The winner of the Championship of Europe became the team that had won in regular time only once in seven matches.
The Championship of Europe had won by the team that had taken 3rd place in group with Hungary, Austria and Island.
Perhaps, that is all that you need to know about Euro-2016. And, may be, only one thing more.
The Championship of Europe had won the team that was stronger during the regular time only once. In 7 matches.
The Championship of Europe had won the team that was scoring 72 minutes. From 720 of the tournament.
The Championship of Europe had won the team that was the worst by the results of group stage. And according to previous scheme that team had no chances to get into the playoff.
Everything that was siad before is not the stream of negativism. Finally, all these factors are combining in one huge and absolutely Hollywood plot. All love fairy tales and fantastic novels - the screenwriter Fernando Santos has writen one. This is cool, this is great and interesting.
But this is sad, sad as hell.
Now it is not necessary to be the leader in Europe in order to win the Championship of Europe. It is not necessary to be the team-dynasty as Spain. It is not necessary to be the car as Germany. It is not necessary to be shocking sensation as Greece.
It is enough just "to play for result". And that is all.
No one says that the Championship of Europe had to create show from every match and had to collect topspins in nines. We had learnt not now and not yesterday that the modern football is a pragmatic one to the last degree.
The Portuguese colleagues are honest: "Fernando Santos had made from our national team Greece. But what's the difference if we are winning?". The words that are difficult to argue with. Portugal is the champion. And to achieve this they didn't buy Meldonium and didn't pay euro to Clattenburg and didn't break frenchmen legs. The had an honest winning, they didn't lose to anyone at Euro, they had won without their main star.
They can be praud. They deserve to be praud. That is what has to be particularly highlighted with bold type - there are no accusations to Portugal. It got what it deserves - the Gold medal of Europe.
Greece in 2004 was also playing not very amusing football. And that is using the mildest words. But the increased concentration of pragmatism in the blood of Rehhagel team was absolutely natural. Otherwise Creece, the absolute outsider and underdog was not able to over play the rivals. It was able only to tear them, to harry to death by slide tackle, close marking and auto-standards.
But that was enough for Euro and it was naive to think that the top national teams, teams that have some star football players do not have to play such boring football. Fernando Santos made different decision. He made the decision and had won the Championship of Europe.
To build Portugal that doesn't depend even on Cristiano is the great talent. The winning of Portugal is the winning of coach as it was with the team of Greece 12 years ago. And it is necessary to understand: "MVP Euro - Santos and not Ronaldo and Pepe".
We respect him and Portugal. Sincere respect. But even if we respect someone we don't need to admire.
"All didn't like the match with Croatia. And according to me it was our best play at Euro! The most interesting tactic fight... It's the pitty, that not all like it", - these are the words of Santos.
It is quite understandable that now many praise Portugal - and I repeat once again - they praise rightly. But please, remember that session of dream that Portugal and Croatia presented us in 1/8 match. And think about the words of the coach: he calls it "the best game" and "the most intersting tactic fight".
Match strategy is the fine thing. The complicated one. And that is why Rehagel and Santos and appreciated so much. But only 1% of TV viewing public is watching football as the coach is watching. And may be less than 1%.
The rest 99% if want to play chess, they take chess board and figures and play. They expect from football something else.
It is possible that if the Portugal was playing the open football it won't win Euro. It won't get into final. It is better to say that it for sure won't achieve the success. Santos definitely understood this fact and that is why he was building the game in a definite way.
And now imagine that all forthcoming championships of Europe would be won by the way Portugal did yesterday. Not winning anyone, avoiding risk and showing boring football.
One such tournament of such champion it is possible to live out. But to watch it in long-term perspective nobody wants.
And what is the saddest thing - such Portugal wasn't stopped by anyone. And this fact speaks a lot about the level of teams at Euro-2016. Low level - absolutely all teams have low level, even the so-called star teams.
Such Portugal won't become the champion if the Germany was in its best form, if some football players from France were not playing only with drive and class, if Spain wasn't experiencing the change of generations, If Italy wasn't searching for new stars and England was not as usual searching for itself.
Portugal had won Euro as they had managed to hide their own disadvantages best of all other teams. But we are keeping our fingers cross - the World Championship in Russia will win the team that is able to show its advantages.