Portugal is one of the strongest footballing nations of Europe. Their domestic football league is not as competitive or lucrative as that of their Iberian neighbors Spain, but it boasts of successful clubs like Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto. Benfica and Porto have actually won the European Cup/Champions League too
Moreover, the Portuguese national team has also won the European Championships once and finished runners-up on one occasion. They also reached the semifinal of the 1966 and 2006 World Cups. Their attractive playing style has its admirers all over the world.
They have also produced a lot of quality players throughout the decades. On that note, we would now take a look at the top 5 Portuguese footballers of all time.
#5 Ricardo Carvalho
Carvalho is quite possibly the greatest Portuguese defender of all time. He is not very tall, but made up for his lack of height with great anticipation and positional play. He was also quite good in the air and remained very reliable while defending set-pieces.
Carvalho rose to prominence while playing for FC Porto, as they won the Champions League in the 2003-04 season. Jose Mourinho, the then-Porto coach, was appointed as the manager of Chelsea, and he signed Carvalho for the London-based club. Carvalho joined Chelsea in 2004 and played for them till 2010.
He won two consecutive Premier League titles with Chelsea in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. He won another Premier League with them in 2009-10. The 40-year-old was one of the best center backs in the Premier League in the late 2000s and early 2010s and scored 11 goals in 210 matches for Chelsea.
Carvalho then joined Real Madrid in 2010 and spent three seasons with Los Blancos. He also won the La Liga title for them in 2011-12. Carvalho played in 77 matches for Real and scored three goals as well. He then joined Monaco in 2013 and played for three more seasons for them. He also scored a couple of goals in 118 matches.
He was also quite successful for his national team and earned 89 international caps from 2003 to 2016. He also scored international goals. He was a part of the Portuguese team that reached the final of the Euro 2004 and the semifinal of the World Cup 2006. He retired after winning the Euros with Portugal in 2016.