Watch Portugal Live At Euro 2008
As we all know, Portugal hosted the last European Championship four years back. Luis Felipe Scolari team lost only two games in the whole tournament, and both to Greece. One was in the tournament opener, the other the tournament final. That July evening could have well turned out to be Portugal's moment of glory if they had won their maiden European title. As fate would have it, it was Greece's day under the sun. Portugal will focus their attention on this year's Championship in Austria and Switzerland, hoping to go one step further than the team that finished second at home. They certainly have the players to do it, and you can watch Portugal's European games live with us. Quality is of the highest priority to us, and we are quick to respond to any queries you may have. The package costs just £9.99, and also includes games from the Portuguese BWINLIGA for one year. New young talents are emerging in the BWINLIGA every year, and it is likely that many of them will form the backbone of the Portuguese team in Poland and Ukraine, four years from now.
With Luis Figo following Rui Costa and Sérgio Conceição into international retirement after the 2006 World Cup, Portugal had to qualify for Euro 2008 without their talismanic skipper. They picked up twenty seven points from fourteen games, finishing just one point behind group winners Poland. They lost only one game in qualifying, to Poland in Chorzow. Had they won their final group game against Finland, where they needed a point to be sure of qualification, they would have finished as group winners. Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo finished as their top scorer with eight goals.
Portugal will kickoff their campaign against Turkey in Geneva on June 7 ( 20.45).
On June 12, they will play the Czech Republic in Geneva ( 18.00) and will finish their group engagements against hosts Switzerland in Basel on June 15 ( 20.45)
All timings indicated in brackets are in Central European Summer Time ( UTC + 2)
The group is fairly competitive, especially given the presence of the Czech Republic and Turkey. It might however be worth remembering that the first time the Championship was co hosted ( In 2000), Portugal topped a group that also consisted of England, Germany and Romania.
How have Portugal done in previous European appearances?
Portugal made their European debut in 1984. In qualifying, they had finished above Poland and the USSR, both highly respected football teams at that time. Draws against West Germany and Spain combined with a win over Romania was enough to see them qualify ahead of the fancied Germans. In the semifinal at Marseille, France took the lead through Jean François Domergue, but Portugal equalised in the second half through Rui Jordão. Jordão then gave his team a shock lead in the first half of extra time. Domergue grabbed the equaliser for the French in the 114th minute, and Michel Platini broke Portuguese hearts by scoring a winner with just about a minute left on the clock.
At Euro 1996, Portugal topped a group that also consisted of defending champions Denmark, Turkey and Croatia. That landed them a quarterfinal meeting against the Czechs, which the latter won thanks to a goal from Karel Poborsky.
Portugal started off Euro 2000 brightly, with three wins out of three from their group games. A brace from Nuno Gomes saw them beat Turkey in the last eight, but France halted them in their tracks in the next round, with a Zinedine Zidane penalty proving to be the difference between the two teams.
Euro 2004 was Portugal's best ever performance, finishing runners up at home. They recovered from their opening day defeat to Greece to top their group. England met them in the next round, and goalkeeper Ricardo was the hero as Portugal won 6-5 on penalties. They beat the Dutch 2-1 in the semifinals, but were unable to sustain their performance, going down 0-1 to Greece in the final.
Portugal's current team
Luis Felipe Scolari has no dearth of players to choose from when it comes to wingers. Portugal have always shown great strength in that position, and this team is no different. Cristiano Ronaldo, Sabrosa Simao, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma possess great pace, dribbling and crossing skills, all essentials for a top class winger. With Pauleta out of the picture, the first choice for the striker's role is Benfica's Nuno Gomes. Makukula and Hugo Almeida are also candidates, but barring any major issues, Gomes should get the nod.
Maniche, Costinha, Deco, Miguel Veloso, Tiago and others will hope to pull the strings from midfield. At the back, Portugal have the ever dependable Ricardo Carvalho, along with Pepe, Ricardo Rocha and others. Juventus' Jorge Andrade is one defender who Scolari cannot call upon, with knee problems ruling the centre back out of the tournament. The left back spot has been a bit difficult to fill, as nobody has yet claimed the position as their own. It could be any one out of Miguel, Jorge Ribeiro, Marco Caniera and Paulo Ferreira.
Watch live soccer with the Live Sport Network. Can Cristiano make Euro 2008 his own? Or is it the turn of somebody else? Watch Portugal live at Euro 2008 with us to find out.
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