UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

EURO 2020 review: Portugal

Portugal team reporter Carlos Machado finds much to praise despite the holders' exit.

Watch every strike by the 2016 champions, including Cristiano Ronaldo's five.
All of Portugal's EURO 2020 goals

Five years on from claiming their first major trophy, Portugal's reign as European champions ended in the last 16, their earliest exit in any EURO final tournament.

Life was never going to be easy in a group with Germany and France, followed by facing world-ranked number one side Belgium in the round of 16. Other than the Germany game, Portugal were more than competitive, but able to call upon a generation seen as their best ever, they only really showed their true abilities when they had fallen behind.

What were the positives?

Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals
Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals

Renato Sanches was a nice surprise, cementing his place in the team and recovering his aura as a great prospect – he is still just 23. Ronaldo had his best EURO: at 36, he contributed five goals, equalled Ali Daei's international goalscoring world record and led by example. I saw that in every training session, in each game. The same goes for Pepe.

Tournament highlight

The game against France was one of Portugal's brightest moments. They had the capacity to react to France's second goal and reach a very high level. In the second half against Belgium, they were able to inject the quality that kept the Red Devils pinned back.

What the future holds

Bruno Fernandes: 'It's a privilege to play with Ronaldo'
Bruno Fernandes: 'It's a privilege to play with Ronaldo'

Portugal have huge talent available and it's hard not to see it on the pitch and in the positions where they perform best. Players such as Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and João Félix have to play more because what they have is rare. And there are several others too: Renato, Rúben Neves and André Silva. Portugal have the tools to perform and get closer to beating any side.

Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020

After Portugal's disappointment, I expect Italy to win. The way they play, a brand of football that doesn't resemble the stereotypical Italian style, is proof that if you have the talent, you need to find ways to display it on the pitch.

Download the EURO app