RDO, England

I'm sorry guys, I was with you all the way, and it was all a matter of bad luck in the end. I just hope the "golden generation" can do something in the upcoming European Championship.
Mo, U.A.E.

Sorry Portugal. Even though I wanted Korea to win the match, I also hoped you would qualify. But as you know, unfortunately your players missed many times, especially Nuno Gomez, and failed. I was really disappointed with the result.

I will support your team win in Euro 2004. Please, don't depend on only your star player Figo. You should make your team be more organised. Good luck to you and good bye! I hope you had a good time in Korea as well.
H.S. Kim, Korea

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It is so sad for such a talented team to go out so early, they could have easily made it to the semis
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Nabil Atiyeh, Lebanon
Portugal will not be able to regroup and put the same team out for Euro 2004. There are a number of players who are over thirty and I feel the youth should now be given an opportunity. It doesn't look likely that Figo, Pinto, Rui, Costa and some of the other older players will be playing in Germany 2006.
John, England

Portugal, played a great game against Korea - the calls were very controversial but they put up an amazing fight with only nine men.
YS RHO, Canada

It is so sad for such a talented team to go out so early, they could have easily made it to the semis. They were extremely unlucky. This episode and the ironic fact that they helped eliminate Holland in the qualifiers is a double tragedy.
Nabil Atiyeh, Lebanon

A day later I am still in shock. Four years of hopes and dreams gone... Portugal seems to lack the little bit of luck other teams seem to find when it's needed most, teams such as Italy always have something go their way.

Luis Figo should not have played, it was evident he was not himself. However, he should be complimented on putting his own name on the line to try to push Portugal forward. This is a huge let down for all Portuguese around the world! There have been many tears shed!
Marco Mendonca, Canada

Open Quote
Portugal seems to lack the little bit of luck other teams seem to find when it's needed most
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Marco Mendonca, Canada

Portugal have no one to blame, but themselves. I seem to remember something like this in Euro 2000. They can not blame the officials now or then. They were just too arrogant.
Andrew Ashworth, England

Portugal did not demonstrate the discipline required in games at this level. Their play was inconsistent. I was not sure which Portugal team would show up; the team that played poorly at the beginning of the USA game or the team that easily handled Poland. Maybe next time boys!
Carlos, Canada

Sorry Portugal. I hoped you would win the tournament. You had your chances, now don't blame the referee. The frustrated Joao Pinto deserved a double red card for that tackle - One for the foul and one for stupidity.

I cannot believe some of the harsh, spiteful comments I've read here from UK nationals! Yes, Portugal did have a huge discipline problem, which clearly and sadly helped them to lose the game, but I certainly won't be badmouthing England when they get knocked out.
Marta, Portugal

Joao Pinto deserved the red. Such a bad-mannered, hot-tempered, careless, and terrible tackle from the back of Park deserved expulsion. Portugal were no match for the overwhelming Korean midfielders and defence.

Figo was of no use. He was just a standing stone. Portugal should learn how to control themselves and how to respect the referee.
Tama, Japan

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It was really the Portuguese who defeated themselves.
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T J Y,Korea
I sympathize with Luis and I figure that a lot of Portuguese probably feel the same way. However, while I was watching yesterday's game again, I realized that it was really the Portuguese who defeated themselves.

It was Portuguese players who lost their tempers and committed shameless offences. They were also ill prepared.I won't comment any further on but will quote a Chinese proverb, "Know your opponent and know yourself, then you will a win hundred out of a hundred."
T J Y,Korea

I hoped that Portugal would go to the next round with Korea. Most Koreans will miss the fantastic play of Figo, Pauleta and others.
TJ Kim, Korea

I can't believe that Portugal are out. While I am happy that Ireland are still in it, from the beginning of the tournament I always thought that Portugal were capable of winning the World Cup. Football really is a funny old game!
Sean Ryan, USA

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Portugal did not deserve to proceed to the next round
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Jose Colaco, Bahamas
Being Portuguese, it's with great disappointment that I see our national team depart from the World Cup so early. The fact is we have a great bunch of players with great skill and talent, but that alone doesn't bring success.
Leandro, Portugal

Portugal have only themselves to blame. So much talent, but the usual lack of discipline. It's no good blaming the referee!
Bruce S, Thailand

