Portugal national football team
A Seleção das Quinas
Os Navegadores (The Navigators)
|Association||Federação Portuguesa de Futebol|
|Head coach||Paulo Bento|
|Most caps||Luís Figo (127)|
|Top scorer||Pedro Pauleta (47)|
|Home stadium||Estádio Nacional|
|Highest FIFA ranking||3 (May–June 2010, October 2012)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||43 (August 1998)|
|Highest Elo ranking||2 (June 2006)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||45 (November 1962)|
| Spain 3–1 Portugal
(Madrid, Spain; 18 December 1921)
| Portugal 8–0 Liechtenstein
(Lisbon, Portugal; 18 November 1994)
Portugal 8–0 Liechtenstein
(Coimbra, Portugal; 9 June 1999)
Portugal 8–0 Kuwait
(Leiria, Portugal; 19 November 2003)
| Portugal 0–10 England
(Lisbon, Portugal; 25 May 1947)
|Appearances||5 (First in 1966)|
|Best result||Third place, 1966|
|Appearances||6 (First in 1984)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 2004|
The Portugal national football team (Portuguese: Seleção Nacional de Futebol de Portugal) represents Portugal in association football and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's home ground is the Estádio Nacional in Oeiras, and their head coach is Paulo Bento. Their first World Cup appearance, in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, saw them reach the semi-finals, losing 2–1 at Wembley to the eventual world champions, England. The next two times Portugal qualified for the World Cup were 1986 and 2002, with Portugal going out in the first round both times. In the 1986 tournament, players went on strike over prize-money and refused to train between their first and second games.
In 2003, the Portuguese Football Federation hired Luiz Felipe Scolari, the former Brazilian head coach who had led the Brazil national football team to win the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Scolari led Portugal to the final of UEFA Euro 2004, where they lost to Greece, and to their second World Cup semi-final in the 2006 World Cup. Scolari left after the UEFA Euro 2008 and was replaced by Carlos Queiroz. He led Portugal to the second round of the 2010 World Cup before they were defeated by the eventual champions Spain. Because of poor results in the games that would succeed, Queiroz was fired and the Federation hired ex-Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Paulo Bento.
Portugal have produced some of the most talented players to grace the game of football such as Eusébio, Luís Figo, Ricardo Carvalho, Rui Costa, Pauleta, Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, despite the presence of these individuals they are yet to win a major trophy.
Early years 
The Portuguese Football Federation was formed in 1914 with the name União Portuguesa de Futebol (by 1926, they changed to its current name) and the aim of creating national tournaments (since it only existed regional championships) and promoting games in which a Portuguese representative team would play against other teams from various parts of the globe, but unfortunately, due to the World War I, the dream was not made possible for the next seven years.
Portugal’s first game was on 18 December 1921. The game ended in a defeat for the national team, 3–1. The following year, the inaugural edition of the Campeonato de Portugal (a knock-out tournament, precursor of the Taça de Portugal) was contested, the winner was defined as the "Portuguese Champion".
1928 Olympic Tournament 
After years of playing friendly games, Portugal was invited to enter the 1928 Summer Olympics Football Tournament, which was, at that time, contested by the best national "A" teams in the world and, therefore, considered to be the best international footballing tournament until the FIFA World Cup started, two years later, in 1930.
The Portuguese team was drawn in the preliminary round against Chile for a place in the first round. After falling 2–0 behind, Portugal scored four goals, winning the game 4–2. After their win against Chile, they faced off Yugoslavia and won 2–1 thanks to a late goal in the 90th minute.
Egypt was the team that followed in the quarter-finals. Here the Portuguese adventure ended after a 2–1 defeat. In the following games, the Egyptians lost against Argentina (6–0) in the semi-final and Italy (11–3) for the bronze medal match, which embittered the players. Nevertheless, it was a bright start in international tournaments for the team.
Early World Cup attempts 
Portugal was not invited to the 1930 World Cup, which only featured a final stage and no qualification round. The team took part in the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, but failed to eliminate their Spanish opponents, aggregating two defeats in the two-legged round, with a 9–0 loss in Madrid and 2–1 loss in Lisbon for an aggregate score of 11–1.
In the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Seleção played one game against Switzerland in a neutral ground, held in Milan, losing 2–1 against the Swiss, ending qualification prospects. Because of the international conflict due to the World War II, there was no World Cup held until the 1950 competition and subsequently, the national team made very few games against other teams. A 10–0 away friendly defeat against England, two years after the war, was the proof of how the irregularity of the games had taken its effects on the squad; this result still stands as their biggest ever defeat.
1950s and early 1960s 
On the restart of games, the team was to play a two-legged round against Spain, just like in the 1934 qualification. After a 5–1 defeat in Madrid, they managed to draw in the second game 2–2 and so the qualification ended with a 7–3 aggregate score.
For the qualification of the 1954 World Cup, the team would play Austria. The Austrians won the first game with a humiliating 9–1 result. The best the national team could do was hold the team to a goalless draw in Lisbon, and the round ended with a 9–1 defeat.
