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Portugal's problem is unco-operative ball

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd L) attends a training session for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament at a training field in Opalenica June 11
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd L) attends a training session for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament at a training field in Opalenica June 11

By Brian Homewood

OPALENICA, Poland (Reuters) - Portugal have finally got to the root of their goal-scoring problems, saying it is simply the case that "the ball does not want to go in."

"It's the reality. We have created a lot of chances but the ball doesn't want to go in," midfielder Miguel Veloso told reporters.

"The most important thing is to look for a bit of luck because perhaps the ball will go in and we can carry on from there."

His team mate Nani agreed that the ball was not being co-operative.

"The ball will not go in," he said. "In the next few games, maybe our chances will go in as they have done at other times."

Portugal have scored just one goal in four games this year and kicked off their Euro 2012 campaign with a 1-0 loss to Germany on Saturday when they only came to life after falling behind midway through the second half.

Most of Monday's news conference at the team's Polish hotel consisted of pre-prepared answers which tended to state the obvious.

"We want to score goals because that's the only way you can win a game," said Nani.

He also reminded his audience that "the coach picks the team and I play where he tells me" and that "everyone reacts differently to a defeat."

Veloso described Euro 2012 as "an important competition" and observed that when Portugal face Denmark on Wednesday "we will be playing against opponents who also want to win the game."

"All the players want to play, we're no exceptions," he revealed, offering yet more insight. "The important thing is not who plays but how the team plays. Whoever plays will do their best.

"We devise a strategy for each match and then we do our best go reach out target, which is the three points."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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