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Portugal's unity drives them onwards

Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 22.25CET
"After this match we want more," declared midfielder João Moutinho after a vital Group B victory over Denmark that showcased the strength of the Portugal squad.
Portugal's unity drives them onwards
Silvestre Varela and João Moutinho celebrate the substitute's late winner ©Getty Images
 
Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 22.25CET

Portugal's unity drives them onwards

"After this match we want more," declared midfielder João Moutinho after a vital Group B victory over Denmark that showcased the strength of the Portugal squad.

João Moutinho hailed the squad effort that got Portugal's UEFA EURO 2012 campaign back on track after substitute Silvestre Varela's late winner against Denmark and declared this was just the start for Paulo Bento's side: "After this match we want more." Pepe, scorer of the first goal, spoke up in defence of Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, on an evening of missed chances for the Portugal captain.

João Moutinho, Portugal midfielder
What we did today is what counts – to play our best until the end, with the same spirit we've had since the beginning. After this match we want more, we want to try and win the game against Holland and get through the group stage, which is our first big goal, and then we'll think about something else.

This was thanks to the unity and the spirit of the team and of the whole group. Because it's not just the ones who played, who won, but also those who were supporting us on the bench and then came on – they all contributed to getting Portugal a good result. This is what we wanted, we played a good game and we ended with the good result, because this is what we were striving for.

Silvestre Varela, Portugal forward
This was a team victory. We fought until the end and the whole team deserve congratulations. Those of us who don't play from the start must be ready to join in at any time and deliver what the manager wants. We should keep on working like this to achieve our aims. [As for the Netherlands, Portugal's last Group B opponents] we'll play to win, as always.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal forward
At 2-0 we thought that the result was practically certain, but we had to score a third to kill the match off, and we weren't able to do it. Then we had some difficulties, but in the end we had the luck which we didn't have against Germany, and we won. With the chances I had, I should have done better. But the most important thing is that the team won, and we're still in the race.

Nélson Oliveira, Portugal forward
It was a hard-fought victory. Even before the match, we knew it was going to be hard. Denmark have a good team, but we all deserve to be congratulated because we played a great match. It was truly a great goal from Varela. His first attempt was very difficult. The ball came back to him, he hit it and ended up scoring a great goal, which was important for us.

Pepe, Portugal defender
I believe Cristiano is the best player in the world. He shows us that at Real Madrid. In the national team he's showing he's a great captain, a fabulous human being and an excellent professional. He just needs some calm and the goals will come naturally. He has a great responsibility for the team and the whole of Portugal. He couldn't score today but he has helped the team many times in the past.

It's always good to score in a tournament such as this. It's very important in world football, and Portugal did very well, not only myself, but all my team-mates. Today once again we were able to show our quality on the pitch. We were leading 2-0, but Denmark have an excellent team and they were able to draw level; however, Varela was able to help us to get the victory, which was very important.

Last updated: 20/06/12 4.15CET

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