On 20 November 1955, Portugal lost at home to Sweden 2-6. On 19 November 53 years later, the Selecção collapsed against a rampant Brazil to lose by the same scoreline in a game, played in Gama, Brasilia, that was supposed to raise Portuguese spirits after a recent run of poor results. The humiliating result and the performance will have had the opposite effect, and the team and coach Carlos Queiroz especially can expect heavy flak from the Portuguese media in the coming days.
It all started brightly enough, Portugal setting a blistering pace and catching Brazil on the back foot. From the early pressure, Portugal forced a corner on the left, the ball fell to Bruno Alves at the back post and his shot cum cross was turned in by Danny, otherwise incongruous as a lone striker. It took Brazil just four minutes to recover, Pepe losing the ball on the right to Robinho, whose cross found ex-Portista Luís Fabiano who made no mistake. It weas the beginning of a protracted and painful end for a Portuguese side without ideas and without a single individual performance that could be called reasonable. The home side played their intricate triangles at will and were 2-1 up by half time, the second coming from Luís Fabiano again, turning to sweep the ball in after Kaká had destroyed Portugal on the right.
The second half simply served to confirm Portugal fans' worst fears: a shot from the right by Maicon that beat Quim at his near post, Luís Fabiano's hat-trick, a monumental strike from the right again by Elano, and a mighty header from Adriano, who beat Bruno Alves to the ball with ease and Quim even more easily. Along the way, Simão had made it 2-4 at one point with a neatly taken goal after a Deco through ball, but it was ultimately a meaningless gesture. Brazil were superb. Portugal were a very sorry sight indeed.
The starting line-ups:
Portugal: Quim, Bosingwa, Pwepe, Bruno Alves, Paulo Ferreira, Deco, Tiago, Maniche, Danny, Cristiano Ronaldo, Simão.
Brasil: Júlio César, Maicon, Thiago Silva, Luisão, Kleber, Gilberto Silva, Anderson, Elano, Kaká, Robinho, Luis Fabiano
Carlos Queiroz announced on Thursday his squad to play Brazil in Gama on 19 November. Novelties are César Peixoto of Sporting Braga and Rolando oof FC Porto, as well as the return of midfielder Tiago of Juventus. Simão of Atlético Madrid also returns after injury. Pepe is included despite being on Real Madrid's injury list.
Out go Nuno Gomes, Ricardo Quaresma, Carlos Martins, Tonel, Yannick and Daniel Fernandes.
The squad, by club:
Atlético Madrid: Maniche, Simão;
Chelsea: Bosingwa, Deco, Paulo Ferreira;
FC Porto: Bruno Alves, Raúl Meireles, Rolando;
Galatasaray: Fernando Meira;
Manchester United: Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani;
Real Madrid: Pepe;
Sporting Braga: César Peixoto, Eduardo;
Sporting: João Moutinho;
Werder Bremen: Hugo Almeida;
Disaster in Braga. Portugal conceded a 0-0 draw against the team ranked 83rd in the world, Albania, seriously jeopardising their chances of qualification for the World Cup in 2010. And the worst of it was that Portugal deserved no more, even after playing against ten men for 50 minutes when sub Teli was sent off for a second yellow.
It was a nightmare of a game for a Portuguese side bereft of ideas and stars like Deco (much missed), Ricardo Carvalho, Simão and Maniche, all injured. But they also missed stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, João Moutinho and Nani (on as sub), who played but did next to nothing to turn the game.
And they were up against a super-organised and spirited Albania who troubled Quim just once, but it was the best chance of the whole game by either side: on 28 minutes, Duro crossed low from the right and Bulku just failed to get a foot to it from point blank range, with Miguel sweeping up the pieces at the back post. And in goalkeeper Arjan Beqaj, they had by far the best player on the pitch, keeping a squib-like Portuguese attack out on countless occasions.
Portugal might point to a possible penalty not given when Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down (was he?) in the box in the first half, and to a Hugo Almeida header in the second half that hit the post and conveniently bobbled up for Beqaj to grasp, but the truth was that the mighty Portugal hardly played at all and did not deserve any more than they got.
