Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
I am proud of what we did as a team and satisfied that we have succeeded in reaching our aim. We did it brilliantly and thanks to great unity in these three games we have played. In terms of how we played as a team, I’m very proud.
We’ve already said we have a certain style of play, an identity and specific ideas. The players really did what we asked them to do. Today we can talk about brilliance. It was the best game – apart from the first 12 minutes – of our tournament so far. We’ve been loyal to our spirit and that’s what we’re proud of. We’ve always shown we have the capability of responding and that we don’t let up.
We don’t claim to be favourites [against the Czech Republic] and it won’t be easy. We have to keep up our work and the quality that we have shown so far. Then maybe we can even reach the semi-finals. There are still a lot of things to develop but I’m proud, like the players should be. We reached the quarter-finals, we played well and we are through from a group including the World Cup runners-up and the team that came third.
Bert van Marwijk, Netherlands coach
I think we started quite well. After the back pass from Gregory [van der Wiel] there was a lot of uncertainty in the team. There were times where we had a lot of chances to turn the game in our favour. That opening defeat by Denmark was where the uncertainty started. We saw again that when we concede a goal that uncertainty stays there. If we’d scored a second we’d have been more sure of ourselves.
Had we won that first game when we had so many chances we might have had a different team.
I said before the game that this was a special situation. If you play a final or the first game in a tournament then a draw is OK as you can go for extra time and penalties. But we knew we had to win by a two-goal difference so we had to take that risk. At the start it went well but afterwards it simply didn’t. We’re disappointed; it wasn’t a good game at all and I’m responsible for that.
It’s basically the same team [as reached the 2010 FIFA World Cup final] except for a few positions. We did try to make the team faster and younger and also to make it better in terms of strength in depth. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to do what we did two years ago. It has to do with scoring goals. An individual error got Portugal back into the game and the players who usually make the difference for us, for one reason or another, didn’t really reach their level.
Joachim Löw, Germany coach
The match was very difficult, as expected. In the first half, we had an opportunity to open up a good lead; we missed three or four chances to make it 2-0 or 3-0. Then, from a standard set piece, Denmark levelled. After that, it became harder.
In the second half, we controlled the match, looked after the ball and played with real maturity. Three or four years ago, we wouldn’t have won this. But on 60, 70 minutes, all those technical players we have who can take control of the ball stepped up.
Denmark play with real calmness – they play like they don’t care about winning, sitting back, and then they hit you on the break. They pass the ball back and forth. I never got the feeling they wanted to win; I felt they were happy to keep it level and hope to get a set piece and score from that.
While I was aware of what could happen, I always felt we would get the second goal. Today was the first decisive game of the tournament, but we did the job and qualified with nine points – a great performance, even if there’s still room for improvement. In midfield and defence, we maybe allowed too much space; we could have closed them down much earlier to avoid allowing Denmark to take the pace out of the game. Greece will be the same, so we need to tighten up.
I’ve never played Greece and now it’s time. No one thought they would make it as Russia had been so strong. I think they’ve had three or four chances at this tournament and scored three goals; they’re masters of efficiency. They’re hard and great at the back, strong in the tackle; it’s like biting into a rock.