MOSCOW (Reuters) - Portugal coach Fernando Santos said that his team’s results spoke for themselves on Tuesday as the European champions prepared to face hosts Russia in the Confederations Cup.
Santos has constantly been questioned over his team’s pragmatic style but said he was only interested in results - and with only one defeat in 21 competitive matches under his leadership, there was little to argue about.
“We’ve had one defeat and three or four draws in all this time and I think those numbers on their own justify the quality of my team,” he told a news conference.
”We always look to be competitive. Sincerely, I’d much rather be champions of Europe than to play pretty football and not win anything.
“The most important thing in football is to win --- nothing else really matters.”
Santos added that he had unlimited confidence in his players, who drew 2-2 in their opening match against Mexico on Sunday and face Russia on Wednesday.
“We mustn’t forget that one year ago, these players wrote the most brilliant page in Portuguese football history. I have total confidence in them.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Toby Davis