Thanks, boys, Czech dailies say after Euro exit
PRAGUE - Agence France-Presse
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo kicks the ball in front of Czech Republic's Michal Kadlec (R) during their Euro 2012 quarter-final soccer match at the National stadium in Warsaw June 21, 2012. REUTERS photoCzech media applauded the Czech football team on Friday despite its exit from Euro 2012 following the 1-0 quarter-final defeat from Portugal on Thursday.
"Thanks, boys," the largest broadsheet DNES says on its front page, above a picture of Czech footballers surrounding an upset Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half.
Ronaldo made all the difference on Thursday -- the Czechs marked him well in the first half, then eased the pressure and allowed him to score the goal that sent Portugal to the semi-finals against either France or Spain.
"The players' and fans' dreams went unfulfilled, but Czech players definitely have nothing to be ashamed of," says DNES.
"Although Portugal was much stronger, the Czech team played a very decent game in the first half.
"We have to applaud the team for the overall impression it has left at the tournament," says DNES, pointing out that the Czechs had made it to the last eight stage, unlike the Netherlands, Croatia, Sweden or hosts Poland and Ukraine.
"Ronaldo has sent the Czechs home," says the Lidove Noviny broadsheet above a front-page picture of the Real Madrid star.
"The Czechs played very well until the 70th minute. Then they started to lose steam and that pushed them deep into their box, which resulted in the only goal of the game," the daily adds.
"But we played against a strong rival and the boys gave it all they could. Hats off to them," it says.
The Blesk tabloid praises the team for "fighting like Czech lions," referring to the Czech emblem and the logo the footballers wore on their chests.
"The end. But thanks for the courage," says Blesk.
After the goal in the 79th minute, the Czechs "didn't have the strength to equalise, they didn't have a single shot on goal throughout the game and only defended desperately in the second half.
"After the game, they fell on the ground, the medal dream was over.
"But they deserved an applause and they got it. For their courage," Blesk adds.