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The Portuguese national football team represents Portugal since 1921 in the international men's football competition. It is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the umbrella organization for football in Portugal.
Portugal's first participation in a major tournament final took place at the 1966 World Cup. The team with the famous striker Eusébio finished third. The next two qualifying rounds for the World Cup in Portugal were in 1986 and 2002, both times in the first round. Portugal also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 1984 final and lost to hosts 3-2 after extra time and then France football.
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During this time, Portugal was not among a group of teams that were title candidates, but from 2000 to today, the team, which was present in all finals of the major tournaments due to the presence of several world rankings developed. Players like Luís Figo, Vítor Baía, Pauleta, Rui Costa, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were considered as Portugal's golden generation in their day and were among the best in the world history. Portugal's golden generation helped Portugal to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2000, losing 3-2 after extra time against eventual winners France and securing second place in the final of Euro 2004 following a defeat by Greece on home soil and the semifinals of Die World Cup 2006 defeated the finalist France after a penalty. Portugal secured fourth place in the tournament after losing 3: 1 against hosts Germany. This was the best result since the 1966 World Cup. Despite the defeat of many Golden Generation players, new players like Fábio Coentrão, João Moutinho, Nani and Pepe have helped the Portuguese reach the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and to lose on penalties against Spain football. Cristiano Ronaldo became the joint top scorer of the tournament with three goals.
In 2014, Fernando Santos was named the new head coach of the national team. Two years later, at Euro 2016, Santos Portugal scored their first major trophy and defeated France 1-0 after extra time. Eder scored the winning goal. Portugal qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia football and finished third. Portugal hosted the all-new 2019 UEFA Nations League and won the Cup against the Netherlands. The winner was Gonçalo Guedes, the second major tournament that the Portuguese have won in three finals.
Portugal has notable rivalries with Brazil, with which they have many common cultural ties , and with Spain, which is referred to in Portuguese as A Guerra Ibérica or in English as The Iberean War. The rivalries between two countries date back to 1581.
The home stadium of the team is the Estádio Nacional in Oeiras, although most home games are often played in other stadiums in the country. The current head coach is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who also holds the team record for most international matches and most goals.
The next major competition, UEFA Euro 2004, was held in Portugal. In preparation, the Football Association signed a contract with Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead the team until the end of the tournament. The Portuguese team took part in the tournament as a favorite to win it. The hosts have lost the first game against Greece with 1: 2. They have their first win against Russia 2-0 and also beat Spain 1-0. They went on to play against England football in a 2-2 draw that went into penalties with Portugal winning. Portugal defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in the semi-final. They were beaten by Greece 1-0 in the final.
After the end of the tournament, many players of the Geração de Ouro (Golden Generation) gave up their international football career. Despite a temporary departure only Luís Figo remained in the team.
The silver lining for Portugal was the creation of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has been elected to the UEFA Euro All Stars Team. While Portugal took part in the competition, Scolari agreed a new two-year contract with the Federation.
Portugal took first place in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. Portugal took first place in Group D World Cup with wins over Angola (1-0), Iran (2-0) and Mexico (2-1). The Netherlands lost to Portugal 1-0 in the round of 16 in Nuremberg in an exciting game with 16 yellow cards, in which four players were sent off. (See the battle for Nuremberg.) Portugal won the extra time against England 0-0, but won on penalties 3-1 to reach the first semi-final of the World Cup since 1966. Portugal lost 1-0 to France in the semifinal final. Portugal beat Germany 3: 1 in the play-off game. Ultimately, the team won the "Most Entertaining Team" award for their game during the World Cup. Scolari was again asked to accept a new contract with the Federation, which would act as manager until the end of the next competition.
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