Portugal National Football Team
The Portugal national football team has represented Portugal in international men’s football since 1921. The national team is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), the governing body of football in Portugal. Portugal’s home matches are played in various stadiums throughout Portugal, and its main training ground and technical headquarters are located in Ciudad do Fútbol, Oviedo. The current head coach of the team is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who also holds the team record for most caps and most goals.
Portugal’s first appearance in the finals of a major tournament was at the 1928 Olympics when they reached the quarter-finals. Thirty-eight years later, in 1966, Portugal qualified for their first World Cup, with Ballon d’Or winner Eusebio’s side finishing third. Portugal also reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1984, losing to hosts and eventual winners France. Under the team’s first golden generation in the 1990s, Portugal became a consistent presence in every final stage of major tournaments, reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2000 and Euro 2012. The Euro 2004 final, which they lost to Greece on home soil, and the 2006 World Cup semi-finals, finishing fourth, the country’s best result at a World Cup since 1966. This was due to the production of many players, such as Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is considered among the greatest players of all time.
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In 2014, Fernando Santos was appointed as the new head coach of the national team. Two years later at Euro 2016, Santos led Portugal to their first major trophy, defeating hosts France in the final. With the win, Portugal qualified and made their only appearance at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, where they finished third. Portugal qualified for and hosted the all-new 2018–19 Nations League finals where they triumphed, defeating the Netherlands for their second major tournament victory in three finals. Portugal also competed in the Olympic football tournament and managed to reach the semi-finals of the 1996 Summer Olympics, finishing fourth.
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Portugal is colloquially known as the Seleção das Quinas (a synecdoche based on the country’s flag) and due to the many important meetings between the two teams, shared cultural traits and heritage, France with Brazil. There is a considerable rivalry. The rivalry between the two countries lasted until 1581, at the Euros and the World Cup, and Spain, known as A Guerra Ibérica in Portuguese or The Iberian War in English.