Portugal Euro 2020 squad update: full team preview
The Portugal Euro 2020 squad has seen a late change, after Joao Cancelo tested positive for COVID-19
The Portugal Euro 2020 squad has seen a late change, just two days before their opening game against Hungary.
Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has tested positive for COVID-19, and in new rules introduced for this tournament, has been replaced in the Portuguese team.
Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has been called up to take his cross-city rival's place.
The move will be a blow for them, however, after Cancelo's excellent form during Manchester City's Premier League title win this season. He was also instrumental in their run to the Champions League final.
Nine of the 26-strong squad ply their trade in the English top-flight, including FWA Footballer of the Year, Ruben Dias of Manchester City, Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, and Liverpool's Diogo Jota.
Four of Wolves' Portuguese contingent are also involved in the Portugal Euro 2020 squad, though Arsenal's Cedric Soares and Wolves' Pedro Neto miss out, the latter with a serious injury that may mean he misses the beginning of next season.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who could break the all-time international goalscoring record this summer, is also involved, as is veteran defender Pepe.
Euro 2020 dates, venues, tickets information, coronavirus protocols, and groups – everything you need to know
Euro 2020 squads: Every confirmed team for the 2021 tournament so far
Portugal Euro 2020 squad: the full 26-man team
- GK: Anthony Lopes (Lyon)
- GK: Jose Sa (Olympiacos)
- GK: Rui Silva (Granada)
- DF: Jose Fonte (Lille)
- DF: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- DF: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United)
- DF: Nélson Semedo (Wolves)
- DF: Pepe (Porto)
- DF: Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP)
- DF: Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund)
- MF: Joao Moutinho (Wolves)
- MF: Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain)
- MF: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- MF: Renato Sanches (Lille)
- MF: Ruben Neves (Wolves)
- MF: Sergio Oliveira (Porto)
- MF: Joao Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon)
- MF: William Carvalho (Real Betis)
- FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
- FW: Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt)
- FW: Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting CP)
- FW: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
- FW: Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia)
- FW: Rafa Silva (Benfica)
- FW: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
- FW: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
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Portugal Euro 2020 squad: Team preview
Europe, beware: the reigning champions have a significantly stronger squad than they did when lifting their first-ever major trophy in 2016. Whether Portugal have a better team this summer, though, will depend on coach Fernando Santos’ ability to don his white coat and master the chemistry of his first-choice XI.
One-time Swansea striker Eder was Portugal’s match-winner against France
in Paris five years ago, but Santos now boasts an embarrassment of riches at
his disposal. Although a traditionally conservative coach, he’s rightly shown signs of loosening the shackles: failure to maximise the attacking talent of Cristiano Ronaldo (above), Joao Felix, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes would feel like a crime against football.
As Santos knows full well, however, big names alone don’t win you major tournaments – much less international ones, where keeping things tight and taking the few chances on offer is usually the recipe for success. With the Selecao in Euro 2020’s Group of Death, it’s unlikely he’ll be going gung-ho.
ALSO SEE Portugal's Euro 2020 fixtures
Despite glimpses of a more expansive style in impressive home wins against Croatia (4-1) and Sweden (3-0), the evidence from Portugal’s latest Nations League campaign suggests Santos will be perfectly happy to stick with the modus operandi that has served him well. They reverted to type in the two matches against their main rivals France, with revered marksman N’Golo Kante scoring the only goal across 180 minutes. It’s not like the country’s FA are anything but thrilled with Santos’ approach, though, considering they handed him a new four-year contract last summer, which could take him to a decade of service.
While Portugal have the weapons to hurt any team, things aren’t quite so rosy at the back. A 38-year-old Pepe remains crucial at the heart of defence, but the replacement for Porto’s increasingly injury-prone (and angry) centre-back is 37-year-old Jose Fonte.
Pepe staying fit throughout the tournament, or Santos finding a solid alternative to partner Manchester City’s Ruben Dias in central defence, could be essential in establishing whether or not Portugal can embellish the most golden era in their history with more silverware.
Portugal Euro 2020 squad: Who is Portugal's best player?
Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously. One of the greatest players to have ever lived, the talisman leads Portugal's forward line while also captaining the side, and is barely showing signs of slowing down at 36.
Despite leaving the final at Euro 2016 injured in the first half, Ronaldo frantically orchestrated Portugal from the touchline in what are iconic scenes of the Madeira-born marksman.
Portugal Euro 2020 squad: Who is Portugal's manager?
Portuguese native Fernando Santos manages the national team, after taking over in 2014 following Portugal's poor World Cup display. The 66-year-old will go down in history, leading Portugal to their first major trophy when they beat France 1-0 in extra-time at Euro 2016. Santos then followed that up with another victory in the UEFA Nations League in 2019, making him the nation's most successful manager.
No stranger to international football, Santos has spent more than a decade managing internationally after a four year spell in charge of Greece between 2010 and 2014. He has also managed Portugal's three biggest clubs in Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, while also spending time in Greece at Panathinaikos, AEK Athens and PAOK.
Portugal's past Euros record?
Portugal have won the Euros once in their history, at the last championships in 2016. Enjoying success in the tournament since they qualified for their first tournament in 1984, where they reached the semi-finals - though only eight teams participated.
Portugal reached the quarter-finals in both 1996 and 2008, while they progressed further to the semi-finals in 2000 and 2012, as well as their 1984 involvement. Hosting the 2004 tournament, Portugal had the perfect opportunity to win the Euros in front of their fans. Reaching the final, the game ended in heartbreak as Greece emerged 1-0 winners.
However, Portugal made amends at Euro 2016, as they beat hosts France 1-0 in extra-time of the final, thanks to a long-range effort from Eder.
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