Coach Paulo Bento hopes the disappointment of losing to Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finals can inspire his side to new heights as they head for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Portugal succumbed 4-2 on penalties to eventual winners Spain following a 0-0 draw in Donetsk, but knowing how narrow that margin was can only be inspiring for his team, according to Bento, who last week signed a new two-year deal. "It was a very even semi-final," he said.
"Over the 90 minutes, we could really have achieved that objective of reaching the final. Then, in extra time, it's true that Spain were better than us, and they ended up reaching the final on penalties. What we did after that was continue to compete in the best possible way – trying to achieve objectives like our presence now in the 2014 World Cup. Now we are preparing for the finals."
Having advanced to the 2014 finals through the play-offs, Bento expects a tough test from Group G rivals Germany, the United States and Ghana – yet anticipates that a flexible approach can help his squad evolve their way to success. "There are things we are doing differently now in terms of preparation, in terms of our training, our strategies – they are different from what we did in 2010 or 2011," the 44-year-old former Portugal midfielder said.
"Football is always evolving and we always need to be ready for that. Portugal play with an identity that we've worked on, but obviously we want there to be some evolution in our game."
To hear more from Bento, click on the video player above.
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