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:
Ruben Neves (Defensive midfield)
The 22-year-old rising star is always likely to start for Portugal as his recent form as midfielder and former captain in Premier League club, Wolverhampton Wanderers, shows a sensational performance in the Euro. He played the full 90 minutes for Fernando Santos’ side in the 5-1 win over Lithuania during the qualifiers, a surprising appearance that did not disappoint.
William Carvalho (Central midfield)
The Betis player William Carvalho has been involved in an injury that made him doubtful of playing in the Euro, if the tournament is held this year. However, he got a chance to recover and go back to being fit following the postponement. A full international for Portugal since 2013, Carvalho one of Fernando Santos’ most important players and Portugal are a much poorer side without him on the pitch.
Bernardo Silva (Right wing)
Etihad’s talisman and one of Premier League’s top scorers, Bernardo Silva is also the Player of the Tournament in the previous edition of the Euro where Portugal hailed as champions. He is considered as Portugal’s best performer and starting him in the pitch is likely a guarantee. However, if he will not improve his underwhelming form in the club recently, Fernando Santos might consider somebody else.
Bruno Fernandes (Left wing)
The Manchester United newcomer displayed an exemplar performance for the English club and helped them recover from poor form following his signing. He has been the catalyst for the Reds to climb up from the middle table. He is obviously an undisputed starter alongside Bernardo Silva if Fernando Santos will not use his fluid 4-4-2 formation.
Diogo Jota (Second striker)
The Wolves forward Diogo Jota could be an interesting choice when paired with Cristiano Ronaldo upfront. Still uncapped, Jota made his Portugal debut last year during the Euro 2020 qualifications coming on as an 84th-minute substitute for Ronaldo in a 6–0 win against Lithuania. In all competitions, Jota has chipped in with 33 goals for Wolves, a good number to consider for the position.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Striker)
Ronaldo, skipper of Portugal’s surprise winners of Euro 2016, were seen in the gym for several hours a day defying the physical effects of age during the halt of sports. Ronaldo, who has now scored 98 goals for his country, will also have the chance to become only the second man in history to reach 100 international goals by next summer if injury will not blow within the delay.