Euro 2016 squads Group F : Portugal

Portugal

Portugal are expected to swap their traditional 4-3-3 for a flexible 4-4-2. That would feature Nani in support of Ronaldo up front but with licence to drift to the right.

STRENGTHS

Cristiano Ronaldo stands out – of course he does – but this team are now a good blend of young and old, with players such as Renato Sanches an option from the bench.

WEAKNESSES

Goals, as always with Portugal, and the key midfielder, João Moutinho, has struggled with injuries this spring

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting CP), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Dínamo Zagreb).

Defenders: Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Cédric (Southampton), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), José Fonte (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient).

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting CP), Danilo Pereira (Porto), João Moutinho (Monaco), Renato Sanches (Benfica), Adrien Silva (Sporting CP), André Gomes (Valencia), João Mário (Sporting CP).

Forwards: Rafa Silva (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş), Nani (Fenerbahçe), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Éder (Lille).

Portugal midfieldersAdrien Silva
  • Club Sporting Lisbon
  • Age 27
  • Caps 8
  • Goals 0

Overlooked by Paulo Bento during his ill-fated reign, Silva was immediately called up by Fernando Santos in the autumn of 2014. The Sporting Lisbon captain made his debut in the friendly win over Argentina at Old Trafford that November. Another of the squad’s France-born players, Silva says his idols in the No8 role are Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, and described being part of the Euro 2016 experience as “pure excitement. Playing football is my life, it’s my passion – I’m living my childhood dream.”

Portugal defendersCédric Soares
  • Club Southampton
  • Age 24
  • Caps 10
  • Goals 0
The Southampton right-back says he likes to study opposition left-wingers on video before matches, and had to do plenty of that last season after making the switch from Sporting Lisbon. He lives in a 23rd-floor apartment overlooking St Mary’s. “My style is clean and modern, and this place was ideal,” he told the Daily Mail. “I look out the window at night, think about the matches that went well, and also the ones that didn’t, because it’s important to improve. When my family come over, they walk to the ground. Dusan Tadic lives nearby and he’s done the same. I might do it as well.”
José Fonte
  • Club Southampton
  • Age 32
  • Caps 10
  • Goals 0
More than a few observers felt that when Liverpool spent £20m on Dejan Lovren in 2014, they had signed the wrong Southampton centre-back. While the jury is still out on that, Fonte has proved a rock for the Saints for six seasons in their rise to the Premier League and is now the captain of Ronald Koeman’s side. Not always first choice for Portugal, but at 32 he is younger than Carvalho, Pepe and Bruno Alves and a more than reliable option for Fernando Santos in France. Young brother Rui plays up front for Braga on loan from Benfica. The pair were briefly teammates at Crystal Palace in 2009, with Rui on loan from Arsenal.

Portugal forwards

Nani Maverick

  • Club Fenerbahce
  • Age 29
  • Caps 94
  • Goals 18
He has long lived in the shadow of Ronaldo but is approaching 100 caps and remains a reliable performer for Portugal. After his loan from Manchester United to Sporting Lisbon failed to lead to a permanent move, Nani chose Istanbul last summer instead, and has had a fine season in Turkey. Born in Cape Verde, Nani was raised by his aunt in Lisbon and has 14 brothers and sisters. He denied in 2007 that Sir Alex Ferguson had banned his somersault goal celebration for safety reasons. “I will celebrate goals as I choose.”

Ricardo Quaresma

  • Club Besiktas
  • Age 32
  • Caps 48
  • Goals 5
Another player who may be in his last major international tournament. Quaresma may not be quite the talent who earned a move to Barcelona 13 summers ago, but last season he helped Besiktaş win the Turkish title in his second spell at the club. It made for far better headlines than those which greeted the end of his first spell in 2012, when he threatened to sue an executive for falsely claiming he had exposed his genitals and urinated on training ground staff. Quaresma also spent time playing under José Mourinho for Internazionale, but struggled in Serie A, picking up the unofficial Bidone d’oro (Golden Bin) award for the worst footballer in 2008.

Cristiano Ronaldo Captain

  • Club Real Madrid
  • Age 31
  • Caps 125
  • Goals 56
Is this his last major international tournament? It is possible – meaning France could be a final chance to replicate his club success on the international stage. His struggle so far is hardly down to his lack of goals: he broke Portugal’s scoring record two years ago and will surely set a tally unlikely to be matched. However, he often feels the effects of a long club season, and was again a late arrival in the squad due to the Champions League final. Spent last season launching more official products, including new CR7 underpants, and In 2008 revealed he enjoys playing bingo with a bingo DVD. “It can be very exciting because you can be there waiting for a long time for just the one number to make the game complete,” he explained. “Then you see one of your friends get his lucky number before you. I like it.”

Éder

  • Club Lille
  • Age 28
  • Caps 24
  • Goals 2
After seven decent but unspectacular seasons with Académica and then Braga in Portugal, there were a few raised eyebrows when Éder made a £5m move to Swansea City on a three-year deal last summer. After 13 scoreless appearances he left for Lille on loan, and made that move permanent in May having scored six goals in 13 games in France. Coach Frederic Antonetti called him “a warrior”. He has scored just once in his 23 Portugal caps, but a lack of genuine strikers in the squad means he has a chance to impress this summer.

Portugal goalkeepers

Rui Patricio No1 goalkeeper
  • Club Sporting Lisbon
  • Age 28
  • Caps 43
  • Goals 0
The 28-year-old will be hoping his Euro 2016 experience is better than his World Cup in Brazil two years ago when Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 in the opener: he picked up an injury and was not seen again. The No1 at Sporting Lisbon since his teenage years, Patricio has long been linked with a number of goalkeeper-hungry Premier League clubs, Liverpool among them. He shrugged off the speculation last year. “I only think day by day. I don’t make plans. I live one day at a time.”
Anthony Lopes
  • Club Lyon
  • Age 25
  • Caps 4
  • Goals 0
Nobody in Portugal’s squad is going to feel quite as at home this summer: Lopes was born in the town of Givors between St Etienne and Lyon, where they play their first and last group games. The 25-year-old holds dual nationality but has spent all of his life in France, opting to play for the country of his parents’ birth at the age of 16. He may have divided loyalties if the two were to meet in the knockout stages. A strong rival for Rui Patrício.
Eduardo
  • Club Dinamo Zagreb
  • Age 33
  • Caps 34
  • Goals 0
A nomadic club career has led Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb, who he recently helped to an 11th successive Croatian title. As a result he is now consistently confused with the former Dinamo striker of the same name who went to Arsenal, broke his leg at Birmingham, and is now at Shakhtar. This Eduardo has never scored a goal.

Profiles written by Vítor Hugo Alvarenga