Skip to main content

Portugal v Iceland: Eder brimming with confidence

Eder is confident that Portugal have what it takes to go all the way as they prepare to take on Iceland in their Euro 2016 Group F opener on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates stumbled at the penultimate hurdle in 2012 after a penalty shootout defeat to eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.

Portugal will attempt to better that attempt in France, and on paper Fernando Santos' men have a favourable group with Austria and Hungary completing the pool.

And forward Eder is expecting to progress from the group and challenge towards the latter stages, promising plenty of goals in the process.

"We're working towards winning the tournament. We've got huge ambition and we want to get the right results," Eder told reporters.

"We're very confident and motivated. We had an excellent qualifying campaign, with great results. The group has been working very well together, the players are playing very well. Right now, we have all it takes to do something amazing in this competition and that's exactly what we want to do.

"We're a very strong group in this respect. This blend will show its worth during the matches and it will be very positive for us. The way we are playing right now, we'll score lots of goals."

Iceland, meanwhile, will be making their debut at the European Championship after finishing second in their qualification section in a strong group that included Netherlands, who failed to book a place at the tournament.

Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason is adamant they will not be overwhelmed by the occasion, though, and has stressed national team coach Lars Lagerback is more than aware of what is expected at a major tournament.

"We are here for the first time, but the coach has experienced several tournaments," Finnbogason said.

"We Icelanders are not used to this [level of security], but the surroundings are relaxed and quiet."

Swede Lagerback will be relying on Kolbeinn Sigthorsson to provide a threat up front in France, with the Nantes striker needing six more goals shy of the country's all-time leading goalscorer Eidur Gudjohnsen, who has also made the squad.

Portugal won their two previous games against Iceland in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Key Opta facts:

- This will be Portugal’s seventh European Championships. They have reached the semi-finals in four of their six previous appearances.
- This is Iceland’s first major tournament. They used only 20 players during their qualifying campaign, the lowest tally alongside Austria.
- Cristiano Ronaldo could become – along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the first player to score in four different editions of the European Championships
- Iceland’s average age in the qualifying campaign was 28 years and 8 months (as of the end of the qualifiers), the second oldest among the 24 teams that have made it to the finals.
- This is Lars Lagerbäck’s seventh major tournament as coach. His last major tournament was as Nigeria boss at the 2010 World Cup.