The teams lined up:
Portugal: Quim, Miguel (Nuno Gomes 75), Pepe, Bruno Alves, Paulo Ferreira, Raul Meireles, Manuel Fernandes, João Moutinho (Quaresma 55), Danny (Nani 55), Hugo Almeida, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Albania: Arjan Beqaj, Elvin Beqiri (Admir Teli 24), Debatik Curri, Kristi Vangieli, Ervin Bulku, Altin Lala, Lorik Cana, Klodian Duro (Besart Berisha 77), Ansi Agolli, Ervin Skela, Erjon Bogdani (Endri Vrapi 45).
If the display and result were not enough, Portugal also scored various PR own goals in front of an admirably patient and supportive near-capacity crowd at the 30,000-seater Braga Municipal Stadium , home to Sporting Braga: seven minutes from time, the president of the Football Federation, Gilberto Madaíl was seen leaving the directors' box; in the dying minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo mis-controlled a ball and reacted badly to whistles from the crowd; and no one, not the coach Carlos Queiróz nor any of the players, appeared for the flash interview to be given by the terrestrial channel TVI.
The result leaves Portugal in third place in Group 1, with just five points from four games (!). Denmark head the group, with seven from three. Hungary have seven from four, Sweden five from three and Albania the same points as Portugal, from the same number of games (…). Malta are bottom with no points from their four games.
Portugal's next qualifying game is at home to Sweden on 28 March next year.
The Group 1 table looks like this:.
In an evenly fought World Cup qualifier, Portugal could only draw 0-0 in Sweden on Saturday in front of 33,000 at the Rasunda Stadium, Solna. Sweden started the stronger, with the dangerous Elmander coming close on various occasions and Quim doing well to keep the hosts out. Portugal had most of the possession in the second half but rarely caused any danger to the Swedish goal.
The teams lined up:
Sweden (starting): Andreas Isaksson, Behrange Safari, Daniel Majstorovic, Petter Hansson, Mikael Nilsson, Daniel Andersson, Sebastien Larsson, Kim Kallstrom, Samuel Holmen, Johan Elmander, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Portugal : Quim, Bosingwa, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Paulo Ferreira, Fernando Meira, Raul Meireles, João Moutinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani (Danny 81), Hugo Almeida (Quaresma 65).
Also on Saturday, Denmark beat Malta 3-0 while Hungary won 2-0 against Albania. Portugal now meet Albania in Braga on 15 October.
Portugal have fallen to 10th in the FIFA ranking following their recent home defeat to Denmark in World Cup qualifying.
8. Czech Republic
Carlos Queiroz has released the injured Deco and Maniche from international duty for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Albania, calling up Valência's in-form Manuel Fernandes as cover.
Carlos Queiroz announced on Friday his squad to face Sweden (away, 11 October) and Albania (home, 15) in qualifying games for the 2010 World Cup.
Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tonel return. Tonel takes the place of the injured Ricardo Carvalho, while Quaresma and Ronaldo take over from Simão and Pedro Mendes.
Deco is in the squad despite being injured.
Atlético Madrid - Maniche;
Chelsea - Bosingwa, Deco and Paulo Ferreira;
Inter Milan - Ricardo Quaresma;
F.C. Porto: Bruno Alves and Raúl Meireles;
Zenit - Danny;
Galatasaray - Fernando Meira;
Manchester United - Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani;
Real Madrid - Pepe;
Sporting Braga - Eduardo;
Benfica - Carlos Martins, Nuno Gomes and Quim;
Sporting - João Moutinho, Tonel and Yannick;
Werder Bremen - Hugo Almeida;
Lecce - Antunes;
Valência - Miguel;
Bochum - Daniel Fernandes.
Carlos Queiróz has announced his Portugal squad to face Malta (06/09) and Denmark (10/09) in the upcoming qualifying matches for the World Cup 2010. In come Sporting's Yannick Djaló, Maniche of Atlético Madrid and Pedro Mendes, recently signed by Glasgow Rangers from Portsmouth
Goalkeepers: Quim (Benfica), Eduardo (Sporting Braga) and Daniel Fernandes (Bochum)
Defenders: Miguel (Valência), Bosingwa (Chelsea), Fernando Meira (Galatasaray), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Bruno Alves (F.C. Porto), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Antunes (Lecce).
