Portugal’s predicted 26-man squad for Euro 2024

A perfect qualifying campaign, the March friendlies and last week’s news that UEFA are set to allow 26-man squads for the European Championship this summer enables us to make an educated guess of who Portugal coach Roberto Martínez will select for Euro 2024.

The bulk of the squad picks itself, with arguably only a couple of spots up for grabs. PortuGOAL predicts the 26 players who will be representing the Seleção in Germany. 


No doubts here. Barring injury, Porto’s Diogo Costa, Roma’s Rui Patrício and Wolves number one José Sá will be Portugal’s three goalkeepers chosen by Martínez, with the hierarchy in that order. Some questions were raised about Patrício’s place in the squad given that the veteran has lost the starting spot at Roma, but the most capped goalkeeper in Portugal’s history was given a confidence boost by Martínez when he started the recent friendly against Sweden.


Rúben Dias, Pepe, António Silva, Gonçalo Inácio, Danilo Pereira, João Cancelo (despite his recent troubles at Barcelona), Diogo Dalot, Nuno Mendes and Raphaël Guerreiro are practically locks. Pepe and Mendes missed most of the qualifying campaign through injury, but when fit they have been automatic starters for Martínez.

Should either of Mendes or Guerreiro, two players with a chequered fitness record, suffer another injury forcing them out of the tournament, the Spaniard may call up Nélson Semedo who has impressed whenever given a chance, as in the 5-2 victory against Sweden, and play either Cancelo or Dalot on the left, who have both played well there for Portugal.


Based on the qualifying campaign, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and João Palhinha will be Portugal’s first-choice midfield, with Vitinha, Otávio and João Neves also practically certain to go, the first two given their recurring spot in the squad under Martínez and the latter after a brilliant season and the gushing praise heaped upon him by the Spaniard.

It is after these six names that Martínez will face some difficult decisions, with several viable options on the table. Rúben Neves has been regularly picked, but with Palhinha first choice DM and Danilo also able to fulfil that role, the coach may opt to leave the Al-Hilal player out to allow him and extra attacking midfielder, forward or winger. Jota Silva or even Pedro Gonçalves, whose consistently outstanding form for Sporting is making it increasingly difficult to justify his omission, have a good chance of being the big beneficiaries from the expanded squad. Both Jota and Gonçalves are mentioned here as midfielders but could also be considered forwards.

Box-to-box midfielder Matheus Nunes is another option Martínez must be severely tempted to take to Germany despite the little playing time he is getting at Manchester City and not selecting him for a single minute during the qualification campaign. Nunes was excellent against Sweden and provides a physicality and ability to drive forward with the ball that none of the other midfield options possess. 


Looking at Portugal in the Martínez era, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Leão, João Félix, Gonçalo Ramos and Diogo Jota (provided he can prove his fitness) are certainties. With Pedro Neto ruled out there is a lack of natural wide attackers which should be good news for Francisco Conceição. The Porto winger has enjoyed a breakout season in 2023/24 and was one of the few players who came out of the Slovenia debacle in March with some credit. For the same reason Braga’s Bruma could also be in the running, although his patchy form towards the end of the season could count against him. Braga team-mate Ricardo Horta, who went to the 2022 World Cup and scored a goal for the Seleção in Qatar, is another possibility. 


Portugal’s predicted 26-man Euro 2024 squad

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa, Rui Patrício, José Sá

Defenders: Rúben Dias, Pepe, António Silva, Gonçalo Inácio, Danilo Pereira, João Cancelo, Diogo Dalot, Nuno Mendes, Raphaël Guerreiro

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, João Palhinha, Vitinha, João Neves, Otávio Monteiro, Matheus Nunes, Pedro Gonçalves

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Leão, Diogo Jota, João Félix, Gonçalo Ramos, Francisco Conceição 

by Tom Kundert