Wry smiles and audible gasps were aplenty at the Euro 2020 draw in Bucharest this afternoon as Portugal were landed in Group F alongside France, Germany and one other team, as yet unknown.

The final opponent awaiting the defending champions will only be known in March and will be one of Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania*, the winner of that quartet in the playoffs. Portugal will contest their group stage matches in Budapest and Munich. 

It was a convoluted and complicated draw given the one-off pan-European nature of next summer’s tournament and the fact four of the participants are not yet known. However, one conclusion is abundantly clear. Group F is without doubt the “Group of Death” and the Seleção will have to hit the ground running to avoid an early exit at Euro 2020.


Portugal’s Euro 2020 schedule

16 June: Portugal vs. playoff opponent, Budapest

20 June: Portugal vs. Germany, Munich

24 June: Portugal vs. France, Budapest


As at Euro 2016, it may not be necessary to finish in the top two places in the section to progress to the knockout phase of the competition. The four best 3rd-placed teams from the six groups will also qualify for the next round.

“It’s a group with the three winners of the last three major tournaments,” commented Portugal coach Fernando Santos. “It will be a strong group with two favourites and one contender.”

“We could have a repeat of our first game of 2016, if Iceland win through the playoffs. But we believe in our possibilities and we believe we can win.”

As for the logistics, Santos noted that the Seleção were close to being drawn in Group E, which would have made travel and training camp arrangements more straightforward.

“It would have been easier if we had been drawn in Spain’s group because we could have stayed in Portugal at Cidade do Futebol. As it is, it’s likely we’ll make Budapest our headquarters… but it’s better than if it was Baku.

“Now the important thing is to analyse our opponents well so that we can start well.”

by Tom Kundert

Full Euro 2020 group stage draw

 

*Article update

Portugal’s first opponent at Euro 2020 may not be one of the four nations of Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, as stated above.

If Romania win that play-off section, they will switch to Group C in the tournament proper, in which case Group F will welcome the winners of the play-offs between Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

 

Comments (21)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Difficult group no doubt about it.
I trust Fernando Santos & the FPF will select the correct players.
More so I trust Santos will analyze the living hell out of all scenarios-paths ETC. One thing that is a MUST in my opinion is a win against the...

Difficult group no doubt about it.
I trust Fernando Santos & the FPF will select the correct players.
More so I trust Santos will analyze the living hell out of all scenarios-paths ETC. One thing that is a MUST in my opinion is a win against the playoff team in the first game.

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Extremely tough draw ???, but sooner or later difficult opponents would happen anyway, so after this draw been made it is clear that play-off stage for Seleção starts as of the very first group game! Força Portugal ??

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Well we got the toughest possible draw, no doubt about it, and a group of death seemed almost inevitable given the absurd situation of us being in Pot 3 (more on that later) and the certainty of facing a host nation. We must be positive though,...

Well we got the toughest possible draw, no doubt about it, and a group of death seemed almost inevitable given the absurd situation of us being in Pot 3 (more on that later) and the certainty of facing a host nation. We must be positive though, despite this tough draw. Portugal generally play better when the opposition is more demanding and when the pressure is higher. We are the defending champions, we will have the very best player at the tournament and quite a few of the very best players in their positions at the tournament. I firmly believe that the Selecao at their very best and in their top gear, are as strong as pretty much any team on the planet.

I'm not at all afraid of either Germany or France. Germany's golden generation of 2014 has faded away and they haven't looked all that impressive in recent years. Their new generation of young players seems very average compared with their previous generations. The problem for us is that they will have home advantage (again more on that later)...nevertheless I think it's us who have the better players right now and we will have every chance of getting a good result against them, and in fact I think we're due a good result against the Germans, having played them quite a few times in tournaments in the last 10 years or so without having had the rub of the green in those matches. France are the world champions and are a tough prospect, but they also haven't impressed too much since winning the WC and again I think we can take them on. They are certainly not without their weaknesses and we need to make sure we can exploit those weaknesses. It's gonna be tough no doubt about it, but I have full confidence of qualifying from the group.

I just want to mention now how unimpressed I am with the concept and organisation of this tournament. To call it a shambles is a bit of an understatement, lol! Where to start? Firstly, the fact that we got put in pot 3 for the draw: utterly ridiculous! How on earth could the defending European champions (and Nations League champions to boot), and the 6th highest ranked national team in the world, possibly be in Pot 3? Being the current double European champions was not enough for us to be seeded for this draw? Comical! I also don't like the format of this tournament at all. Having a bunch of "host nations" was a bad idea for two major reasons. Firstly it gives an unfair advantage to a bunch of national teams, all playing "at home" while all their opponents are away from home. One thing is having one team being the host of a tournament and having home advantage...but 8 or more hosts? Very unfair on the rest!

