Portugal aims to prove Spain wrong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Portugal aims to prove Spain wrong

28/06/2010 08:56:32 AM Comments (0)

Portugal wants to prove that Spain players were wrong when they expressed their happiness about avoiding Brazil in the round of 16 at the World Cup.

Spain beat Chile 2-1 on Friday to top Group H and set up a match against its Iberian neighbours instead of having to play the five-time world champions.

"We want to go out there and cause Spain at least as many difficulties as the Brazilians would have done," Portugal winger Simao Sabrosa said Sunday.

"Maybe even more."

Portugal and Spain play each other in Cape Town on Tuesday, with the winner taking on Paraguay or Japan in the quarter-finals.

Brazil is now in the other half of the draw and could only become an opponent in the final July 11.

Portugal finished second in Group G after a 0-0 draw with Brazil on Friday. Later that day, Spain won its group and did not hold back from showing its happiness about the outcome.

Spain defender Gerard Pique called it "fundamental to avoid teams like Brazil," and many of his teammates agreed.

Simao said he understands the cheer among Spanish players - but sent them a warning two days before the match.

"It's normal that you're happy when you're not having to play Brazil," 30-year-old Simao said. "But let's not forget that we are also a very strong team."

It's hard arguing with that. Portugal is on an unbeaten streak of 19 matches and has not conceded a goal in its three World Cup games so far, which also included a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast and a 7-0 demolition of North Korea.

Simao, who scored the second goal against the Asians, said it's about time that Portugal earns some more respect for its achievements.

"Everybody is talking about Spain all the time," said Simao, who plays with Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league since 2007.

"Sure, we have a lot of respect for them as well and they are the European champions. But that does not rule out what we've done over the last couple of years."

Portugal finished fourth at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and reached the semi-finals of the 2000 European Championship and the final of the same competition four years later.

Simao, who is expected to play his 85th match for the national team Tuesday, said attention should not be just on Spain, but shifted toward Portugal as well.

"It's time that people start to talk about Portugal a bit more," Simao said.

"We deserve that."

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