Portugal

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The Portugal national football team (Portuguese: Seleção Portuguesa de Futebol, pronounced represents Portugal in international men’s association football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal.

Portugal’s first participation in a major tournament finals, at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, saw a team featuring famed striker Eusébio finish in third place. The next two times Portugal qualified for the World Cup finals were in 1986 and 2002, going out in the first round both times. Portugal also made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 1984 final tournament, losing 3–2 after extra time to the hosts and eventual winners France. The team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2000, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012, as well as the final of Euro 2004, the latter on home soil. At Euro 2016, Portugal won its first ever major trophy, defeating hosts France 1–0 after extra time, with the winning goal scored by Eder. With the win, Portugal qualified and made its first appearance in the FIFA Confederations Cup held in Russia, where they finished third.

The team’s home stadium is the Estádio Nacional, in Oeiras, although most of their home games are frequently played in other stadia across the country. The current head coach is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who holds the team records for most caps and goals.

For Euro 2008 Portugal finished second in qualification behind Poland, and won their first two group games against Turkey and the Czech Republic, although a loss to co-hosts Switzerland set up a quarter-final matchup with Germany which the team lost 2–3. After the tournament, Scolari left to take over at Chelsea.

Portugal came second in the qualifying stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Carlos Quieroz, then beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in a play-off, thereby reaching every tournament in the decade. A 19-match undefeated streak, in which the team conceded only three goals, ended with a loss to eventual champions Spain in the round of 16, 1–0. Queiroz was later criticised for setting up his team in an overly cautious way. After the World Cup, squad regulars Simão, Paulo Ferreira, Miguel and Tiago all retired from international football. Queiroz was banned from coaching the national team for one month after he tried to block a doping test to the team while preparing for the World Cup, as well as directing insulting words to the testers. In consequence, he received a further six-month suspension. Several media outbursts from Queiroz against the heads of the Portuguese Football Federation followed, which partly prompted his dismissal. Paulo Bento was appointed as his replacement at head coach.

Bento’s team qualified for Euro 2012, They were drawn into the group of death in which they lost their first game 0–1 to Germany, then beat Denmark 3–2. The final group stage match was against the Netherlands. After Van der Vaart had given the Dutch a 1–0 lead, Ronaldo netted twice to ensure a 2–1 victory. Remarkablely Portugal has a great record against the Dutch, only lost once in 12 meetings (7-4-1). Portugal finished second in the group and qualified for the knockout phase. Portugal defeated the Czech Republic 1–0 in the quarter-finals with a header from Ronaldo. The semifinal match was against Spain. The game ended 0–0 and Portugal lost 4–2 on penalties.

In 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Portugal won 4–2 on aggregate in a play-off against Sweden with all four goals being scored by Ronaldo, and was drawn into Group G with the United States, Germany and Ghana. Their first match against the Germans was their worst-ever defeat in a World Cup, a 4–0 loss. They went on to draw 2–2 against the United States and won 2–1 against Ghana. However, the team were eliminated due to inferior goal difference to the Americans.

Portugal began the Euro 2016 qualifiers with a 0–1 home defeat against Albania, which resulted in Bento being dismissed from his managerial post to be replaced by Fernando Santos in September 2014. Nevertheless, the team qualified and were placed in Group F alongside newcomers Iceland, Austria and Hungary. The first match against Iceland was a 1–1 draw with Nani scoring for Portugal. The second match ended goalless against Austria with Ronaldo missing a penalty. The final match of the group stage was against Hungary. Portugal came from behind to end the match 3–3 with a goal from Nani and two from Ronaldo. They qualified as the third-best third place team. Portugal beat Croatia 1–0 in the Round of 16 after a goal from Ricardo Quaresma in extra time. In the quarter-finals, Robert Lewandowski scored in the early minutes but Renato Sanches scored the equaliser in the 33rd to level the match. After the match finished in a 1–1 draw after extra time, Portugal defeated Poland 5–3 on penalties to reach the semi-finals. In the semi-finals they defeated Wales 2–0 in regulation time with goals from Ronaldo and Nani to reach the final at the Stade de France against hosts France. The early stages of the final saw Ronaldo limp off the pitch injured after a challenge from Dimitri Payet. In spite of creating chances, both sides failed to find the net, with the hosts being denied of any goals owing to the brilliance of Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patrício and a compact defence led by Pepe. After the match ended 0–0 in regulation time, substitute Eder scored the match’s only goal in the 109th minute, sending Portugal to a 1–0 victory after extra time. Ronaldo won the Silver Boot, scoring three goals and creating three assists. They are also the only team who always qualify into the knock-out stage in all of their (seven) European Championship appearances.

Following their Euro 2016 victory, Portugal participated in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where they finished third.

Records

Most goals scored in one World Cup
9 – Eusebio (1966)

Most goals scored in World Cup finals
9 – Eusebio (1966)

Most matches played in World Cup
13 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2006, 2010 & 2014)

Most goals scored in one European Championship
4 – Nuno Gomes (2000)

Most goals scored in European Championship finals
9 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016)

Most matches played in European Championship finals
21 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016)

Oldest player
38 years, 8 months and 3 days – Vítor Damas (1–3 against Morocco on 11 June 1986)

Oldest outfield player
38 years, 1 month and 4 days – Ricardo Carvalho (3–3 against Hungary on 22 June 2016)

Oldest goalscorer
36 years, 10 months and 11 days – Ricardo Carvalho (2–1 against Serbia on 29 March 2015)

Youngest debutant
17 years, 6 months and 24 days – Paulo Futre (5–0 against Finland on 21 September 1983)

Youngest goalscorer
17 years, 9 months and 25 days – Fernando Chalana (2–1 against Cyprus on 5 December 1976)

Longest national career
17 years, 3 months and 5 days – Vítor Damas (From 6 April 1969 to 11 July 1986)

Longest national career for an outfield player
15 years, 9 months and 18 days – Nuno Gomes (From 24 January 1996 to 11 October 2011)

Youngest player to reach 100 caps
27 years, 8 months and 11 days – Cristiano Ronaldo (1–1 against Northern Ireland on 16 October 2012)

Most hat-tricks
5 – Cristiano Ronaldo (includes four goals against Andorra on 7 October 2016)

Youngest player to score a hat-trick
20 years, 11 months and 4 days – André Silva (6–0 against Faroe Islands on 10 October 2016)

FIFA World Cup 2018

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Leagues
2018 FIFA World Cup
Seasons
2018