Portugal have one of the strongest squads going into Euro 2020. Led by the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese side is packed with match winners. But drawn to what could be called the Euro 2020 'group of death', they embark on a tough journey from the get go.
Portugal, France, Germany and Hungary populate Group F. Portugal, France and Germany are three among the strongest international sides in the world. Two top teams from each group will proceed to the Round of 16 and they will be joined by four of the best third-placed teams from all six groups.
Portugal have named a star-studded squad for Euro 2020
While Germany have underperformed in recent years, Portugal and France have struck gold in international tournaments. Portugal will undoubtedly need to put their best foot forward but they have usually performed well in high-stakes situations in recent times.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five reasons why Portugal could win Euro 2020.
#5 Portugal have been consistently good in Europe over the past few years
Portugal have been one of the most dominant sides on the continent over the past five years as they prepare to defend their crown at Euro 2020. They beat teams like Croatia, Wales and France on their way to winning the Euros in 2016. Cristiano Ronaldo co. would then go on to win the first edition of the UEFA Nations League in 2018-19.
They couldn't get past the Round of 16 stage in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and couldn't qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals in the 2020-21 season. But then again, there are plenty of strong sides in Europe and to have won two major trophies in the span of four years is quite an achievement in itself.
Euro 2020 is thus a crucial platform for Portugal. They will look to establish themselves as the team to beat in Europe. They have been able to defy the odds in recent times and will look forward to doing the same as they defend their European title.
#4 Portugal's squad depth
Portugal have one of the most complete squads heading into Euro 2020. They have a wealth of talent all across the pitch. Fernando Santos will in fact have a problem on his hands trying to zero in on a starting XI from an extremely talented group of players.
Having a lot of quality on the bench also helps Santos be tactically flexible during games and enables better in-game management. The Portuguese players are known for their technical proficiency and that will add a lot of value to the side over the course of the tournament.
#3 Perfect blend of youth and experience at the back for Euro 2020
Portugal have a very reliable defensive unit heading into the tournament. Manchester City's Ruben Dias and veteran Pepe are expected to be partnered up at the heart of defence. Ruben Dias is coming off an excellent season with Manchester City. He was also chosen as the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 2020-21 season.
His partner Pepe is one of the most experienced centre-backs in the world. At 38 years of age, he is past his prime but continues to be a formidable presence at the back. Yet another experienced campaigner, Jose Fonte, is the third-choice centre-back.
On the right side, Joao Cancelo is expected to be first-choice. He is coming off an excellent domestic season as well. Nelson Semedo will be the backup option at right-back. Raphael Guerreiro is expected to start on the left side while talented 18-year-old Sporting Lisbon attacking full back Nuno Mendez will be his deputy.
#2 Portugal have a star studded midfield
We're going to witness quite a few intense midfield battles at Euro 2020. European giants like France, Germany, Italy and Spain have some of the world's best midfielders. Portugal's is no less.
Danilo Pereira and Joao Moutinho are excellent holding midfielders. Sporting Lisbon's Joao Palhinha is another reliable defensive midfielder.
In central midfield, Portugal have Sergio Oliveira who is coming off an excellent season with FC Porto. He was one of the best players of the 2020-21 Primeira Liga campaign, scoring 20 goals and providing seven assists across all competitions for FC Porto.
Add an experienced William Carvalho, an exciting Ruben Neves and Renato Sanches to the mix and their midfield depth is almost unparalleled. Bruno Fernandes will be one of the first names on the teamsheet and will operate as the number 10. The Manchester United man has established himself as one of the best playmakers in Europe and he scores plenty of goals as well.
Fernando Santos will have Pedro Goncalves, popularly known as Pote, as an alternative option to Fernandes. He was the top scorer in the Primeira Liga, netting 23 times and providing four assists in 32 appearances for Sporting Lisbon this past season.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Silva are in great goalscoring form and Portugal have incredible depth in attack
Juventus had a rather underwhelming season as they finished fourth in league. But Cristiano Ronaldo won the Serie A Golden Boot by quite a healthy margin. He scored 29 goals for Juventus in Serie A and though he has lost a yard of pace in recent times, he has been really effective in the final third.
Andre Silva will be the main striker and the 25-year-old has just had the best season of his career with Eintracht Frankfurt. He scored 29 goals and provided 10 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions for the Bundesliga outfit this term. He has matured into a reliable finisher and it'll be exciting to see how effective he will be alongside Ronaldo.
In addition to the two prolific goalscorers, Portugal also have the likes of Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Pedro Goncalves. Bernardo Silva hit his stride in the second half of the season after a slow start to the campaign. Diogo Jota has been in excellent goalscoring form for the Portuguese national side.
Joao Felix has just won the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid and has shown flashes of brilliance. Simply put, Fernando Santos will have a selection headache as Portugal's attacking department is brimming with talent.
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