Midfielders: Maniche (Atlético Madrid), João Moutinho (Sporting), Carlos Martins (Benfica), Raul Meireles (F.C. Porto), Pedro Mendes (Rangers), Deco (Chelsea).
Forwards: Simão (Atlético Madrid), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg), Nani (Manchester United), Nuno Gomes (Benfica), Yannick Djaló (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen).
As expected, Portugal thrashed the Faroe Isles 5-0 in what was Carlos Queiroz's first game on his return to the Selecção. In front of 22,000 at the Aveiro Municipal Stadium, home of Beira-Mar, Portugal put together a decent first half against the world minnows, but they only saw one goal for their troubles: on 23 minutes, Carlos Martins volleyed goalwards from a corner, his shot was blocked but it fell to him again and his second shot took a deflection past Mikkelsen. Portugal's play was less coherent in the second half but paradoxically they saw a better return in goals. On 48 minutes, Simão scored with a rare header from a Manuel Fernandes cross, and then there was a flurry of goals in the last five minutes: Duda headed in at the back post from a Nani cross, Bruno Alves rifled in a shot from just inside the area after Nani's corner skimmed across the front of the Faroes' tiring defence, and Nani himself got the final goal, slashing home a loose ball from close range. Ultimately it was a good run-out ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Malta, but it was no test for matches against more demanding opponents.
The teams lined up:
Portugal: Quim, Bosingwa (Miguel 35), Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho (Bruno Alves 55), Antunes, Raul Meireles (Fernando Meira 78), Carlos Martins (Manuel Fernandes 55), Deco (Danny 55), Nani, Hugo Almeida, Simão (Duda 71).
Faroe Isles: Jakup Mikkelsen (Rene Tórgaro 46), Jonas Tór Naes, Johan Davidsen, Egil Á Bo, Leif Niclasen, Atli Danielsen, Barour Olsen (Bogi Lokin 54), Mikkjal Thomassen (Hogni Madsen 78), Hogni Jacobsen (Andreas Lava Olsen 78), Simun Samuelsen (Jákup Á Borg 78), Rogvi Jacobsen.
Portugal's U-21s lost 2-3 at home to the Czech Republic on Tuesday in a friendly to prepare for a vital Euro 2009 qualifier against England on 5 September. Miguel Veloso put Portugal in front on four minutes, Holek equalised on 26 and Hélder Barbosa restored Portugal's lead on the stroke of time. But Portugal collapsed in the second half and fell to goals by Strestik from the spot and Reznicek in a three-minute spell midway through the half. Inter Milan midfielder Pelé was sent off with a direct red for foul play on 69 minutes. Portugal will need to take their game up a fair few notches before their trip to England.
The teams lined up:
Portugal: Rui Patrício (Ricardo Batista 46), Vasco Fernandes (Miguel Lopes 46), Nuno André Coelho (Gonçalo Brandão 46), Manuel da Costa, Vítor Vinha, Miguel Veloso, Pelé, Paulo Machado (Pereirinha 46), Vieirinha (Candeias 46 and Castro 80), Vaz Tê (Saleiro 65), Hélder Barbosa (Bruno Gama 58).
Czech Republic: Svenger (Divis 46), Kudela, Simunek (Reznicek 46), Mazuch, Svec (Moraceek 86), Holeck (Vacek 65), Suchy, Janda, Jeslínek, Strestik (Horava 65), Pekhart (Jablonsky 46).
Carlos Queiroz has named his first squad to face the Faroe Isles in Aveiro on 20 August. Goalkeeper Ricardo, ever-present under Scolari, is out along with Postiga , Jorge Ribeiro, Petit, quaresma Rui Patricio and Miguel Veloso, the last two going to the U-21 squad. Crisitiano Ronaldo misses the game through injury. In for the first time come goalkeeper Eduardo of Sporting Braga and Danny of Dynamo Moscow.