In the 1958 qualification, Portugal finished last in the group stage that also featured Northern Ireland and Italy; only the first-placed team would qualify. They started with a 1–1 draw against the Irish team, but lost in Belfast by a score of 3–0. After that, they won 3–0 against Italy and lost 3–0 in Milan. Finishing with three points, they were two points behind group winners Northern Ireland.
The year 1960 was the year that UEFA created the European Football Championship, a football tournament similar to the FIFA World Cup, but for European nations. The first edition was a knock-out tournament, the last four teams participating in final stage that only featured one leg while the older stages had two legs. For the first round, the Seleção das Quinas won 2–0 against East Germany and 3–2 in Porto for the second leg, finishing with a 5–2 two-legged win. The quarter-final opponent was Yugoslavia. Despite winning the first game 2–1, they lost the second leg 5–1 in Belgrade, and lost 6–3 on aggregate.
England and Luxembourg were the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification adversaries of the national team. Portugal ended second in the group with three points, behind England (with seven points). They started well with a home win (6–0) against Luxembourg and a home draw (1–1) against the English, but lost the following games, first 4–2 against Luxembourg, then 2–0 against England. Like in the previous World Cup qualification, only the first in the group would qualify.
The 1964 European Championship shared the same format as the 1960 edition. Portugal played against Bulgaria in the first round. The Portuguese lost 3–1 in Sofia and won 3–1 in Lisbon. With the round tied 4–4, a replay was needed in a neutral ground. In Rome, Portugal lost 1–0 with a late goal from the Bulgarians.
In 1964, the Nations' Cup was held in Brazil. The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Brazilian Football Confederation. Three international teams were invited – Argentina, Portugal, and England – for the competition, which was played in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in late May and early June, with an all round-robin format. Portugal ended with one point (five behind winners Argentina) and joint third place with England after two defeats (4–1 with Brazil and 2–0 with Argentina) and a 1–1 tie against England
1966 World Cup and 1970s 
In the 1966 World Cup qualification, Portugal was drawn into the same group as Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Turkey. They topped the group with only one draw and one defeat during all the six games and finally qualified for a FIFA World Cup; that year the final stage would be held in England. Notable results were both 1–0 away wins against Czechoslovakia and Turkey and a 5–1 home win against the Turks.
The team started out with three wins in the group stage where they were in Group C when beat Hungary 3–1, Bulgaria 3–0, and two-time defending champions Brazil 3–1. In the quarter-finals, Portugal played against North Korea. Portugal won the game with four goals from Eusébio overturning a deficit of 3–0. Later, they reached the semi-finals but were defeated by hosts and eventual champions England 2–1; in this game, Portugal would have played in Liverpool, but as England were the hosts, FIFA decided that the game should have been in London, which led the Portuguese team travel unexpectedly from Liverpool to London. Portugal then defeated the Soviet Union 2–1 in the third place match for their best World Cup finish to date. Eusébio was the top scorer of the World Cup, with nine goals.
For the Euro 1968 qualifying, the Seleção played against Bulgaria, Norway, and Sweden. They finished second after Bulgaria, with six points, four behind the first. Portugal only managed to get two wins and two ties; both wins came from 2–1 results against Norway.
After their tremendous success in the 1966 World Cup, Portugal tried to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, which was to be held in Mexico. They finished fourth and last in their group, behind Greece, Romania, and Switzerland. With only four points (from one win and two ties), Portugal were four behind group winner’s Romania.
To be able to participate in Euro 1972, Portugal had to win its group that comprised the teams of Belgium, Denmark, and Scotland. Portugal finished second to Belgium with seven points (two less than the Belgians). The three wins the Portuguese had were against Denmark (1–0 away, 5–0 home) and Scotland in a 2–0 home win.
Also in 1972, Portugal participated in the Brazilian Independence Cup, a tournament that marked the 150th birthday since Brazil received its independence from Portugal. Winning both group stages (in the first stage, with wins against Ecuador (3–0), Iran (3–0), Chile (4–1) and the Republic of Ireland (2–1) and in the second stage winning against Argentina (3–1), drawing Uruguay (1–1) and a 2–1 win over the Soviet Union) they qualified for the final with Brazil at the Estádio do Maracanã. The Brazilian star Jairzinho scored in the 89th minute to give Brazil the win.
For the 1974 qualification stages, Portugal was placed in an accessible group, but was unable to defeat Bulgaria (2-2) in the decisive match, thus losing qualification. The only country Portugal managed to defeat was Cyprus, winning 4–0 and 1–0 in Nicosia. Portugal faced tough competition from the strong team of Poland on winning the spot that would ensure them a place in the 1978 FIFA World Cup held in Argentina. They finished second place, beneath Poland.
Late 1970s until early 1990s 
The national team was put alongside Austria, Belgium, Norway, and Scotland to fight for the first spot in the group, which would allow them to go to the final stage of UEFA Euro 1980. With nine points, Portugal took third place, three points behind first-placed Belgium. Out of their four wins, the most important were the away win against second-placed Austria (2–1) and a home win against Scotland (1–0).
