The Portuguese played hard and at times almost brutal and virtually roughed it through to the rounds. The team however may count itself unlucky to have lost the way of Australia with an unfortunate penalty late in the game.
For once the South Americans were all shot out of the competition, much to the chagrin of their many fans.
For us in the CONCACAF region, the disappointment may have been greater if only because no team got beyond the second round group of 16 teams.
Any young person watching the World Cup 2006 and who wanted to learn something about the positive values of sport would have come out of the experience traumatised.
The entire tournament saw the FIFA engaging in a losing battle to establish total control over the game.
Prior to the commencement of the World Cup, many players and coaches asked the FIFA to do more to protect the best players in the world.
The fact that players themselves were involved in the aforementioned pleading was a clear indication that they thought that somehow the game was on the fringes of losing its lustre through unfair play. Perhaps many had experienced the frantic attempts by some players to do all that they deemed necessary to emerge victorious in a sporting encounter.
Whatever the reason, it was certain that the World Cup was destined to be the scene of some of the most dangerous displays in any sporting arena, except perhaps in the boxing ring and in the ice hockey arenas.
It did not take long for the world to witness what the top players were afraid of.
From the very early days of the first round of matches in the World Cup the players went at each other, in some cases with great venom.
The referees found themselves in situations that they never expected and responded the only way they knew. They delivered one yellow card after another and soon found that the yellows became red and players were being sent off with some dispatch.
Unfortunately for the game of football and for FIFA, the players seemed not to care. As one player after another got sent off and missed a game as a consequence, the cards kept flowing, al
most like water.