Confederations Cup: Euro champions Portugal aim for more glory

Jun 16, 2017, 08:33 IST | Agencies

Last summer's success in the European championship was a defining moment in the history of Portuguese football

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic/AFPPortugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic/AFP

Last summer's success in the European championship was a defining moment in the history of Portuguese football, and having been crowned continental champions for the first time, Fernando Santos' side will be aiming for another triumph at the Confederations Cup.

While world champions Germany have sent a youthful squad to Russia for the tournament, Portugal are bringing their first choice group of players including captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid forward shone in the final stages of the season for his club and will know that another good showing at a summer tournament will further tighten his grasp on this year's Ballon d'Or.

Along with Ronaldo the likes Andre Silva, Barcelona's Andre Gomes, and Monaco's Joao Moutinho are all included and the squad looks more than strong enough to compete for the title.

Certainly, the Portuguese will feel they should win Group A and they are the clear favourites to do so.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said that the Euro champs are expecting to challenge for the title. Portugal kick off their Group A campaign on Sunday against Mexico in Kazan. "This will be a very difficult competition, but Portugal are still going as title contenders," insisted the 62-year-old.

"We always assume our responsibilities, tackling each game with the intention of winning it. A year ago I said that Portugal were going to Euro 2016 to win it. I said we were not favourites, but contenders for victory. I keep that same confidence today."

New Zealand and hosts Russia complete Group A for the tournament that runs from June 17 to July 2, with world champions Germany, Chile, Cameroon and Australia making up Group B.

Also bringing a strong squad to the tournament are Mexico. The CONCACAF champions are favourites to top Group A, and in truth it seems to be between them and Portugal.

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