Portugal expects tough EURO U-21 final against Sweden

Portugal coach Rui Jorge (AAP) Source: EPA

It may have brushed past Germany with surprising ease in the semi-finals but Portugal coach Rui Jorge is taking nothing for granted ahead of his side's European Under-21 championship final with Sweden.

Portugal beat Germany 5-0 to make the Prague showpiece and as such seems the favourite to take the title.

Jorge, though, does not see it that way.

"I think they think we are very strong as we have shown here, and they think of us what we think of them," he said in his press conference.

"To reach the final you need quality and therefore we are playing a strong team."

Portuguese football has seen several top-level players come and go without any success for the national team, but hopes are high for the country's next 'Golden Generation'.

"The will, passion and quality in the games for me is the most important thing," said Jorge, refusing to be drawn on talk of comparisons with the likes of Luis Figo.

"Rather than label generations, we need to demonstrate what we have. If we do that tomorrow, I will be happy and then we can talk about it."

For as much as Jorge is full of admiration for Sweden, opposite number Hakan Ericson feels the same about Portugal.

The sides have a good idea about each other after meeting in the group stages, and Ericson said: "It is (a game) against a great team. They are a team who beat Germany 5-0 of course but we met them a week ago and drew 1-1.

"We know how we can find some space to create chances against them and hopefully we can do it tomorrow again.

"Of course we know they are very good in attack but also we do things a bit different than Germany. We can reduce the speed of their quickest players in Portugal by sitting deep and staying compact and deny them the big areas they found against Germany.

"I am very impressed with a couple of their players, very high individual skills. I think if you look at history, Portugal are ranked before us in a lot of positions in football and also this tournament we are ranked seven or eight. They have to be favourites."

Source PA Sport