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Squad profiles: Portugal

Squad profiles: Portugal

By Reuters
Last update The 05/06/2012 at 15:47 -
By Reuters - The 05/06/2012 at 15:47
We profile the players who will represent Portugal at Euro 2012.
 

GOALKEEPERS

Rui Patricio (Sporting) Born: 15.02.1988 Caps: 11. One of the most highly-rated young keepers in Europe, blessed with great reflexes and concentration. Praised by Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini after City were eliminated from the Europa League, demonstrating his talent with a vital save in the final minute of stoppage time.

Eduardo (Benfica) Born: 19.9.82 Caps: 28. Shone for Portugal at the 2010 World Cup and had a key role in Braga's impressive 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, but lost place after he joined Benfica last year. A good shot-stopper, decent at saving penalties, but can sometimes struggle in the air.

Beto (Cluj) Born: 1.05.82 Caps: 2. Moved from Porto to Romania's Cluj last year saying he wanted to improve and return to the Portuguese champions in the future. Agile and courageous, does not allow his relatively small stature to prevent him from dealing with high balls.

DEFENDERS

Bruno Alves (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 27.11.1981 Caps: 50 Goals: 5. Uncompromising, powerful and aggressive, Alves poses problems for even the most lethal forwards, using his height and heading ability effectively at both ends of the pitch. A fans' favourite while at Porto, now an important player for Zenit. Also an exquisite free-kick taker.

Rolando (Porto) Born: 31.8.85 Caps: 14 Goals: 0. Cape Verde-born lanky centre-back who used to form a solid club partnership with Alves for Porto, but whose form has been inconsistent this season. Criticised at times for being slow, he remains a tidy player who keeps things simple. At ease in the air.

Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid) Born: 11.3.88 Caps:22 Goals: 1. Originally a winger, Coentrao was the driving force in Benfica's 2009-2010 league title triumph and his consistency earned him a 30 million euros move to Real Madrid. Has struggled to retain his place, but remains a first-choice for his country.

Pepe (Real Madrid) Born 26.2.83 Caps: 39 Goals: 2. Intense and battle-hardened defender who can also play as a holding midfielder. Has suffered recurring injuries, but remains a quick, tall and workmanlike player who covers a lot of ground and is influential in the squad. Known for his enthusiasm and occasionally wild moments, for which he has apologised several times.

Joao Pereira (Sporting) Born 25.2.84 Caps: 14 Goals: 0. A rebel in character and playing style, attacking full-back Pereira likes to catch opponents balance. Runs often leave his flank unguarded and the defence exposed. Bad-tempered for some, a natural fighter for others, his commitment cannot be questioned.

Ricardo Costa (Valencia) Born: 16.5.81 Caps: 11 Goals: 0. An experienced defender who can play in both central defence and on the flanks. Played at the top level in Portugal, France and Germany before moving to Spain. His versatility was a prized asset at the last World Cup in South Africa.

Miguel Lopes (Braga) Born: 19.12.86 Caps: 1 Goals: 0. A versatile and speedy defender who can play both as a left and right back. He was the biggest surprise in Bento's squad.

MIDFIELDERS

Miguel Veloso (Genoa) Born: 11.5.86 Caps: 24 Goals: 2. Versatile and possesses a fine left foot, he is a product of Sporting's academy. Once criticised for concentrating more on fancy hairdos than his game, he has matured since moving to Italy's Genoa and has been linked to a move to Inter. A free-kick expert.

Raul Meireles (Chelsea) Born: 17.3.83 Caps: 56 Goals: 8. Heavily-tattooed and tactically astute midfielder, may have lost some of his former mobility, but remains a crisp passer of the ball and owns a powerful shot. Reliable and willing, he can bring something extra to any midfield.

Joao Moutinho (Porto) Born: 8.9.86 Caps: 42 Goals: 2. Fans were scratching their heads trying to understand why Moutinho was not in the squad for the South Africa World Cup. Often singled out for his consistency and tactical awareness as a hard-working holding midfielder, he has good passing skills. Sets the rhythm in transitions from defence to attack.

Ruben Micael (Zaragoza) Born: 19.8.86 Caps: 8 Goals: 2. Mobile midfielder whose great strengths are his work-rate and passing ability. Stood out when playing for Nacional, the island of Madeira club. Moved to Porto, but never won a regular place, sold to Atletico Madrid last year and then loaned to Zaragoza.

Custodio (Braga) Born: 24.5.83 Caps:1 Goals: 0. The defensive midfielder had no caps to his name before his surprise call-up to the final Euro squad. Had a fine season at Braga, who finished the season third. Hardworker and unassuming, is also confortable in the air.

Hugo Viana (Braga) Born: 15.1.83. Caps: 27 Goals: 1. Enjoying one of the best spells of his career, a refined midfielder at ease organising attacks and spraying accurate passes around the field. His dangerous inswingers from set pieces can also cause havoc.

FORWARDS

Nelson Oliveira (Benfica) Born: 8.8.91 Caps: 3 Goals: 0. Coach Paulo Bento handed Oliveira his debut against Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland in Warsaw in February and labelled him as Portugal's future. Jumped into the spotlight at Under-20 World Cup, where he scored four goals as Portugal reached the final.

Hugo Almeida (Besiktas) Born: 23.5.84 Caps: 42 Goals: 15. Tall, powerful striker who gives Portugal presence in the air, but sometimes lacks mobility. Scores some spectacular goals from time to time with his powerful left foot.

Helder Postiga (Real Zaragoza) Born: 2.8.82 Caps: 49 Goals: 19. Central striker, strong in the air. After a career of ups and downs, moved to Real Zaragoza this season after failing to convince at Sporting. Has moments of brilliance and was pivotal in Portugal's Euro 2012 qualification, scoring five goals.

Nani (Manchester United) Born: 17.11.86 Caps: 54 Goals: 13. A top-class dribbling and goal-scoring winger, has shrugged off Cristiano Ronaldo's ghost at both Manchester United and in a national shirt. Delights with electric pace, pinpoint crossing and long-distance scoring. Outstanding work-rate.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Born: 5.2.85 Caps: 90 Goals: 32. The world's most expensive player and Portugal captain will be one of the main attractions at the finals with his tricky runs and clinical finishing. Record-breaking Ronaldo is at the peak of his career and his terrific combination of enormous pace and quick stepovers will surely make Portugal fans dream this summer.

Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas) Born: 26.9.83 Caps: 35 Goals: 3. Quaresma had disappointing stints at Barcelona, Chelsea, and Inter, but has rediscovered his form at Besiktas. Nicknamed "the magician" or "Harry Potter" because of his unpredictable dribbles and good technical ability, Quaresma's trademarks are his crosses and shots with the outside of the foot.

Silvestre Varela (Porto) Born: 2.2.85 Caps: 6 Goals: 1. Destined to be second-choice winger behind Ronaldo and Nani, Varela is a lively presence, always making aggressive runs down the flanks and producing dangerous crosses.

 
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