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Portugal emerges from "Group of Death".

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A genius display from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo shows he is worthy of his absurd posturing.

When I tipped Portugal to climb out of Group B at the expense of Holland it was simply because value betting demanded that call and for no other reason.

As the group transpired Holland catastrophically imploded and Portugal morphed from the ugly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly cajoled by the fantastic Ronaldo who purred into top gear in their final game against the Dutch.

Along with his ex-Man Utd team mate Nani, Ronaldo proceeded to rip Holland apart with rapier like counter attacking football.

This Holland team now faces recriminations and brickbats but the truth is that if Van Persie had carried his premier league form into this Euro 2012 competition then they wouldn't be back home listening to the quarter final commentary on TV.

Van Persies' finishing was woeful and where Ronaldo was wasteful in his first two games he made up for it with an outstanding captain's performance in this game and looked like the world beater he can be.

One beautifully cushioned flick on the half way line to leave his marker bamboozled was breathtakingly good and his overall performance deserved a quarter final showcase for his talents.

I'm not Ronaldo's biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination but last night watching this supreme athlete tear the pitch up left you in grudging admiration for an imperious display of football genius.

It also brought into sharp focus the question of where England currently stand in the pecking order of the way European football is played.

We have all been sold on "Tika Taka" football as purveyed by the wonderful Spanish but passing for passing's sake is being called into question. Portugal's quick fire counter attacks showed that there is an alternative to passing the ball around endlessly and waiting for a defence splitting pass or for the defence to make a mistake.

England sits in the middle ground here. They have a powerful defence, although John Terry at one point looked like he was running through treacle when they tried to keep a high line and in Walcott and Ashley Young they have real pace.

Andy Carroll can hold the ball up wonderfully for a rampaging Rooney and Gerrard can pass into space for runners to exploit.

Spain and Germany are no doubt technically superior to every other team in this tournament but as Portugal showed playing to your strengths is the way to play.

England are 11/2 at Ladbrokes to reach the final. Good value or poor emotional betting?

 

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