Portugal look scarily good going into Euro 2020 1 month ago

Portugal look scarily good going into Euro 2020

Bruno Fernandes was the star of the show. Are Portugal the dark horses in Euro 2020?

Portugal dismantled Israel in a 4-0 victory last night ahead of their first Euro 2020 match against Hungary on June 15th. As ever, Cristiano Ronaldo got his customary goal but it was Bruno Fernandes who pulled all the strings, notching two goals and an assist.

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Not only did the 'Portuguese Magnifico' (as United fans like to call him) open the scoring with a strong finish after arriving late in the box on to a cutback from João Cancelo - who also put away, arguably, the best finish of the night - but he was also the provider for CR7's goal, the second on a night where the former shone.

 

 

Cancelo himself is a reminder of just how much talent Portugal have in this current squad, both in youth and experience: Ronaldo, Fernandes, João Félix, Renato Sanches, Diogo Jota, Rúben Dias - we could literally keep going but we'd rather not through sheer fear at the prospect of facing them.

 

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Regardless, Bruno himself can lay just as much claim to goal of the night as well as being one of if not the biggest danger men they possess, after his long-range strike into the top corner rounded out an emphatic victory against the 85th ranked team.

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Now, of course, plenty of people are going to be quick to remind us 'it's only Israel' and perhaps that's fair enough. However, you shouldn't need reminding of the following: you can only beat what's in front of you and Portugal are not only the current holders of the European Championship but the most recent tournament trophy in the Nations League trophy as well.

It almost feels bizarre to even suggest they are 'dark horses' but the fact remains that are five or six teams above in the odds, depending on which bookmaker you look at.

France are considered heavy favourites and rightly so - their team is packed with as talent as Portugal's and a World Cup to boot - with England sitting just behind them. The point is, it may have only been 'Israel' but it was also 'only' Austria and Romania, games which the Three Lions won by a narrow one-goal margin.

Meanwhile, like France and barring a bore draw against Spain - in which Fernandes didn't start either - Portugal are putting three and four past this calibre of opponent in a fairly comfortable manner and it seems as though Fernando Santos' side has slipped by somewhat unnoticed in the grander scheme of things.

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When they have all their best players on the pitch, they look scarily good and I think they are a team people need to be keeping a close eye on.