Euro 2012: The Contenders – Portugal




Never before since the FIFA World Rankings were launched a couple of decades ago have three of the top five teams been slotted in the same pool in a major tournament. Add another top 10 team into the mix and Group B lives up to its name – The Group of Death.

Euro 2012: The Contenders - Portugal

Euro 2012: The Contenders – Portugal

Though last edition’s runners-up Germany and the World Cup runners-up Netherlands are expected to go through to the last eight, Portugal led by a red hot Cristiano Ronaldo and Denmark aren’t the easiest opponents you would want to face.

Portugal:

Eight years ago, Ronaldo and Luis Figo lit up the Championships as Portugal finished runners-up to Greece but since then the Portuguese have disappointed as they were knocked out in the early stages of the Euro 2008 and also the World Cup in 2010.

The Portuguese qualifying campaign overcame rough weathers after Paulo Bento took over the reins from Carlos Quieroz, helping the team win five of their last six matches to finish second in their group behind fellow Group B side Denmark. Bento left out his defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa following their quarrels with the coach during the qualification campaign which puts the onus on Pepe and Bruno Alves to marshal the defence. Despite the presence of Nani and Raul Meireles, Portugal lack a quality striker up front to convert the crosses, thus putting added responsibility on the shoulders of Ronaldo.

Key Player:If football was a one man game, then Portugal would be amongst the favorites to triumph in the Euro Championships due to the presence of their mercurial skipper Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo bettered his own record in the Spanish League last season where he scored 46 goals and helped Real Madrid lift the La Liga. If Ronaldo can recapture the form in his national colors, then Portugal could well be the team to watch out for.

Other Stars:Nani, Rui Patricio, Pepe, HelderPostiga,Fabio Coentaro.

Prediction: Group Stages

If Portugal were slotted in any other group, then they would have been amongst the favorites to reach the last four of the tournament. However in a group that involves the Dutch and the Germans, Portugal would require a miracle and a little magic from Ronaldo to see them qualify from this group.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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