September 19, 2021

Portugal, all about the team

Selection of Quinas, with reference to corners, the small blue coats of arms of the national emblem. But in the presence of a Portuguese supporter, keep it simple and favor “A Seleção”.

  • The calendar (French time)

June 15: Portugal v Hungary, 6 p.m., in Budapest

June 19: Portugal v Germany, 6 p.m., in Munich

June 23: Portugal v France, 9 p.m., in Budapest

The first two of each group, as well as the four best thirds, qualify.

  • The team that should play

Rui Patrício – Raphaël Guerreiro, Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira (Pepe), Rúben Dias, João Cancelo – Danilo Pereira, João Moutinho (or Ruben Neves), Bruno Fernandes – Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota.

Reigning European champion (2016), finalist in 2004 and semi-finalist in 1984, 2000 and 2012, Portugal are preparing to play their eighth Euro, which is also the seventh in a row.

  • The manager: Fernando Santos

Man is known to have neither agent nor enemy. A practicing Catholic, Santos (66) led Benfica Lisbon, Sporting and FC Porto, which is almost ecumenical when you know the rivalries between these three big clubs. Since July 10, 2016 and the title of European champion, Portugal’s first international trophy, this trained engineer has become an untouchable figure.

In office since September 2014, Fernando Santos managed to win the Euro with a Selection yet less brilliant than others, but thanks to an esprit de corps rarely observed. Five years later, he has a more talented group, in which have emerged players like Diogo Jota, João Felix, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva. On the ground, however, he still seems to be looking for the right equation around a Cristiano Ronaldo who still scores as much (103 goals), but who vampirizes the game.

  • A player: Rui Patríthat is

From the final of the last Euro against France, history has retained the goal of Eder, the perfect “Warholian” hero., or the posturing along the touch of a Ronaldo out on injury. Yet it was Rui Patrício (33) who was the main architect of this victory.

Decisive on several occasions (ah! This resumption of Antoine Griezmann’s head deflected with the tip of the gloves), saved by his post on a strike from André-Pierre Gignac, the Wolverhampton player keeps the cages of the Selection since ten years.

Read also: Portugal – France 2016: Eder, Ronaldo and the moths

Even if he was the author of some memorable balls (like this superb pass to Eden Ben Basat against Israel), Patrício can win games on his own. And displays a reassuring calm for his teammates. It must be said that he is a follower of Atma Kriya Yoga, “A combination of powerful yoga and meditation techniques that work deeply on our opening of the heart », Says his spiritual master Paramahamsa Vishwananda.

Portugal's goalkeeper, Rui Patricio, celebrates his team's European title on July 10, 2016, in Saint-Denis.
  • It happened to Euro

On June 12, 2004, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (for civil status) was 19 years old, still ungrateful skin and an interesting first season at Manchester United in his legs. At the opening of the Euro, Portugal were led 1-0 by Greece, when the child from Madeira replaced Simão Sabrosa at half-time. It takes him barely six minutes to shine with a foul of “attacker” (understand “clumsy”) on Yoúrkas Seïtaridis: penalty and 2-0 for Greece. The party is ruined this Saturday afternoon in Porto.

Read also: Greece – Portugal 2004 and the tears of young Ronaldo

Proof that the boy already has the resource and character, he will nevertheless give a little hope to his family with a header at the end of the match. But a month later, it is again against the same Greek team that Portugal will lose in the final, a whole country crying with its future idol.

In 1987, the writer José Saramago (1922-2010) published The Stone Raft, in which he imagines that the Iberian Peninsula is detached from the continent to drift into the Atlantic. A year after Portugal’s integration into the EEC, this novel is seen as a critique of the European Community. Communist sympathizer, the future Nobel Prize for literature (1998) identified, in fact, Europe, economic liberalism and capitalism.

In an interview with Literary magazine in 2000, José Saramagno defended himself from being a “Eurosceptic” and saw in The Stone Raft (Threshold point) “The tugboat which would drag the whole of Europe towards the south, which would distance it from the triumphalist and hegemonist ambitions of the North”. In other words, the writer already imagined, two decades in advance, the match between the Europe of “frugal” and that of “spendthrift”.

In 2017, Portugal remains on four eliminations in the semi-finals when the country chooses Salvador Sobral to represent it. Former student in psychology, fan of bossa nova and uncomfortable with notoriety, the young man fits badly with the candidate profile of Eurovision. And love for two, the slow and melancholy song composed by his sister Luisa, no more. But this May 13, 2017, in Kiev, alone on stage and all dressed in black, Salvador Sobral puts the public and the jury in agreement.

A Super Bock or a Sagres for the hopped side, accompanied by a plate of Chorizo, this small sausage seasoned with paprika, garlic, cumin and white wine which has recently appeared in certain restaurants in France. To end on a sweet note: the essential cream cake. To savor with cinnamon to make “like” in Lisbon.