Belgium vs Portugal: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats
Friday, 25 June 2021
High-scoring Belgium and Portugal meet for the first time in a knockout tie at the the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville in the last 16 of UEFA EURO 2020.
Article top media content
High-scoring Belgium and Portugal meet at a major tournament for the first time in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville.
• Both teams scored seven goals in the group stage, Belgium winning all three games to finish first in Group B while, despite five goals from all-time EURO top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, holders Portugal managed only one win from their three fixtures and had to settle for third place in Group F behind France and Germany.
• The winners of this tie will take on Italy in the quarter-finals at the Football Arena Munich on 2 July.
• This is the sides' first meeting at a UEFA European Championship final tournament, although they have played in six qualifying fixtures, most recently in the preliminaries for UEFA EURO 2008. Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-0 home win in Lisbon before Portugal triumphed 2-1 in Brussels thanks to Hélder Postiga's 64th-minute winner.
• Those were Portugal's first EURO victories against Belgium, who had won at home and drawn away in the qualifying competition for both the 1972 and 1980 tournaments. In 1971, Raoul Lambert scored twice in a 3-0 home victory in Brussels and also got the visitors' goal in a 1-1 draw in Lisbon, with Belgium ultimately going on to finish third at the final tournament; it was also 1-1 in Lisbon in October 1978 before a 2-0 home win in Brussels 12 months later, Belgium subsequently reaching the final of the 1980 tournament in Italy.
• Belgium also came out on top in the sides' only other competitive fixtures, in the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign; they followed another 1-1 draw in Lisbon with a 3-0 victory in Brussels, Marc Van Der Linden scoring three of their four goals over those two games, en route to the finals in Italy.
• The teams' last two matches have both been friendlies. Ronaldo scored the winner in a 2-1 Portugal victory in Leiria on 29 March 2016, Romelu Lukaku supplying Belgium's goal; most recently, with current coaches Roberto Martínez and Fernando Santos in opposition, they drew 0-0 in Brussels on 2 June 2018.
• Overall Portugal have won six of the teams' 18 matches, with five Belgium victories and seven draws; Belgium have scored 22 goals, one more than Portugal.
EURO facts: Belgium
• This is Belgium's second successive UEFA European Championship final tournament and their sixth EURO in total.
• The Red Devils' biggest achievement to date was reaching the final of this tournament in 1980, when they lost 2-1 to West Germany in Rome.
• In 2016, Belgium's first EURO finals since they co-hosted UEFA EURO 2000 with the Netherlands, a team coached by Marc Wilmots finished second in Group E and beat Hungary 4-0 in the round of 16 – their biggest EURO finals victory – only to suffer a 3-1 quarter-final defeat by Wales.
• This time round, Martínez's side won all ten of their qualifiers to finish first in Group I, increasing the number of countries to have reached the finals with a perfect record to eight, Italy also having achieved the feat in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries. Of the previous six to have won every qualifier, however, only Spain (2012) went on to win the tournament itself.
• The 9-0 win against San Marino on 10 October 2019 is Belgium's biggest UEFA European Championship victory.
• Belgium were the top scorers in qualifying overall with 40 goals in their ten matches. Fifteen different Belgium players found the net in qualifying.
• The Red Devils conceded only three goals, the joint best record along with Turkey.
• Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne both provided seven assists in qualifying, fewer only than the Netherlands' Memphis Depay (eight). Hazard scored five goals to De Bruyne's four; Lukaku managed seven goals and four assists.
• Belgium have extended their winning run in the competition to 13 at the final tournament, beating Russia (3-0) and Finland (2-0) in Saint Petersburg either side of a 2-1 comeback victory against Denmark in Copenhagen. They finished six points clear at the top of Group B.
• Belgium's sole previous fixture in Seville was a 1-1 draw against Spain at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán in a EURO '96 qualifier.
• Belgium's record at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain was W2 D1 D2; three of those games were played at the Camp Nou in Barcelona with the two others at Nuevo Estadio in Elche.
