Portugal set the winning tone in qualifying with a 7 wins and only 1 loss. Surprisingly they were the lowest scoring group winners with 11 ( In Group F – Iceland 2nd place with 17, Hungary 3rd place with 11, Austria 1st place with 22).
So do not expect the goals of Real Madrid for Ronaldo but a different more defensive minded Portugal.
Manager: Fernando Santos
They 61 year old appointed after the disappointed 2014 World Cup, where USA beat them out of the group on goal difference. He led the Greek team at the World Cup whilst Portugal could not get out the group, he took Greece to the Round of 16.
He looked to bring that level of experience with a smaller team to take Portugal that next step that they desperately want and need.
Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
51 Goals and 15 assists and that shows the difference Ronaldo makes to Real Madrid. He has been one of the key pieces of Real’s top status. He will look to this tournament as his likely only remaining chance to get some national team glory. In the past, Ronaldo has been the only real star player of the team but now more options will be available.
Player to watch – Danilo Pereira
Whilst they have lots of attacking options, look to Danilo to anchor the midfield. He will act as the defensive anchor to allow the others around him to attack, he will make sure no gaps are left.
After a turbulant year at Porto, he is another likely to be in the shop window and looking for a way out. Expect performances on the field to help get his move out of Porto.
Best ever performance – 2004 Runners Up
They finished runners up in Euro 2004 in Portugal. The tournament featured the same teams in the opening match and the closing final match. Portugal and Greece competed in both games and unfortunately for Portugal, they lost both games.
Likely Line-up – (4-3-3) – Patricio; Vierinha, Fonte, Pepe, Eliseu; Silva, Moutinho, Danilo; Nani, Ronaldo, Silva.