Eurocup 2024 Portugal Squad Announcement: List of Players

Eurocup 2024 Portugal Squad Announcement_ List of Players_

The 2016 Eurocup champions have announced their squad ahead of the upcoming tournament, with a star-studded list of players from across the world’s biggest leagues justifying Portugal’s status as one of the favourites. 

Here’s the squad:

Goalkeepers

Diogo Costa (Porto), Jose Sa (Wolves), Rui Patricio (Roma)

Defenders

Antonio Silva (Benfica), Danilo Pereira (Paris St-Germain), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Goncalo Inacio (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Cancelo (Barcelona), Nelson Semedo (Wolves), Nuno Mendes (Paris St-Germain), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Midfielders

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Neves (Benfica), João Palhinha (Fulham), Otavio Monteiro (Al-Nassr), Ruben Neves (Al-Hilal), Vitinha (Paris St-Germain)

Forwards

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Francisco Conceicao (Porto), Goncalo Ramos (PSG), Joao Felix (Barcelona), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Rafael Leao (AC Milan)

Below, we take a deeper look at the squad, what we can expect from the Iberian outfit in defence and attack, the tactical nous of the manager Roberto Martinez, and much more. 

Composition of the Squad

There were no real big surprises. The enduring quality of Portugal’s prodigal son, Cristiano Ronaldo, means it’s no great surprise to see the nation’s record goalscorer and one of the best players of all time named in Martinez’s squad. He now holds the outright record for the most number of European Championship appearances by any individual player.

Remarkably, though, Ronaldo isn’t even the oldest player in the Portuguese squad. Veteran central defender Pepe has also been named. At 41 years old, the ex-Real Madrid man will  be appearing at his fifth European Championship tournament. 

A healthy mix of experience and dazzling youth means a lot of observers are eyeing Portugal as a contender. 

But who will carry them over the line?

Key Players to Watch

We have plucked three Portugal players from the squad who we think could drive them to a second success in eight years. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

OK, OK  We know this is a cop out. But it’s undeniable that Ronaldo still holds starpower. 

He recently broke the Saudi Premier League record for the number of goals in a single season. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored his 35th goal of the campaign for Al-Nassr in the final round of matches of the Saudi Pro League to beat the record set by Abderrazak Hamdallah in 2019

He is the talisman. His country’s captain. His country’s all-time record goalscorer with more than 125 goals. Ronaldo is looking to build on the 14 goals he’s bagged in European Championships since his debut in 2004, a total that is already a tournament record. 

He will have a massive part to play, because he’s Ronaldo. 

Bruno Fernandes

By his own admission, Manchester United’s captain Bruno Fernandes has not been in his finest form this season. But, as his assist in the FA Cup final win for Manchester United over city rivals Manchester City proves, he still has the twinkle-toed deftness, sweeping vision, and killer instinct that makes him one of the best playmakers in world football. 

He may prove the crucial link that holds the attacking patterns together. 

Bernardo Silva

Diminutive and tricky, Silva played a key role in helping Manchester City to a fourth-straight Premier League title this season. 

His form for his national team in qualifying for this tournament was pretty stellar. He managed seven goals and assists in nine appearances to help his team to the finals. The 29-year-old forward forms part of a mouth-watering array of attacking talent on the books at Portugal. 

Expectations for Portugal’s Performance

There are some teams that look more solid on paper. France has a world-class and youthful spine with the arrowhead of Kylian Mbappe up top, perhaps the most lethal forward in football at the moment. England have some of the best talents on paper and could go one better than their Euro 2020 final showing. 

But Portugal are the dark horses for lots of onlookers. 

Reasons they can win it are plentiful. They have won the trophy recently enough, despite making it to the semi-finals without winning a single match. They have Ronaldo. They bagged 21 goals in their final five European Championship qualifiers, conceding just two in that run. 

They should make a deep run. 

Prediction: Semi-Finals

Managerial Decisions and Strategy

Roberto Martinez is a vastly experienced manager who knows a thing or two about winning a trophy against all odds. His Wigan side’s triumph over Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final remains a watermark for cup final upsets

It’s not as though Portugal winning the tournament would be a big surprise, but Martinez will set them up as though they are underdogs. 

He’s a pragmatic manager. He prioritises defensive solidity, usually with three defenders at the back, an approach that brought with it its fair share of criticism from Portugal fans. 

The truth is, despite the wealth of attacking talent on display, the Martinez way of sitting back, waiting, and probing for attacking openings could be the best way forward. 

Fan Reactions and Excitement

The fan polls have been in overdrive. The excitement is palpable. And the countdown is on. Save for three friendlies in the build-up to the tournament, the time is coming for Portugal to mount their case. 

Can Ronaldo and co repay the fanatic fandom?

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