The Netherlands and Portugal were both well fancied by betting punters and online tipsters to go all the way at this summer’s Euro 2020. Unfortunately, both sides were unceremoniously dumped out of the tournament in the last 16. As odds continue to be bandied around for the tournament’s golden boot award and which team will become European champion, we take a look at what went so badly wrong for the 2016 champs and the Oranje, as well as the loyal betting fans who backed them.
In the end, both the Dutch and the Portuguese got their tactics wrong and paid the price
Ill Discipline Does for the Dutch
The Dutch have always had a penchant for shooting themselves in the foot at the Euros, with this being the fourth red card they have picked up in the tournament over the years.
With Czech Republic seemingly there for the taking after their shambolic display against Spain, all the Dutch had to do was remain patient and wait for a goal scoring opportunity, but De Ligt’s desperate move inside the hour mark put the death knell in the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 hopes.
Beyond his goal scoring, Ronaldo no longer has the impact he used to do on the wider game
Ronaldo Made to Look Old by Lukaku
As the minutes slipped by in Seville, it became more and more apparent that Portugal’s main man was wilting in the Spanish heat, as a long Serie A campaign and gruelling group phase began to catch up with him. As Ronaldo looked forlorn up front for most of the game against Belgium, his counterpart Romelu Lukaku was holding the ball up incredibly well and continued to pose a threat till the final whistle.
Fernandes Omission a Mystery
Aside from Ronaldo appearing off colour, it was also something of a mystery as to why Man Utd’s goal getting midfielder Bruno Fernandes started the game on the bench, as Fernando Santos preferred the combination of Bernardo Silva and Renato Sanches. Fernandes did eventually get some game time, but it was too little too late.
Van Dijk Injury Casting a Long Shadow
Without Virgil Van Dijk Netherlands were obviously missing a leader out on the pitch against Czech Republic, as the big centre-back’s injury continues to cast a shadow over the Liverpool and Netherlands squads.
Would De Ligt have been forced to make such a rash decision were Van Dijk alongside him? Probably not, but the Dutch side’s inability to adapt meant they ultimately fell short again at a major championship.