Why Portugal could win EURO 2024: the Ronaldo factor and other world-class stars

Today marks exactly 100 days before Euro 2024 kicks off. Portugal will be playing in their eighth consecutive European Championship tournament and as usual, they will be seen as one of the realistic winners of the competition.

The 2024 tournament will be hosted by Germany and Portugal will take an array of world-class talent across the continent to compete.

England and France have long been touted as the most likely teams to win EURO 2024 due to the depth of their rosters. However, there are several reasons why Portugal’s tournament-winning potential should be recognised too. 

The Cristiano Ronaldo factor

Throughout the Cristiano Ronaldo era, the Seleção have played in three semi-finals, two finals and won a European Championship title.

His ability and strong leadership have more often than not spearheaded them to be contenders at the latter end of the competition - even when they were not placed among the leading favourites, which arguably IS the case again this year given their fabulous 100% winning qualification campaign.

Portugal is a slight outsider across all of the major sportsbooks to win the 2024 edition of the tournament. Sports Interaction for example offers them at +700 to become two-time champions this year, and they offer a range of sports markets and bonus offers ahead of the summer’s headline event. 

The expectation placed on Portugal in the early betting markets is ideal for a somewhat underdog story. The Seleção similarly entered the successful 2016 tournament with far less pressure than the likes of France and Germany to win and that worked in their favour.

The Ronaldo factor could play its part and take them to unexpected heights yet again. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner thrives in environments in which he and his team are not predicted to excel and can prove the critics wrong.

On and off the pitch his motivation and demand to win at all costs could elevate the quality of what is a remarkably talented squad this year. With it being possibly his last major tournament, the team will surely be prepared to give everything they have to make his international bow-out a success.

World-class talent throughout the spine of the squad

Portugal may not quite have the strength in depth that Les Bleus and the Three Lions have, however, the spine of the squad is filled with world-class talent.

Manchester City’s Champions League winner Rúben Dias leads the defence and some of the greatest creative midfielders on the planet play together for the Seleção in his club teammate Bernardo Silva and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes.

Ronaldo of course is the well-known threat in attack but Diogo Jota should return from injury in time to boost the central attacking areas too, while Rafael Leão has the beating of any defender on the planet on his day. Former Porto player Otávio is another excellent option who could star in the centre of midfield while Pedro Neto, now back from injury and firing for Wolves, could have a big impact on the tournament.

Portugal will need some luck when it comes to having their strongest squad fit for the summer, but if their top players are available then the squad can stand up to any of the leading nations at the tournament.

Portugal has many experienced trophy winners in the ranks and of course one of the greatest serial winners of all in Ronaldo, who has experience leading his nation to glory against the odds.

The squad come the start of EURO 2024 should possess a level of mentality and quality that will allow them to reach the latter stages, from which a fully fit XI will have every chance of toppling one of the big favourites.