Cristiano Ronaldo holds the key to Portugal's success © Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo holds the key to Portugal’s success © Getty Images

Portugal has never won the Euro Championship. They came close to winning the championship in 2004 when they reached the Euro Cup Final. They look to be the best team in their Group F consisting of Austria, Hungary and Iceland. The Portugese team is dependent on football legend Cristiano Ronaldo who scored the five out of 11 goals in the qualifiers for Euro 2016. He recently won the UEFA Champions Legaue 2016 playing for Real Madrid by scoring the winning penalty. Portugal were ranked on top of their table in the Euro Qualifiers group consisting of Albania, Armenia, Denmark and Serbia scoring eleven goals and conceding five. This will be their best chance to win the UEFA Euro Championshsip as this might be the last time Ronaldo plays for them in this tournament.

History

Portugal qualified for the first time in 1984 when they finished the tournament at semi-final stage. After that they were able to qualify in 1996 when they finished fifth. After that they qualified for every Euro Championship but failing to move beyond semi-finals and quarter-finals until 2004 when they reached the Finals. They became the first team in the history of Euro Championship to lose a Final despite being the hosts.

Current Form

They were the table toppers in qualifiers for Euro 2016 as they beat Albania, Armenia, Denmark and Serbia. They scored 11 goals and conceded five. Ronaldo will be determined to take his side through this time around as he is high on confidence after winning UEFA Champions League 2016 for Real Madrid.  Portugal demolished Estonia in their warm up game by 7-0.

Players to watch out for

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the best player Portugal has ever produced and he cannot be ruled out of any tournament. His presence will make the opposition sweat. Defender Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe will be the defenders to look out for. A lot of expectations are from youngster Renato Sanches to perform and former Manchester United forward Nani will be expected to deliver.

Schedule

Date Match Venue
June 14 2016 Portugal vs Iceland Stade Geoffroy-Guichard – Saint-Étienne
June 18 2016 Portugal vs Australia Parc des Princes – Paris
June 22 2016 Hungary vs Portugal Parc OL – Lyon

 

 

 

Portugal Euro 2016 Squad

Goalkeepers – Eduardo, Anthony Lopes, Rul Patricio

Defenders – Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Cedric, Eliseu, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Raphael Gurreiro

Midfielders – Adrien Silva, Andre Gomes, Danilo, Jao Mario, Jao Moutinho, Rafa Silva, Renato Sanches, Vielrinha, William Carvalho

Forwards – Eder, Nani, Ricardo Quaresma, Christiano Ronaldo

Coach/Manager – Fernando Santos

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)