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Rúben Dias on Portugal's blueprint for success

Rúben Dias says the reigning European champions will again put the collective first as they bid to defend their title.

Rúben Dias: 'Teamwork key to Portugal success'
Rúben Dias: 'Teamwork key to Portugal success'

Spain may be the only country ever to have won back-to-back UEFA EUROs, doing so in 2008 and 2012, but Portugal defender Rúben Dias believes the Seleção das Quinas are well placed to follow suit.

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The 24-year-old was not involved in the Portuguese triumph five years ago – he was representing his country at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship – but he is very much part of the senior set-up now, and rightly eager for glory.

Éder's stunning EURO 2016 final winner for Portugal
Éder's stunning EURO 2016 final winner for Portugal

"Essentially it will be necessary to repeat the rule that guided us during EURO 2016, which is to be clear in our minds that when we go to a game and represent this team, this country, there won't be room for 'me', it has to be 'us'," he told UEFA.com ahead of the title holders' Group F opener against Hungary in Budapest on 15 June.

"And that will be the only way, as it was at EURO 2016 and on other occasions – the only way to approach the competition."

Such a mentality has certainly served Dias and Portugal well. The centre-back enters the tournament having won the 2020/21 English Premier League with Manchester City, claimed the league's Player of the Season award, and earned a runners-up medal in the UEFA Champions League.

Portugal, meanwhile, followed up their first-ever continental conquest with success in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, with Dias – then of Benfica – playing all 90 minutes of the 1-0 final victory over the Netherlands in 2019.

Every goal on Portugal's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Portugal's road to EURO 2020

"I don't think there was a trigger [for those triumphs] in particular," he said. "It was a combination of the work that had been done for many years, and the characteristics and talent of Portuguese players.

"Then we combine it with the team – because we may have talent but no one can do it alone. I believe that one of the reasons for this team's success has been the way we perform, especially on the big stage, when we put the team before all else and work together."

With matches against Germany and France rounding out Portugal’s group stage fixtures, they will need to do precisely that during the next fortnight.