In the build up to Euro 2016, ThatsMags.com will be profiling Euro 2016 Shanghai Fans from all 24 countries taking part in the tournament in France. Representing Ronaldo (and Co) is Sandro Rasgado.
Portugal, Group F
Opponents: Austria, Hungary and Iceland
In 2004, the European competition was held in Portugal. The so called 'Golden Generation,' led by Luis Figo, was a major contender to win the title and actually cruised beautifully until the final. Unfortunately, the nation was left in tears because a stiff Greek side, managed by German Otto Rehhagel, stole Portugal's chance to win a major.
Greatest Euros moment?
The Portuguese legend Luis Figo (above) began his team’s recovery to beat England 3-2, from 2 goals down, with a superb volley from outside the box. In fact, his goal was voted as the Euro 2000 tournament's best. This Portuguese side really deserved to go far into the competition, but they were stopped short by Zinedine Zidane’s France at the semi-finals.
Being runner-up to Greece in our home tournament was quite a big disappointment (below). All Portuguese and the entire world were expecting that finally we would win a title. I still remember people forming human cordons miles long to indicate the way to the stadium and show support to the passing by of the national team bus!
Where you and your countrymen (and women) will be watching it?
Olá, or Viva! These are two Portuguese strongholds where you can enjoy typical gastronomic delicacies or drink national beers. All European tournaments will be shown until the late hours.
Song the fans sing?
We don’t have elaborated chants like our British counterparts, so we just sing out loud ‘Portugal, Portugal, Portugal.’ Yeah, I know it’s boring!
Nuestros hermanos, Spain, are usually on top of the list. Although, over several competitions we have developed interesting rivalries against England, France and Germany. Often we end up beaten.
Do you need to ask? He is simply the modern football superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo (above). But don’t let yourself misjudge him over his frequent surges of arrogance and ‘prima donna’ behaviours. Ronaldo embodies what everyone can achieve if one can work hard. Both inside and outside the pitch Ronaldo is a true example. The best player in the world is Portuguese.
One to watch?
Renato Sanches is only an 18 year old kid and recently was signed by Bayern Munich, from the Portuguese Champions Benfica. The head coach Fernando Santos asked him to join the team after Bernardo Silva, another up and coming star, dropped out due to injury. Sanches has a powerful presence in the pitch, both physically and mentally.
Pepe (below), who else! He gained fame over his theatrical abilities and aggression when playing for Real Madrid against Barcelona. Portugal has other players that can turn into the dark side, such as Bruno Alves, Quaresma or Eliseu. Fingers crossed!
At the moment Portugal lacks good strikers with the likes of João Pinto, Nuno Gomes or Pauleta. So we just have Éder, who plays for the French team Lille.
André Gomes is what the Chinese would call a shuàigē. His young looks, tall physique and elegant movements get noticed. People, especially women, will definitely know more about him after this tournament.
So what are your chances?
During every competition we always feel like we have a chance to win, but this year (yes I am saying it again) Portugal has great chances. This year Portugal has a stronger midfield, an experienced defense, and good flares coming from the new young talent. And of course, the attack is left to our star players Cristiano Ronaldo, Quaresma and Nani. Let’s hope we do meet the Germans or the French in the final.
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