Cristiano Ronaldo ponders group of death in the Euro 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the pressure is off Portugal as his country prepares for a daunting group at the Euro 2012.
Portugal was forced to qualify to this tournament via a play-off and they're not being talked up as potential champions, especially as they share Group B with Germany and the Netherlands.
"We know we are in the group of death with Germany, Netherlands and the team who knocked us out (to the play-off) in the qualification phase, which was Denmark," the Portugal captain said on Tuesday following the announcement of Portugal's 23-man squad.
"Those are going to be some very tough matches but I am confident we will go past the group phase. I know we will not be favourites. Even better."
Miguel Lopes and Custódio were the main surprises in Portugal's team. Lopes and Custódio haven't played for Portugal but they were rewarded for their form for Braga this season.
Fellow Braga player and former Newcastle United star Hugo Viana was called up as a late replacement for Carlos Martins after the midfielder was forced to withdraw with a calf injury last week.
Nélson Oliveira, a 20-year-old forward from Benfica was also included. Oliveira's only cap having came in February in a friendly against Poland. He is another attacking option along Ronaldo and Nani.
Portugal will start their Euro 2012 campaign on June 9 against Germany, before facing Denmark and the Netherlands.
- Ferdinand signs contract extension with United
- Houston’s Boswell suspended one additional game
- Stoppage Time: Bayern ready to assume the throne
- NYCFC tabs Claudio Reyna as director of football
- Pellegrini to leave Malaga at season’s end
- MLS Features: NYCFC revelation bucks the status quo for MLS
- Galtier signs St. Etienne extension
- MLS announces New York expansion team
- Mallorca tops Betis to revive survival hopes
- Real confirms Mourinho departure after season