I'm a girl, true (and girls don't know much about football, quite so).
I write in English, it's a fact.
I wasn't born in this country (tough luck, there's nothing I can do about it).
I think, feel, write and speak about the negative things of this country (right 90% of times).
But if there's something I am is patriotic!
I listen to the national anthem (composed by a German, by the way) and I get goose skin all over. It's cathartic. And I proudly say that there's no Marseillese, no God Save the Queen, no Deutschland über alles that sounds as powerful or beautiful as our Portuguesa. That's is why I feel I've been cheated on my feelings.
I watched the game, just as I watch all important games, and I didn't like it one bit. I don't care about strategy, opportunities, luck, technicalities and I couldn't care less. Let experts talk about all that. All I care is that, from my perspective, this was taken light-heartedly.
I'm very happy we've made it to Euro 08 (and even happier that the English didn't - cherry on top of the cake! Sorry for the chauvinism). But we could have made it better. We could have been the best. We could have been grand. And all we were was average.
We're talking about highly-skilled professionals who are princely paid to do what they do, the least we can expect is professionalism. (I should say, the least we can ask of them, is professionalism). And I sure as hell can't tolerate that someone who gets paid to serve our interests (also magnanimously paid) comes with arrogance at us. I do not admit such lack of respect. And besides, just out of politeness at least, there are things we can think and not verbalise, specially when we're public figures or serve national causes.
Everybody can, and should, obviously, be happy we qualified. I just don't like it when people don't give their best. I feel disrespected as a citizen that tries her best each day together with millions of other fellow citizens.
To lose after a good fight is honourable (I remember when we lost against France back in the 80s when Platini still played, don't remember the year, but I was about 10 or so and that was a great, vibrant, exciting game, we really played our best and it was probably the first time I felt what patriotism means). To qualify just because, well... we just barely made it.