Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Portugal national football team

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UEFA (Europe)

Home stadium
Estádio Nacional


Cristiano Ronaldo

Head coach
Fernando Santos

Top scorer
Cristiano Ronaldo (68)

FIFA code

Fernando Santos

Estádio Nacional

Portugal national football team httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb5

A SeleçãoA Seleção das Quinas

Most caps
Cristiano Ronaldo (136)

Portuguese Football Federation (FPF)

Norway women's national football team, England women's national football team, Austria women's national football team

The Portugal national football team (Portuguese: Seleção Portuguesa de Futebol, [sɨlɛˈsɐ̃w puɾtuˈgezɐ dɨ futɨˈbɔl]) represents Portugal in international men's association football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal.


Portugal's first participation in a major tournament finals, at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, saw a team featuring famed striker Eusébio finish in third place. The next two times Portugal qualified for the World Cup finals were in 1986 and 2002, going out in the first round both times. Portugal also made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 1984 final tournament, losing 3–2 after extra time to the hosts and eventual winners France. The team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2000, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012, as well as the final of Euro 2004, the latter on home soil. At Euro 2016, Portugal won its first ever major trophy, defeating hosts France 1–0 after extra time, with the winning goal scored by Éder. With the win, Portugal qualified and will make its first appearance in the FIFA Confederations Cup held the following year in Russia.

The team's home stadium is the Estádio Nacional, in Oeiras, although most of their home games are frequently played in other stadia across the country. The current head coach is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who holds the team records for most caps and goals.

Early World Cup attempts

Portugal was not invited to the 1930 World Cup, which only featured a final stage and no qualification round. The team took part in the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, but failed to eliminate their Spanish opponents, aggregating two defeats in the two-legged round, with a 9–0 loss in Madrid and 2–1 loss in Lisbon for an aggregate score of 11–1.

In the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Seleção played one game against Switzerland in a neutral ground, held in Milan, losing 2–1 against the Swiss, ending qualification prospects. Because of the international conflict due to the World War II, there was no World Cup held until the 1950 competition and subsequently, the national team made very few games against other teams. A 10–0 home friendly defeat against England, two years after the war, was the proof of how the irregularity of the games had taken its effects on the squad; this result still stands as their biggest ever defeat.

1950s and early 1960s

On the restart of games, the team was to play a two-legged round against Spain, just like in the 1934 qualification. After a 5–1 defeat in Madrid, they managed to draw in the second game 2–2 and so the qualification ended with a 7–3 aggregate score.

For the qualification of the 1954 World Cup, the team would play Austria. The Austrians won the first game with a humiliating 9–1 result. The best the national team could do was hold the team to a goalless draw in Lisbon, and the round ended with a 9–1 defeat.

In the 1958 qualification, Portugal won a qualification match for the first time, 3–0 at home with Italy. Nevertheless, they finished last in the group stage that also featured Northern Ireland; only the first-placed team, Northern Ireland, would qualify.

The year 1960 was the year that UEFA created the European Football Championship. The first edition was a knock-out tournament, the last four teams participating in final stage that only featured one leg while the older stages had two legs. For the first round, the Seleção das Quinas won 2–0 against East Germany and 3–2 in Porto for the second leg, finishing with a 5–2 two-legged win. The quarter-final opponent was Yugoslavia. Despite winning the first game 2–1, they lost the second leg 5–1 in Belgrade, and lost 6–3 on aggregate.

England and Luxembourg were the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification adversaries of the national team. Portugal ended second in the group, behind England. Like in the previous World Cup qualification, only the first in the group would qualify.

In the 1964 European Championship. Portugal played against Bulgaria in the first round. The Portuguese lost in Sofia and won in Lisbon. With the round tied 4–4, a replay was needed in a neutral ground. In Rome, Portugal lost 1–0.

1966 World Cup and 1970s

In the 1966 World Cup qualification, Portugal was drawn into the same group as Czechoslovakia, Romania and Turkey. They topped the group and finally qualified for a FIFA World Cup in England.

The team started out with three wins in the group stage in Group C, against Hungary 3–1, Bulgaria 3–0, and Brazil 3–1. In the quarter-finals, Portugal played against North Korea. Portugal won the game with four goals from Eusébio overturning a deficit of 3–0. Later, they reached the semi-finals, but were defeated by hosts England 2–1. Portugal then defeated the Soviet Union 2–1 in the third place match for their best World Cup finish to date. Eusébio was the top scorer of the World Cup, with nine goals.

