Portugal

Posted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Europe's answer to Brazil have joined the que of potential champions.


Football Profile

Coach: Luiz-Felipe Scolari (59) (Bra) a highly-rated coach, “Big Phil” rejected the overtures of England less than two years ago.

Away From The Game

Capital: Lisbon

Population: 10.6m

Currency: Euro

Language(s): Portuguese

Famous Export: Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Eusebio, Jose Mourinho.

National Food: Bacalhau (dried and salted cod).

National Drink: Port and Madeira.

National Animal: Rooster

Star: Cristiano Ronaldo (23), Manchester United (Eng) World Player of the Year and wing-wizard possessing phenomenal skill, speed and power in the air.

Hidden Gem: Miguel Veloso (22), Sporting Lisbon midfield-anchorman with poise on the ball and attracted interest from European heavyweights such as Manchester United.

How They Qualified: Group A runners up behind Poland, ahead of Finland, Serbia, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Previous Best: Runners-up 2004

FIFA Ranking: 9

Key Fact: In a qualification match last September, Scolari’s fierce temper showed its bad side when he thumped Serbian player Ivica Dragutinovic after the full time whistle of a fiery 1-1 draw. Scolari was promptly banned for four matches.

"Big Phil" ScolariOverview: Cristiano Ronaldo has been on another planet for Manchester United this season and will spearhead the Iberian nation’s hopes this time around. Surrounded by attacking flair, Portugal lack of a deadly goalscorer and their defence can be questionable. With “Big Phil” Scolari in charge you can expect a fired up side with talent to flourish and reach the final four.

Odds: 7/1

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