For the 1982 qualification the Portuguese team had to face Israel, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Sweden for the top two group places. Portugal finished in fourth place with seven points, less four than the first, with wins over group winners Scotland (2–1), second-placed Northern Ireland (1–0) and last-placed Israel (3–0), all in home ground.
During the campaign for Euro 1984, Portugal had to play with Finland, Poland and, highly favourites, Soviet Union. Portugal won the group with a dramatic win over USSR in the last game by a score of 1–0 in home ground. With ten points and five wins, the Portuguese had beaten the Soviet Union by one point.
Portugal ended in group B, alongside Spain, West Germany and Romania. In the first two games, they tied 0–0 and 1–1 against West Germany and Spain, respectively. A 1–0 win over Romania gave them second place in the group, which was enough to go through to the knockout stage. Benfica's Tamagnini Nené scored the winner.
They played against the hosts, France, and eventual champions, in one of the most exciting matches in European Championship history. France scored first, but Portugal equalised almost an hour later. The game was tied after 90 minutes and went into extra time. Portugal made the score 2–1 in the first 15 minutes, with both teams having numerous quality scoring chances. In the second half of extra time, France scored in the 114th and 119th minutes to eliminate Portugal 3–2 and go through to the final.
For the 1986 tournament, the Selecção played against Czechoslovakia, Malta, Sweden, and West Germany for the two spots that would guarantee them a ticket to Mexico. Needing a win in the last game against West Germany in Stuttgart, manager José Torres famously said to the press, after being severally doubted that his team would qualify for Mexico 1986, "Let me dream!" Portugal went on to win the game 1–0 to become the first team to beat West Germany at their home ground in an official match.
Portugal was a fan-favourite to make a good campaign because of their UEFA Euro 1984 tournament. The team exited early in the group stages after a win and two losses. They started with a 1–0 win to England. Later, they were beaten by Poland and Morocco, 1–0 and 3–1, respectively. Their staying in Mexico was marked by a doping case, an injured player and, most significantly, by the Saltillo affair, where players refused to train in order to win more prizes from the Football Federation.
Wanting to keep present at the major international football tournaments, the Portuguese team attempted to top their qualifying group in a tight group with favourites Italy, Malta, Sweden and Switzerland. Still, they only managed to win two games in a total of eight disputed, ending in third with eight points, five behind first-placed Italy. Both games were won away from home, in Malta (1–0) and in Sweden against second-placed team (also 1–0).
The 1990 World Cup qualification was widely seen as a possibility to go back to the international stage. Along with Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and Switzerland, Portugal fought until the last game to get one of the first two spots of the group. Playing at home against Czechoslovakia, they failed to score and the game ended in a 0-0 allowing the East Europeans to get the second place with twelve points (the same as winner's Belgium) with two points ahead of Portugal, who came with the first place. Notable results are the wins against Switzerland, 3–1 in Portugal and 2–1 in Neuchâtel.
During the draws for the Euro 1992 qualifying, the Netherlands was seen as the strongest team besides Portugal. Greece, Finland and Malta were the other teams. With five wins and eleven points, the Portuguese ended second behind the Dutch, who had two more points than Portugal. A famous result in this campaign was the 1–0 home win against the Dutch.
They participated in the friendly 1992 U.S. Cup along with the host, USA, Italy and Ireland in a round robin tournament. Portugal finished last with one point (six behind winners United States) from a draw with Italy (0–0). The other two games were defeats with USA (1–0) and the Republic of Ireland (2–0).
For the ’94 World Cup qualification, Portugal played in the same group as Estonia, Italy, Malta, Scotland and Switzerland for the two highest places. They disappointed, ending in third with 14 points and six wins, just two points behind winner’s Italy and one behind second-placed Switzerland. In the last game of the round, Portugal were defeated by Italy in Milan. The Selecção managed to win 1–0 against Switzerland and 5–0 against the Scots, both were home wins. The then manager, Carlos Queiroz, blamed the Football Federation for this failure, saying, "They should clean the mess that the Federation has."
Golden generation 
Portugal was invited to play at the SkyDome Cup in Toronto, Canada against the then-European champions Denmark and Canada. With a draw against the Canadians (1–1) and a win against the Danes, Portugal went on to win the trophy, which remains to date as their only win at senior level.
Portugal managed to reach the Euro 1996, by topping their group with twenty-three points, six more than second-placed Republic of Ireland. Their group consisted of Austria, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. In the qualification, Portugal thrashed Liechtenstein 8–0 (home, a record) and 7–0 (away) and defeated Northern Ireland 2–1 in away grounds.
In the final tournament, Portugal drew 1–1 with European Champions Denmark, won 1–0 to Turkey and 3–0 against Croatia, finishing first in their group. In the quarter-finals, they lost 1–0 to eventual runners-up Czech Republic, due to a marvelous Karel Poborský second-half lob over goalkeeper Vítor Baía. This marked the beginning of the Golden Generation, a group of youngsters who had won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1989 and 1991 and were now leading the national senior squad.