For the Euro 1968 qualifying, the Seleção played against Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden, finishing second to Bulgaria.

Portugal tried to qualify for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. They finished fourth and last in their group, behind Greece, Romania, and Switzerland.

To be able to participate in Euro 1972, Portugal had to win its group that comprised the teams of Belgium, Denmark and Scotland. Portugal finished second to Belgium.

For the 1974 qualification stages, Portugal were unable to defeat Bulgaria (2–2) in the decisive match, thus not qualifying.

Portugal faced tough competition from the strong Poland team for the place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. They finished second place, behind Poland.

Late 1970s until early 1990s

The national team was put alongside Austria, Belgium, Norway and Scotland to fight for the first spot in the group, which would allow them to go to the final stage of UEFA Euro 1980. Portugal took third place.

For the 1982 qualification, the Portuguese team had to face Israel, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Sweden for the top two group places. Portugal finished in fourth place.

During the campaign for Euro 1984, Portugal had to play Finland, Poland and Soviet Union. Portugal won the group with a win over the Soviet Union. Portugal ended in group B, alongside Spain, West Germany and Romania. In the first two games, they tied 0–0 and 1–1 against West Germany and Spain, respectively. A 1–0 win over Romania gave them second place in the group, to go through to the knockout stage, where they were matched against the hosts, France. The game was tied after 90 minutes and went into extra time; Portugal made the score 2–1, but France scored in the 114th and 119th minutes to eliminate Portugal 3–2 and go through to the final.

For the 1986 tournament, the Seleção played against Czechoslovakia, Malta, Sweden and West Germany for the two spots that would guarantee them a ticket to Mexico. Needing a win in the last game against West Germany in Stuttgart, Portugal won the game to become the first team to beat West Germany at their home ground in an official match. The team exited early in the group stages after a win and two losses. They started with a 1–0 win to England, but later were beaten by Poland and Morocco 1–0 and 3–1 respectively. Their staying in Mexico was marked by the Saltillo affair, where players refused to train in order to win more prizes from the Football Federation.

For the UEFA Euro 1988 the Portuguese team attempted to top their qualifying group in a group with Italy, Malta, Sweden and Switzerland; however, they finished in third.

The 1990 World Cup qualification was in a group along with Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and Switzerland, Portugal fought to get one of the first two spots of the group. Playing at home against Czechoslovakia, the game ended in a 0–0 allowing the East Europeans to get the second place.

During the draws for the Euro 1992 qualifying, the Netherlands, Greece, Finland and Malta were the other teams. The Portuguese ended second behind the Dutch.

For the 1994 World Cup qualification, Portugal played in the same group as Estonia, Italy, Malta, Scotland and Switzerland for the two highest places. They ended in third behind Italy and Switzerland.

1995 to 2006: The golden generation

Portugal was invited to play at the SkyDome Cup in Toronto, Canada, against Denmark and Canada. With a draw against the Canadians (1–1) and a win against the Danes, Portugal won the trophy.

Portugal managed to reach the Euro 1996, by topping their group, above second-placed Republic of Ireland. Their group consisted of Austria, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. In the final tournament, Portugal drew 1–1 with Denmark, won 1–0 to Turkey and 3–0 against Croatia, finishing first in their group. In the quarter-finals, they lost 1–0 to Czech Republic. This marked the beginning of the Golden Generation, a group of youngsters who had won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1989 and 1991 and were now leading the national senior squad.

The team almost qualified for the 1998 World Cup that was to be hosted by France.

In the qualifications for the 2000 Euro, Portugal finished second, just one short of first place Romania, but the Portuguese team had the best performance by any runner-up and therefore qualified. In the final stage, they defeated England 3–2, Romania 1–0, and Germany 3–0, to finish atop their group, and then defeated Turkey in the quarter-finals. In the semi-final meeting with France, Portugal were eliminated in extra time when Zinedine Zidane converted a penalty. Referee Gunter Benko awarded the spot kick for a handball after Abel Xavier blocked a shot. Xavier, Nuno Gomes and Paulo Bento were all given lengthy suspensions for shoving the referee. The final result was 2–1.

During the World Cup 2002 qualification, Portugal won the group. Several problems and poor judgment decisions occurred during the preparation and tournament itself – shopping sprees by players were widely reported in the Portuguese press. Questionable managing choices and some amateurism, including the same lack of agreement on prizes. Portugal underachieved and ended third in its group stage, subsequently eliminated. Manager António Oliveira was fired after the World Cup. Portugal entered the tournament as favourites to win Group D. However, they were upset 3–2 by the United States. They then rebounded with a 4–0 smashing Poland. Needing a draw to advance, they lost the final group game to hosts South Korea.

