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Roberto Martinez lauds Slovenia's grit and style ahead of Euro Championship

27. March 2024
Roberto Martinez (foto: Getty Images)
In the wake of Portugal's recent friendly match against Slovenia, Portuguese national team coach Roberto Martinez shared his admiration for the Slovenian squad, demonstrating a sportsmanship that resonates beyond the field.

Despite a non-stressful encounter in terms of competition, the match revealed Portugal's high spirits, led by the congenial Martinez. His commendable attitude persisted despite Cristiano Ronaldo's visible frustration with the match's outcome, highlighting a contrast in responses to the game's pressures.   

Martinez had anticipated a formidable and dangerous Slovenian team and his expectations were met. He expressed no surprise at Slovenia's performance, praising their organized play, clear role distribution, and effective use of their strengths, particularly in attacking combinations. This recognition came amidst a backdrop of positive disposition from the Portuguese team, notwithstanding Ronaldo's dissent towards the match officials.   

The Portuguese coach's pre-game insights were validated by the match's proceedings. He remarked on the Slovenian team's coherence and strategy, which did not catch him off guard. In a gesture of sportsmanship, Martinez extended well-wishes to Slovenia's coach, Matjaž Kek, who was absent due to personal reasons, and commended the team for their hard work and determination.   

Addressing Slovenia's prospects at the upcoming European Championship in Germany, Martinez highlighted an advantage for Slovenia stemming from their ability to play without the heavy burden of expectations. He speculated on the impact of this mindset on Slovenia's performance in the tournament, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and teamwork.     

Martinez concluded his remarks with a note of gratitude for the hospitality received, underscoring the mutual respect and camaraderie that football fosters among nations and teams. This friendly match, beyond its scoreline, showcased the values of sportsmanship and appreciation between competing teams.

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