Tomas Rosicky admitted Portugal deserved their 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic in Thursday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late header to send Paulo Bento’s side into the last four after the game looked destined to go into extra-time.
But Czech captain Rosicky conceded the Portuguese showed their class in the second half and rightfully netted the winning goal.
“I think Portugal deserved to get through, they were the better team so I’d like to say well done to them because it was fair on them,” the 31-year-old told Arsenal’s website.
“Our first half was quite solid, I’d say, but the biggest problem in the second was that we couldn’t keep the ball and were under enormous pressure because of that. As I said, well done to Portugal.”
Many were surprised Michal Bilek’s side got as far as the knockout stages, with most tipping Russia and co-hosts Poland to escape from Group A, but the Arsenal midfielder said his country had expected to get at least that far.
“Our goal was to come from the group and try our best in the next round, which is what we did,” Rosicky said.
“I think we can go home with our heads held high. We lost against a better team and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Rosicky was full of praise for some of his compatriots and believes they will go on to provide success for their respective club sides as well as the future of the national team.
“Vaclav Pilar and Petr Jiracek both showed that they’re promising guys, and they’re going to play in Germany together next season (for Wolfsburg),” he said.
“The other player who stood up was Theodor Gebre Selassie, the right-back. He looks very promising as well. I think we showed that we can play football and can go home feeling positive.”
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