“There is a golden rule, which is the fact that you only win one and it is very difficult to win a European Championship or a World Championship”, said Fernando Santos, in an interview with Lusa News Agency.
The 66-year-old coach, who led Portugal to the unprecedented victory of a European Championship in 2016, even said that it is more difficult to win the continental competition than a World Cup, as the competition organized by FIFA “does not have the best teams, because it leaves out some Europeans who have a better level than others who qualify from other continents”.
“It's difficult to win a European Championship and retain the title too. It only happened once, with Spain [in 2008 and 2012]. Portugal assumes itself as it always did in all the competitions in which it entered”, he referred.
Fernando Santos recalled that, since he was chosen as coach, in 2014, Portugal "has completed two competitions perfectly", by winning Euro2016 and the League of Nations, in 2019, "has done very well in the Confederations Cup", finishing in third ranked in 2017”.
Given the status acquired over the years and also for being the holder of the trophy, the Portuguese team is part of the group of main candidates to win Euro2020, along with France, Germany, Spain, England, Italy and Belgium.
“These are the great candidates, but there is Croatia, which you never know. It was a finalist at the last Worlds Cup and has a lot of potential. There are several teams with a lot of potential and there are always surprises too. For example, in 2016, Wales went almost to the end [eliminated by Portugal in the semi-finals]. In addition to these selections that claim to be candidates, there are another one or two that, even though they do not claim to be such, end up having this expectation and can do very good things”, analyzed Fernando Santos to Lusa.
Portugal, which is the holder of the trophy, is part of Group F of Euro2020, along with Hungary, Germany and France, having scheduled their debut in the competition on 15 June, against the Hungarians in Budapest, before facing the Germans, on 19, in Munich, and the French in 23.
Until the departure for Budapest, scheduled for 10 June, the national team will hold two preparatory meetings, with Spain, in Madrid, on 4 June, and with Israel, five days later, at Estádio José Alvalade, in Lisbon.
Euro2020, which has been postponed until this year due to the covid-19 pandemic, takes place in 11 cities in 11 different countries between 11 June and 11 July.