• Belgium's overall record in Spain is W3 D4 L8, their most recent visit a 5-0 loss to the home side at the Riazor in La Coruña in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2009. Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen and Eden Hazard all started that match.
EURO facts: Portugal
• A 2-0 semi-final win against Wales was Portugal's only victory inside 90 minutes at UEFA EURO 2016; before Matchday 1, it was the only one of their previous eight EURO finals matches that was not all square after 90 minutes.
• At UEFA EURO 2016, as at these finals, Fernando Santos's side had finished third in Group F behind Hungary and Iceland having drawn all three games. They beat Croatia 1-0 after extra time in the round of 16 and Poland 5-3 on penalties after their quarter-final had finished 1-1 before defeating Wales 2-0 in the semi-finals and hosts France 1-0 thanks to Éder's extra-time goal.
• Santos went on to guide Portugal to victory in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, the hosts beating Switzerland 3-1 in the semi-finals before a 1-0 final defeat of the Netherlands.
• Portugal were Group B runners-up in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying, finishing three points behind Ukraine and three ahead of Serbia. Portugal drew their first two games, both at home, against Ukraine (0-0) and Serbia (1-1), but won five of the next six (L1).
• Ronaldo scored 11 qualifying goals, one behind top scorer Harry Kane of England.
• Ronaldo has scored in all three of Portugal's UEFA EURO 2020 matches, finding the net twice in Budapest against both Hungary on Matchday 1 (3-0) and France last time out (2-2) – converting one penalty against Hungary and two against France – either side of his goal in a 4-2 defeat by Germany.
• The loss in Munich on Matchday 2, in a game Portugal had led 1-0, is only their second defeat in 25 EURO matches (W16 D7), the other a 2-1 qualifying reverse in Ukraine on 14 October 2019.
• Ronaldo has made the most appearances in EURO final tournaments (24). The competition's top scorer overall on 45 goals, he is also the top marksman in final tournaments on 14, his double against Hungary on Matchday 1 taking him clear of Michel Platini with whom he had shared the record on nine.
• Portugal are competing at their seventh consecutive EURO and their eighth in total.
• This is Portugal's first game at the Estadio La Cartuja although they have played in Seville twice previously, losing to Spain at the Campo de la Reina Victoria in 1923 (0-3) and the Estadio de la Exposición in 1929 (0-5).
• Portugal have won only once in Spain, a 7-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Andorra in Lleida in September 2001. That is their only game in the country against a team other than Spain, against whom their away record is D5 L10. The draws have all come on their last five visits, however, most recently 0-0 at Madrid's Estadio Metropolitano on 4 June this year; their last defeat in Spain was a 1-0 reverse at the Santiago Bernabéu in April 1958.
Links and trivia
• Have played in Portugal:
Jan Vertonghen (Benfica 2020–)
Axel Witsel (Benfica 2011–12)
• Has played in Belgium:
William Carvalho (Cercle Brugge 2012–13 loan)
• Have played together:
Kevin De Bruyne & Rúben Dias (Manchester City 2020–)
Kevin De Bruyne & Bernardo Silva (Manchester City 2017–)
Leander Dendoncker & Rui Patrício, Rúben Neves, João Moutinho (Wolves 2018–)
Leander Dendoncker & Nélson Semedo (Wolves 2020–)
Jason Denayer & Anthony Lopes (Lyon 2018–)
Thomas Meunier & Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund 2020–)
Axel Witsel & Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund 2018–)
Thorgan Hazard & Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund 2019–)
Jan Vertonghen & Rafa Silva (Benfica 2020–)
Yannick Carrasco & João Félix (Atlético de Madrid 2020–)
Leander Dendoncker & Diogo Jota (Wolves 2018–20)
Leander Dendoncker & Diogo Jota (Wolves 2018–20)
Michy Batshuayi & Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund 2018)
Jan Vertonghen & Rúben Dias (Benfica 2020)
Romelu Lukaku & Diogo Dalot (Manchester United 2018/19)
Youri Tielemans & João Moutinho (Monaco 2017/18)
Yannick Carrasco & João Moutinho (Monaco 2013–15)
Yannick Carrasco & Bernardo Silva (Monaco 2014/15)
Thomas Meunier & Gonçalo Guedes (Paris Saint-Germain 2017)
Michy Batshuayi & Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia 2018/19)
• De Bruyne scored past Anthony Lopes in Lyon's 3-1 defeat of Manchester City in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
• Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty past Simon Mignolet as Manchester United beat Club Brugge 5-0 in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg.