Secondly, this has affected the draw big time as we all saw today. The hosts needing to play at home in each group, means it was a manipulated draw and not an open and random one (which every draw should be), and as we saw today certain teams could only go to certain groups. And apparently if Ireland and Romania qualify from the play-offs (another ridiculous point- how could the draw have been made before all 24 teams were confirmed?), the draw will be manipulated further, all the way in March next year as those teams will have to go into the groups which their capital cities are hosting. Uefa and Fifa have been heavily accused of corruption in recent years...and it's indeed ironic how the brainchild of this tournament, Platini, is in the midst of corruption charges and currently banned from football. Having the draw for the tournament manipulated and not random, only adds fuel to the fire of the corruption accusations against football's major institutions.

To me the obvious thing to do, was to have a completely open and random draw, with no host countries. If a team was lucky enough to be drawn in their host city group, then so be it. But basically a free draw, where any team could be drawn into any group and venue. This would have made it a much more interesting tournament, much more of an even playing field (as we wouldn't have 1/3 of the teams having an unfair home advantage)...and we wouldn't have had this dodgiest of dodgy looking tournament draw that we all saw today!

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Both France and Germany were at the top of their group, I wouldn't say they are fading.

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We were in Pot 3 because of where we finished. The pots were COMPLETELY determined by the results of qualifying. It’s just math.
Nobody to blame but themselves

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@Jerrold; I didn't say France are fading....I said Germany have faded since winning the WC in 2014 and they certainly have. They finished bottom of their group at the WC last Summer, finishing behind South Korea. Then finished bottom of their...

@Jerrold; I didn't say France are fading....I said Germany have faded since winning the WC in 2014 and they certainly have. They finished bottom of their group at the WC last Summer, finishing behind South Korea. Then finished bottom of their Nations league group, and as a result will play the next Nations league in pool 2. And i saw their recent qualifier at home against the Dutch, and Holland were totally dominant, winning 4-2 in Germany. They are clearly not nearly as strong as they were the last time we played them, at the 2014 WC. This is not in any way suggesting that they won't be tough to play against.....all I'm saying is we should be confident about our ability to get a good result in that match, because i really believe we currently have a stronger squad of players than they do. But this is all theory of course, only on the pitch will everything be decided, as always. Let's see what happens...

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Portugal will be Portugone. They traditionally don't play well against either of these teams and they are typically slow starters. I hope it is not the case but I'm pretty sure it will be.

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I love it!

There is nothing worse than Portugal underperforming against subpar competition. This group will require Portugal to rise to the occasion as they often do against top competition. France are the favorites here.

We should be rooting...

I love it!

There is nothing worse than Portugal underperforming against subpar competition. This group will require Portugal to rise to the occasion as they often do against top competition. France are the favorites here.

We should be rooting for France to throttle Germany match 1 as we beat Romania, then we just need a draw against Germany and France and were through.

This is the tournament that Portugal beats Germany in the group stage.

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As a high school teacher, I'll be making sure that my eighth period class watches every bit of each game on June 16, 20, and the 24. Instruction be damned!!!!

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This is definitely the most difficult group we could have been drawn into, and it could get even more difficult if Hungary progresses via the playoffs since we'd be playing them in Budapest.

France may be a bit inconsistent, but they are...

This is definitely the most difficult group we could have been drawn into, and it could get even more difficult if Hungary progresses via the playoffs since we'd be playing them in Budapest.

France may be a bit inconsistent, but they are undeniably the strongest team in the tournament, the reigning world champions, and should rightfully be considered the favorites to go all the way.

Germany are not as intimidating as they once were between 2010-2014, but they always seem to get the better of us in international tournaments. The fact that we have to play them in Munich will make the task even more difficult. That being said the German sides that beat us in 2012 and 2014 were better than their current side and the Selecao of 2019/2020 is significantly stronger than the ones that faced the Germans in those last two games.

At the end of the day, the first match in Budapest will be a must win. 4 points at the end of the group stage should be enough to secure one the best third place spots at the very least. We all criticize Santos for his overly pragmatic style, but I think it may actually come in handy in such a tricky group.

I can see us laboring to a tight 1-0 or 2-1 win in the first game. Germany and France, much like us, tend to struggle in the group stage of tournaments, so I don't think it's that much of an ask to get at least one draw out of those final two games. We shouldn't be afraid of France and Germany, but at the same time, we are probably the best team in Europe at grinding out cagey, hard-fought results.

I'm actually planning on going to Munich and Budapest for the Germany and France games, so hopefully our boys wont let us down!

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France (6 points), Portugal (4 points), Germany (4 points), Romania/Hungary (0 points;
Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, and England are better than Germany right now. France are the favorites.

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I don’t think your point totals are possible. You’re suggesting that Hungary/Romania loses all three games. Portugal and Germany each win one and tie one and lose one. Meaning France goes 3-0 and gets 9 points

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Who’s idea is it to have a tournament where some countries get to play three home games and others get zero.This is becoming business instead of a tournament.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a group with the three winners of the last three major tournaments. But we believe in our possibilities and we believe we can win.”

Fernando Santos
(Portugal coach reacts to tough Euro 2020 draw for the Seleção) 

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