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Home > Sports > Euro 2008 > Report

Scolari would settle for an opening draw for Portugal against Turkey

June 07, 2008 17:55 IST

Avoiding defeat against Turkey on Saturday would be a good start to Euro 2008 [Images] for Portugal, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Friday.

The Brazilian played up Turkey's strengths and the dangers of the first match in a tournament at a news conference on the eve of the Group A tie at the Stade de Geneve.

"Success is to start the Euros well, if we don't win then to draw," said Scolari, mindful that Portugal began the 2004 competition with a shock defeat by Greece who went on to upset the hosts again in the final.

"I respect Turkey a lot, I like their football a lot. I have admiration for Fatih Terim. All the (Portuguese) players who have worked with Terim like that coach very much."

Striker Nuno Gomes, for one, played under the Turkey boss at Fiorentina in season 2000-01.

"Turkey play football similar to South American football with a lot of touches of the ball," said Scolari, who recalled meeting Saturday's opposition as Brazil [Images] coach in their opening match of the 2002 World Cup when he steered his country to their fifth title.

"Turkey, without much experience, were third at that World Cup. We had a lot of difficulty facing them then.

"They had nothing to lose and were relaxed. They were all over us in the first half and went ahead. We were nervous but we turned it round in the second half (to win 2-1 in Ulsan, South Korea)."

Scolari, who is hoping Cristiano Ronaldo [Images] can continue the form he showed while amassing 42 goals for Manchester United [Images] last season, said there was not much to separate Portugal and Turkey.

"The way we both play there's no advantage for either," said the Brazilian. "If we were facing Italy [Images] or Germany [Images], who have greater (physical) strength, then we would be at a disadvantage.

"All I expect of Cristiano Ronaldo is for him to play the way he always has for Portugal, to be one more (member) of the team which could have a chance of winning the tournament."

Complete Coverage: Euro 2008