The team almost qualified for the tournament that was to be hosted by France. However, during a qualifier in Germany, Rui Costa was controversially sent off for taking too long to walk off the field while Portugal was leading 1–0. Germany drew the crucial game and was thus able to qualify. This incident is regarded as one of the darkest in Portugal's football history, with FIFA being accused of favouritism in support of Germany, who were the defending Euro '96 champions. The group was made of Albania, Armenia, Germany, Northern Ireland and Ukraine, Portugal ended in third place with 19 points and six wins. Germany finished first with 22 points and Ukraine with twenty, with the Slavics winning a place in the final play-offs. Portugal tied both games with Germany (0–0 home and 1–1 away).
In the qualifications for the 2000 Euro, Portugal faced Azerbaijan, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Romania and Slovakia. Portugal gained twenty-three points, just one short of first place Romania, with seven wins. Having not qualified directly into the event, the Portuguese team had the best performance by any runner-up and therefore qualified for the final tournament. Major wins against Azerbaijan (7–0) and Liechtenstein (8–0) are the most remembered today.
Captained by Fernando Couto in the final stage, they defeated England (3–2, recovering from a 2–0 disadvantage), Romania (1–0) with a late header from Costinha in injury time, and Germany (3–0, from a Sérgio Conceição hat-trick), the last one using the B team, since they were already qualified in first of the group after the other two games, to finish atop their group and then defeated Turkey in the quarter-finals (2–0, with both goals from Nuno Gomes).
In the semi-final meeting with World Cup holders France, Portugal scored first and nearly scored again due to a João Pinto's header after France equalised. Portugal were eliminated in extra time by a golden goal when Zinedine Zidane converted a penalty. Austrian referee Gunter Benko awarded the spot kick for a handball after Abel Xavier blocked a shot from Sylvain Wiltord (Benko initially gave France a corner but changed his mind after consulting with Slovak linesman Igor Sramka). Xavier, Nuno Gomes (one of the top scorers in the tournament with four goals), and Paulo Bento were all given lengthy suspensions for shoving the referee. The final result was 2–1.
During the World Cup 2002 qualification, Portugal made a crucial win against the Netherlands (2–0 in Rotterdam) and ties against Republic of Ireland (1–1 in both games) and the Netherlands (2–2), in Porto, after falling 2–0 behind and scoring in the dying minutes of the game. Portugal won the group with seven wins and three ties with no defeats and 24 points (the same as the Republic of Ireland), but with a better goal average.
While the 2002 World Cup qualifying stage was unusually smooth, several problems and poor judgment decisions occurred during the preparation and tournament itself – shopping sprees by players, this time in Macau, were widely reported in the Portuguese press. Questionable managing choices and some amateurism, including the same lack of agreement on prizes. Vítor Baía replaced in-form Ricardo in goal, Beto played out of position at right back, Luís Figo was in very poor physical condition, and Hugo Viana was called as a last-minute replacement for Daniel Kenedy (who tested positive in a doping control test) – as Portugal underachieved and ended third in its group stage, subsequently eliminated. The manager Oliveira was fired after the World Cup.
Portugal entered the tournament as favourites to win Group D. However, they were upset 3–2 by the United States, at one point being three goals down in the match. They then rebounded with a 4–0 smashing Poland, with Pauleta netting a hat-trick.
Needing a draw to advance, they lost the final group game to hosts South Korea. Argentine referee Ángel Sánchez sent off João Vieira Pinto for a tackle on Park Ji-Sung. Beto was ejected for his second yellow card of the match, reducing Portugal to nine men, and Park scored the winner to allow the Koreans to advance.
The next major competition, the UEFA Euro 2004, was decided to be held in Portugal. On the preparation, the Football Federation made a contract with Luiz Felipe Scolari to manage the team until the tournament ended. Despite the disappointed friendly matches, the Portuguese team entered the tournament being a favourite to win it.
The host nation lost the first game against Greece 1–2, an upset. They got their first win against Russia 2–0 and also beat a strong Spain side 1–0, with the latter eventually knocked out in the group stages.
They went through and went on to play against England, in an entertaining 2–2 draw that went into penalties, where Ricardo proved decisive, with an epic attitude taking off his goalkeeping gloves, saving a penalty and scoring right after the winner himself. Portugal beat the Netherlands 2–1 in the semi-final with a Maniche strike from outside the box. They were eventually beaten by heavy underdog outsiders Greece 1–0, credited to striker Angelos Charisteas, marking the first time in the history of the competition that the final featured the same two teams as the opening match. The match was considered a huge upset win for Greece.
After the tournament ended, a lot of players belonging to the Geração de Ouro (Golden Generation), abandoned their international footballing careers, with only Luís Figo remaining in the team, despite a temporary retirement. The only silver lining for Portugal was the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo as a key player, who had just signed for Manchester United and had been a real revelation. Ronaldo scored two goals and was selected in the UEFA Euro All Stars Team. He would go on to become the captain of the national side after the retirement of Luis Figo. While Portugal was playing in the competition, Scolari agreed in a new two-year deal with the Federation.
