UEFA Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo leads defending champions Portugal squad for Euro 2020

Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo leads defending champions Portugal for Euro 2020 with Fernando Santos calling up Pedro Gonçalves, Joao Felix
Euro 2020: Cristiano Ronaldo leads defending champions Portugal for Euro 2020 with Fernando Santos calling up Pedro Gonçalves, Joao Felix

UEFA Euro 2020: 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 Félix.

Also included in the Euro 2020 squad was 22-year-old Sporting Lisbon forward Pedro Gonçalves, who has never played for the national team. Gonçalves was key this season in helping Sporting win its first Portuguese league title since 2002. Back in the squad were Nuno Mendes and João Palhinha, who made their debut with the national team in March.

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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.

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Portugal’s preparations will begin on May 27. Portugal are in a tough Group F alongside last edition’s runners-up France, Germany besides Hungary. Cristiano Ronaldo’s men will begin their title defence against Hungary on June 15.

Euro 2020: Portugal full squad: Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rui Silva (Granada).

Defenders: João Cancelo (Manchester City), Nélson Semedo (Wolverhampton Wanderers), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund).

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain), João Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Renato Sanches (Lille), Sérgio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis).

Forwards: Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting Lisbon), André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Rafa Silva (Benfica).