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Portugal team guide

BBC Sport's Euro 2008 guide to Portugal.


Fixtures (Group A):

Portugal

v Turkey - 7 June, 1945 BST, Geneva
Turkey team guide

v Czech Republic - 11 June, 1700 BST, Geneva
Czech Republic team guide

v Switzerland - 15 June, 1945 BST, Basle
Switzerland team guide


How did they get there: Portugal lost only one game in Group A but had to wait until the last game to seal qualification with a nervy 0-0 draw at home against Finland. A 1-1 draw away in Armenia showcased many of the team's problems.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari. The combustible Brazilian will be desperate to go one better than their final appearance four years ago and two better than their impressive run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2006. Scolari, strongly linked with the Premier League, will leave his post after Euro 2008.

Captain: It looks like being Cristiano Ronaldo, as Scolari puts his faith in Portugal's best player to inspire his team-mates to his remarkable level. The Brazilian will hope such a burden does not curb the Manchester United sensation's exquisite talents.

606: DEBATE

Euro highlights: 2004, when as hosts Scolari led his team to the final, only for them to lose surprisingly 1-0 to Greece in Lisbon. They had previously reached the semi-finals twice and lost to France on both occasions, in 1984 through Michel Platini's last-gasp extra-time goal and then in 2000 when Zinedine Zidane's 117th-minute penalty broke their hearts.

Euro legend: Luis Figo. The leader of Portugal's 'Golden Generation', Figo graced three European Championships and was named in the Uefa team of the tournament at both Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, when he captained his side to the final. A supremely gifted footballer.

A cartoon of Cristiano Ronaldo

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo. Simply the best footballer in the world at present, the 23-year-old has had two extraordinary seasons at Old Trafford and is potentially one fine tournament away from joining a list of all-time greats.

Strengths: Scolari is a master of tournament football and will deflect the pressure away from his players. Ricardo Carvalho is coolness personified at the back and when Ronaldo, Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Simao bomb forward, few defences will be able to contain them.

Weaknesses: Scolari has yet to settle on a preferred striker to lead the line and Deco's season of injury problems gives the Portuguese another headache. Also, do they really believe they can make the final step and win a major tournament for the first time?

World ranking: 11th.

Our verdict: The indestructible Ronaldo is so good he could win Euro 2008 on his own if he is in the right mood, but he certainly has the players around him to help him go all the way. Probable semi-finalists, possible winners - if they believe it.




see also
Scolari eyes Ronaldo Euro boost
13 May 08 |  Portugal
Country profile: Portugal
04 Dec 07 |  Country profiles


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