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Sousa hails 'incredible' Portugal squad

Savouring a shoot-out victory over Spain, Portugal coach Hélio Sousa described his players as "incredible", saying "they produced some almost perfect games" in Azerbaijan.

Portugal coach Hélio Sousa punches the air in celebration
Portugal coach Hélio Sousa punches the air in celebration ©Sportsfile

Hélio Sousa, Portugal coach
It was a very even match with both sides creating good opportunities. We were quite strong towards the end of the game. Penalties are not a matter of luck; they're a matter of competence. We were strong throughout the tournament, although I'd like to congratulate Spain because they contributed to a great game and they're a great team.

The three Diogos: Costa, captain Queirós and Dalot
The three Diogos: Costa, captain Queirós and Dalot©Sportsfile

We were the two best sides. What Spain did against Germany [in the semi-finals] leaves little doubt about their quality. We tried to score before the end, but it wasn't possible. We'd been practising penalties since convening for our training camp on 25 April. It's good that today we put that into action.

We were very confident with the penalties. My players were incredible – they produced some almost perfect games. Austria [against whom Portugal won 5-0 in the quarter-finals] didn't have a chance to score. We did it five times and kept playing. My players were positive – that's the kind of Portugal footballer we want.

Diogo Dalot, Portugal right-back and goalscorer
It's a great honour. I'm proud of myself, my team and of everything we've done to achieve this today. I was calm [when we conceded our first goal of the tournament]. We told each other that we need to regroup and not concede again and we managed to hold on until the end.

Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa hugs João Lameira
Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa hugs João Lameira©Sportsfile

Diogo Costa, Portugal goalkeeper
The credit [for conceding just one goal] should not only go to me – it's also the job of the other 17 players. We work hard in matches and training and stay very united. I was a bit upset because I wanted to go home with a clean sheet, but I was also confident in the rest of the team, that they would do what it takes to win. We did our homework, we watched how Spain take penalties, so I was certain I would save one or two kicks. However, Spain have great quality and they didn't give me a chance. Fortunately, we won.

José Gomes, Portugal forward
I didn't have any chances to score – let's hope I will in my next final. The most important thing is that the team won. It's a feeling of pure happiness, a recognition of all the hard work we put in.