• Bernardo Silva's opening goal helped Monaco to a 2-1 win at Tottenham on Matchday 1 of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League, Toby Alderweireld scoring for the English club.
• A Dries Mertens double helped Napoli beat Benfica 4-2 at home on Matchday 2 of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League, Gonçalo Guedes scoring the Portuguese side's first goal.
• Ronaldo scored a penalty past Thibaut Courtois in Real Madrid's 4-1 extra-time win against Atlético in the 2014 UEFA Champions League final.
• Ronaldo also scored past Mignolet as Real Madrid won 3-0 at Liverpool in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Carrasco scored for Atlético in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final in Milan against a Real Madrid side including Pepe and Ronaldo, the latter converting the decisive kick in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.
• André Silva scored Porto's goal in a 1-1 draw at home to Roma in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League play-off first leg; Vermaelen was sent off for the visitors.
• Belgium's record in competitive penalty shoot-outs is W1 L0:
5-4 v Spain, 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
• Portugal's shoot-out record is W3 L2:
6-5 v England, UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-final
3-1 v England, 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
2-4 v Spain, UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final
5-3 v Poland, UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final
0-3 v Chile, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final
• In beating Denmark 2-1 in Copenhagen on Matchday 2, Belgium became the first team to come from behind and win at UEFA EURO 2020. The subsequent 2-0 win against Finland in Saint Petersburg stretched their perfect record in this competition, qualifiers included, to 13 wins out of 13, with 47 goals scored and just four conceded.
• Belgium's opening 3-0 win against Russia was their joint biggest victory in a EURO finals group game, matching the one by the same scoreline against the Republic of Ireland on Matchday 2 of UEFA EURO 2016.
• Belgium have the most experienced squad at UEFA EURO 2020, which now contains five players with 100 or more caps, Dries Mertens having joined Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Toby Alderweireld and Eden Hazard by reaching his century against Denmark.
• Roberto Martínez's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in the first of their two pre-UEFA EURO 2020 Brussels friendlies on 3 June, Thorgan Hazard's first-half strike proving insufficient for victory, but they returned to winning ways three days later by defeating Croatia 1-0 thanks to Romelu Lukaku's 60th international goal.
• Lukaku's double against Russia was his 17th for Belgium; he has scored two hat-tricks. The goal against Finland was his 63rd for his country.
• Thomas Meunier's goal against Russia was his second in successive final tournament appearances, the wing-back having found the net for Belgium against England in the third place play-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup (2-0) – a game also staged at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
• Kevin De Bruyne's winner against Denmark was his first goal at the EURO finals, on his sixth appearance, and third in tournament football, having also scored at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. Thorgan Hazard's equaliser – set up by half-time substitute De Bruyne – was his first at a major tournament.
• The Red Devils have now won 22 of their last 26 matches, the only defeat in that sequence coming against England at Wembley in the UEFA Nations League on 11 October 2020 (1-2), which makes them unbeaten in their last 12 (W10 D2). Despite that setback Belgium qualified for the UEFA Nations League finals in Italy later this year and will meet world champions France in the second semi-final in Turin on 7 October.
• Belgium's squad contains newly-crowned league title winners from England (De Bruyne, Manchester City), Italy (Lukaku, Internazionale) and Spain (Yannick Carrasco, Atlético de Madrid) as well as two Belgian champions in Club Brugge pair Simon Mignolet and Hans Vanaken. They also boast three 2020/21 domestic cup winners apiece from Borussia Dortmund (Thorgan Hazard, Meunier and Witsel) and Leicester City (Timothy Castagne, Dennis Praet and final match-winner Youri Tielemans).
