Portugal is country that has always been blessed with some world class talent but has always failed to make impact on the biggest stages of international football. Their best recent performance was over a decade ago in their home soil where Greece shocked the world to head home with Euros trophy and since then they have reached two semi finals and suffered defeats on the hands of Germany and Spain and apart from that they have always been a major disappointment.
Assessing the Portuguese challenge at the Euros
They boast one of the best attacking players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo (you know why I have to use the term one of the) but have never showed promise on the global level and Ronaldo himself too has failed to contribute when his team needed him the most.
The Portuguese squad named for this year Euros is somewhat a blend of experience old age name along with the likes of some young Turks playing their first Euro. The team still relies much on their goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo who has become pole for his team.
The Portugal team’s goalkeeping department is not as fancied as like the other team playing the best goalkeepers in the world, but still has some decent name on the team sheet that can do their job in an effective manner. Rui Patricio is set to be the starter for Portuguese squad and the other two options are also decent.
The defense of Portugal is quite experienced and is leaded by pique whom is a real Madrid starter that explains his quality. The 30+ names in the Portuguese back line boast a major experience in playing top level football in the Europe. The likes of Ricardo Carvalho and Bruno Alves will definitely want to have lasting impression as it may be their last major international tournament. Danilo, who was purchased by Real Madrid, will definitely want to break the deadlock.
The midfield of Portugal also looks balanced with some good names that include the likes of Joa Moutinho and Vieirinha. William Carvalho will be the man to watch at the Euros as he can prove crucial for Portugal on Euros and is transfer target of some major European camps. Adiren Silva is not a big name in the midfield but can play a commanding role in the Medfield.
The attack is where Portugal comes to its best as they have one of the fastest attacks on the world boasted by the likes of Quaresma, Nani, the latest man to join Bayern Munich Renato Sanchez and the mighty Cristiano Ronaldo. This attack can scare even the strongest defense in the Europe and thus make Portugal a potent force.
The major weakness of this team is the over reliance on the Cristiano Ronaldo which can be fatal for them if he gets injured. Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance is the one that dictates the Portuguese from and judging by his current status, Cristiano Ronaldo is nowhere near complete fitness and could be harmful for Portugal chances at the Euros.
The one more weakness that they have is weaker defense, yes, they have experienced name in their back line, but they are quite old and their fitness standards are not that they can deal with some paced attack and their leader in defense Pepe has any major disciplinary problems (who can forget the infamous head butt at Brazil) which is not good at all.
Verdict – Quarter final
Yes they are good, but not like the others. One thing that goes on their way is that they are placed in an easy group that will be helpful for them, but in the knockouts they have to face the bigger teams and they will pamper.