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HomesportPortugal is the only team that has always passed the group stage

Portugal is the only team that has always passed the group stage

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Portugal is the only team, among the participants in the European Football Championship 2024, which begins Friday in Germany, that has always surpassed the group stage in the history of the competition, moving to the knockout rounds.

In the eight times it participated in the European Championship, between 1984 and 2020, with a break in between, the national team always moved forward, claiming the title once, in 2016, once as an undefeated finalist, in 2004, and three times. times. In the semi-finals in 1984, 2000 and 2012.

The worst campaigns occurred in 1996, 2008 and 2020, where the fall occurred in the first match of the knockout stage (the first two matches in the quarter-finals and the last in the round of 16).

Wales, with two entries, and Iceland and Northern Ireland with two, can glorify this feat, although their absence at the next European Championship will be confirmed and their participation in the competition will be much lower.

Germany (three titles), Spain (three), Italy (two titles) and France (two titles), teams with different traditions and strengths in the competition, all of which, for example, witnessed versions in which they fell during the group stage.

The Germans have already felt this sensation three times, as have the Spaniards, and the Italians and the French have felt it twice.

In total, in eight editions, Portugal won 39 matches, including 19 wins, 10 draws and 10 defeats, giving a total of 67 points. In terms of goals, the Portuguese national team has a positive score of 18, scoring 56 goals and conceding 38 goals.

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If the history of the European Championship were regular, Portugal would have ranked sixth behind Germany (94 points in 53 matches), Italy (81/45), Spain (78/46), France (75/43) and the Netherlands. 68/39).

The greatest difficulties faced by the national team in the group stage occurred in 2016, in the historic edition of the title, where Fernando Santos' team finished its group in third place, a position that would have forced elimination before the expansion of the participants. He repeated the third place in the 2020 edition, which was postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Portugal is even the country that has ended up being eliminated the most times (four times) by the future winner of the competition, in 1984 and 2000, against France, in 2004, against Greece, and in 2020, against Spain.

On their debut in 1984, Portugal reached the semi-finals, but ended up being eliminated by hosts France (3-2 after extra time), in what remains one of the best European debuts.

As newcomers, only Sweden, in 1992, and Wales, in 2016, achieved the same feat.

After a period of rest, the Portuguese team returned to the final rounds, in England, in 1996, and after topping the group, the Portuguese team was eliminated in the quarter-finals by the Czechs (1-0), in what was called a “hat” from Karel Poborski.

This was followed by Euro 2000 and a second appearance in the semi-finals, again when France prevented the Portuguese “dream”, and again, in extra time (2-1), with a “golden” penalty kick goal from Zidane.

Playing at home, in 2004, Portugal played its first final, having a 'hand' on the cup, but fate had more power and it was Greece (1-0) that became the champion at the Estadio da Luz, in Lisbon.

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In Austria and Switzerland, in 2008, the national team was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany (3-2), and returned to the semi-finals in 2012, where it missed the decisive match by losing on penalties to Spain (4-2). ) After 120 minutes had passed without goals.

After the party in Paris in 2016, with Eder's eternal goal, which gave victory over France (1-0), Portugal had one of the worst campaigns ever, and with the unique status of defending champion, in 2020, it fell in the world rankings. Round of 16 against Belgium (1-0), led by Spaniard Roberto Martinez, the current Portuguese coach.

At Euro 2024, Portugal will compete in Group F, alongside the Czech Republic (June 18, in Leipzig), Turkey (June 22, in Dortmund) and Georgia (26, in Gelsenkirchen).

The tournament begins on Friday in Munich with a match between Germany and Scotland, and continues until July 14, with the final taking place in Berlin.

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