Quim 32 Benfica 26
Eduardo 25 Sporting Braga 0
Daniel Fernandes 24 Bochum 1
Bosingwa 25 Chelsea 11
Paulo Ferreira 29 Chelsea 51
Ricardo Carvalho 30 Chelsea 46
Bruno Alves 26 FC Porto 12
Pepe 25 R. Madrid 7
Fernando Meira 30 Galatasaray 52
Miguel 28 Valência 48
Antunes 21 Lecce 1
Deco 30 Chelsea 56
Raúl Meireles 25 FC Porto 12
Duda 28 Málaga 2
Carlos Martins 26 Benfica 3
João Moutinho 21 Sporting 17
Manuel Fernandes 22 Valência 3
Danny 25 Dynamo Moscow 0
Simão 28 Atlético Madrid 64
Nani 21 Manchester United 16
Nuno Gomes 32 Benfica 72
Hugo Almeida 24 Werder Bremen 11
Carlos Queiroz has been appointed Portugal coach, taking over from Luíz Felipe Scolari, now at Chelsea. Alex Ferguson's former assistant at Manchester United signs for four years ... up to Euro 2012. Queiroz's first game in charge will be a friendly against the Faroe Islands in Aveiro on 20 August.
The Selecção will be back together on 18 August ahead of a friendly to be played on the 20th (opponent to be decided). On 2 September, Portugal play their first qualifying game for the World Cup 2010 in Malta, and on the 6th they receive Denmark.
Portugal has returned to the top ten of FIFA's rankings, climbing two places to ninth. Spain move into first place.
1 (4) Spain
2 (3) Italy
3 (5) Germany
4 (2) Brazil
5 (10) Holland
6 (1) Argentina
7 (15) Croatia
8 (6) Czech Republic
9 (11) Portugal
10 (7) France
After a meeting of the heads of the Portuguese Football Federation on Thursday, president Gilberto Madaíl was given carte blanche to chose the new coach of the Selecção, to take over from Luíz Felipe Scolari. The new coach will be thrown in at the deep end, having to qualify Portugal for the 2010 World Cup, beginning in September. Portugal are in Group 1 along with Malta, Sweden, Albania, Denmark and Hungary. Portugal play Malta away first, then Denmark at home.
Brazil want to play Portugal in a friendly to inaugurate the newly renovated Estádio do Gama (22,000) in the capital Brasilia. The game, which needs the ok from the Portuguese Football Federation, would be played on 11 November.
FPF president Gilberto Madaíl has given a clue as to the coach who will take over from Luíz Felipe Scolari: "It's important that he speaks Portuguese, but that doesn't mean to say that he is Portuguese or of Portuguese nationality." There have been rumours that Brazilian Zico, who recently left Turkish side Fenerbahce, may be the man.
After the defeat against Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that he is to have an operation on a foot, which he says has been troubling him for around three months.
Portugal coach Luíz Felipe Scolari, who has been with the Selecção since January 2003, will take over from Avram Grant at Chelsea. From the Chelsea website:
"Chelsea Football Club is delighted to confirm that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be the club's new manager from July 1, 2008.
Felipe has great qualities. He is one of the world's top coaches with a record of success at country and club level, he gets the best out of a talented squad of players and his ambitions and expectations match ours. He was the outstanding choice.
Out of respect for his current role as Head Coach of the Portuguese national team, and to ensure minimum disruption to this work, there will be no further comment from Chelsea FC nor from Felipe about his new role until his employment with us commences."
Portugal beat Georgia 2-0 in front of around 8,000 at the Estádio do Fontelo in Viseu Saturday, in what was the last serious practice match before Portugal face Turkey in their opening Euro 2008 match next Saturday. It was one-way traffic for most of the game, the result constructed in the first half with a goal from Moutinho from outside the area on 19 minutes and a crisp penalty from Simão on 45 after he had been brought down running onto a perfect Petit through ball. Portugal had other chances to extend their lead, hitting the bar twice in quick succession from a Crisitano Ronaldo free kick, followed up by Ricardo Carvalho, and once again in the second half through Ricardo Quaresma.
Portugal looked more together in the first half, with Deco, Bosingwa and Simão especially combining well down the right. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nuno Gomes, on the other hand, had scrappy and anonymous halves, respectively. With wholesale changes for the second half (only Rui Patrício and Jorge Ribeiro were not used), Portugal lost a lot of cohesion and were relying more on the individual inspiration of, notably, Ricardo Quaresma, Nani and Miguel.
The teams lined up:
Portugal: Ricardo (Quim 46), Bosingwa (Miguel 62), Pepe (Fernando Meira 62), Ricardo Carvalho (Bruno Alves 46), Paulo Ferreira, João Moutinho (Hugo Almeida 72) Petit (Miguel Veloso 46), Deco (Raul Meireles 46), Cristiano Ronaldo (Nani 46), Nuno Gomes, Hélder Postiga (62), Simão (Quaresma 46)
Geórgia: Girogi Loria, Ucha Lobjanidze, Levan Tskitishvili (Irakli Klimiashvili 46), Rati Aleksidze, Alexander Iashvili (Davit Devdariani 46), Levan Kobiashvili (Beka Gotsiridze 46), Zurab Khizanishvili, Malkhaz Asatiani (Amiran Sanaia 67), Zurab Menteshashvili, Levan Kenia (Revaz Barabadze 67), Giorgi Navalovski (Giorgi Merebashvili (81)
Portugal coach Luíz Felipe Scolari said after the game: "I'm satisfied mainly with what I saw in the first half. In the second, we did some things that we can take advantage of in the future. But we failed in that each player wanted to get the ball and take it home…. We should have more possession. We need to train with two strikers, like we had in the last 25 minutes. We were weaker in midfield and we have to re-think some things in this respect."
Cristiano Ronaldo said that he will announce his club intentions for next season in two or three days' time; real Madrid have been keen to sign the Manchester United star. FC Porto's Ricardo Quaresma said: "It's time to leave [FCP]. I've expressed this wish on several occasions. Let's see what happens." Deco, on his way out of Barcelona, said: "I want to be at a good club ... the situation is not dependent upon my performance at the Euro, but I want to have a good championship and win because that's our objective."
Luís Figo and Fernando Couto have been named official ambassadors of the Selecção. Both players represented Portugal over 100 times.
Portugal has a squad with one of the lowest average ages in the Euro 2008, competition: 26.35. Italy has the highest, with 29.57.
Portugal has 11 players that played in the domestic league this season. Croatia has just two, Russia 22.
Deco and Miguel are currently unable to train because of physical problems at Portugal's pre-Euro training camp in Viseu. Real Madrid's central defender Pepe only arrived on Wednesday evening, while Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, along with Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira of Chelsea, are due to arrive on Friday.
National coach Luíz Felipe Scolari announced his quad for the European Championship on Monday. Relative surprises are the exclusion of Maniche and Marco Caneira, Miguel Veloso and Jorge Ribeiro, Maniche's brother, coming in. Also out is the Benfica striker Makukula, who hasn't been playing regularly for his club.
Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Bosingwa (FC Porto)
Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea)
Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea)
Pepe (Real Madrid)
Bruno Alves (FC Porto)
Fernando Meira (Stuttgart)
Jorge Ribeiro (Boavista)
Miguel Veloso (Sporting)
Raul Meireles (FC Porto)
João Moutinho (Sporting)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Nani (Manchester United)
Quaresma (FC Porto)
Simão (Atlético Madrid)
Nuno Gomes (Benfica)
Hélder Postiga (Panathinaikos)
Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen)
National Team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari has denied that there have been any contacts between him and Manchester City with a view to his taking over the reins of the English Premier League club when Sven Goran Eriksson. He has said that he will not be thinking about his future until after Portugal's presence at EURO 2008.
The British Sunday Times has suggested that Manchester City are interested in Portugal coach Luíz Felipe Scolari taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson at the end of the season. Two years ago, Scolari was mooted to take over from Eriksson as England coach.
National Team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is on a short list of two to take over as Mexico coach after Hugo Sánchez was sacked following Mexico´s failure to qualify for the Olympic Games. The other candidate is Javier Aguirre, coach of Atlético Madrid. Scolari has said that he is only concentrating on Portugal's presence at Euro 2008.
Portugal were unable to get revenge for the Euro 2004 Final defeat, losing 1-2 to Greece on Wednesday in a friendly played in Düsseldorf. They started poorly, but the injury to Simão and replacement by Moutinho on just 15 minutes improved their play. However, they went behind on 32 minutes, Karagounis getting the first of two goals from free kicks. He got his second on the hour, and Portugal shifted up a gear and began to pour serious pressure on the Greek goal, often with crosses from deep. From one of those crosses by Miguel a quarter of an hour from the end, Hugo Almeida, looking to be in an offside position, headed down for Nuno Gomes to finish well. Scolari was without key players Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Deco through injury.
The teams lined up:
Portugal: Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Caneira, Fernando Meira, Carlos Martins, Miguel Veloso, Ricardo Quaresma, Simão, Nuno Gomes. Also: João Moutinho, Bruno Alves, Miguel, Hugo Almeida, Jorge Ribeiro, Raul Meireles.
Greece: Nikopolidis, Patzatzoglou, Antzas, Kyrgiakos, Torosidis, Basinas, Karagounis, Katsouranis, Amanatidis, Charisteas, Gekas. Also: Giannakopoulos, Seitaridis, Samaras, Goumas, Salpingidis.
"The team was reasonable in some aspects," said Scolari. "In some situations, we were able to assess some players who came on during the game; they weren't surprising, but their attitudes were positive. I think we've won a couple of players for the European Championship … Greece were more more efficient than us ... The two teams had the same control of the ball, and the game was decided with two free kicks … Carlos Martins was good. He got into the thick of it, worked the ball well, he tried to lose his marker and covered when necessary. Jorge Ribeiro was also good, despite being on less time than Carlos Martins."
Nuno Gomes was a little less positive: "We didn't put in the performance we wanted to, but we have to lift our heads up and think of the European Championship."
Portugal's Under 21s had more luck at home to Bulgaria in Group 3 of qualification for Euro 2009, goals from João Moreira and Saleiro in a two -minute period midway through the second half providing a 2-0 win.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo Baptista, Pereirinha, Vasco Fernandes, Manuel da Costa, Antunes, Manuel Fernandes, Pelé (Hélder Barbosa 63), Paulo Manchado, Vieirinha, João Moreira (Celestino 80), Bruno Gama (Saleiro 46).
Former Sporting midfielder Carlos Martins, of Spanish side Recreativo de Huelva, is the surprise choice of National Team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari for the friendly against Greece in Düsseldorf, Germany, next Wednesday. "I've watched him and thought that he could be part of this group. He's one of the players who could play in Deco's position. Let's see his response, if he gets the chance to play." Martins' last appearance for Portugal was against Kazakhstan on 15 November 2006.
Also returning after the side's mini disaster (0-3) against Italy are João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Pepe, Miguel, Simão and Nuno Gomes. Quim, Bosingwa, Deco, Petit, Maniche and Makukula are left out this time.
Scolari stressed that this is not the definitive squad for this summer's European Championship: "The final list will only come out on 12 May . Until then we have to analyse the players' form but also their fitness, because there are a lot of games to play. We'll have to wait because the final stages of the championships, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup are going to be taking place between now and May.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Bétis), Rui Patrício (Sporting);
Defenders: Bruno Alves (FC Porto), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Jorge Ribeiro (Boavista), Pepe (Real Madrid), Miguel (Valência), Caneira (Valência), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea);
Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Recreativo), João Moutinho (Sporting), Miguel Veloso (Sporting), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Nani (Manchester United), Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), Simão (At. Madrid);
Forwards: Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen), Nuno Gomes (Benfica).
Juventus central defender Jorge Andrade has undergone an operation for a troublesome knee injury and will be out of the reckoning for this summer's European Championship . Andrade missed the 2006 World Cup for the same reason.
Albania have been banned from competing in FIFA competitions because of interference by the government in the running of the country's football federation. Albania are in Portugal 's qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup, games for which begin in September.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will announce his final squad for the European Championship from Viseu at 20.00 on 12 May. The pre-tournament training camp will begin on 18 May in Viseu , a small city in the centre/north of the country. Portugal's final preparation game will be against Georgia on 31 May at 18.15 at the Estádio do Fontelo in Viseu.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will announce his squad for the upcoming friendly against Greece on 19 March. The game will beplayed in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 26 March at 20.45.
Portugal remain in 8th position in the FIFA rankings. Of Portugal's opponent's at EURO 2008, the Czech Republic are in 6th, Turkey are in 18th and Switzerland are 41st.
Ranking (February 2008)
1 Argentina, 1518 points
2 Brazil, 1502
3 Italy, 1484
4 Spain, 1352
5 Germany, 1281
6 Czech Republic, 1244
7 France, 1223
8 PORTUGAL, 1191
9 Holland, 1170
10 Greece, 1142
Luis Felipe Scolari has been in charge of the Selecção for five years (12/02/03) and is the second longest serving coach in the history of the national team after Cândido de Oliveira, almost ten years in the job between 1935 and 1945, although the team only played 15 games during that time due to the war. Below is a list of all the Selecção's coaches:
18/12/21 to 16/12/23
Ribeiro dos Reis:
15/5/25 to 18/4/26
Cândido de Oliveira:
26/12/26 to 24/3/29
A. Maia Loureiro:
12/1/30 to 30/11/30
Tavares da Silva:
12/4/31 to 31/5/31
Salvador do Carmo:
3/5/32 to 29/1/33
Ribeiro dos Reis:
13/4/34 to 18/3/34
Cândido de Oliveira:
5/5/35 to 11/3/45
Tavares da Silva:
6/5/45 to 25/5/47
23/11/47 to 23/5/48
27/2/49 to 22/5/49
Salvador do Carmo:
22/5/49 to 21/5/50
Tavares da Silva:
8/4/51 to 17/6/51
Cândido de Oliveira:
20/4/52 to 14/12/52
Salvador do Carmo:
27/9/53 to 28/11/54
Tavares da Silva:
4/5/55 to 16/6/57
José Maria Antunes:
22/12/57 to 22/5/60
19/3/61 to 4/6/61
8/10/61 to 25/10/61
6/5/62 to 17/5/62
José Maria Antunes:
7/11/62 to 7/6/64
Manuel da Luz Afonso:
15/11/64 to 13/11/66
José Gomes da Silva:
27/3/67 to 17/12/67
José Maria Antunes:
30/6/68 to 10/12/69
José Gomes da Silva:
10/5/70 to 21/11/71
29/3/72 to 14/11/73
José Maria Pedroto:
3/4/74 to 22/12/76
30/3/77 to 8/3/78
20/9/78 to 26/3/80
24/9/80 to 5/5/82
22/9/82 to 8/6/83
21/9/83 to 23/6/84
6/9/84 to 11/6/86
12/10/86 to 29/3/87
23/9/87 to 15/11/89
29/8/90 to 20/2/91
4/9/91 to 17/11/93
19/1/94 to 20/4/94
7/9/94 to 23/6/96
31/8/96 to 11/10/97
22/4/1998 to 28/6/2000
16/8/2000 to 14/6/2002
7/9/2002 to 20/11/2002
Luiz Felipe Scolari:
12/2/2003 to (...)
Portugal disappointed Wednesday against Italy in Zürich, going down 1-3. Portugal had most of the possession, but rarely threatened Amelia's goal. Cristiano Ronaldo especially was under par, along with the starting midfield of Deco, Petit and Maniche, and Benfica's new singing Makukula was completely adrift at the front. It was Ricardo Quaresma, Portugal's best player, who had the chance at his feet to break the deadlock just before half time, but his pass on the break to Cristiano Ronaldo was wayward, the Manchester United forward was forced wide and the situation was lost. Italy, ruthless as always, took this as a prompt to break to the other end, and in added time before the oranges, Luca Toni converted a low cross from the left that had Ricardo and Ricardo Carvalho in a stew in front of goal.
The game was virtually killed five minutes into the second half, the excellent Pirlo turning to hit a loose ball from the edge of the area that deflected off Cannavaro and beat Ricardo at his left-hand post. Quaresma gave Portugal some hopes a quarter of an hour from time, finishing off a Nani cross from the left at the back post , but the hopes lasted for just three minutes: more confusion in the Portugal defence let in sub Quagliarella to give an under-strength Italy a clear and deserved win that will (must) ring loud alarm bells for the Portuguese coach Scolari ("We failed in all departments," he admitted after the game).
The teams lined up:
Italy: Amelia, Oddo, Barzagli, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Pirlo, Ambrosini, De Rossi, Palladino, Di Natale, Luca Toni - plus: Grosso, Perrotta, Gamborini, Borriello, Quagliarella, Cassetti.
Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Caneira, Petit, Maniche, Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Quaresma, Makukula - plus: Nani, Paulo Ferreira, Fernando Meira, Hugo Almeida, Raul Meireles, Jorge Ribeiro.
National Team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari has been in the job since 2003: "These five years have been very positive … if they hadn't been, it wouldn't have been five years," he told reporters Monday. His first game was against Italy in Genoa on 12 February 2003, which Portugal lost 0-1. On the day, the team was:
Ricardo, Ricardo Rocha (Luís Loureiro), Fernando Meira, Fernando Couto (Jorge Andrade), Sérgio Conceição (Paulo Ferreira), Tiago (Hélder Postiga), Rui Costa (Pedro Mendes), Nuno Valente (Rui Jorge), Luís Figo, Simão (Luís Boa Morte), Pauleta (Miguel).
Nuno Gomes was injured in Benfica's 0-0 draw against Nacional at the weekend and has been replaced in the squad for Wednesday's game against Italy in Zürich by Werder Bremen striker Hugo Almeida.
The Portuguese Football Federation received 18,000 application forms for EURO 2008 tickets, representing a total of 173,000 tickets. There will be a draw in February to see who the lucky applicants are.
Luís Felipe Scolari has named his squad to play Italy in the friendly of 6 February in Zürich, at the sure-to-be sold-out Estádio Letzigrund. A surprise is the début call-up of Sporting's young goalkeeper Rui Patrício and the absence of players like Miguel Veloso and João Moutinho (Sporting), Miguel (Valência), Manuel Fernandes (Everton), Tiago (Juventus), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen), Pepe (Real Madrid) and Simão (Atlético Madrid), although the last two are not match fit.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Bétis), Quim (Benfica), Rui Patrício (Sporting);
Defenders: Bosingwa and Bruno Alves (FC Porto), Caneira (Valência), Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Jorge Ribeiro (Boavista);
Midfielders: Petit (Benfica), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Maniche (Inter milan), Deco Deco (FC Barcelona);
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani (Manchester United), Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), Nuno Gomes (Benfica), Makukula (Marítimo).
Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho and Manuel Fernandes have been called up by coach Rui Caçador to the U-21 squad that will take part in the 8th Tagus Valley Tournament, which Portugal kick off on 5 February in Abrantes against Scotland. The next day they will play against either Sweden or Ukraine.
The full squad:
AS Roma: Antunes;
Belenenses: Gonçalo Brandão;
Bolton Wanderers: Vaz Té;
Estrela da Amadora: Celestino and Rui Pedro;
Everton: Manuel Fernandes;
Fulham: Ricardo Batista;
FC Porto: Hélder Barbosa and Ventura;
Leixões: Paulo Machado and Vieirinha;
PSV Eindhoven: Manuel da Costa;
Portimonense: Nuno André Coelho;
Rio Ave: Miguel Lopes;
Salamanca: Vasco Fernandes;
Sporting: João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso and Bruno Pereirinha;
Zaglebie Lubin (Poland): Tiago Gomes.
The Selecção will have their final training camp before Euro 2008 in the small city of Viseu, in the centre of Portugal. They will stay at the Hotel Montebelo from 18 May until 31 May and play a friendly on 31 May against a team yet to be announced.
Luíz Felipe Scolari said Thursday that he has "85 or 90%" of the squad for Euro 2008 decided. And he issued a warning: "Those players that are two or three kilos overweight with a fat arse and are worried about other things, like nightlife or the catwalk, could miss the bus … I'm watching games, I read interviews, I'm studying [the players] … that's a warning."
Manuel José, back in Portugal for ten days from Egypt where he coaches Al-Ahly, was asked whether he would be in the running for the job of National Team coach after the European Championship: "I can't wait forever for the Selecção," he said.
An on-line petition has achieved the total number of signatures it set out to achieve: over 7,000 have signed it to call for Inter Milan's Luís Figo's return to the Selecção in time for this summer's European Championship.
Website maisfutebol has begun a survey to find the most popular choices for the 23-man European Championship squad. (results so far)
Players' Union president Joaquim Evangelista met with FPF president Gilberto Madaíl to protest about the inclusion in the national squad of naturalised players . "Portugal have enough players of quality to represent the Selecção," he said. " Nothing against foreigners, but I just think we have players in Portugal that can defend our colours and identity with the same quality." Deco and Pepe are two Brazilian players that have been naturalised in recent years and have represented the country. Sporting's Brazilian striker Liedson is another player who it has been mooted could join them. Evangelista also brought up the issue of what he believes is an inordinate number of foreign players in the Portuguese league.