The next major competition, the UEFA Euro 2004, was held in Portugal. On the preparation, the Football Federation made a contract with Luiz Felipe Scolari to manage the team until the tournament ended. The Portuguese team entered the tournament being a favourite to win it. The host nation lost the first game against Greece 1–2. They got their first win against Russia 2–0 and also beat Spain 1–0. They went on to play against England, in a 2–2 draw that went into penalties, with Portugal winning. Portugal beat the Netherlands 2–1 in the semi-final. They were beaten by Greece 1–0 in the final.

After the tournament ended, a lot of players belonging to the Geração de Ouro (Golden Generation), abandoned their international footballing careers, with only Luís Figo remaining in the team, despite a temporary retirement.

The silver lining for Portugal was the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo was selected in the UEFA Euro All Stars Team. While Portugal was playing in the competition, Scolari agreed in a new two-year deal with the Federation.

Portugal finished first in the qualifying round for the 2006 World Cup. Portugal finished first place in Group D of the World Cup, with victories over Angola (1–0), Iran (2–0) and Mexico (2–1). The Netherlands lost to Portugal 1–0 in the Round of 16 in Nuremberg in an acrimonious match marked by 16 yellow cards, with four players sent off. (See the Battle of Nuremberg.) Portugal drew 0–0 after extra-time with England, but won 3–1 on penalties to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1966. Portugal lost 1–0 against France in the semi-finals. Portugal faced Germany in the third place play-off match in a 3–1 defeat. Ultimately, the team won the "Most Entertaining Team" award for their play during the World Cup. Once again Scolari was asked to accept a new deal with the Federation that would maintain with as the manager until the end of the next competition.

Recent history and Euro 2016 victory

For Euro 2008 Portugal finished second in qualification behind Poland, and won their first two group games against Turkey and the Czech Republic, although a loss to co-hosts Switzerland set up a quarter-final matchup with Germany which the team lost 2–3. After the tournament, Scolari left to take over at Chelsea.

Portugal came second in the qualifying stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Carlos Quieroz, then beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in a play-off, thereby reaching every tournament in the decade. A 19-match undefeated streak, in which the team conceded only three goals, ended with a loss to eventual champions Spain in the round of 16, 1–0. Queiroz was later criticised for setting up his team in an overly cautious way. After the World Cup, squad regulars Simão, Paulo Ferreira, Miguel and Tiago all retired from international football. Queiroz was banned from coaching the national team for one month after he tried to block a doping test to the team while preparing for the World Cup, as well as directing insulting words to the testers. In consequence, he received a further six-month suspension. Several media outbursts from Queiroz against the heads of the Portuguese Football Federation, which partly prompted his dismissal. Paulo Bento was appointed as his replacement at head coach.

Bento's team qualified for Euro 2012, They were drawn into the group of death in which they lost their first game 0–1 to Germany, then beat Denmark 3–2. The final group stage match was against the Netherlands. After Van der Vaart had given the Dutch a 1–0 lead, Ronaldo netted twice to ensure a 2–1 victory. Portugal finished second in the group and qualified for the knockout phase. Portugal defeated the Czech Republic 1–0 in the quarter-finals with a header from Ronaldo. The semifinal match was against Spain. The game ended 0–0 and Portugal lost 4–2 on penalties. In 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Portugal won 4–2 on aggregate in a play-off against Sweden with all four goals being scored by Ronaldo, and was drawn into Group G with the United States, Germany and Ghana. Their first match against the Germans was their worst-ever defeat in a World Cup, a 4–0 loss. They went on to draw 2–2 against the United States and won 2–1 against Ghana. However, the team were eliminated due to inferior goal difference to the Americans.