Portugal finished first in the qualifying round for the 2006 World Cup with 30 points, nine games won, three draws, and no defeats. The second-placed Russia finished with seven points less. The Seleção played with Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Russia, and Slovakia. Famous results include a home (7–1) against Russia and an away tie with Liechtenstein (2–2, after leading 2–0 at half-time).
Portugal finished first place in Group D of the World Cup finals, with victories over Angola (1–0, goal from Pauleta, the leading goalscorer in the World Cup qualifiers), Iran (2–0, scored by Deco, and Cristiano Ronaldo) and Mexico (2–1, goals from Maniche and Simão). Only Mexico's Francisco Fonseca was able to score against Portugal.
Netherland lost to Portugal 1–0 in the Round of 16 on 25 June in Nuremberg. The only goal came courtesy of a Maniche strike in an acrimonious match marked by 16 yellow cards, with four players (Khalid Boulahrouz, Costinha, Deco, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst) being sent off. (See the Battle of Nuremberg.)
On 1 July at Gelsenkirchen, Portugal drew 0–0 after extra-time with England, but won 3–1 on penalties to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1966. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty. The game was marred by a violent challenge on Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho by England's Wayne Rooney, which resulted in him being sent off. Cristiano Ronaldo was accused by England fans to have influenced the referee's decision to send Rooney off despite the two of them being team mates at Manchester United.
Portugal lost 1–0 against France in the semi-finals on 5 July at Munich. Two players had been forced to sit out due to accumulated bookings from the round of 16 and quarter-finals. It did not help that the team faced a hostile crowd of English and French fans; they relentlessly booed Ronaldo for his perceived unsportsmanlike behavior in the previous round. As in the semi-finals of Euro 2000, Portugal were narrowly defeated by France, with the decisive goal being a penalty scored by Zinedine Zidane after Thierry Henry was awarded a penalty from a foul committed by Ricardo Carvalho.
Portugal faced Germany in the third place play-off match on 8 July in Stuttgart. The match was notable for being Pauleta's last game for the national team so as captain Luís Figo's last before retirement from international football – though, surprisingly, he was not selected to start the game, coming on as a substitute near the end and setting up Portugal's goal in a 3–1 defeat. All three German goals had the direct participation of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who scored twice and had another shot turned into an own goal by Portugal's Petit. Ultimately, the team won the "Most Entertaining Team" award for their play during the World Cup, in an award always organized through public participation in a poll. Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on the U-23 Player of the Tournament award and it was believed that FIFA's decision was influenced due to hate mail from supporters of England who were still upset with Ronaldo's part in getting Rooney sent off in the quarter - final stage. Once again Scolari was asked to accept a new deal with the Federation that would maintain with as the manager until the end of the next competition.
Euro 2008 
After the successes of the Euro 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Portugal was seen as a major contender to win the Euro 2008, but their qualification wasn't easy. The national team faced some problems in the last games, in addition, Scolari was suspended for three games, being substituted by his assistant manager. Portugal ended with seven wins and twenty-seven points (one less than first-placed Poland). Armenia. Azerbaijan, Belgium, Finland, Kazakhstan, Poland and Serbia were the opponents. With important triumphs against Azerbaijan (2–0 in Baku), Kazakhstan (2–1 in Almaty) and Belgium (4–0 in Lisbon and 2–1 in Brussels), they managed to qualify for the final stage.
The Portuguese team was a featured part of TV network ESPNs ad campaign promoting their coverage of the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. The first game was against Turkey and it was won 2–0, with first-ever scoring achievements for internationals Pepe and Raul Meireles. Their second game was against the Czech Republic, a 3–1 success. With assured qualification to the knockout stage, as first in group A, they played with the reserve team against Switzerland, and lost 2–0, with two Hakan Yakın goals. During the group stage, Scolari announced to the squad that it would be his last spell as the Portuguese manager, ending a five-year era full of prosperity.
On 19 June 2008, Portugal played against Germany, and were beaten 2–3 after falling behind 0–2 within the first half an hour. Portugal proceeded to score, followed by another Germany goal, a Michael Ballack header. Portugal scored a consolation goal in the final minutes of normal time, courtesy of Hélder Postiga, but was eventually knocked out of Euro 2008 at the quarterfinal stage.
World Cup 2010 
Portugal participated in the qualifying stages with manager Carlos Queiroz for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which took place in South Africa. The team had a qualifying campaign that almost turned disastrous and just sneaked into second place by a single point over Sweden, a group where Denmark finished first, one point ahead from Portugal. Portugal was drawn to play against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European zone play-offs. With two wins (1–0 in the first leg, in Lisbon; and 1–0, in Zenica), the team gained its right to participate in the World Cup. Having qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Seleção das Quinas had its most successful decade to date, having qualified for all of the World Cups and Euro Cups (Euro 2000, World Cup 2002, Euro 2004, World Cup 2006, Euro 2008, and World Cup 2010), along with Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, the only other four teams to have done so.
