Euro 2020: Decoding the squad of Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal
The Portugal national football team was announced recently for the upcoming European Championships in June. Portugal coach Fernando Santos named a 26-member squad for the Euro 2020. Legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is set to lead Portugal in the coveted event. The Euro 2016 champions have been drawn in Group F along with France, Germany, and Hungary. We decode Portugal's squad.
All eyes will be on Ronaldo
Ronaldo enjoyed a terrific Serie A 2020-21 campaign, netting the most number of goals (29). He also chipped in with three assists. Overall, the veteran Juventus forward netted 36 goals in all competitions this season. Recently, Ronaldo surpassed the 100-goal mark for Juventus since joining the club in 2018. Ronaldo has scored 103 career goals for Portugal and is their star asset.
Portugal have a strong forward line
Besides Ronaldo, Portugal have Andre Silva, who netted 28 goals in the Bundesliga for Frankfurt. He also contributed with five assists. Joao Felix will be buzzing with confidence after seeing Atletico Madrid win La Liga 2020-21 title. The versatile Bernardo Silva won the Premier League with Manchester City. Liverpool's Diogo Jota brings more character and can be a utility player.
Portugal will look up to Dias for solidity in defence
Portugal have a solid defensive unit heading into the tournament. Ruben Dias helped Manchester City win the Premier League and was recently adjudged the LMA Player of the Year award. His fellow Man City team-mate Joao Cancelo adds substance. Raphael Guerreiro brings the desired experience at left-back. He won the DFB-Pokal with Dortmund recently. Nuno Mendes, Nelson Semedo, Pepe, and Jose Fonte add character.
Portugal will want to defend their Euro crown
After winning the Euro 2016 title, Portugal bowed out from the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2018. They were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay. Ronaldo helped Portugal win the UEFA Nations League 2018-19 title. However, they couldn't qualify for the Nations League Finals 2020-21. The Euro 2020 will be a crucial platform for Portugal to showcase their strength.
A look at Portugal's complete squad
Goal-keepers: Anthony Lopes, Rui Patricio, Rui Silva Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Nelson Semedo, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Raphael Guerreiro Mid-fielders: Danilo Pereira, Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Moutinho, Renato Sanches, Sergio Oliveira, William Carvalho Forwards: Pedro Goncalves, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Goncalo Guedes, Joao Felix, Rafa Silva