'Arbeloa emerged as a bull': Press reaction to Spain's victory over Portugal


The less than
convincing nature of Spain’s victory over Portugal has been met with high
praise in the Spanish media as they laud their team’s ability to fight and
rally in the face of impressive opposition.

Marca headlined with “Spain's star shines bright”, revelling in the fact that Los Rojas kept playing their game and “in extra-time, the defending champions played better than their opponents” overall deserving their win.

Much has been made in the press of Sergio Ramos’ composed ‘Panenka’ penalty past Rui Patricio. There was much speculation before the shoot-out about whether someone would replicate Andrea Pirlo’s cheeky penalty, although few would have picked out the Real Madrid man to be the one to do so.

Ramos missed a penalty for his club in the semi-final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, so Spanish nerves were understandably on edge when he stepped up to the spot. But, as Marca comments, the “Panenka penalty spells redemption for Ramos”

In fact Marca raises Ramos above Pirlo, given the pressure of the occasion, celebrating his penalty as if it was the winner: “He has eclipsed the Italian by executing the technique in similar circumstances and with the same composure, in a moment that is sure to be remembered long after the tournament is over”.

However, the ugly side of the match has not been forgotten by the media: “Touchline bust-ups mar semi-final” (Marca)

With all the focus on the controversial appointment of a Turkish referee before the game, a night free from incident seemed unlikely. The Spanish press take care to point the finger solely at their opposition: “The Portuguese bench spent large patches of its semi-final against Spain protesting furiously against the decisions made by Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakir”. (Marca)

AS lauds the national side not only for their patience in overcoming their neighbours, but also for their courage in the face of perceived foul play from the Portuguese: “Champions show patience and nerve to go through to a third final”.

There is clearly unhappiness about the tactics used by Paulo Bento’s men, “It seems nothing scares this Spain team; not even flailing boots and studs”, however the Spanish do concede that Portugal performed just as well as Fabregas and co. and were unlucky in defeat: “For all their dubious kicks that the referee allowed, they were also deserving of a final spot”.

One other moment of controversy caught the eye of AS: “Fabio Coentrao's obscene gesture to Spain bench”

The Portugal and Real Madrid left back has been accused of marring the occasion as “after a throw-in decision in favour of Spain, Coentrao turned to the Spain bench. He proceeded to point with his index finger before putting a hand over his nether regions.”

Such incidents aside, the Spanish are proud of their team and their resilience in the face of real competition. No player summed this spirit up better than Alvaro Arbeloa who has received a lot of criticism recently but was lauded for his performance last night against Cristiano Ronaldo: “Many doubted the Real Madrid right back, but Arbeloa has emerged as a bull and has managed to curb Cristiano". (SER)

The Spanish now look forward to Sunday’s final with hope: “The 'Roja' have given their fans something to shout about every summer of a big competition since 2008. Sunday might be no different. It'd be dangerous to doubt these boys”. (AS)

There are mixed feelings in Portugal in the aftermath of their semi-final defeat. On the one hand they are proud of their team who fought so valiantly against the Spanish greats, and on the other they are cursing their “bad luck” (Publico) for their misfortune in the penalty shootout.

Publico does note however that the game wasn’t exactly the most lively spectacle: “The game was bland, without flare and resembled that episode of The Simpsons, in which, during a Portugal-Mexico match, Homer gets up from his chair at the stadium to scream "Booooring."

The Correio de Manha does commend the effort that their national side put in and said “we fell with honour and pride”.

The same publication continued “We return to Portugal with confidence”, and the paper follows on to praise their team who held Spain out for 120 minutes, going so far as to say that Portugal were the better side on the night.

The Diario de Noticas (DN) chose to use, as their headline, the wise words of captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who stated that: “We deserved to be in the final”.

Ronaldo, in particular was crushed by his side’s loss to Spain, and DN noted how the Spanish prevented him from having a match-winning performance.

One more slightly controversial point was made by DN regarding the feeling that the head of Uefa Michel Platini had predestined Los Rojas to go through to the final. This started to become a heated topic after the contentious choice of referee Çakir.

DN said that “half the prognosis of Michel Platini is filled” after he made it clear that he wanted a Spain v Germany Final. The DN made this comment with the referee’s performance in mind.

The “luck factor” is also mentioned by the DN, observing that once the game had gone to penalties it was a “lottery” and either side could have progressed through to the final. There was a feel of bitterness every time the word “luck” was repeated in the press as DN felt that “for 90 minutes Portugal was more dangerous”.

Sports journal O Jogo went as far as saying that “Spain have failed” after their inability to defeat the Portuguese in 120 minutes of football.

Another sporting paper Record emphasised that “Portugal failed to use their silver bullet” (in reference to Ronaldo). The paper felt that the “silver bullet” didn’t shine and that he was the key to success.

The Portugese overall feel hard done by after an “an intense duel” (Record) and that ultimately it was “luck” that defeated them on the night.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn