seleção news - 2019


euro2020 result/tables




The draw was made for the EURO 2020 Finals, and Portugal got the short straw, ending up in the same group as Germany (who Portugal will play in Munich ...) and France, plus a team from the play-offs.

Schedule for the Group F fixtures here.




Portugal will be in Pot 3 for the EURO 2020 draw (30 November, Bucharest), meaning that they will automatically avoid: Russia, Denmark, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic and Belgium, all because of the pre-set rules for the 12 venues:


A: Rome and Baku
B: St. Petersburg and Copenhagen
C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
D: London and Glasgow
E: Bilbao and Dublin
F: Munich and Budapest


POT 1: Belgium, Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Ukraine
POT 2: Holland, Russia, France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia
POT 3: Portugal, Denmark, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic
POT 4: Wales, Finland + 4 from the play-offs (26-31 March 2020)

The Finals will, be from 12 June to 12 July next year. The fist game will be at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. There will be six groups of four, with the top two from each group going into the last 16, along with the four best third teams in each group. The semi-finals and Final will be at Wembley.




Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

Portugal are through to the European Championship Finals in the summer of 2020. They did it with a stuttering display against an on-paper weaker Luxembourg side that caused them enough problems to leave the result open until the second goal.

Coach Fernando Santos made three changes from the side that so convincingly saw off Lithuania 6-0 days before: Raphaël Guerreiro came in at left back for Mário Rui, Danilo took over from Rúben Neves in midfield, and André Silva was preferred over Gonçalo Paciência up front.

None of the replacements managed to better the people they replaced. Guerreiro on the left, while better coming forward, is not as good a defender as Mário Rui, and much of the danger Luxembourg caused came down their right-hand flank. Danilo was a solid presence, but does not have the quick thinking and distribution, nor shooting power, of Rúben Neves. And up front, André Silva was not able to combine as well with those around him as Gonçalo Paciência.

The pitch – small, muddy and bumpy – didn’t help Portugal’s passing game, and shots were flying wide and high from bobbling balls. Luxembourg were difficult, as in the first game – which Portugal won 3-0 but also with some difficulty – notably through their brains, Vincent Thill, and the pace and control of winger Gerson Rodrigues. It was Luxembourg who came closest to scoring in the first half, before two moments of brilliance on 39 minutes took some pressure off Portugal: Bernardo Silva, deep in his own half, saw a cross-field run by Bruno Fernandes and flighted a delightful ball into his path; the Sporting captain took the ball in his stride and crashed it inside the near post with his second touch.

Fernando Santos will have been relieved that they had the lead at half-time, and would have thanked Luxembourg for their wayward finishing. Portugal looked slightly more together as a side in the second half, and were more together still when João Moutinho replaced Pizzi on 62 minutes. But still Portugal were only holding onto a narrow lead, with the Serbia v Ukraine game being played at the same time very tight; Portugal needed to win their game to make absolutely sure of qualification. If Luxembourg had equalised, and Serbia had won, Portugal would have gone to the play-offs.

Any doubts were eradicated on 87 minutes, though. Bernardo Silva (again) sent a cross to the back post when Diogo Jota, on as sub, managed to poke the ball goal-wards. It looked like it was going over the line anyway, but Cristiano Ronaldo made sure for his 99th Seleção goal.

It wasn’t a “beautiful” goal, as Fernando Santos had predicted it would be before the game, but it provided precious confirmation that the European Championship holders would be going into next summer’s competition.

Portugal: Rui Patrício, Ricardo Pereira, José Fonte, Rúben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes (Rúben Neves 90), Danilo, Pizzi (João Moutinho 62), Cristiano Ronaldo, André Silva (Diogo Jota 71), Bernardo Silva




Portugal 6-0 Lithuania (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

Two minutes into this penultimate Group B qualifier, Lithuania broke into the Portuguese half and Novokovas, their best player apart from the keeper Setkus, crossed from deep on the right. The ball bounced harmlessly out, five metres wide of the left-hand post. It was the closest Lithuania would come to the Portuguese goal all night.

Portugal soon set up camp in the final third and proceeded to dominate in all aspects of the game. The official possession share was 70/30; it felt like more. Pulling most of the strings was Bernardo Silva, with arguably his best performance in a Portugal shirt. He was on the right early on, switched occasionally to the left, at other times popped up in a central role. His touch, close control, jinking runs and distribution were all superb.

But he was far from being a one-man show: captain Cristiano Ronaldo, after a difficult week at his club Juventus, was very busy up front, probing, laying balls off, shooting. It was through him that the inevitable breakthrough came on seven minutes; he made space for himself to the left of goal but before he could get in a shot or cross, he was taken down from behind by Mikoliunas. CR planted the spot-kick straight down the middle and Setkus got a foot to it, but the power of the kick took the ball in.

It was perhaps a shame that the opener came from a penalty because the quality of Portugal’s play – their fluid movement, occupation of spaces, crisp passing – deserved to create something more beautiful. We didn’t have to wait so long, though, for just that. On 22 minutes, Gonçalo Paciência – returning to the squad and putting in a lot of hard work and interesting combinations with his partners up front – fed Cristiano Ronaldo 25 metres out and he hit the ball first time, curling it past Setkus’s left hand. A terrific goal that took off any pressure that the team might have been feeling.

Also helping to ease that pressure were highly competent performances in midfield (notably Rúben Neves and Bruno Fernandes) and defence (Ricardo and Rúben Dias), snuffing out Lithuania’s tentative attacks with ease.

The teams went in at half-time with Portugal 2-0 up, and it really felt that the lead should have been more robust. That started happening early in the second half: on 52 minutes, that man Bernardo Silva worked his way into the box on the right and fed Pizzi (good game too), who cracked a shot in from a narrow angle on the right that hit the bar and the left-hand post before finding its way over the line at the base of the right-hand post.

Goals came in a flurry then. On 56 minutes, Bernardo Silva strolled into the box on the right again, stroked a shot goalwards and Setkus fumbled for once, dishing it up on a plate for Gonçalo Paciênica to score his first goal for Portugal in his second game, the first as a starter. On 63 minutes, Ricardo squared the ball into the box and Bernardo Silva nonchalantly picked his spot to make it 5-0. Two minutes later, the accounts were closed when Cristiano Ronaldo, assisted by … Bernardo Silva to the left of goal, made no mistake for his hat-trick and 98th for the Seleção.

The rest of the game was spent with Portugal dominating but taking their foot off the ruthless pedal. It really was a luxury performance, and while it could be said that they were up against poor opposition – Lithuania finished their group campaign with one point from their eight games – on other occasions, the Seleção have made hard work of just such circumstances. This time they were in a state of grace.

And they need only to win in Luxembourg on Sunday to qualify for next year’s finals, regardless of any other results.

Portugal: Rui Patrício, Ricardo, Rúben Dias, José Fonte, Mário Rui, Rúben Neves, Pizzi, Bruno Fernandes (João Moutinho 72), Bernardo Silva (Bruma 66), Gonçalo Paciência, Cristiano Ronaldo (Diogo Jota 83)



João Mário has withdrawn from the squad due to injury. He will not be replaced.



Nélson Semedo has withdrawn from the Seleção squad after coming off injured in the Barcelona v Celta Spanish Liga match on Saturday. Pepe has also withdrawn after getting injured in the Europa League game at Rangers on 07/11/19. They will be replaced by Manchester City’s João Cancelo and Domingos Duarte of Granada.



Fernando Santos announced his squad for the upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers against Lithuania (home) and Luxembourg (away) on 14 and 17 November, the final games in Group B. Portugal can’t catch Ukraine, out in front, but are looking over their shoulders at Serbia, just a point behind.

In relation to the last call-up, out are Gonçalo Guedes, Rafa, João Félix, William Carvalho and André Gomes, all injured. In come EURO 2016 hero Éder, Daniel Podence, Diogo Jota and Gonçalo Paciência, who is called up for the first time since 2017.

Goalkeepers: Beto (Goztepe), José Sã (Olympiakos), Rui Patrício (Wolves)

Defenders: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Rúben Semedo (Olympiakos), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Neves and João Moutinho (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (Lokomotiv), Pizzi (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (PSV Eindhoven), Daniel Podence (Olympiakos)

Forwards: André Silva and Gonçalo Paciência (Eintracht Frankfurt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Éder (Lokomotiv), Diogo Jota (Wolves)



Portugal 3-0 Luxembourg (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

Portugal came out just winners of this qualifier in front of 47,305 at Sporting’s Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, but it was not plain sailing throughout. Years ago, Luxembourg would field part-time postmen and were widely seen as a pushover. Nowadays they aren’t a major force in world football, far from it, but they came to Lisbon with their game plan studied and executed it extremely well: keep shape and discipline at the back, harry and disrupt in midfield, attack in number whenever possible. Portugal, several notches below optimal, had superior possession and chances. Two of them fell for a subdued João Félix before the scoresheet saw its first change. On sixteen minutes, Nélson Semedo charged onto a long through ball down the right and took it as far as the keeper, Moris, who parried the right-back’s shot, only for the ball to fall to Bernardo Silva; he took his time to control it and stroke it in. Luxembourg were not shaken by the goal and created a couple of chances for themselves, both times through the useful Vincent Thill. Portugal created another couple too before half-time through Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, but they went in for the orange slices at 1-0.

Given Luxembourg’s resilience at the back and neat attacking moves, 1-0 was always going to be a dangerous scoreline. Portugal pushed forward, Bruno Fernandes sending a couple of speculative long-range efforts in, while Cristiano Ronaldo, fed by João Félix, tried a trademark overhead kick that went straight to Moris. At the other end, Gerson broke on the left but the moment went to his head and he skewed his shot wide of the left-hand post. Cristiano Ronaldo found himself free to the left of goal on 58 minutes, his shot tipped wide by Moris. It was a rehearsal for the 65th minute. Chanot dawdled on the ball, Cristiano Ronaldo snatched it off him, strode on and placed a lovely chip over the oncoming keeper; it was his 699th career goal. Portugal could breathe a little more easily now, while Cristiano Ronaldo was chasing his 700th; he might have got it on 75 minutes when he was brought down in the box by Gerson, but the referee neither saw it nor gave it. It was left to sub Gonçalo Guedes, on for Bernardo Silva, to complete the scoring a minute from time, poking home a loose ball after a João Moutinho corner.

The result meant that Portugal maintained the five-point gap between them and top-of-the-table Ukraine, who beat Lithuania 2-0. Next up for the Seleção: Ukraine away. They will need to show more energy, drive and bite in that one.

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Nélson Semedo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Raphaël Guerreiro, Danilo, João Moutinho (Rúben Neves 90), Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva (Gonçalo Guedes 77), Cristiano Ronaldo, João Félix (João Mário 88)



Everton midfielder André Gomes was called up to replace William Carvalho, injured



Benfica forward Rafa Silva was relieved from international duty because of a thigh injury.



Fernando Santos announced his squad for the upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine. Returning to the squad are Ricardo Pereira, João Mário, Bruma and André Silva, while Daniel Carriço, Ferro, Renato Sanches, Daniel Podence, João Cancelo, and Diogo Jota are left out. There’s a début call-up for centre-back Rúben Semedo of Olympiakos.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Wolves), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)

Defenders: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Rúben Semedo (Olympiakos), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Neves (Wolves), William Carvalho (Bétis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (Lokomotiv), João Moutinho (Wolves), Pizzi (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (PSV), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica)

Forwards: André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), João Félix (Atlético Madrid)




Lithuania 1-5 Portugal (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

A rather lacklustre Portugal made heavy going of a first half against the team that was bottom of the table with just one point from four games. The Seleção did have more possession, more attacks, more shots, but they were allowing Lithuania to come back at them on several occasions through a porous midfield and shaky defence. Fernando Santos had brought in Cancelo for the injured Nélson Semedo at right back, and had swapped Danilo with Rúben Neves in midfield and Gonçalo Guedes with João Félix up front. The latter was the most successful of the draftees, looking cool and sharp on the ball and testing the Lithuanian keeper Setkus a number of times. His strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo looked off his game - half a second too late to balls, and wayward in his shooting. Iit was the Portugal captain, though, who opened the scoring on seven minutes, sending Setkus the wrong way from the spot after Palionis had handled a João Félix cross. But the home side, who had threatened from open play, equalised on 28 minutes from a dead ball, Andriuskevicius, stronger than the Portuguese defence, heading in from a corner.

The second half was the mirror image of the first, Portugal doing all the running but making Lithuania look better than they are with their lack of aggressiveness. Then, just as in the Serbia game three days earlier, Portugal had a stroke of luck. On 62 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo broke into the box and hit a shot that a schoolboy could have stopped. Setkus, who had been having a decent game, dropped to the ground to collect it, it bobbled over him, hit his back and trundled in. It might have been given as an own goal, but UEFA considered it CR’s, and Portugal were ahead again. Three minutes later, the game was as good as over after Bernardo Silva fed CR from the right and the captain stabbed a shot in from eight metres. Lithuanian heads dropped and Portugal pressed on, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his fourth on 76, Bernardo Silva once again slicing into the area and squaring a pass for CR to coolly place the ball past Setkus from ten metres this time. At 4-1, the game was more than done and dusted, but in added time, Lithuania failed to clear the ball from a corner and William Carvalho was on hand to steer it in.

The win, as is so often the case built on Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals - his four brought his personal Seleção tally to 93 - put Portugal clear 2nd in Group B with 8 points from their four games, 5 points behind Ukraine but with a game in hand. Lithuania remained rooted at the bottom with a single point from five outings.

Portugal: Patrício, João Cancelo, José Fonte, Rúben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Rúben Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes (Rafa Silva 56), Bernardo Silva (Pizzi 89), Cristiano Ronaldo (Gonçalo Guedes 76), João Félix.



Serbia 2-4 Portugal (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

After two draws in their first two group games, Portugal needed to start winning, especially as Ukraine had won again earlier in the evening, 3-0 in Lithuania, and topped the group on 13 points from their five games.

Fernando Santos’s men dominated the early stages, at least in terms of possession and forward flow, but the Serbian defence was very tight and Portugal created very little; a clipped shot from Cristiano Ronaldo that hit the legs of a defender on the way to goal was the nearest they came. At the other end, and as Serbia settled, Mitrovic was testing Rui Patrício, and Kostic was bamboozling right back Nélson Semedo with worrying ease. Then came a stroke of luck for Portugal: Serbian keeper Dmitrovic and central defender Milenkovic collided when challenging for a speculative centre from Bruno Fernandes, and the latter’s old Sporting team-mate William Carvalho was on hand to tap the loose ball in.

The game opened up in the second half, with Portugal back in control and looking more objective and incisive. On 58 minutes, the ball was worked neatly across the face of the area, it fell to Gonçalo Guedes on the left, and he jinked past his marker, unleashing a left-footed shot across Dmitrovic to make it 2-0. It seemed that Portugal had the cushion to go on and convince, but ten minutes later, a corner from Tadic on the left saw Milenkovic making up for his joint mistake in the first half, heading home unmarked from close range. Alarm bells were sounding as Portugal wavered, but ten minutes from time Cristiano Ronaldo restored the two-goal lead, racing onto a Bernardo Silva through ball to flick it past Dmitrovic from five metres out. He looked off-side for the goal, but in the absence of the VAR, the goal stood. Then with five minutes to go, Serbia reduced the deficit again, this time through their best player Mitrovic, who was given time on the ball to crack a shot past Rui Patrício from 15 metres. The nerves jangled for only a minute though as Raphael Guerreiro took the ball down the left and squared it low, missing out João Félix and Cristiano Ronaldo but finding Bernardo Silva on the right, the Manchester City wizard taking his time to choose his spot and stroke the ball inside the right-hand post.

The win put Portugal second in the Group B table, eight points behind Ukraine but with two games in hand.

Portugal: Rui Patrício, Nélson Semedo (João Cancelo 65), Jose Fonte, Rúben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Danilo, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes (João Moutinho 85), Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes (João Félix 70)



Benfica’s young centre-back Ferro comes in to replace the injured Pepe. It’s Ferro’s first outing in the senior squad, though he has 51 caps at other levels..



Fernando Santos named his squad for the upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers in Serbia (07/08/19) and Lithuania (10/08/19).