Portugal began the Euro 2016 qualifiers with a 0–1 home defeat against Albania, which resulted in Bento being dismissed from his managerial post to be replaced by Fernando Santos in September 2014. Nevertheless, the team qualified and were placed in Group F alongside newcomers Iceland, Austria and Hungary. The first match against Iceland was a 1–1 draw with Nani scoring for Portugal. The second match ended goalless against Austria with Ronaldo missing a penalty. The final match of the group stage was against Hungary. Portugal came from behind to end the match 3–3 with a goal from Nani and two from Ronaldo. They qualified as the third-best third place team. Portugal beat Croatia 1–0 in the Round of 16 after a goal from Ricardo Quaresma in extra time. In the quarter-finals, Robert Lewandowski scored in the early minutes but Renato Sanches scored the equaliser in the 33rd to level the match. After the match finished in a 1–1 draw after extra time, Portugal defeated Poland 5–3 on penalties to reach the semi-finals. In the semi-finals they defeated Wales 2–0 in regulation time with goals from Ronaldo and Nani to reach the final at the Stade de France against hosts France. The early stages of the final saw Ronaldo limp off the pitch injured after a challenge from Dimitri Payet. In spite of creating chances, both sides failed to find the net, with the hosts being denied of any goals owing to the brilliance of Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patrício and a compact defence led by Pepe. After the match ended 0–0 in regulation time, substitute Éder scored the match's only goal in the 109th minute, sending Portugal to a 1–0 victory after extra time. Ronaldo won the Silver Boot, scoring three goals and creating three assists.


Since 1997, Portugal's kit are supplied by Nike, Inc. replacing Olympic, a Belgian sportswear brand, that replaced Adidas in 1994.

Media coverage

Portugal's qualifying matches are currently televised on RTP, and will continue to be so until 2017. Friendlies are broadcast by TVI.

Current squad

The following 25 players were called up for the World Cup qualifier and friendly match on 25 and 28 March 2017 against Hungary and Sweden.

Caps and goals are correct as of 13 November 2016 after the game against Latvia.

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Portugal squad within the last 12 months.

  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad.
  • RET Retired from international football.
  • 2017

    Key: GS, Group stage; R16, round of 16; QF, quarter-finals; SF, semi-finals; FWC Qual, FIFA World Cup qualification


    Most goals scored in one World Cup 
    9 – Eusébio (1966)
    Most matches played in World Cup 
    13 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2006, 2010 & 2014)
    Most goals scored in one European Championship 
    4 – Nuno Gomes (2000)
    Most goals scored in European Championship finals
    9 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016)
    Most matches played in European Championship finals
    21 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016)
    Oldest player
    38 years, 8 months and 3 days – Vítor Damas (1–3 against Morocco on 11 June 1986)
    Oldest outfield player
    38 years, 1 month and 4 days – Ricardo Carvalho (3–3 against Hungary on 22 June 2016)
    Oldest goalscorer
    36 years, 10 months and 11 days – Ricardo Carvalho (2–1 against Serbia on 29 March 2015)
    Youngest debutant
    17 years, 6 months and 24 days – Paulo Futre (5–0 against Finland on 21 September 1983)
    Youngest goalscorer
    17 years, 9 months and 25 days – Fernando Chalana (2–1 against Cyprus on 5 December 1976)
    Longest national career
    17 years, 3 months and 5 days – Vítor Damas (From 6 April 1969 to 11 July 1986)
    Longest national career for an outfield player
    15 years, 9 months and 18 days – Nuno Gomes (From 24 January 1996 to 11 October 2011)
    Youngest player to reach 100 caps
    27 years, 8 months and 11 days – Cristiano Ronaldo (1–1 against Northern Ireland on 16 October 2012)
    Most hat-tricks
    4 – Cristiano Ronaldo (includes four goals against Andorra on 7 October 2016)

    Most appearances

    As of matches played 13 November 2016Players in bold are still active for the national team.

    Top goalscorers

    As of matches played 13 November 2016Players in bold are still active for the national team.

    Competitive record

         Champions       Runners-up       Third place       Fourth place  

    FIFA World Cup

    *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Darker color indicates win, normal color indicates lost.

    UEFA European Championship

    *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Darker color indicates win, normal color indicates lost.

    FIFA Confederations Cup

    *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Darker color indicates win, normal color indicates lost.

    Minor tournaments

    *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

    Honours & Achievements


  • FIFA World Cup
  • Third place (1): 1966
  • Fourth place (1): 2006
  • UEFA European Championship
  • Winners (1): 2016
  • Runners-up (1): 2004
  • Semi-finalists (3): 1984, 2000, 2012
  • Summer Olympics
  • Fourth place (1): 1996
  • Minor:

  • SkyDome Cup
  • Winners (1): 1995
  • Brazil Independence Cup
  • Runners-up (1): 1972
  • Other:

  • FIFA World Cup Most Entertaining Team:
  • Winners (1): 2006
  • References

    Portugal national football team Wikipedia