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Round of 16: Belgium v Portugal (in Seville, Spain)

Who will win?

  • Belgium

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • Portugal

    Votes: 1 50.0%

  • Total voters
    2
  • Poll closed .

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I thought the ref was very poor. Not booking Palhinha for spending 10 seconds trying to wrestle back Lukaku was an unforgivable decision, basically punished Lukaku for trying to keep playing football. If he'd given that booking Palhinha probably wouldn't have made the tackle that injured De Bruyne.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
It was all very odd, genuinely a throwback to a bygone era. It was as if the game was being officiated by one of those touchline dads I come across who don't realise that the rules of the game have changed since the 1970s. Great viewing in some ways, but on the whole I prefer players to be protected.
 

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He’s very underrated, probably the best defender of his generation. Clear MVP of the last Euros.

People will look back on him fondly. Being absolutely filthy earns you respect retrospectively in football for some reason.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
He’s very underrated, probably the best defender of his generation. Clear MVP of the last Euros.

People will look back on him fondly. Being absolutely filthy earns you respect retrospectively in football for some reason.
Likewise players from earlier generations such as Gentile and Passarella. There may different attitudes in different parts of the world. In England, we're more forgiving of cloggers than divers. Elsewhere the opposite view may be more common. I suppose another distinction is between defenders who are kind of doing their job and thugs like Keane trying to end another player's career just because of some perceived slight.
 
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wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
Nah you'll still find plenty of people willing to go to bat for both Keane's quality as a footballer and who say it was perfectly justified
Yes, I'm sure you're right. Just my way of looking at things I suppose, and I certainly wouldn't question his ability as a footballer. Souness was similar, especially when he moved north of the border.

I also think that our opinions are clouded by our overall view of a player. For instance, Martin Buchan is widely seen as a relatively cultured defender, so he tends to get a free pass for the 'tackle' that effectively ended Colin Bell's career.
 

flibbertyjibber

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Fun game that one, Belgium win but at what cost with Hazard and De Bruyne getting injured, could basically end their chances if both are out of the tournament.
 

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Nah you'll still find plenty of people willing to go to bat for both Keane's quality as a footballer and who say it was perfectly justified
The popular memory of Keane as a footballer is kind of ridiculous tbf, he could really play. I guess he can hardly complain about the Haaland tackle being his defining moment.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
Haha this is exactly it. People act now like the thuggery was his most important quality, whether they approve or not. But he’d have been much better if he just didn’t get pointlessly sent off a lot.
Dave Warner syndrome. People love to equate aggressive play with actual aggression even when it's demonstrably bull****.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Sure, and I don't think anyone would describe him in those terms. Being a superb footballer and being a thug are not mutually exclusive.
Indeed so.

Big Dennis Bergkamp probably had the best technique of any player I've seen, but wasn't shy of a sly elbow if the situation warranted it.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Indeed so.

Big Dennis Bergkamp probably had the best technique of any player I've seen, but wasn't shy of a sly elbow if the situation warranted it.
The best time was when Reyes reached around from behind him to slap a Sheff Utd player, only for the ref to assume it was Bergkamp and send him off.
 

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