Czech Republic centre-back Tomáš Sivok admitted that Portugal were worthy winners of their quarter-final, but leaves proud of the way his side battled back from a poor start to the EURO.
Article top media content
Czech Republic centre-back Tomáš Sivok admitted that Portugal, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, "one of the best two players in the world", were worthy winners of their quarter-final in Warsaw. Yet he departs UEFA EURO 2012 full of pride, emotions he shares with Vladimír Darida, who made his international debut in place of the injured Tomáš Rosický.
Tomáš Sivok, Czech Republic defender
My feelings definitely aren't pleasant. We lost, we've been eliminated. I'm afraid we have to admit that Portugal were much better in the second half – we were running more without the ball than with it. Portugal handled the match well today, they were the better team and deserved to progress.
We dealt with the [Portugal attack] quite well in the first half but in the second half we started to lose our strength and Ronaldo is one of the two best players in the world, together with [Lionel] Messi. He proved it with his header. He's a tricky player, it's hard to defend against him, and today he's proven again that he is one of the two best players in the world.
After the first match [at UEFA EURO 2012, a 4-1 loss to Russia] we proved we're a team and we showed our strength. Of course, there's disappointment that we could have got lucky and progressed, like at EURO '96. But today we weren't lucky and we deserved to lose by that goal. Overall I'd assess the tournament very positively – after the journey through qualification, and after the first match; very positive.
Vladimír Darida, Czech Republic midfielder
I am sorry we could not go further today. We played the majority of the match without the ball, so there was a lot of running. Maybe we ran out of strength in the end, but Portugal were better with the ball and made us run. We started to flag, running out of strength a bit. The atmosphere was great, sold out I think. The fans supported us and it's a pity we did not score and at least take it into extra time.