EURO 2016: Five Portugal stars to watch

Four years ago, Portugal’s EURO campaign ended in heartbreak. Eventual champions Spain pushed their neighbours side on penalty kicks, as Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the fifth player down to take a penalty, watched on helplessly.

Now, Portugal’s prominent core of players that lost in the semi in 2012 is still intact.

The Portuguese have a relatively easy group, with opponents Austria, Iceland and Hungary all struggling to replicate their talent on the pitch.

Ronaldo and Nani will play on opposite wings, as Joao Moutinho patrols the middle of the field and Pepe anchors the backline.

The core is exceptional, albeit this may be the last major tournament with everyone together. What is more obscure, however, is the quality of the supporting cast.

18-year-old midfielder Renato Sanches appears to be the country’s next ‘big thing’ after signing with Bayern Munich. His pace and goalscoring ability in the midfield will bolster Portugal’s attack.

A favourable group should see Portugal reach the knockout stage, but their road to European glory will quickly become much more difficult. The Portuguese side will likely run into Belgium or Italy in the following round.

But with arguably the top player in the world, Ronaldo, Portugal are capable of beating anyone.

Here are FIVE to watch in this impressive side…

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