Cristiano Ronaldo will lead a talented Portugal squad that will try to defend its European Championship title. Coach Fernando Santos on Thursday announced his list of 26 players for next month’s tournament, when Ronaldo will be supported by the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota and Joao Felix.
Also included in the Euro 2020 squad was 22-year-old Sporting Lisbon forward Pedro Goncalves, who has never played for the national team. Goncalves was key this season in helping Sporting win its first Portuguese league title since 2002.
Back in the squad were Nuno Mendes and Joao Palhinha, who made their debut with the national team in March.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo will be playing in his fifth straight European Championship. He is six goals from tying the all-time scoring record for a men’s national team. The record of 109 goals is held by former Iran striker Ali Daei, the only other male soccer player to surpass the 100-goal milestone.
Portugal will play in a difficult Group F that also includes Germany, France and Hungary. Both Germany and Hungary will have home games against Portugal in the group stage.
I have great confidence in my players and I have the conviction that Portugal is a title candidate, Santos said.
Portugal’s preparations will begin on May 27.
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Patrício (Wolves), Rui Silva (Granada)
Defenders: João Cancelo (Manchester City), Nélson Semedo (Wolves), José Fonte (LOSC Lille), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund)
Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Paris), João Palhinha (Sporting CP), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Moutinho (Wolves), Renato Sanches (LOSC Lille), Sérgio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis)
Forwards: Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting CP), André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Rafa Silva (Benfica)