In the final draw, on 4 December 2009, Portugal was drawn in one of the toughest groups, the so-called Group of Death where the Seleção das Quinas faced 5-time champions Brazil, Africa's top contenders Côte d'Ivoire and 1966 opponents North Korea.
Portugal faced Côte d'Ivoire team in their opening match on 15 June 2010 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and the game ended in a goalless draw. Their next match was against North Korea on 21 June 2010 at the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town in which Portugal won by 7–0. Their last match in the group stage against Brazil on 25 June 2010 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban ended in a goalless 0–0 while both teams advanced to the knockout stage. Portugal was on a 19 match undefeated streak, conceding only 3 goals. The Portuguese defence ended being broken by Spain's David Villa's goal which defeated Portugal in the round of 16, 1–0.
During the Tournament, Queiroz was frequently criticised for setting up the team in an overly cautious way. The team's style of play was to keep the team well closed in the back, while sending direct balls up to the front, most notably to a lonely Cristiano Ronaldo, whose mission seemed to be to run at the opposition's defence and try long shots to take advantage of the tricky Jabulani. This approach was widely criticised, with an outburst coming from Deco, as well as implied from Cristiano Ronaldo's reply to a post-game comment after the defeat against Spain. When asked about the team's performances, he answered with a dry "You can go ask Queiroz".
The direct football style was perceived as not taking full advantage of the Portuguese midfield, filled with top-flight players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Raul Meireles, Simão, where a creative possession-based football had been the basis of the team in the preceding years. Although the team reached their base objective of getting past the group phase, and lost out to the eventual world champions, there was a palpable feeling that the team could have gone further had the coach been more ambitious.
A few months after the World Cup, and just days before the beginning of the Euro 2012 Qualifiers, squad regulars Simão, Paulo Ferreira, and Miguel all retired from international duty, stating they wanted to focus entirely on their respective clubs. In January 2011, a few weeks before the friendly match against Argentina, midfielder Tiago also retired from international football at just 29 years of age, stating personal reasons.
Post-World Cup 
As Carlos Queiroz suffered from criticism regarding the World Cup, he was also banned from coaching the national team for one month after an investigation concluded the he tried to block a doping test to the team while preparing for the World Cup in Portugal, as well as directing insulting words to the testers. In consequence, he received a further six-month suspension. This meant that Queiroz was not able to select the players or lead the team for the first two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Cyprus and Norway. In the sequence of these events, Portugal drew 4–4 against Cyprus at home, followed by a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Norway, placing the team in a difficult position right from the start. That prompted several media outbursts from Queiroz against the heads of the Portuguese Football Federation, which then prompted his dismissal as the head of the team.
In reaction to this dismissal, and in face of impending failure to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012, missing out to the first major final stage since the 1998 World Cup, the Federation's president, Gilberto Madaíl, traveled to Madrid in a bid to persuade superstar Real Madrid manager José Mourinho to lead his nation's team for the matches against Denmark and Iceland. This bid, however, was blocked by Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez.
On 21 September 2010, Paulo Bento, the former Sporting Clube de Portugal coach, was appointed as the Portuguese head coach. Paulo Bento's spell with the Seleção began with a 3–1 home win against Denmark, followed by a 3–1 away win against Iceland, pushing Portugal into the second spot of the group. On 17 November, Portugal and Spain faced each other in a friendly to commemorate the 100th year of the modern Portuguese Republic and also to promote the joint Portugal-Spain bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In a shocking upset, Portugal were 4-0 victors over the reigning World and European champions.
Euro 2012 
The qualifying draw for the 14th European Championship took place in Warsaw on 7 February 2010. Portugal was placed in Group H, a five-team group, along with Denmark, Cyprus, Norway, and Iceland. It was the first time Portugal and Iceland faced each other with victories for the Quinas on both legs. It was a fairly poor first two games, drawing with Cyprus and losing to Norway, prompting the sacking of coach Carlos Queiroz. Former Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Paulo Bento took over.
|Portugal||4 – 4||Cyprus||Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimarães
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)
|E. Aloneftis 3'
|Norway||1 – 0||Portugal||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo
Referee: Laurent Duhamel (France)
|Portugal||3 – 1||Denmark||Estádio do Dragão, Porto
Referee: Eric Braamhaar (Holland)
|Nani 29', 31'
|Carvalho 79' (o.g)|
|Iceland||1 – 3||Portugal||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík
Referee: Thomas Einwaller (Austria)
|Helguson 17'||Ronaldo 3'
|Portugal||1 – 0||Norway||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
|Cyprus||0 – 4||Portugal||GSP Stadium, Nicosia
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
|Ronaldo 35' (pen.), 82'
|Portugal||5 – 3||Iceland||Estádio do Dragão, Porto
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (Holland)
|Nani 13', 21'
|Jónassan 48', 67'
Sigurðsson 90+4' (pen.)
|Denmark||2 – 1||Portugal||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0 – 0||Portugal||Bilino Polje, Zenica
|Portugal||6 – 2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
|Ronaldo 8', 53'
Postiga 72', 82'
|Misimović 41' (pen.)