• No fewer than 15 of Belgium's 23-man squad from UEFA EURO 2016 and 18 of their 2018 FIFA World Cup squad have returned to participate in this event. The only major tournament freshmen for UEFA EURO 2020 are Vanaken, Castagne, Praet, Matz Sels, Leandro Trossard and Jérémy Doku.
• Castagne was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining facial fractures in Belgium's opening match against Russia.
• Every one of Belgium's 24 outfield players saw action in the group stage, with just back-up goalkeepers Mignolet and Sels yet to make an appearance.
• Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo topped the UEFA EURO 2020 goal charts at the end of the group stage with five goals, becoming the first Portuguese player to score in all three group games at a EURO final tournament.
• Ronaldo's double against Hungary on Matchday 1 maintained his record of scoring in every final tournament in which he has played – 11 in total consisting of five UEFA European Championships, four FIFA World Cups, one FIFA Confederations Cup and one UEFA Nations League. The 36-year-old's two goals against France have increased his tally to 26 in 47 tournament appearances, a record 14 of those at the EURO finals.
• The second of Ronaldo’s penalties against France was his 109th for Portugal on his 178th appearance, equalling the world goalscoring record in international matches that had been held alone by Iran's Ali Daei since 2006 – and his 88th in his 127th competitive international.
• The Matchday 2 defeat by Germany in Munich was just one of two for Portugal in their last 18 matches, the 11 wins over that stretch including a 4-0 pre-tournament success against Israel in Lisbon on 9 June in which Bruno Fernandes scored twice and Ronaldo once. This followed a goalless stalemate against Spain in Madrid five days earlier.
• Pedro Gonçalves, the 23-goal breakout star of Sporting CP's 2020/21 Portuguese Liga triumph, made his international debut against Spain, goalkeeper Rui Silva following suit with a 90-minute outing in the win against Israel. Neither player has made an appearance yet at UEFA EURO 2020.
• Diogo Jota's late consolation strike against Germany was his seventh goal for Portugal, all of them in competitive internationals. He joined Ronaldo, Pepe, Renato Sanches and Matchday 1 marksman Raphaël Guerreiro as the only players in the UEFA EURO 2020 squad to have scored a EURO finals goal for Portugal.
• At the end of the group stage Portugal possessed the four UEFA EURO 2020 participants with most EURO final tournament appearances, all-time record holder Ronaldo on 24 followed by Pepe and João Moutinho, each with 18, and Rui Patricio on 15.
• Ronaldo was Serie A's top scorer in 2020/21 with 29 goals for Juventus, with whom he also won the Coppa Italia. His fellow Portugal forward André Silva also had a prolific season, scoring 28 goals in the German Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt.
• Two members of Portugal's UEFA EURO 2020 squad – Rúben Dias and Bernardo Silva – won the English Premier League in 2020/21 with Manchester City, while LOSC Lille duo José Fonte and Sanches became champions of France and João Félix won the Spanish Liga with Atlético de Madrid. Joining Ronaldo as domestic cup winners were Borussia Dortmund's Guerreiro and Paris Saint-Germain's Danilo.
• Another Manchester City player, João Cancelo, was ruled out of the squad on the eve of the tournament through illness and replaced by Diogo Dalot, a performer in the recent UEFA European Under-21 Championship, in which Portugal finished runners-up to Germany.
• Of the six-home based players in the squad, three are from Portuguese champions Sporting, with João Palhinha and 18-year-old Nuno Mendes joining Gonçalves for their first involvement in international tournament football.
• Eleven members of Portugal's triumphant UEFA EURO 2016 squad have returned, along with coach Fernando Santos, to defend the trophy this year – Ronaldo, Rui Patrício, Fonte, Pepe, Guerreiro, Danilo, Moutinho, Rafa Silva, Sanches, William Carvalho and Anthony Lopes.
• All 16 of the players who took the field for Portugal's victory on home soil at the 2019 UEFA Nations League finals have been called up for UEFA EURO 2020, including Gonçalo Guedes, who scored the winner in the final against the Netherlands.