Keepers: Rui Patrício (Wolves), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)

Defenders: João Cancelo (Man. City), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli), Daniel Carriço (Sevilla)

Midfielders: Danilo (FC Porto), Rúben Neves (Wolves), William (Bétis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Moutinho (Wolves), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Lille)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Gonçalo Guedes (Valência), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Wolves), Daniel Podence (Olympiacos)

Surprises are the incusion of Renato Sanches, Carriço and Podence, making his debut in the squad.



Fernando Santos named his squad for the upcoming Nations League finals, to be played out in the north of Portugal.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)

Defenders: João Cancelo (Juventus), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), José Fonte (Lille), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund), Mário Rui (Nápoles)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), William Carvalho (Bétis), Rúben Neves (WolverhamptonWanderers), João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Pizzi (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Rafa (Benfica), João Félix (Benfica), Dyego Sousa (Sporting Braga), Gonçalo Guedes (Valência), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers)



Portugal 1-1 Serbia (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

Serbia set up shop rather like Ukraine had done at the same Luz stadium days before. Portugal created more chances than in that game, but their finishing was weak and they became increasingly desperate and diffuse as the seconds ticked away. A defensive mix-up gifted Serbia the opening goal, Rui Patrício bringing Gacinovic down and Tadic sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot. Portugal lost Cristiano Ronaldo on the half hour through injury, and you have to wonder whether his killer instinct might have put away some of the many chances created after that. Portugal did e qualise just before the break, Danilo taking the ball from the halfway line befre curling a fabulous shot past the left hand of the excellent Dmitrovic from 25 metres.

It was mainly Portugal in the second half, and they improved with the substitution of striker André Silva for Dyego Sousa, who was making his first start. Fifteen minutes from the end Rukavina clearly handled in the area from an André Silva header. The referee gave a penalty but was corrected, erroneously, by his linesman. Portugal’s players and coach Fernando Santos were incensed: "How can a linesman who's 40 metres away get the ref to change a valid decision? After the game the ref apologised to me for his mistake."

Portugal stutter, then, at the beginning of their defence of the European title, but they lost their first qualifying game for the Euro 2016 Championship that they went on to win, so it’s not the end of the world ... yet.

Portugal: Rui Patrício, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Bernardo Silva, Danilo, William Carvalho, Rafa Silva (Gonçalo Guedes 84), Cristiano Ronaldo (Pizzi 31), Dyego Sousa (André Silva 58)



Portugal 0-0 Ukraine (Euro 2020 Group B qualifier)

Portugal could only draw 0-0 against an ultra-defensive Ukraine in their opening qualifier for EURO 2020. Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe came close in the first half but were foiled by Ukraine’s best player and the Man of the Match, the keeper Pyatov. He kept Portugal out in the second half, too, and near the end, Júnior Moraes almost hit a shock winner for Ukraine after Rui Patrício had spilled a long-shot; Rúben Dias deflected the effort for a corner. For Portugal, Brazil-born Dyego Sousa made his debut. There were 58,350 at the Luz, two or three thousand of them vociferous Ukraine fans.

Portugal: Rui Patrício, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Raphaël Guerreiro, Rúben Neves (Rafa Silva 62), João Moutinho (João Mário 86), William, Cristiano Ronaldo, André Silva (Dyego Sousa 73), Bernardo Silva



Sporting midfielder and captain, Bruno Fernandes, widely rated as the player of the season so far in the Portuguese Liga, has withdrawn from the Euro-qualifier squad due to physical limitations.



Fernando Santos called up 25 players for the double-header of qualification for Euro 2020: the Group B games against Ukraine (22 March at 19.45) and Serbia (25 March, also at 19.45). Both games are to be played at Benfica’s Luz Stadium in Lisbon.

A surprise is a first call-up for Braga’s Brazil-born striker Dyego Sousa, in Portugal for ten years; he has 14 Liga goals to date. Also in are young Benfica revelation Jõao Félix and Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota, doing great things at Wolverhampton Wanderers this season. Keeper José Sá gets the nod over Anthony Lopes of Lyon. And back comes phenomenon Cristiano Ronaldo after time off to settle in at Juventus.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)

Defenders: João Cancelo (Juventus), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli).

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), William Carvalho (Bétis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (Inter), João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Pizzi (Benfica)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), João Félix (Benfica), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica), André Silva (Sevilla), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dyego Sousa (Sporting Braga).





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