Euro Tournament 
The draw for the final tournament took place on 2 December 2011 at the Ukraine Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine. Portugal was placed in group B along with Germany, Netherlands, and Denmark, thus making it the colloquial group of death - the group in a tournament perceived to be the most competitive and unpredictable.
Group stage 
|9 June 2012
|Germany||1 – 0||Portugal||Arena Lviv, Lviv
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (France)
|13 June 2012
|Denmark||2 – 3||Portugal||Arena Lviv, Lviv
Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)
|Bendtner 41', 80'||Report||Pepe 24'
|17 June 2012
|Portugal||2 – 1||Netherlands||Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
|Ronaldo 28', 74'||Report||Van der Vaart 11'|
|21 June 2012
|Czech Republic||0 – 1||Portugal||National Stadium, Warsaw
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
|27 June 2012
|Portugal||0 – 0 (a.e.t.)||Spain||Donbass Arena, Donetsk
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
|2 – 4|| Alonso
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification 
Kit History 
Competitive record 
A gold background colour indicates that Portugal won the tournament, a silver background colour indicates the runner-up, a bronze background colour indicates third place, and a blue background colour indicates fourth place/semi-finalist in the tournament. A green border colour indicates that the tournament was hosted in Portugal.
|1930||Did Not Enter|
|1934||Did Not Qualify|
|1970||Did Not Qualify|
|1990||Did Not Qualify|
|2010||Round of 16||11th||4||1||2||1||7||1|
|2014||Qualification in progress|
|2018||To Be Determined|
|2022||To Be Determined|
- Note: Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
|List of FIFA World Cup matches|
|Third place match||Soviet Union||2–1||Win|
|2002||Round 1||United States||2–3||Loss|
|Round 1||South Korea||0–1||Loss|
|Third place match||Germany||1–3||Loss|
|2010||Round 1||Ivory Coast||0–0||Draw|
|Round 1||North Korea||7–0||Win|
|1960||Did Not Qualify|
|1988||Did Not Qualify|
- Note: Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
|List of UEFA European Championship matches|
|1984||Round 1||West Germany||1–1||Draw|
|Round 1||Czech Republic||3–1||Win|
- This is a list of honours achieved by the senior Portuguese national team in an official competition
Other awards 
- Winner (1): 2006
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures 
KEY: WCQ2014 = 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
Coaching staff 
|Assistant Manager||Leonel Pontes|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Ricardo Peres|
|Fitness Coach||João Aroso|
|Technical director||Carlos Godinho|
|U-23 Manager||Ilídio Vale|
|U-21 Manager||Rui Jorge|
|U-20 Manager||Ilídio Vale|
|U-17 Manager||Emílio Peixe|
Current squad 
Caps and goals are correct as of March 26, 2013.
Recent call-ups 
The following players have also been called up to the Portugal squad within the last twelve months.
Previous squads 
- 2010 FIFA World Cup squads - Portugal
- 2006 FIFA World Cup squads - Portugal
- 2002 FIFA World Cup squads - Portugal
- 1986 FIFA World Cup squads - Portugal
- 1966 FIFA World Cup squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 2012 squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 2008 squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 2004 squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 2000 squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 1996 squads - Portugal
- UEFA Euro 1984 squads - Portugal
- 2004 Summer Olympics squads - Portugal
- 1996 Summer Olympics squads - Portugal
- 1928 Summer Olympics squads - Portugal
- italic denotes squad comprised by non main-team players
Most appearances 
- As of MArch 22, 2013.
- Players in bold are still active.
- Players with * have officially retired from the national team.
|#||Name||Caps||Goals||First cap||Latest cap|
|1||Luís Figo||127||32||October 12, 1991||July 8, 2006|
|2||Fernando Couto||110||8||December 19, 1990||June 30, 2004|
|3||Cristiano Ronaldo||102||38||August 20, 2003||March 22, 2013|
|4||Rui Costa||94||26||March 31, 1993||July 4, 2004|
|5||Pauleta||88||47||August 20, 1997||July 8, 2006|
|6||Simão*||85||22||October 18, 1998||June 29, 2010|
|7||João Pinto||81||23||October 12, 1991||June 14, 2002|
|8||Vítor Baía||80||0||December 19, 1990||September 7, 2002|
|9||Ricardo||79||0||June 2, 2001||June 19, 2008|
|Nuno Gomes||79||29||January 24, 1996||October 11, 2011|
Most goals 
- As of March 26, 2013.
- Players in bold are still active.
