Portugal Euro 2024 squad review: Don’t write off Ronaldo and co.

Portugal were utterly dominant in their qualifying group, rattling in 36 goals and conceding just twice to record a perfect record of 10 wins from 10.

While it was a relatively weak group, Roberto Martinez’s side were undeniably impressive and the Portugal Euro 2024 squad has all the raw talent required to go deep in Germany and potentially even win the trophy for the second time in eight years.

portugal euro 2024 squad
Cristiano Ronaldo is set to appear in a record sixth Euros – Photo by Icon Sport

Portugal – Key facts

Year founded: 1921

Nickname: A Selecao das Quinas

Current FIFA ranking: 6th

Highest FIFA ranking: 3rd

Year of Euro debut: 1984

Best Euro performance: Winners (2016)

Player to watch: Bruno Fernandes

Full Portugal Euro 2024 squad

Former Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has named a 26-man squad for the tournament.

Goalkeeper

  • Rui Patricio
  • Diogo Costa
  • Jose Sa

Defence

  • Pepe
  • Danilo Pereira
  • Ruben Dias
  • Joao Cancelo
  • Nelson Semedo
  • Nuno Mendes
  • Diogo Dalot
  • Antonio Silva
  • Goncalo Inacio

Midfield

  • Bernardo Silva
  • Bruno Fernandes
  • Ruben Neves
  • Joao Palhinha
  • Matheus Nunes
  • Vitinha
  • Joao Neves

Attack

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Joao Felix
  • Diogo Jota
  • Rafael Leao
  • Goncalo Ramos
  • Pedro Neto
  • Francisco Conceicao
portugal euro 2024
Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo have a combined age of 80 – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in Portugal Euro 2024 squad

Francisco Conceicao

Porto’s 21 year old winger Francisco Conceicao has made the cut despite only making one previous appearance for the national team. He scored five and assisted four in Liga Portugal this term but only started twice during the club’s Champions League campaign and will be hoping to get a chance to show what he can do at some point in Germany.

Pepe

At the other end of the age spectrum, Pepe will become the oldest player to ever appear at the Euros should he get game time in Germany. At 41, he is clearly well past his prime, but the big, bruising defender is still capable of ruffling feathers. He forms part of a squad that blends youth and experience like perhaps no other, with 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo also on the plane and expected to feature prominently.

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has scored 20 times for his country – Photo by Icon Sport

In-form players for Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo

One thing that should work in Portugal’s favour is that two of their most important players are also two of their most in-form players. While in the case of Ronaldo, he might only be playing in Saudi Arabia, but 12 goals in his final 10 Pro League fixtures, including three hat-tricks, is still mighty impressive form. He’s well capable of adding to his record 14-goal Euros haul in what will be his sixth tournament, also a record.

Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes is perhaps Portugal’s most important player these days, frequently outshining the likes of Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva in a squad that is blessed with both big talents and big egos. He ended the season well with an assist in the FA Cup final and scored seven and assisted four in his final 10 games for the Red Devils, suggesting he’s in prime condition to shine for his country too.

Portugal Predicted Euro 2024 XI

Portugal vs Czechia

(4-4-2) Diogo Costa, Nuno Mendes, Ruben Dias, Antonio Silva, Cancelo, Leao, Palhinha, Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

Portugal are quite flexible when it comes to their system with a basic 4-4-2 structure quite capable of changing into a diamond in midfield or even a 4-3-3 should Roberto Martinez wish to change things between or during games. He’s likely to field all of his key men on matchday one against Czechia with Cristiano Ronaldo expected to lead the line again in his sixth Euros.

portugal euro 2024 team
Rafa Leao is a match winner on his day – Photo by Icon Sport

Portugal vs Turkey

(4-3-1-2) Diogo Costa, Dalot, Inacio, Ruben Dias, Cancelo, Vitinha, Palhinha, Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Felix

There is real competition for places in this Portugal team, so we’re likely to see changes throughout the group stage, and there’ll be a host of options for Martinez if the opening performance is below par. They may look to pack the centre of the pitch against Turkey with Vitinha potentially coming in and that may release Bruno Fernandes to operate further up. Joao Felix, Diogo Dalot and Goncalo Inacio are also strong candidates to rotate in.

Portugal vs Georgia

(4-3-3) Rui Patricio, Nuno Mendes, Inacio, Antonio Silva, Cancelo, Vitinha, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Leao, Ramos, Jota

Portugal may have already secured qualification by this point, but they’ll be eager to win Group F which would ensure they avoid playing another group winner until the semi-finals. Older players like Ronaldo are likely to be rested against outsiders Georgia with plenty of fresh legs to be introduced ahead of the knockout stage. World Cup Rou16 hero Goncalo Ramos could lead the line while Ruben Neves may make his first start of the tournament in midfield.


Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.