Team Profile - Portugal

10 June 2021 18:02:39

An extra-time goal from Swansea City flop Eder gave Portugal a shock victory over hosts France in the final of Euro 2016 and their current squad is packed with talent.

Fernando Santos's men have been drawn alongside Les Bleus, Germany and Hungary in Group F and they are? to win the section and? to retain their title this summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who went off injured early in the 2016 final, is aiming to add to his tally of 104 international goals but Portugal have long since dispelled the myth that they are a one-man team.

Coach: Fernando Santos
Number of European Championship Appearances: 7
Best European Championship Performance: Winners: 2016
Number of European Championship Titles: 1
Qualifying Form: Second in Group B with a record of 5-2-1
Major Trophies: 1
Most Capped (current) Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (175)
Key Player at Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo

Lead-up to the Tournament:
After winning Euro 2016, Portugal went on to claim the inaugural Nations League crown in 2019 and they qualified automatically for Euro 2020, finishing as runners-up to Ukraine in a group that also included Serbia, Luxembourg and Lithuania.

They lost 2-1 away to Ukraine in October 2019 but their only defeat in 15 subsequent internationals was a 1-0 reverse to France in the Nations League.

Portugal completed impressive doubles over Croatia and Sweden in that competition last autumn, scoring 12 goals in four games, and held the world champions to a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.

They have also shown their defensive quality in two goalless draws with neighbours Spain in recent friendlies although they were less convincing in March's World Cup qualifiers.

A 1-0 win in Azerbaijan was followed by a 2-2 draw with Serbia, where they led 2-0, and a 3-1 victory over Luxembourg, who took an early lead, although Portugal warmed up for the finals with a slick 4-0 friendly rout of Israel.

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The Squad:
On paper, at least, the current Portuguese crop looks far stronger than the squad who triumphed in 2016 - particularly in the attacking department.

The 36-year-old Ronaldo won Serie A's Golden Boot and remains the star attraction for the national team but he now shares the creative burden with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva.

Only the record-breaking Robert Lewandowski scored more Bundesliga goals than Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva (28) this season and midfielder Renato Sanches, young player of the tournament in 2016, has recaptured his form with French champions Lille.

There is no shortage of experience at the back with 38-year-old Pepe and 37-year-old Lille centre-back in the squad although Manchester City's Ruben Dias is the key man after his magnificent first season in England.

Attack-minded full-backs Joao Cancelo and Raphael Guerreiro add another dimension to the starting line-up and reliable Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio is closing in on his 100th cap for Portugal.
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Fixtures:
15th June - Hungary, Puskas Arena, Budapest
19th June - Germany, Allianz Arena, Munich
23rd June - France, Puskas Arena, Budapest
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Portugal's 26-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Patricio (Wolves), Rui Silva (Granada)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Jose Fonte (Lille), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (Sporting), Pepe (Porto), Nelson Semedo (Wolves)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Real Betis), Danilo (Paris St-Germain), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Joao Moutinho (Wolves), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), Joao Palhinha (Sporting), Pote (Sporting), Renato Sanches (Lille), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Rafa Silva (Benfica)

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