Joao Moutinho vows to bring the smiles back to Portuguese faces after miserable defeat by Germany sees them teeter dangerously close to an early exit from Euro 2020
Joao Moutinho has vowed to bring the smiles back to Portuguese faces as the European champions teeter dangerously on the brink of an early exit from Euro 2020.
Lose against France, the World Cup winners who are fired up to avenge their defeat by Portugal in Paris five years ago, would leave Fernando Santos’s stars in serious peril, and dependant on help from elsewhere.
‘We’re going to take on this match as we always to fight hard, focus on our objectives and hope we can make Portugal smile again,’ said Wolves midfielder Moutinho. ‘We want to give our best and a better image than we gave against Germany.’
Joao Moutinho (above) has vowed to bring the smiles back to Portuguese faces at Euro 2020
Portugal have three points, having won their first game 3-0 against Hungary before they were crushed 4-2 by Germany in Munich on Saturday.
Victory against France in Budapest, however, and they will be certain of a place in the last-16 and it will be the world champions sweating on progress.
‘We can never take things for granted,’ said Moutinho, a veteran of 133 caps for his country.
‘France is a very great team but we will keep working and we did manage to liquidate other big teams. We will try to impose our game and try to be victorious, which is always our goal.
The European champions teeter dangerously on the brink of an early European exit
The were slaughter 4-2 by Germany in their group game on Saturday afternoon (above)
‘It didn’t go well in the last game – we weren’t the best in the first game either. It didn’t go so well so we can’t be happy but every day is a new day. We’re focused on the next task, which will be difficult against France.
‘We can’t be licking our wounds thinking about the games behind us.’
Portugal know performances in the group games count for little as long as you progress.
In Euro 2016, when they won their first major trophy, they scraped through from a group with three points from three draws, finishing third behind Hungary and Iceland. But they grew into the competition.
‘We have already demonstrated we have the skills to overcome all difficulties,’ added 34-year-old Moutinho. ‘It’s a long way. We know that.
‘We have our fate in our hands and our path is quite visible. We know what we want and the way we try to achieve that.’
If they lose against France would leave them in serious peril, and dependant on others