Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho has blamed his side's misfiring attacking stars for their FIFA World Cup™ demise.
Portugal managed to score in only one of their four matches in South Africa - albeit an impressive 7-0 hammering of Korea DPR - and failed to take what chances did come their way against Spain, the 1-0 defeat in Cape Town signalling their departure from the tournament.
Much of the blame has been placed on Cristiano Ronaldo's shoulders, after the team captain and former world player of the year produced a series of disappointing performances. Simao Sabrosa, Danny and Hugo Almeida also failed to produce their best displays and while not naming names, Carvalho admitted the forwards were not firing on all cylinders.
"I think you need more offensively," said the Chelsea defender. "We defended well but you have to create more chances to score. We were just playing on the counter-attack and I think you need more to win this kind of game.
"Everyone wants to do better but the reality was sometimes we lost the ball quickly and it was difficult because Spain had more possession and were more dangerous.
We were just playing on the counter-attack and I think you need more to win this kind of game.
"Of course, we had one or two chances and if you score then it could be different. But in the end we should do more offensively to try to win the game."
Carvalho, who enjoyed a near faultless personal campaign in which Portugal conceded just one goal, added: "It's the performance during the whole competition, just defending more. We defended well and didn't create too many chances, though we've got great players to do it.
Carvalho will be 36 by the time the next FIFA World Cup comes around in 2014 and admits it is difficult to consider the prospect of returning to the bgiggest stage of all.
"At this moment it's difficult to think about another World Cup in four years. I feel good [physically] but at this moment it is difficult," he added. "You have always got to dream of playing one Final and I haven't given up yet."