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Imperious William relishes Portugal triumph

Man of the match William Carvalho reflected on "a result that will go down in the history books" following Portugal's 5-0 defeat of Germany in Saturday's semi-final.

William Carvalho looks to shrug off the attentions of Germany counterpart Emre Can
William Carvalho looks to shrug off the attentions of Germany counterpart Emre Can ©Sportsfile

The image of William Carvalho charging through Germany's midfield during Portugal's 5-0 demolition of Horst Hrubesch's side will long be imprinted in the minds of those fortunate enough to have been in Olomouc to witness Saturday's U21 EURO semi-final.

William, already a regular in Portugal's senior team and part of their squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, arrived in the Czech Republic with much of the burden on his shoulders – for all of their quality at youth level, Portugal have never won this competition. With two man-of-the-match performances under his belt already, the 23-year-old is certainly living up to his reputation.

UEFA.com caught up with the Angolan-born William after he had inspired Portugal to inflict Germany's worst ever U21 defeat. "It is a result that will go down in the history books," said the Sporting CP midfielder. "It's not every day that you beat such a strong team like Germany 5-0."

Portugal, who were already three up at half-time, had only scored twice in the group stage. However, they shifted through the gears at the Ander Stadium, finally showing the quality they displayed during a perfect qualifying campaign. "The result was amazing but I think that the way we played was even better," added William. "We should all be very happy and proud. We have worked very hard to be here and to reach the final."

Highlights: Portugal 5-0 Germany

Despite not being one of Portugal's five different goalscorers against Germany, William's dominant display earned him a second man-of-the-match award, drawing him level with team-mate Bernardo Silva. Portugal's No6 reacted with a huge grin when asked whether the pair would be competing to make it a hat-trick in the decider against Sweden.

"No, not at all," he said. "We are not thinking about that. What Bernardo and I want is to help the team to reach their goals. To be elected man of the match only means you gave everything for your team and that's what we need to keep doing."

And what does William expect on Tuesday? "It's going to be very hard, even more because it's a final," he said. "But if we do things like we have been doing so far in this tournament then I believe that we have reason to be optimistic. First of all we have to prepare in the best way possible."

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