Portugal’s potential XI for the Euro 2020 next year (part 1)

Defending champions Portugal are set to duplicate their successful run in the previous edition of the Euro where they hailed as champions. Manager Fernando Santos has a year to assemble the best of Portugal’s squad to defend the title and become the only second team to clinch consecutive titles, the record that Spain holds. Here are the potential XI of Portugal for the Euro 2020 next year:

Rui Patrício (Goalkeeper)

Rui Patrício earned his first cap for Portugal in 2010, after Paulo Bento’s appointment as head coach. Patricio is a sure starter between the goalposts following his vital contributions and theatrical saves in two World Cups and three European Championships, winning the 2016 edition of the tournament as well as the 2019 Nations League.

Ricardo Pereira (Right back)

The postponement of the Euro 2020 seems to be a blessing for Ricardo Pereira as he can recover from an injury that made him doubtful of joining the squad. A year to get in fit is enough to return to his position in the national team. Pereira appeared seven times for his country since making his international debut in 2015, but has yet to earn a consistent place in Fernando Santos’ squad.

Pepe (Centre back)

The 37-year-old Porto centreback Pepe played a vital role for the country, appeared seven times for Portugal since making his international debut in 2015, but has yet to earn a consistent place in Fernando Santos’ squad. Due to medical tests Pepe has pulled out of Portugal’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Serbia and Lithuania. However, he is expected to return next year.

Rúben Dias (Center Back)

Another vital player for the position is former Portugal Under-19 squad captain and Benfica’s Ruben Dias. Dias has played 38 of Benfica’s league campaign this season, only missing three matches across all competitions. He wasn’t given the chance to prove himself during the recent World Cup, but with his clinical and creative skills in the pitch, he seems to be ready to take on the international stage.

Raphael Guerreiro (Left Back)

The Dortmund man undoubtedly remains the top Portuguese left-back in the world at the moment. He helped the national team in the success of both Word Cup and Euro 2016 as replacement of former Real Madrid star Fabio Coentrao as the first choice left-back of his country. In just 19 appearances this season, he has scored five goals for Bundesliga side, while also proving three assists to his teammates.