Portugal recently won the UEFA Euro against France. A lot of people in the sports world know this. People can complain all they want about their team losing, but at the end of the day, Portugal came out on top. It wasn't pretty, but it was obviously effective. Besides, Portugal has tried to win by playing pretty football and that hasn't gotten them any trophies. They did what they had to do to win.
With all that being said, Chris Jones wrote the most bias article I have ever read from ESPN, and I've seen a lot of biased articles from them. If his country had won the tournament, he wouldn't care how they did it, but because it was Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal who did it, it was "cynical and unsporting." Saying that you're going to "put an asterisk" next to their title just because they played the format better than everyone else in the tournament is low for someone who is supposed to be a professional sportswriter.
If Italy would've won the tournament, they would've won it playing the same style. Sitting back on their defense to grind out the win, but because their defense has big names, everyone would've been praising them. Portugal played exactly like that, but with lesser known players, and it was "cynical and unsporting."
I don't mind blaming the format, because the format was bad. But Chris Jones does not deserve to be working for ESPN after writing what he did about Portugal. Portugal finally wins their first major tournament and all he could do was bash them left and right. Everything he said about them were low blows and have no business being on ESPN. At the minimum, Chris Jones needs to never cover another football (soccer) match or tournament ever again, but he should be fired for his comments.