Pepe: The Most Hated Man In Football?

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The defender played a pivotal role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and won Man of the Match on the 1-0 victory over France in the final. However, his confident displays in the tournament have done little to repair an atrocious reputation.

The Panenka looks at why Los Blancos have a player among their ranks who is hated the world over.

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Football in Gibraltar Keeps on Rocking

The tiny enclave with a population of just 30,000 gained UEFA membership in May 2013, allowing the British territory to take part in Euro 2016 qualifying and will next be competing for FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification starting in September 2016.

In an interesting twist, local domestic champions, the Lincoln Red Imps recently pulled off a major upset in a UEFA Champions second round qualifier against fellow Brits Celtic with the second leg due to be played next week.

 The Panenka looks at a strange mix of football and politics in the British satellite state.

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Eder: From Ugly Duckling To Beautiful Swan

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Every protagonist in every story has an obstacle to overcome. When the striker emerged from the bench in the final of the European Championships and made history, it seemed like a movie, with the striker playing the central role as the downtrodden hero with something to prove.

From humble beginnings to top dog, The Panenka looks at the struggling career of a striker who’s goal landed his country it’s first ever major tournament win.  Continue reading

Portugal’s Young Upstarts Making an Impact at Euro 2016

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With an average age of 28, the nation’s 23-man squad is far from being considered one of the more youthful teams at the tournament. Neither has it been considered as even close to being one of it’s best. It is however a squad with some of the most promising players under that age of 25 at Euro 2016.

Fernando Santos has said that he believes it to be his personal responsibility to guide a new generation of talent into the Portugal team, The Panenka takes a closer look.

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Fernando Santos, Portugal and the Greece Paradigm

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Despite not yet winning a game inside 90 minutes there is something dangerous about the semi-finalists here. Their coach has a history of achieving the unachievable and could be set to reach the unreachable if ‘A Selecao das Quinas’ can defeat Wales at Euro 2016.

The Panenka takes a closer look at the Portugal boss’ team and tactics while paying special attention to the demons of disappointment from Euro 2004 and how that spirit is being resurrected to work in their favor 12 years later.  Continue reading