By Nick Ames in Warsaw
Tomas Rosicky says Portugal were worthy winners in their Euro 2012 quarter-final against the Czech Republic.
A late Cristiano Ronaldo header was enough to send the Arsenal midfielder’s team out of the competition, but Rosicky had no complaints after a second half in which the Portuguese made their class tell.
“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,” he told Arsenal.com.
“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. So as I said, well done to Portugal.”
The Czechs had been tipped by many for a group-stage exit, not least after beginning their campaign with a 4-1 defeat to Russia, but Rosicky does not believe his team exceeded expectations.
“I don’t think so - our goal was to come from the group and try our best in the next round, which is what we did,” he 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.”
Several Czech players enhanced their reputations. Winger Vaclav Pilar and midfielder Petr Jiracek showed form that will benefit German side Wolfsburg in the future, while Rosicky also had praise for another of his team-mates.
“[Pilar and Jiracek] both showed that they’re promising guys, and they’re going to play in Germany together next season,” he said.
“The other one 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.”
“Of course, I’m looking out for how my Arsenal team-mates are doing,” said Rosicky. “Now let’s see what England can do against Italy!"