While I am disappointed at the early exit, Portugal did not deserve to proceed to the next round. They have much more capability than they displayed.
Jose Colaco, Bahamas

Sorry Portugal! I really hoped that Portugal would advance with Korea but the result disappointed me and made me sad. I was looking forward to seeing famous Portugal players like Figo, Rui Costa and Joao Pinto in the second match. What I like to say is that this World Cup isn't only one. I'm sure they will be stronger in the next World Cup.
Hyun, Korea

It's sad to see so many people happy with Portugal's elimination. I hope those people enjoy the subtlety and finesse of both Korean and American soccer. We played badly today, we had no luck, the ref was clearly biased - and that's a lethal combination. But to think that the crazy horse football of the Koreans and the kick'n'rush of the Americans has been rewarded makes me very disappointed.

Why did we fail? I think the answer is simple: bad overall physical condition (something that affects several other European teams). That's the only reason we should ever lose a match against South Korea, who are certainly a bunch of enthusiastic players but nothing more than that (as Italy will show, I'm afraid).
Luis, Portugal

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I'm sure they will be stronger in the next World Cup
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Hyun, Korea
Like many Koreans, I really hoped that Korea and Portugal went through to the next stage together. I still don't think the USA deserve to go through. My wife told me that she wouldn't forget the sad face of Figo in the last minutes of the game. Koreans love Portuguese players; the passion they have shown us, the talent they have and the great football Koreans have learned. Snap out of the nightmare and enjoy the World Cup.
Jeong Kang SEO, Korea

I expected Portugal to make it to the second round but it wasn't meant to be. If there is one thing that is quite shocking so far in this World Cup (besides the "shocks"), it is to see how some people bad mouth every team who loses. Suddenly the so called "stars" of soccer are no longer stars but "losers" who only think about money.

Anyone who has a bit of soccer experience knows that a game can turn into victory or defeat, no matter who is playing or who the favourites are. To all of you who have bad mouthed France, Argentina and now Portugal, shame on you! Every team goes to the World Cup with a desire to win; it is the dream of every nation. So stop your verbal assaults, and remember that your team could be the next to lose.

Portugal have nothing to be ashamed of. It's tough playing with one man down, never mind two. Just try to keep your composure next time.
Carlos Faria, Canada

Portugal defeated themselves. They could have easily avoided the two red cards. Knowing the result from the other match, I don't understand why they played like that. The decision to fall and defend for 45 minutes was a big blunder seeing that Korea were not going for a draw. I hope that Brazil, England, Spain and Italy hold their composure from now on. It's sad that we won't see Figo, Rui Costa and Joao Pinto in this World Cup again. It's more sad that they joined Zidane, Henry, Thuram, Batistuta, Veron, Crespo, Ortega. Oh, what a World Cup it has been so far!
Phil, USA

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What were they thinking? They should've shown class
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Bennet An, USA
Poor discipline cost them. Like the Argentinians they would be better disciplined if some of them got their hair cut. What do they look like? Batistuta's locks got in his way when he should have scored an easy header against England. As for Gomes's miss in the last five minutes of the Korea game...well!

The long-haired Italians were lucky to qualify and would all be advised to visit the barbers if they are to progress further. Mohicans are questionable, but at least there is no effect on vision. Some of the players are more interested in looking pretty than playing what is supposed to be a man's game. Portugal should learn from this - I'm serious!
Stewart, England

It was hard to see Portugal sent back home, but they deserved it. In the first few minutes the Portuguese were clearly surprised by the speed of the Koreans. They couldn't keep the ball! Frustration finally led to a couple of well-deserved red cards. I was very disappointed by the dirty play from Portugal's players. What were they thinking? They should've shown class.
Bennet An, USA

Portugal can complain about bad luck and a harsh referee, but above all about a coach who was not capable of sending his team forward and draw on the natural flair, skill and romanticism of the golden generation... Trying to play like Italians has cost the Portuguese the game and their dreams. The people who run Portuguese football must change.
Paulo, Portugal

Believe it or not, many Koreans were cheering for Portugal in the second half, knowing that the Polish were beating the US by two - they just don't deserve to go into the second round. Even after the game, many Koreans still talk about how great it would be if those two were not red carded or Figo had scored an equalizer. But eleven against nine? Portugal left us no choice but to win this game. Remember, we are one of the hosting countries, we cannot just back off there and look bad in front of home fans. Sorry for Portugal team. We love ya!
Eugene, Korea

