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"Give The Ball Off Ronaldo!"

If you listen to Portuguese coach Fernando Santos and his players, it's clear that they believe a repeat of what happened four years ago is possible. In 2016 Portugal won the European Championship. "I'm not going to say the same sentences that I said before Euro 2016 because a copy is not the same as the original," says Santos. "What I can say, however, is that it has been a long time since Portugal entered a major tournament just to be there. Portugal entered a major tournament to win it."

Cristiano Ronaldo, with his goal against Germany this Saturday, equalized with the German Miroslav Klose at the top of the gunner standings combining World Cup and Euro Cup finals.

Klose, the world's top scorer with 16 targets, added another three in the Euro for a total of 19, the same as Cristiano adds after achieving seven in the four World Cups he has played and twelve in the five continental tournaments in which he has participated .

Cristiano Ronaldo, still captain and still the driving force, has now competed in four European and four world championships, but is still thirsty for success. He joined Santos when he said: "It's not because we won in 2016 we're the favorites - other teams are the favorites - but we're going to the European Championship to try to win again."

The team experienced a small dent in the result at the beginning of the European Championship qualification, with two draws against Serbia and Ukraine. That raised some questions about her approach, but she recovered and made it to the finals in second. An impressive 4-2 win against Serbia in Belgrade was key. Even more impressive was the victory in the first edition of the Nations League, when they prevailed in the group against Poland and Italy and defeated Switzerland in the semifinals and the Netherlands in the final.

The questions about Santos' tactics revolve around Ronaldo. Santos prefers a 4-4-2, which can turn into a 4-2-3-1 on the defensive. He likes having two defensive midfielders to clear players like Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes on the flanks. Whoever accompanies Ronaldo up front - it was Diogo Jota in the convincing 3-0 win against Hungary - has to help out defensively on the left so that one of the midfielders can act more centrally.

Read more: The Richest Football Stars

The core of the team that won in 2016 is still there with Rui Patrício, 33, Pepe, 37 and Ronaldo, 36, but there is an impressive amount of younger talent. The generation of Rúben Dias (24), Bernardo Silva (26), Bruno Fernandes (26), Diogo Jota (24), André Silva (25) and João Félix (21) will be keen to set the tone this summer.

Rúben Dias and Pepe start in central defense, José Fonte is an option, while Nélson Semedo and Raphaël Guerreiro fill the full-back positions. Also keep an eye out for 18-year-old Nuno Mendes who is an option on the left-back position. There is quality throughout the squad and while that doesn't mean success is guaranteed, it does mean Portugal have another chance.

Who is the coach of Portugal?

Fernando Santos will forever be remembered as the coach who led Portugal to success at Euro 2016, but he is also known as the "Penta Engineer". The nickname was given to him when he won the fifth consecutive league title with Porto in 1999. The name comes from the fact that Santos graduated in electrical engineering and telecommunications in 1977 and worked as maintenance director at the Hotel Palácio Estoril between 1981 and 1998, while also being a player and later a coach. As a devout Catholic, he prays and reads passages from the Bible every morning. He speaks fluent Greek because he has looked after several club teams and the national team there.

Who is the icon of the Portuguese team?

Cristiano Ronaldo has almost 300 million followers on Instagram and, according to a study, he earns 758,000 euros per post. That puts him just behind actors Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kylie Jenner. Ronaldo promotes the biggest Portuguese brands and is admired in Portugal. However, some people begin to disapprove of some of his attitudes and actions. For example, when he recently threw his armband on the floor because a goal against Serbia was not recognized. Some also believe that the national team is playing too much "for him" when there are so many other players who can win games.

Read also: Cristiano Ronaldo Crosses Another Milestone

What is the expected line-up of the Portuguese national team?

Rui Patrício - Nelson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Pepe and Raphael Guerreiro - Danilo Pereira, William Carvalho - Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Jota - Cristiano Ronaldo.

Who is grateful for a year late?

A year ago, Diogo Jota only played 26 minutes for the Portuguese national team. September 2020 turned out to be a significant month in his career: he made his first game for Portugal, his first goal and moved to Liverpool. Since he fully recovered from his injury, he's been the man next to Ronaldo. "I saw Diogo Jota for the first time when he was with Paços de Ferreira and he fits in very well with our team," said Santos.

What are the Portuguese fans singing?

As of 2016, the piece of music most likely associated with the national team is Pouco Importa, Pouco Importa , which has been recorded by fans. After many years of playing beautiful football without winning a title, Fernando Santos created a team that could make it all the way to the top (although the style of play has sometimes been criticized). The fans created a song for this new climate that they still sing today: "It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter whether we play well or badly, we just want to bring the trophy to our Portugal."

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