Portugal national football team

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Portugal Portugal
Nickname(s) A Seleção das Quinas (Selection of the Quinas)
Association Federação Portuguesa de Futebol (FPF)
Confederation EFU
FIFA code POR
FIFA ranking 67 Decrease 5 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 12 (1950)
Lowest FIFA ranking 67 (1963)
First international  Spain 4–0  Portugal
(Madrid, Spain; 18 December 1921)
World Cup appearances 2 (First in 1938)
Best result 4th, 1938


The Portugal national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Portugal in international competition and is controlled by the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol.

Portugal has qualified for two FIFA World Cups with the best result being a fourth-place finish at the 1938 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

The Portuguese Football Federation was formed in 1914 under the Portuguese Football Union name (by 1926, it changed to its current name) and the aim of creating national tournaments (since it only existed regional championships) and promoting matches in which a Portuguese representative team would play against other teams from various parts of the world. However, due to the outbreak of World War I, that objective was not feasible for the next seven years until 1921 when they played their first international against fellow Iberian nation Spain who they would lose 4-0.

After a bunch of friendlies, they would compete in their first World Cup qualification campaign in 1926 with the national team competing in Group 2 with France and Italy. For the Portugese, they would lose both games to finish bottom of the group. The next tournament was the 1928 Summer Olympics which was held in the Netherlands. Taking on Yugoslavia in the opening round, a single goal from Vítor Silva gave Portugal their first competitive victory. This meant that they took on Egypt in the quarter-finals where two goals from Silva and a goal from both Pepe Soares and Augusto Silva gave Portugal a spot into the semi-finals where they would lose 7-0 to Uruguay before losing 4-0 in the third-place playoff against the Netherlands.

The following World Cup qualification campaign saw Portugal once again finish bottom of the group with Belgium, Egypt and France with their only point coming from the match against the Egyptians. This would be followed by 1932 Summer Olympics which was held in Los Angeles and for Portugal they were knocked out in the quarter-finals. This was after scoring a 4-0 against Luxembourg in the opening-round before losing 4-1 to eventual champions Argentina.

Glimmer of hope then war[edit | edit source]

The following tournament for Portugal was the 1933 WEFF Championship which was part of qualifying for the 1934 FIFA World Cup. After finishing second in the qualifying group just ahead of Scotland, Portugal was drawn in Group B with Belgium, England and France. After a promising 1–1 against France, they would lose 2–0 to Belgium. Raul Jorge and Acácio Mesquita scored in the final match against England to give the Portuguese the victory but it wasn't enough with France defeating Belgium in the match that was played at Liverpool.

After not making to the final tournament for the 1935 WEFF Championship after finishing behind the Irish Free State, Portugal would be one of the eight teams to compete at the 1937 WEFF Championship which was held in Italy. The top two from each group going through to the 1938 FIFA World Cup. Being drawn in Group B with France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; the Quinas would get an early one-all draw against the French in the opening game. A shock 3–1 win against the Netherlands in the next match-day meant all they had to do was to get a draw against Luxembourg on the final group game to qualify for the World Cup. For the Portuguese, they attempted to play defensive while Luxembourg was trying to help France who was also on three points at that stage. A lapse in the defense saw Arthur Bernard score in the 90th minute to give Luxembourg a 1–0 win. This wouldn't matter though with the Dutch taking the win against France and securing the Portuguese a spot at the World Cup for the first time.

After finishing fourth at the tournament, the Portuguese next tournament was the World Cup which had changed back to a knockout format which was the same as the 1910 edition. Portugal's opening match was against Switzerland at Buenos Aires. Goals from Fernando Peyroteo and Pinga gave Portugal a 2–0 win. The quarter-finals saw them take one of the tournament favorites in Brazil and after Peyroteo scored the opener to give Portugal the early lead. Leônidas scored the equalizer in the 55th minute before Manuel Soeiro scored the match winner to give Portugal a spot into the semi-finals. For Portugal, their run would end at that stage with a 5–1 defeat to Italy and then losing the third-place playoff to the United States 2–1. One year later, sport in Portugal had stopped with the Second World War going through and internationals being very limited to their neutral opponents in Spain.

The 1950s and 60s[edit | edit source]

For Portugal, their next major tournament appearance would be the 1954 FIFA World Cup held in Chile. This was after finishing bottom of their qualifying group for the 1950 FIFA World Cup. After defeating Denmark in the two leg match by a aggregate score of 2–1, Portugal was played in Group B with Austria, Paraguay and Yugoslavia. For Portugal only a single goal from José Águas against Yugoslavia would be the only bright spark with the Portuguese finishing bottom of the group without a single point.

Portugal than competed in the first European Nations Cup competition that was created by the EFU with it being a knockout format until the top four teams remain. Portugal's opening match was against Brittany. A hat-trick from António Teixeira and three from Matateu gave Portugal a 10–0 aggregate win against Brittany. The next match was against World Cup runner-up, Romania which the Romanians took the tie 4–1 on aggregate. In 1957, Portugal competed in qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup which was being held in Switzerland. Being drawn in Group 4 with Iceland, Italy and Norway, Portugal began with a 5-0 win over Iceland with Águas scoring two goals. That was their only home game of the campaign with two losses to Norway (4–1) and Italy (2–0) meant that Portugal finished third in the group and eliminated from qualifying for a World Cup.

A preliminary round exit to Switzerland in qualifying for the 1960 European Nations' Cup was almost followed up by qualifying for the 1962 FIFA World Cup. After three wins against Belgium (2–0), East Germany (3–0) and Denmark (1–0), Portugal in their fourth match against France with a 2–1 defeat with Eusébio scoring a late consolation goal in the 66th minute. This meant that their final match against Bulgaria was a win and in situation for their World Cup spot on the line. Playing away from home, Ivan Kolev scored a hat-trick to end Portugal's hope and for Bulgaria a spot at the World Cup.

Tournament history[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Did Not Compete
1910
England 1914
Netherlands 1922
Spain 1926 Did Not Qualify
Uruguay 1930
Italy 1934
Argentina 1938 Semi Finalist 4th 4 2 0 2 6 8
Sweden 1950 Did Not Qualify
Chile 1954 Group Stage 15th 3 0 0 3 1 9
Switzerland 1958 Did Not Qualify
Mexico 1962
Total Semi Finalist 2/12 7 2 0 5 7 17

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Portugal national football team Template:Football in Portugal

Template:National sports teams of Portugal