The Portugal national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Portugal and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). They are nicknamed "Esperanças."Esperança means hope, thus they are Portugal's hopes for the future.
Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Portuguese under-21 team was formed. Until 1994, the team had a rather poor record, failing to qualify for each of the first eight UEFA under-21 Championships. Since 1994, the team has improved its record greatly, qualifying for five of the next seven tournaments, including the 2006 finals.
Having qualified for the 2006 tournament finals, UEFA announced that Portugal would host the finals in May and June. From 2007 onwards, host nations will be announced before the qualification stage and will not need to qualify.