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Pinto's tackle could have broken the Korean player's leg
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Richard Parsons, UK
I'm sad to see Portugal go out on a sour note. The first sending off was well deserved, but the second one made me blush a little. When I knew USA were down 3-0, I was sincerely hoping for a draw- I was even crossing my fingers for Portugal when Figo took the free kick! But Portugal really flopped in their first match against USA, so I hope the Portuguese fans don't hold any grudge against Korea.
Sun Kim, Korea

The two sending offs were perfectly alright. Big disappointment to see Portugal, 'the European Brazilians', play so slow and predictable.
Eyrson, Denmark

Being Portuguese obviously I am sad with the result. However, the Portuguese players can only blame themselves. 'Silly' actions have cost them the game for sure.
Jorge, UK

Korea won because they played with heart and passion - Portugal lost because they had neither. As for Michael Brown's comment about two very questionable red cards, well, the first one was an unforgivable and appalling tackle. In fact the Portuguese should consider themselves lucky they didn't have more players sent off for man handling the referee after the red card decision.
Steve, England

How on earth can Michael Brown claim that their players were sent off for "two very questionable red cards"? Was he watching the same match that I was? Or do they provide rose-tinted spectacles in Portugal? Pinto's tackle could have broken the Korean player's leg.
Richard Parsons, UK

Open Quote
Heart and passion - Portugal lost because they had neither
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Steve, England

I'm frankly glad to see Portugal out. Their arrogance has earned them just reward, and they have been consistently over-rated by fans and pundits alike.
Jim Rhodes, UK

Fully deserved plane home! The only surprise was that Fernando Couto was not sent off immediately after Joao Pinto for manhandling the referee.
Phil, UK

Another overrated and overpaid team of European football divas bites the dust. You can not win World Cups solely on the paycheques of your players. Go ahead Korea, Senegal, Japan and Mexico!
EAI, Mexico

It doesn't matter boys, I'm still proud of you all. What breaks my heart is that this is the end of the Golden Generation. Figo, Rui Costa, Couto are all up there with Eusebio, Simoes, Torres and Coluna.
Pedro Martins, Portuguese fan in Australia

Note to American correspondents ... "playing for a tie" would mean competing for an item of neckwear! In football it's called a draw.
David, England

A team like Portugal could and should have done better. Will this be the end of the golden generation? Perhaps, however do not forget Portugal will host Euro 2004 defeated we were but we will be back. Good luck to the teams that reached the last 16. And my sympathy to those that didn't make it. Portugal are out but the World Cup goes on! They will be missed ...
Virgílio Guimarães, UK

Open Quote
Their arrogance has earned them just reward
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Jim Rhodes, UK
When you see the Portuguese goalkeeper running all the way upfield for a cornerkick, you shake your head, unsure whether to laugh or cry. Portugal deserved to get into the second round. They were the better team. But I guess it's the World Cup's loss that so many great footballing nations were kicked out so early. By all means, have a few token underdogs get through to the next round, but this? Where's the excitement?
Denise, Singapore

Yet another of the great teams have an early exit in this World Cup. If there is a morale in the World Cup it should be that no matter how many skilled individuals a team possesses they will always fall short when they are playing against a team which plays as a team and fights for every ball. This moral has been taught to the Portuguese and the French.
Thomas Jensen, Denmark

If the Portugal started to play hard and smart at the beginning, it would be totally different now. It is such a shame that we won't see these fabulous footballers in the last 16.
Pao, Taiwan

Portugal didn't deserve to get through because they didn't play well enough. Great sides take the bad luck and the dodgy decisions and still get through. This is the painful reality of the World Cup, bye, bye Portugal.
Guido, England

Portugal lost the game because they lost their composure. Clearly Portugal had more talent, but it was not to be. Hopefully, Portugal will learn from their mistakes and do much better at next World Cup.
Chong So, USA

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A team like Portugal could and should have done better
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Virgílio Guimarães, UK
I really hoped that Portugal would advance with Korea. I think Portugal just panicked and made a few silly mistakes. It would have been wonderful if Portugal could have tied the game
Lee, Korea

Portugal have been disappointing in defence in this World Cup. I have been very surprised to see their lack of defensive cohesion. Consequently, it was a shock to see that they today planned to rely on their defence to win them a draw, tactically a very poor decision.

