Coach Paulo Bento has named an experienced Portugese squad for the Euro’s. Here are 3 players to keep an eye on.
Miguel Lopes, 25, SC Braga (Portugal), Defender, 1 international cap
Miguel Lopes has made a slow but steady rise from Portugal’s lower leagues to the top tier. A right-back, he moved to Porto from Rio Ave in 2009, but was loaned out as he was surplus to requirements. He moved to Betis first, where he helped the club achieve promotion to the Spanish top flight and then Braga, where he put some solid displays to earn a call to the Portugal squad.
Rúben Micael, 25, Atletico Madrid (Spain), Midfielder, 7 international caps
After 2 successful seasons with Nacional, defensive midfielder Ruben Micael moved to Porto in January 2010, and has been influential for the club playing in the centre of midfield. He and Radamel Falcao moved to Atletico Madrid in a combined deal, but he was swiftly shipped to Zaragoza on loan. He played a vital role in keeping the club up after a long battle with relegation. He scored both goals in an international friendly against Finland, in March last year.
Nélson Oliveira, 20, Benfica (Portugal), Striker, 3 international caps
Oliveira was a consistent goalscorer in his youth days at Braga and Benfica. After making it into the first team, he was loaned to Rio Ave and Pacos Ferreria over a period of 2 seaons, and has impressed in the build up to the Euro’s for Benfica.