Portugal European Championship Record
3rd place: 1984, 2000, 2012
Quarter-final: 1996, 2008
Did not qualify: 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992
Total: W15 D5 L8 40:25
Portugal Euro 2016 Qualifying Record
W7 D0 L1 11:5
Portugal Euro 2016 Group Fixtures
14th June @21:00 – Portugal vs Iceland (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne)
18th June @21:00 – Portugal vs Austria (Parc des Princes, Paris)
22nd June @18:00 – Hungary vs Portugal (Stade de Lyon, Lyon)
Road to Euro 2016
In spite of the disappointing 2014 World Cup tournament, the national team bosses decided to stick with Paulo Bento, but quickly changed their minds after Portugal were beaten at home by Albania in the opening Euro 2016 qualifier. That proved a very good decision as his successor Fernando Santos not only led the Selecao to the tournament finals, but did so in style, winning remaining seven matches.
At the same time, the former Greece coach was searching for the best way to utilise a number of high-quality players he had at his disposal, and the good news is that Portugal kept improving their performances as the time went by. The interesting thing is that each of those seven wins were achieved by a single-goal margin, but this just goes to show how ruthless the Selecao have become under Santos, and this new found feature should keep them in good stead for the tournament finals.
Style of Play
With the national team having largely struggled under Paulo Bento, new coach Fernando Santos had his work cut out for him, especially considering the fact he took over the reigns after a qualifying campaign had already started. But, he quickly proved he was the right man for the job, using his man management skills to seriously improve the dressing room atmosphere, while at the same time helping the team improve the results.
Due to serious problems in attack and the lack of a proven goalscorer, Santos had little choice but to use 4-3-3 system in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, while constantly searching for a better solution. The former Greece boss prove his reputation as a flexible coach by testing a 4-4-2 formation with wingers Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, and that could easily prove to be one of his best decisions ever.
The former Manchester United teammates slotted effortlessly alongside each other in Portugal attack, with March victory against Belgium, where they scored a goal each, likely to serve as a blueprint for Euro 2016 fixtures. The 4-3-3 formation is almost certain to remain as plan B, due to the fact that all the players are already used to it, and will certainly give Santos additional opportunities to surprise opponents and change his style of play midway through the games.
Ageing defence is threatening to be a problem when facing top European sides, but having perfected the defensive phase while in charge of Greece, Santos appears to have patched up the leaky defence, with Portugal conceding just one goal in final three qualifiers.
Somewhat slow central defenders are a reason why the Selecao rarely adopt a high pressing game when defending, although the entire team will start closing in on their opponents as soon as the likes of Ronaldo and Nani put opposition defenders under pressure. The team appear to be boast impressive fitness levels and they will be waiting for the opposition to commit mistakes before launching lethal counterattacks most of the time.
- Excellent at keeping possession
- Great team spirit
- Lethal counter-attacks
- Impressive individual quality
- The Cristiano Ronaldo effect
- Exciting, young players with decent experience
- Dangerous at set-pieces
- Key men at their peak
- Poor back-up strikers
- Slow central defenders
- Rarely impress at tournament finals
Portugal Euro 2016 Starting Line-Up
Missing: Fabio Coentrao (injury), Danny (injury), Bernardo Silva (injury)
This Selecao team seems to be a perfect blend of youth and experience, with Joao Mario, Danilo Pereira and Bernardo Silva all tipped to shine at the tournament finals, and the big strength in depth likely to further improve Portugal’s chances of reaching the final stages. The switch to 4-4-2 formation has worked like a charm as the Selecao now have pacey strikers who can wreak havoc onto opposition defences and a couple of wide midfielders who can switch places and operate as both wingers and attacking midfielders.
While he is not exactly a perfect team player when he puts on the Real Madrid shirt, Cristiano Ronaldo becomes a model professional each time he steps on the pitch defending Portugal colours and he is a true leader of this team. His individual quality as well as that of players like Nani, Danny and Ricardo Quaresma, who are all at their peak, could be the X factor at the Euro 2016 finals, so we have a feeling Portugal will surprise quite a few top teams in France and make it to the semi-finals.
IST Tip: Portugal to reach semi-finals
Odds: 4.25 (13/4) @888sport
*Portugal to win Euro 2016 is 26.00 (25/1) @10bet
*Ronaldo to be Euro 2016 top goalscorer is 9.00 (8/1) @BetVictor
*Portugal to reach quarter-finals is 2.20 (6/5) @bet365
*Portugal to win Group F is 2.00 (1/1) @Coral
*Portugal to be highest scoring team is 16.00 (15/1) @Unibet
Portugal Euro 2016 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb);
Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco), Pepe (Real Madrid), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), Eliseu (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient);
Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Joao Mario (Sporting CP), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Joao Moutinho (MOnaco), William Carvalho (Sporting CP), Renato Sanches (Benfica), Adrien Silva (Sporting CP);
Forwards: Nani (Fenerbahce), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Rafa Silva (SC Braga), Eder (Swansea).
Last updated: 18th May 2016