This is Portugal’s best starting 11 based on stats

EURO 2024 kicks off on Friday 14 June 2024 as the tournament hosts Germany take on Scotland. It’ll be four days from then before we see the Seleção play their first game in a potentially tricky encounter against Czechia. 

The majority of independent betting sites have us as the fifth favourites for the title, but we think that’s a tad harsh. If all the best players are fit and ready to go, we have as good a chance as any to take home the trophy. It all depends on Roberto Martínez’s selection choices, but will he choose the players who deserve to go? 

You can define “deserves” however you want, though many will agree that the best Portuguese players over this season should be on the plane to Germany. How can you determine this? By looking at the stats! 

We poured through data from multiple sources to find the 10 best-rated players representing Portugal this season so far; here’s what the stats say: 

Goalkeeper: Diogo Costa 

With a FotMob rating of 6.93, Diogo Costa narrowly edges out Anthony Lopes (6.90) as the first-choice goalkeeper. That’s not too surprising given the Porto shot-stopper is the number one choice in real life and has been the preferred goalkeeper since the 2022 World Cup. At just 24 years of age, this will be his second international tournament as he sets his sights on being the Portugal number one for the next decade. 

Right Back: João Cancelo

After moving to Barcelona from Manchester City, Cancelo has put in a series of strong performances over 20 appearances this campaign. It’s earned him a WhoScored rating of 7.40 and puts him firmly as the best Portugues right-back around at the moment. His attacking flair combined with great defensive reads makes him statistically the best choice for Euro 2024. 

Centre Backs: António Silva & Pepe

Statistically speaking, 20-year-old António Silva is the highest-rated Portuguese centre back out there right now. He scores a 7.49 rating across 24 appearances for Benfica, which is higher than most other players out there. He’s only got 7 caps to his name at the moment, but could Euro 2024 be a breakout tournament for the young star? 

If the team gets picked on statistics, then he couldn’t hope for a better partner in Pepe. The 41-year-old legend gets a 7.22 rating over 19 appearances, putting him ahead of Danilo Pereira and Rúben Dias. We were surprised to see Ruben Dias with a lowly 6.83 rating as he’s likely to be the first choice at this tournament. But, imagine the ideal combination of youth and experience in Pepe and António Silva!

Left-back: Raphaël Guerreiro

Technically speaking, Cancelo has played more games at left-back than Guerreiro this season and is the highest-rated Portuguese player in this position! However, he can’t play both roles, so the next best is Raphaël Guerreiro. He’s made a few starts for Portugal over the years and his experience would make him a great wing-back pairing with Cancelo. Both offer exceptional quality on the ball to feed Ronaldo up top. Plus, Guerreiro is a wizard from set pieces and his left foot offers a different look at free kicks and corners. 

Midfielders: Tiago Silva, João Neves & Bruno Fernandes

We’re assuming the Seleção will adopt the traditional 4-3-3 formation that served them well many times during the Euro 2024 qualification. As a result, we need three centralised midfielders to fill these spots - and there are some interesting selections here. 

Tiago Silva of Vitória de Guimaraes tops the charts with a 7.59 rating. He’s in the top 2% for chances created and is yet to earn a single cap for the national team. Partnering him will be the young João Neves who’s amassed a 7.57 rating for Benfica this season, cementing his role as a key player in the side. Finally, we have Bruno Fernandes with a 7.52 rating for Manchester United. We think he’s virtually guaranteed to be a starter at the Euros, particularly as his performances for Portugal throughout qualification generated an average rating of 8.31. 

We should note that Rúben Neves and Otávio weren’t included in these stats as they’re playing in the Saudi league. Either or both could be starters for Portugal, but they’re no shoe-ins! 

Left winger: Pedro Gonçalves

Pedro Gonçalves is on fire for Sporting this year, yet hasn’t been called up to national team duty since 2021. 9 goals and 10 assists have netted him a 7.96 rating this year as he’s helping Sporting fight off Benfica for the title. There’s a chance he could be on the plane this year, though it’s unlikely given the talents not on this list - such as Rafael Leão. 

Right Winger: Jota Silva

An impressive 7.49 rating for Jota Silva makes him statistically better than Bernardo Silva! Yes, we know there are nuances to this, but 9 goals and 5 assists for Vitória has made him quite the force in the Liga Portugal. So much so that he was selected for the international matches against Sweden and Slovenia in March! Jota even grabbed his first cap in Portugal’s 5-2 victory over Sweden, and who knows, perhaps he’ll impress Martínez enough at close quarters to march onto the plane this summer. 

Striker: Diogo Jota

In all honesty, Diogo Jota ranks highly across all three positions in the forward line. The Liverpool midfielder contributes both goals and assists, generating a 7.35 rating as the centre forward. He’s regularly deployed there in a Portugal shirt, but we could also see him on either wing. 

Let’s be honest, the striker role is probably reserved for Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite being old and playing in Saudi Arabia, Martínez would be a fool to drop his talisman and captain for the Euros. We expect Jota to appear and maybe start the third group game if qualification for the play-offs is assured, but in reality, this is Ronaldo’s spot. 

We buried our heads in WhoScored and FotMob stats to find these stats, but what do you think of the selection? There are some notable omissions and we fully believe both Bernardo Silva and Rúben Dias will be starting. Regardless, it’s a pretty interesting and exciting team - maybe Martínez should give these players a runout before the Euros and see how things go!