- Players with * have officially retired from the national team.
|#||Name||Goals||Caps||Average||First cap||Latest cap|
|1||Pauleta||47||88||0.53||August 20, 1997||July 8, 2006|
|2||Eusébio||41||64||0.64||October 8, 1961||October 13, 1973|
|3||Cristiano Ronaldo||38||102||0.38||August 20, 2003||March 22, 2013|
|4||Luís Figo||32||127||0.25||October 12, 1991||July 8, 2006|
|5||Nuno Gomes||29||79||0.37||January 24, 1996||October 11, 2011|
|6||Rui Costa||26||94||0.28||March 31, 1993||July 4, 2004|
|7||Hélder Postiga||25||60||0.42||June 13, 2003||March 25, 2013|
|8||João Pinto||23||81||0.28||October 12, 1991||June 14, 2002|
|9||Nené||22||66||0.33||April 21, 1971||June 23, 1984|
|Simão*||22||85||0.26||October 18, 1998||June 29, 2010|
- Oldest player
- 38 years,8 months and 3 days – Vítor Damas (1–0 against Morocco on 11 June 1986)
- Oldest outfield player
- 36 years, 11 months and 19 days – António Veloso (2–2 against Spain on 19 January 1994)
- Youngest debutante
- 17 years, 6 months and 24 days – Paulo Futre (5–0 against Finland on 21 September 1983)
- Longest national career *
- 15 years, 9 months and 6 days – Nuno Gomes (From 24 January 1996 until 11 October 2011)
- Youngest player to reach 100 caps
- 27 years, 8 months and 11 days - Cristiano Ronaldo (1-1 against Northern Ireland on 16 October 2012)
- - Nuno Gomes is still active; hasn't officially retired from national team
World and European Cup 
- Most goals scored in one World Cup
- 9 - Eusébio (1966)
- Most matches played in World Cup finals
- 11 - Cristiano Ronaldo and Simão Sabrosa; (2006) & (2010)
- Most goals scored in one European Cup
- 4 - Nuno Gomes (2000)
- Most goals scored in European Cup finals
- 6 - Nuno Gomes (2000), (2004) & (2008); Cristiano Ronaldo (2004), (2008) & (2012)
- Most matches played in European Cup finals
- 14 - Luís Figo (1996) (2000) & (2004); Nuno Gomes (2000) (2004) & (2008); Cristiano Ronaldo (2004) (2008) & (2012)
- As of March 1, 2012
|Ribeiro dos Reis||1925–1926||5||1||0||4||20.00|
|Cândido de Oliveira||1926–1929, 1935–1945, 1952||28||6||9||13||21.43|
|Tavares da Silva||1931, 1945–1947, 1951, 1955–1957||29||10||4||15||34.48|
|Salvador do Carmo||1932–1933, 1950, 1953–1954||12||3||4||5||25.00|
|José Maria Antunes||1957–1960, 1962–1964, 1968–1969||31||9||4||18||29.03|
|Armando Ferreira||1961, 1962||6||1||1||4||16.67|
|Manuel da Luz Afonso||1964–1966||20||15||2||3||75.00|
|José Gomes da Silva||1967, 1970–1971||13||5||4||4||38.46|
|José Maria Pedroto||1974–1976||15||6||4||5||40.00|
|Juca||1977–1978, 1980–1982, 1987–1989||34||15||7||12||44.12|
|Otto Glória||1964–1966, 1982–1983||7||3||1||3||42.86|
|José Augusto Torres||1984–1986||17||8||1||8||47.06|
|Artur Jorge||1990–1991, 1996–1997||26||11||10||5||42.31|
|Carlos Queiroz||1991–1993, 2008–2010||49||25||16||8||54.35|
|António Oliveira||1994–1996, 2000–2002||43||25||10||8||58.14|
|Agostinho Oliveira||2002, 2010||6||2||3||1||33.33|
|Luiz Felipe Scolari||2003–2008||74||42||18||14||56.76|
- bold denotes current manager
- Seleção das Quinas refers to the five shields ("Team of the Escutcheons") or the five dots inside them ("Team of the Bezants") in the Portuguese flag, used until the 70s as the shirt badge. Refer to Flag of Portugal for symbolism associated with these bezants.
- UEFA suspends Portuguese trio
- FIFA suspends Pinto
- "December date for EURO finals draw in Kyiv". UEFA. 3 October 2011.
- "EURO draw throws up fascinating group tests". UEFA. 2 December 2011.
- "Full-time report Portugal-Spain" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "The Preliminary Draw results in full". FIFA. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "Todas as internacionalizações". FPF.PT (in Portuguese). Federação Portuguesa de Futebol. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- "Melhores Marcadores". FPF.PT (in Portuguese). Federação Portuguesa de Futebol. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Manager coached match or matches that were not sanctioned by FIFA, therefore they are considered unofficial and are not included in this table.
- Portugoal.net Portuguese football site (English)
- Portuguese Football Federation official website (Portuguese)
- Portuguese National Football Team (Portuguese)
- Portuguesefutebol.com Source for Portuguese football
- Portuguese football info and discussion forum
- Portugal on ESPN Soccernet
- RSSSF archive of results 1921-2003
- RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers
- RSSSF archive of coaches 1921-
- Portugal international players
- Portugal international players (Portuguese)
- Portuguese Soccer News Links, Portuguese Football Site in English
- Daily Portuguese football news, discussion, stats, images, and more
- Full reports of all matches of Portuguese National Football Team 1921-1979
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Portugal national football team|