Jose Mourinho names his biggest surprise of Euro 2024 and reveals Portugal concern

Jose Mourinho says Spain have been the best team at Euro 2024
Jose Mourinho says Spain have been the best team at Euro 2024 (FBTV)

Jose Mourinho admits Spain have been his biggest surprise of Euro 2024 and claims he had concerns over Portugal before the tournament started.

Spain topped Group B ahead of Italy, Croatia and Albania, while they beat Germany in extra time in their quarter final last Friday to set up a semi-final tie against France this Tuesday.

Portugal, meanwhile, finished top of Group F and edged past Slovenia on penalties in the last 16 before they were eliminated by France in the quarter final following another shootout.

Mourinho had named Portugal as one of the favourites to win Euro 2024 but concedes their 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the build up to the tournament raised alarm bells.

‘I watched [Turkey] with reason and from a professional perspective. Every time Turkey won it was a problem for me, and every time Portugal won it was a joy,’ Mourinho told Sport TV on Monday.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal walks up away from his team mates to take his penalty in the shootout Portugal v France at Euro 2024
Jose Mourinho claims he had concerns over Portugal before Euro 2024 started (Shutterstock)

Speaking on Portugal’s exit, Mourinho said: ‘There is always frustration when you feel that you could do better. The team’s potential was extremely high.

‘I wasn’t far off the mark when I said that Portugal, France and England were the favourites. Two of them are in the semi-finals.

‘Spain is the biggest surprise for me, in the way the team has evolved, they are practically a new team. For me, at the moment, they are the team that plays the best and the one that has played the best throughout the tournament.

‘Portugal wasn’t fantastic, despite reaching the quarter-finals. We expected more. I was at the National Stadium for the Portugal-Croatia match and it didn’t smell good. I didn’t get a great feeling.

‘During the tournament we were the team that was making progress, but we weren’t convincing.

‘Often, when the moment of truth comes, these teams are stronger. This wasn’t the end of Portugal, there wasn’t any improvement in the team.

‘But it’s a young team, apart from the two veterans [Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe], a team with years ahead of them. The World Cup is just around the corner.’

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