Cristiano Ronaldo is still pivotal to Portugal side battling Father Time
It is said that success breeds success, but it is a reality of football that it also creates expectation. So it is for Portugal, who arrive in Russia with European Championship medals hanging from their necks and an unfamiliar burden weighing on their shoulders.
âWe have a big responsibility,â says Jose Fonte, one of a trio of veteran defenders in the Portuguese squad. âWe are expected to win everything now. People are demanding. But it is good â" we accept that responsibility.â
Accept it, bear it, perhaps even embrace it. The question, though, will be whether Portugal have enough quality to deliver on these heightened expectations and cement their status as one of international footballâs most prestigious teams.
The form book would suggest not. Fernando Santosâ side have won just twice in their last six games â" against Algeria and Egypt â" and in March were thrashed 3-0 by one of the worst Holland teams in modern history. They remain functional rather than thrilling, and they come into this tournament with major concerns over their defence, where Father Time has robbed key figures of their physical verve.
Still, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. An emerging generation of young forwards has given Portugalâs attack an air of vibrancy and excitement, while the development of Bernardo Silva at Manchester City provides creative cunning in midfield.Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal