Portugal 2017 Confederations Cup profile
FootyOn provide a Portugal 2017 Confederations Cup profile, as we analyse all eight nations taking part at the tournament, which kicks off on June 17th.
The Navigators travel to host nation Russia as Euro 2016 winners, after a dramatic extra-time triumph over France.
Fernando Santos has named a strong squad for the June competition, with Jose Fonte, Cedric Soares and new Manchester City acquisition Bernardo Silva the Premier League’s representatives.
However, there are some notable omissions. Eder, scorer of Euro 2016’s title trophy clinching goal has not been named in the squad – after getting just six league goals for Lille this term.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich’s last summer wonderkid signing Renato Sanches has also failed to be named in Santos’ selection – after making just a handful of Bundesliga starts for the Bavarians this season.
Nevertheless, the Navigators head into the tournament as European champions and 7/2 with betway to win the competition.
Portugal face a friendly with Cyprus before a World Cup qualifier with Latvia, then will head to Russia in search of silverware.
So, read on for our Portugal 2017 Confederations Cup profile…
Confederations Cup record
This will be the first time in Confederations Cup history that three national teams from any single confederation (Russia, Germany and Portugal from UEFA) will participate in the tournament.
For Portugal, this will be the nation’s debut appearance at the strictly winners only (minus hosts Russia) competition, joining both Russia and Chile as newcomers.
Though, this hasn’t stopped Santos’ side becoming second-favourites coming into it, with only Germany at 23/10 with Paddy Power ahead of them as betting leaders.
How they qualified: Euro 2016 winners
Speaking after lifting the trophy, Ronaldo claimed “No one believed in us” coming into the competition and that out of all the many titles he had won, his triumph with Portugal meant the most to him.
This is a side with the mental fortitude to grind out results over teams with greater talent.
Portugal qualified for the knockout rounds of Euro 2016 by finishing third in their group, with just three points and without a single win.
However, they went on to concede only one goal in the elimination games and silenced a French home crowd in the final.
Coach: Fernando Santos
The 62-year-old Lisbon-born former defender is a true veteran of the game.
Having 10 managerial jobs before being offered the national job, Santos brought a wealth of experience to the Navigators job.
Santos managed Portugal’s Big Three, and won five major titles with Porto, before vividly displaying his quality on the international stage during his tenure with Greece.
In July 2010, Santos was named the new coach of the Greek national team, succeeding longtime incumbent Otto Rehhagel – who was the mastermind behind the nation’s Euro 2004 success.
Santos then qualified the country for Euro 2012, subsequently reaching the last eight stage.
He was also in charge during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as Greece reached the knockout stage for the first time ever.
Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo
It may seem an obvious choice, but Ronaldo is the nation’s all-time leading cap holder and scorer, with 71 goals in 138 games.
During Euro 2016 qualifying, he scored five in six games and continues to be the country’s talisman, both on and off the field.
From the heartbreak of losing Euro 2004 on home-soil, to the ecstasy of lifting the trophy last year, Ronaldo’s influence on his nation cannot be overstated.
Player to watch: Bernardo Silva
Man City fans will be watching keenly as their new summer signing takes to the field in Russia.
The £43,000,000 addition from Champions League semi-finalists Monaco, netted eight and recorded 11 assists this league season and is due to bring his creative magic to the Premier League next season.
Silva missed Euro 2016 due to a hamstring injury, so will be keen to make up for lost time with a sensational display at the Confederations Cup.
Previously representing his nation, at the 2013 European Under-19 Football Championship, he reached the semi-finals.
Portugal have been placed in Group A, along with tournament hosts Russia, 2016 OFC Nations Cup winners New Zealand and 2015 CONCACAF Cup holders Mexico.
They face the Aztecs on June 18, followed by hosts Russia on the 21st, then the All-Whites to wrap up group proceedings on the 24th.
The top two teams qualify for the semi-finals.
Full Portugal at 2017 Confederations Cup squad (24)
Beto (Sporting Lisbon), Jose Sa (Porto), Rui Patricio (Sporting)
Bruno Alves (Cagliari), Cedric (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Jose Fonte (West Ham United), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Nelson Semedo (Benfica), Pepe (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
Adrien Silva (Sporting), Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Danilo Pereira (Porto), Joao Mario (Inter Milam), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Pizzi (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)
Andre Silva (Porto), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Nani (Valencia), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)