Raul Meireles Is Not A Playmaker

Raul Meireles is having a very good game for Portugal. He's been the key component in his team's high press of Spain, and he's made it very difficult for the Spanish midfielders to play their normal game. They're not getting much time on the ball because of his fantastic effort. He's annoying the crud out of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets.

He is not, however, a passer. Case in point.

Pass_medium

This isn't 'bad', per se, but a lot of professional midfielders (and a few of Portuguese descent) could have put that pass in a spot that put Cristiano Ronaldo clearly one-on-one with Iker Casillas, in a much better position to score the game-winning goal.

When Meireles was bought following the departure of Xabi Alonso at Liverpool, Reds fans asked whether or not he would be a direct replacement. When Chelsea bought him from Liverpool, a lot of Blues supporters wondered if it would signal the end of their team's pursuit of Luka Modric, or another world class passing midfielder. In both cases, the answer was or is a resounding no.

We have live coverage in our Portugal vs. Spain, Euro 2012 Semifinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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