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segunda-feira, julho 03, 2006

The hand of god haunts England


RICARDO, GOD AND THE voice of Nelly Furtado are lauded as the holy trinity at the helm of Portugal’s victory over England by a national press that does pride rather better than Schadenfreude.

If the Correio da Manhä suggests that the hand of “divine intervention, or perhaps Murphy’s Law” was at play when it came to the penalty shoot-out, Ricardo, the goalkeeper, was more certain. “God is Portuguese,” he tells the paper.



Continuing the religious theme, we hear from Luís Figo, the captain, that his men came through “in the spirit of sacrifice and suffering”.

Much coverage was devoted to spontaneous Portuguese street parties, not only at home but in London, Paris, São Paulo and Macau, in Portugal, where “even the English joined the party”.

Ricardo, who “haunted England yet again”, is the hero of the hour. At the age of 10, we learn, he lined up for a trial in his home town of Montijo with “dreams of becoming the best striker in the world. He was told there were many ahead of him in the queue, so he moved across to the shorter queue and became a goalkeeper instead.”

While he can now dream of how he stopped England’s penalties, the English “once again confirmed themselves to have an aversion to showdowns”, states O Record.

Gloating is rare. Where it rears its head, it is mainly aimed at England’s fans. O Jogo carries the headline “Ricardo — they hate you”. Portugal fans had done well in the face of the roar of the Three Lions. “While the English hoards screamed 2-0, (the Portuguese) sang with the force of Nelly Furtado against the force of ‘Football’s coming home’ — now, England is going home.”

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