Portugal Euro Rank #4 Winners
Portugal coming off a disappointing 2014 World Cup where they failed to get out of the group accumulating just 4 points two years ago looking to turn it around the 2012 Euro Semi Finalists are looking to prove to the world that they are still one of Europe’s best teams. They come into this group has heavy favorites no one in this group really offers any threat to Portugal they should have no problem winning ever game in this group a very easy group for Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese. I consider this team to be one of the favorites to lift the trophy in July this is a quality side with tremendously talented players at in very position. Obviously leading the Battle is 3 Time Ballon D’Or Winner Cristiano Ronaldo that came off an historic season despite not winning the league title. This year he became Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer in club history Cristiano also became the 1st player in La Liga history to score 50+ goals in six consecutive season scoring 51 goals in all completions including an inspiring Champions league campaign scoring a champions league’s best 16 goals He was also led the Champions league is assists as well. He capped off his historical season with a champions league final appearance where Real Madrid faced Athletico once again a great game that went to Penalties Where Ronaldo scored the Penalty to helped Real captured there 2nd Champions league title in 3 seasons and the teams record 11th time. Ronaldo is coming into this tournament with a lot of confidence and in terrific form which will do wonders for Portugal’s chances. He is the best player in Europe as well as arguably the best player in the world should reclaim the Ballon D’or this season. He’s the type of player that could get through to the knockout stage completely by himself he can take over the game he was the 3rd highest scorer in qualification. In this term that won’t necessary while Ronaldo is Portugal’s big superstar this time he won’t be alone and has help from a lot of different sources. Nani again will still be there a player that despite getting older can provide a leadership aspect to this talented side he also has basically played with Ronaldo his entire career so the two of them have incredible team chemistry they were teammates at Manchester United for many years. Speaking of teammates, the team also features Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammate Pepe who is a dirt bag but he is a very good defender and much like Nani has good team chemistry with Ronaldo as I mentioned the two just won the Champions league together so as you can see this team has a lot of team chemistry with is an esessional quality that’s needed in a team looking to make a run in France. The team has a lot of leadership due to experienced players with is also a key to getting success. However, that’s not all they have this team has youth as well Portuguese youngster Renato Sanches a player that has shown the last few years that he can be a big time player in Europe as well as in Portugal. At only 18 years old he is an exceptional talent and it hasn’t gone unnoticed German Giants and Current Champions Bayern Munich forked out €35 million, in a deal totaling €80 million, with the additional €45 million depending on objectives. With this transfer he became the most expensive Portuguese player to leave the domestic league, as well as the first Portuguese player to join the Bavarian side. The initial fee was the fourth-highest paid in Bayern Munich’s history. He will be a very key part of the midfield a player that Portugal will use to their advantage being such a young player he has the ability to wear out players he is very quick with excellent pace that makes his a dangerous at any moment. He will provide some creativity that Portugal has lacked the last several years with him a Ronaldo are both creative player which can give Portugal an extra dimension that I think opponents wont expect from them. Beyond the key players I’ve mentioned they have many other quality players that can add to the cause many player on Benfica will be in France with Ronaldo and Company maybe not huge names but remember Benfica is a really great team they made it to the Quarterfinals of the Champions league and put up a fight against Bayern in my mind this is one of the favorites also have a very solid defense they are well coached they are a team that many will underestimate but Portugal will use that in very well could lift the trophy in July if Romania doesn’t win id like Portugal to win it and I believe they have the ability to do that Ronaldo isn’t alone this time a title for Ronaldo could cement his legendary career it’s the only thing he’s never won this team is a team that will be forced to reckon with in this tournament.
Austria Euro Rank #6 Runners Up
Austria was excepted to make the trip to France but the way they did it was very impressive they were flat out the best team in the qualification accumulating a very impressive 28pts through the qualification which was the 2nd most points only England had more Austria pulled off some dominance performances winning 9 of 10 games. The breakout star has been versatile Defender David Alaba the Bayern Munich star has been absolutely sensational for the German champions even more impressive considering he only 23 years old. He has scored 11 goals for his national side which is unheard of for a defender to score that frequently. He scored 4 goal in the route to France as well as 6 goals in Austria’s attempt to make the World Cup two years ago he scores in the biggest stages 10 of his 11 goals he’s scored for Austria have been in qualifying games. He is in my opinion the most complete player in the world he is a defender but he can also play midfielder. To me he is the best defender in the world and plays a huge part in Bayern Munich’s rock solid defense. A lot of the possible success of Austria will rely on him much like a lot of teams in this tournament it’s not a side loaded with stars but you don’t need to be loaded with stars to go on a huge run. Along as you play together as a unite you don’t need to be Germany Austria has been playing well together they are all in sync and there’s no reason that will change this summer they should win at least two of their games and could just maybe get a draw vs Portugal but that might not happen. It should be no problem getting 2nd to earn a place in the knockout stage. I could see this team being one of the Dark horse teams this summer I think they could make the quarterfinals. David Alaba a Company can pull off a deep run I think they can be a real threat it’s a team you should keep an eye on
Iceland Euro Rank #24
Another team tasting their 1st taste of an International major tournaments the country has never participated in the European Championships or the World cup. They come into this tournament with basically no experience a lot of the times that’s a very negative thing but in some cases inexperience can be very valuable not knowing what to expect can give you some extra fight. Iceland wasn’t supposed to get this far normally when you see the word Iceland in your qualifying group the normal reaction would be “well we know we aren’t finishing last” but then something amazing happened they started showing signs of progress no stars’ player but they played together as a team and in the end that’s what matters they finished qualifying with 20 pts getting 2nd in their group winning 6 out of 10 games with 2 draws and 2 losses. That’s really impressive in its own right they also only gave up 6 goals through qualifying which was less goals than the winner of the group had. They have been in great form the last two years and they have thoroughly deserved a spot in France. Will have a hard time with Austria and Portugal but a 3rd place finish is a solid performance would be a good showing for a team in their 1st international tournament in history they should be proud of the accomplishment and the strives they have made this year regardless how well they performe.
Hungary Euro Rank #11
Hungary return to stage they use to domain for decades they get a chance to taste Europe once again making the Euro’s for the 1st time since 1972 a team that use to be Ranked as the #1 team in the world has lost its sizzle haven’t found any kind of success for a really long time they have had a really difficult time qualifying for any major tournament also has lacked quality players for many years. I don’t think they will fare well they were in the same group as my country (Romania) and they were very unimpressive struggling against the Faeroe Islands and Greece but ended up finish 3rd in the group securing a spot in France after advancing through the playoff. It’s great for the country that they were able to make a return to this stage. There were some positives they are fairly strong in the midfield but I believe they will find it quite difficult when the bright lights come on their defense at times is a liability any average striker can break down there back four. I can maybe see them getting one win at most but in all likely hood I don’t see them making any moment in this tournament as they will find it very difficult. But I feel this is more about getting back and gaining experience so they can make a deeper run the next time around