27.03.2021 » Portugal's chances of winning the Euro 2020
Portugal go into the Euro 2020 as defending champions and one of the leading candidates to conquer the tournament. The Seleção will look to follow in Spain's footsteps and become the second nation in the 21st century to win back-to-back European Championships. The fact they are caught up in a group of death won't help their cause, though some eye-watering matches are on the horizon for the reigning title-holders. Portugal's Euro campaign begins against Group F minnows Hungary where they can ill-afford any slip-up if they are to reach the knock-outs. The other two teams in this section are the two former champions, France and Germany. So, advancing to the round of 16 will require Portugal to overcome co-hosts Hungary and take at least one big scalp. As ever, fans will expect Cristiano Ronaldo to step up and deliver another breathtaking tournament. After seeing his contribution in the Euro 2016 final hampered within 25 minutes by anterior cruciate ligament sprain in his left knee, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will have an additional motive to shine.
Portugal - Euro 2016:
Ronaldo has always been a polarizing figure, depending on which side of the spectrum of liking him you stand. However, even those who do not like him cannot deny his accomplishments, as his trophy cabinet speaks for itself. A natural-born leader and an inexhaustible source of goals, Cristiano has always been the one to drag his sides over the finishing line.
Despite sitting out almost the entire final, Ronaldo was instrumental in taking Portugal to the European crown in France five years ago. Lifting the World Cup crown would be a career-defining achievement for the 36-year-old that would help him stand out among his peers and make his case to be the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner. Since that offer is currently off the table, the Juventus superstar will have to settle for pursuing his second successive Euro title.
Age is just a number
Ronaldo ages like a fine wine and always gives the impression of being at the peak of his powers. At 36, he is still one of the most lethal forwards in world football and despite Juventus' drop-off, he leads the scoring charts in Serie A this season, not to mention dominating Serie A news.
Unfortunately, by the time the next final tournament takes place, the Portuguese hero will be 40 and well past his prime. Even if this may not be his final Euro, it is probably the last chance for one of the greatest players ever to show the world what he is made of on one of the biggest international stages. Ronaldo never ceased to amaze when the stakes were high and he could not ask for a better way to say farewell to European football than winning another coveted title with his beloved Portugal.
If Fernando Santos can put his standout performer's lust for goals and personal success in service of the greater good, Portugal's chances of defending the title will grow exponentially. This time around, the former Real Madrid talisman may not have to do it all by himself. Santos boasts a star-studded cast of world-class talents on his roster and it is difficult to find a weak link in this well-crafted Portugal side.
From Ruben Dias through Bruno Fernandes to Joao Felix, this national team will strike fear into any opposition. Indeed, nine members of Portugal are first-team regulars in their respective Premier League sides, while the rest of the squad play pivotal roles in their clubs across Europe's top-five leagues.
There is a genuine feeling that they did not have such a well-structured squad even when they won the competition last time around. A core of exceptional young talents such as Felix, Pedro Neto, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva led by a proven champion like Ronaldo represents a formula for success.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is on March 27, against Serbia. You can watch Serbia vs Portugal, Italy vs Northern Ireland, Spain vs Greece, England vs San Marino, USA vs Jamaica, and Germany vs Iceland, all matches provided from our live footy game pages.
Portugal next game:
Serbia vs Portugal kick-off time (27-03-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+6: 01:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+4.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 11:45