28.01.2020 » Can Ronaldo and Portugal defend their title at Euro 2020?
Portugal surprised the footballing world in 2016, when they won the European Championships, beating hosts France 1-0 in extra-time, thanks to an heroic goal from their striker, Éder Lopes. The new format of the competition saw 24 nations in the finals for the first time, with six groups. Four teams finishing third in their group would progress to the knockout stages. Fernando Santos' Portugal benefitted from this, as, after drawing all three of their group games, against Iceland, Austria and Hungary, they sneaked into the second round. Few would then predict that this Portuguese Team was destined to go all the way to the final and eventually win the much-wanted title.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Leading Portugal for the EURO 2020:
The Portuguese squad included superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who was scoring for fun at Real Madrid at the time, but it wasn't all a who's-who of world footballers. Indeed, the bookmakers had Portugal's odds as similar to their Euro 2020 betting odds – longshots.
Rui Patrício was the goalkeeper, then playing for Sporting Club of Portugal, now at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premier League.
In front of him were Real Madrid's Pepe and Southampton's José Fonte as the centre-back partnership. Southampton's Cedric Soares was at right-back and Lorient's Raphael Guerreiro on the left. The latter moved onto Borussia Dortmund after an impressive tournament but, is often deployed down the wing.
William Carvalho was the holding midfielder. He had been highly-rated for years but remained with Sporting CP until 2018, where he joined Real Betis. Renato Sanches' excellent tournament saw him make a mega money move to Bayern Munich, but his career has only stalled since, with spells at Swansea City and Lille.
Sporting CP were also the home of Adrien Silva, who was a regular starter for Portugal in 2016, later briefly moving to Leicester City, before loan spells at AS Monaco. Internazionale's João Mário was alongside him. The 26-year-old had a stint at West Ham United afterwards, but currently plies his trade in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow.
The odds for the EURO 2020...
Former Manchester United winger Nani had been reviving his career with Fenerbahce ahead of the tournament. He provided support to Ronaldo. And who scored the winner in the final? Substitute Eder – who failed to impress in the Premier League with Swansea City.
However, Portugal proved it was no fluke as they won the first-ever UEFA Nations League last summer, defeating Switzerland in the semi-finals and the Netherlands in the final.
Can they repeat their success when Euro 2020 takes place all over Europe this summer? They’ll certainly be among the contenders.
However, bookmakers currently have them as long shots with odds of 20/1 as eighth favourites.
Rather surprisingly, Gareth Southgate's England are the bookmakers' 4/1 favourites, whilst world champions France are 13/2. Didier Deschamps' side deserve to be the favourites with the amount of talent they have at their disposal – Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Raphel Varane and co.
Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy can also be found at shorter odds than the defending champions.
One reason for Portugal's long odds is that they have been given a tough draw. They are in Group F - alongside the last two World Cup winners – France and Germany. The fourth team will be decided in a playoff in March.
However, with three teams progressing to the second round, Portugal should be expected to progress from the group. How favourable the route to the final will be should they finish second or third remains to be seen.
Portugal surprised the world by winning Euro 2016 but will have to cause a bigger shock if they’re to defend their title in 2020...
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Juventus in the Serie A is on February 2, against Fiorentina. You can watch Juventus vs Fiorentina, Zaragoza vs Real Madrid, West Ham vs Liverpool, Aston Villa vs Leicester City, Bournemouth vs Arsenal, and AC Milan vs Torino, all matches provided from our live football game pages.
Juventus next game:
Juventus vs Fiorentina kick-off time (02-02-2020):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 19:30
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 18:30
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 17:00
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 12:30
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 12:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 11:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 08:30
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 07:30
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 04:30