06/24/2021 at 6:51 PM CEST
The Portugal team came out stronger from their match against France in Budapest, where they managed to maintain their full performance of having always passed the first phase of the European Cups.
The defenders of the title, who were during some phases in the tightrope, with the danger of elimination, finally managed to reach the round of 16.
The seven times that Portugal had played a European Championship, they had passed the group stage and this time added another notch to this historic plenary session.
The Portuguese, who took their first great title in the last edition, France 2016, had been runners-up as hosts in 2004; they had reached the semi-finals in France 1984, Belgium / Netherlands 2000 and Poland / Ukraine 2012; and they reached the quarterfinals in England 1996 and Austria / Switzerland 2008.
The team led by Fernando Santos and led on the grass by their captain and top gunner Cristiano Ronaldo saw their magnificent streak cut short without losing in the Euro Cups in the match against Germany but ended up passing the stage thanks to the draw against the world champion in the reissue of the last final.
The modifications made by the Portuguese coach in the medullary, with the entry of Renato Sanches and Joao Moutinho accompanying Danilo Pereira, bore fruit and improved the image given in front of the Germans.
Until this meeting, Danilo had been accompanied by Betic William Carvalho and Manchester United figure Bruno Fernandes. Renato and Moutinho refreshed the team, which returned to form in attack with Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diogo Jota.
Cristiano Ronaldo added more records to his already extensive record with a double from the penalty spot to counteract the goals of his former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema and Portugal fulfilled the first objective, surviving the group of death.
Now it must be measured against another of the main contenders for the title, Belgium, third classified in the World Cup in Russia and that in this Eurocup has won its three games.
In history, both teams have met eighteen times. Portugal have won six games and Belgium five, with seven draws. The goal balance is even more balanced: 22-22.
Their last confrontation dates back to a friendly played on June 2, 2018 at the Rey Baudouin stadium in Brussels, which concluded with a scoreless draw, in which almost all those who acted will once again be protagonists in La Cartuja.