Also, they were obviously let down by their discipline. I was appalled at Joao Pinto's challenge, and the red card was no more than he deserved. And Beto really had to go for his repeated fouling. All in all, a very bad day for Portugal!
Christopher, UK

Korea just outplayed Portugal. They had the desire and attacked every ball. All the Korean team played like David Beckham did against Greece, never giving up - if they lost possession they were charging right back after the ball. Well done Korea, true fighting spirit.
Colin, Chile

Portugal had one of the best squads in the World Cup. The problem was that the team selection was poor. In Portugal the sporting newspapers pick the team not the manager. If the manager picks a player who they do not like he is chastised before the game, so he goes with the newspapers and picks big names, not in-form players.

Open Quote
Portugal just panicked and made a few silly mistakes
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Lee, Korea
To be honest Figo played every game even though he was 50% fit, ultimately he was a liability and the other players had to carry him for each game.

Portugal incredibly played with only one attacker in every game, this is a nonsense as they were playing against inferior opposition for all their group games. Tactically this turned out to be a disaster, but once again it was done to make room for all the big names in the midfield.

Let us hope that all the "golden era" of 30 somethings are all put into retirement so that Portugal can build a team which at least can compete in Euro 2004. Also let's hope they can get a manager who is his own man and does not try just to please the public, who are poisoned by the sports newspapers.
Beto, Portugal

The Portuguese were outhustled by two teams with inferior skills. They were badly prepared, arrogant and offered a vicious but lazy defence. The Golden Generation needed to spend more time in the gym and film room and less time reading their press clippings.
George Tobin, USA

Portugal got what they deserved playing for the draw right from the start. Two bad tackles were dealt with swiftly and correctly. I take off my hat AND gloves to South Korea for not playing out the draw, nice to see them through.
James, England

Open Quote
Portugal had one of the best squads in the World Cup. The problem was that the team selection was poor
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Beto, Portugal
Another so-called favourite who decided to sit back and hope for a chance on the counter attack. Italy just managed the scrape through, but Portugal never looked like true World Cup winning material.Offence is the best defence!

Thank you Korea! Here in Italy everyone was hoping to meet Korea in the next stage as Portugal have always been so unpredictable. I admit Korea have impressed but at least we know what to expect, and we will be ready. Never underestimate the azzurri!
Paolo, Italia

Playing for a tie cost Portugal... they got burned. The two players who got sent off will have to find someplace to hide.
Darrin, America

A great disappointment to see Portugal go out in this way. As in Euro 2000 the referee played his part in helping Portugal's opponents, missing at least 5 fouls against Figo and issuing two very questionable red cards.

Luck also deserted the Portuguese, with at least three great chances missing by millimetres. At least we're in good company with France and Argentina. Brazil are the only FIFA top five ranked team still in the competition, sixth placed Italy only just scraping through.
Michael Brown, Portugal

Open Quote
Portugal deserved to be sent packing. If they had started the game going for a win then they stood a very good chance
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Raymond, Australia
A shameful spectacle for Portugal. A 'favourite' with slow, imprecise, mean play, outwitted in all senses by South Korea. Figo's career really appears in its final year(s). Credit to Hiddink for building Korea into the superb team it is. As for Portugal, I'd be surprised if we see them participating again in four years time.
A Wulder,France

What ever happened to consistency? Argentina, France and Portugal are now out. Portugal had a mediocre group and were clear favourites to win. Was the pressure too much to handle?
Edd, Ireland

Sad, sad, sad ... We lost Zidane then we lost Veron and Batistuta. Today, we lost Figo and Rui Costa. The World Cup dream of the Portuguese golden generation ends. What a World Cup!
Smart Syea, China

Portugal deserved to be sent packing. If they had started the game going for a win then they stood a very good chance as the USA lost to Poland. However, they choose to play boring, uninspired football, thinking that South Korea could not tear down their defence. Next time, show some respect for a South Korea team who definitely deserve to go through to the second phase.
Raymond, Australia

Open Quote
Today, we lost Figo and Rui Costa. The World Cup dream of the Portuguese golden generation ends
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Smart Syea, China
Another one bites the dust, who will be next? South Korea v Japan in the final might not be far away in this crazy World Cup.

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