This summer, the Euro Cup 2012 is hosted by Poland and Ukraine runs from June 8-July 1.
As the various teams begin to consider their final squads, training methods, team tactics and travel arrangements, we'll take a look at things worth knowing about Portugal, from players, route to the final, history and more.
Here are 10 things to know about Portugal.
As always with international teams, there are certain players considered to be the marquee performers on the pitch.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last half decade, then you know that Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players on the planet.
So who else does Portugal have to turn to?
The more household names include Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Fabrio Coentrao, Raul Meireles, Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Moutinho.
After initially facing Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Cyprus in the qualifying rounds, Portugal only managed a second place finish with five wins, one draw and two defeats from their eight games.
Finishing second to Denmark meant that Portugal had to qualify for the finals by way of the playoffs.
Portugal were drawn against Bosnia and Herzigovina in the playoff round, with the winner taking a place in the Euro 2012 finals.
The draw meant that Portugal would have the second leg of the tie played in their home country, proving to be critical to the result.
After the first leg of the tie resulted in a 0-0 draw, many could be forgiven for thinking Portugal would be nervous in the second leg.
That wasn't the case though with Cristiano Ronaldo getting on the score sheet as early as the eighth minute.
Portugal ran out 6-2 winners and progressed into the Euro 2012 finals.
Portugal face one of the toughest groups to get through after being put into Group B with Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany.
With Germany ranked third in the world rankings behind second placed Netherlands, Portugal may find this group tough to progress from given Denmark already bettered them in their qualifying group.
Portugal are certainly in this tournament's group of death.
Portugal are currently managed by Paulo Bento—a former player for Sporting CP and eventual manager of the team.
Bento was hired following Carlos Queiroz poor start to the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign that got the coach sacked.
Now that Portugal have made the finals, they have a reasonable chance of winning the competition if they can get out of their initial group phase.
English bookmakers William Hill currently have Portugal as seventh favourites at 20/1 odds.
Germany—3/1, Netherlands—7/1, and Denmark—100/1, make up their group respectively.
When judging an international team in an international competition, it's important to know a little something about their history.
Have they won it before? Have they come close? Are they chokers?
These are all valid questions when assessing Portugal's odds.
Portugal have been runner-up once before in the competition when they hosted in 2004, and they have made the semi-finals twice prior in 1984 and 2000.
In the World Cup, Portugal finished third in 1966 and fourth in 2006.
A strong opening can breathe life into a team's chances of winning the tournament. They say winning is a habit, so who do Portugal play first?
Portugal's opening game is against Germany on June 9th at the Arena Lviv in Poland.
Germany are the second favourites to win the competition, which will give Portugal either a reality check, supreme confidence, or a step into the unknown—all depending on the result they achieve.
Behind any good team is a good captain, and Portugal's captain is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo often receives criticism for failing to perform in big matches and major tournaments, so a lot of eyes will be looking to him to provide inspiration and leadership.
Ronaldo has notched seven goals in qualifying matches for the tournament already, and has 32 for Portugal in his career thus far.
Portugal's record goalscorer is Pauleta with 47.
Now we know all about the team, the individuals, the manager, the odds, and the nations tournament history, here are my predictions for Portugal:
They will lose against Germany in their opening game by two goals to nil.
They will win their second game against Denmark by two goals to one.
They will lose their third game against Netherlands by three goals to one.
They will finish third in their group behind Germany and the Netherlands and will exit the competition without progressing from the group stages.
Denmark will follow them out of the competition.
Portugal really have been dealt a harsh blow to their chances of winning the competition, and that blow is purely the group they have been placed in.
Germany and the Netherlands are both excellent teams, so if Portugal do progress it will be a major shock to one of those former nations.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out 2012 Euro Tournament: 40 Bold Predictions.
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