Portugal failed to defend their title this year as they were knocked out of the UEFA Euro 2020 by Belgium in round 16 fixtures. Cristiano Ronaldo finished as the top scorer in the tournament with five goals but his single-handed effort was not enough to deliver a third major title for his nation.
Portugal had a strong squad for the tournament, which was even better in terms of quality than the one in 2016, so it was a surprise to see them struggling in the group stage itself. Well, they were drawn in the 'Group of Death' of this edition alongside Germany, France and Hungary, so they had to be ready for some challenge.
Players like Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias, Andre Silva and Ronaldo all came off a great season with their clubs. A lot was expected from the reigning champions, but in the end, only Ronaldo could step up to the challenge, while others had a tournament to forget.
While it was a disappointing campaign for Portugal, some players tried their best to support Ronaldo. On that note, let's take a look at the five best players for Portugal at Euro 2020.
Five best players for Portugal at UEFA Euro 2020
Pepe was the oldest player at Euro 2020 but his tenacity and aggressiveness on the pitch were there for all to see. The 38-year-old defender was the best player for the 2016 champions in the defensive half and his commanding presence helped keep the backline together, especially when Ruben Dias struggled under pressure.
What the player lacked physically, he made up for with his mentality and fighting spirit. The former Real Madrid man also became the player with the second-most appearances at the Euro finals.
In a tense game against Belgium, the player just couldn't control himself and in a classic Pepe fashion, tackled Thorgan Hazard, who had earlier scored the winning goal of the game.
#4 Renato Sanches
Renato Sanches was not named in the starting XI in the first two games and featured from the bench. When Fernando Santos included him in the starting XI in the game against France, the player had a real impact on the game, as he had a key role Ronaldo's both goals in that game.
His cameo appearance against Hungary was also an indication of things to come as his introduction in the 81st minute helped bring fluidity to the team and all three goals were scored after the 84th minute.
His performances were not on par with the levels he'd reached in the 2016 edition, when star performers like Fernandes and Silva did not step up for Portugal. Sanches provided the spark in the middle of the park. He had an impressive 91.6% pass completion rate and completed 48 passes per 90.