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Euro 2016 team preview: Portugal look to Cristiano Ronaldo again

Group F: Portugal | Iceland | Austria | Hungary

Portugal have reached the semifinals twice in the past four European Championships. A group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup dampened optimism, but anything short of a last-eight finish in France would be considered a failure.

How they qualified: First in Group I

Portugal topped their group with seven points over Albania and recovered from an early home defeat to Gianni de Biasi's team to win the rest of their games. All seven victories came by a single goal, and Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer, with five.

How they'll proceed:

A team with Ronaldo at the fore and an impressive though unbalanced supporting cast always has a chance, and Portugal should win the group, which would probably mean a meeting with Italy or Belgium. England could then lie in wait; it is hard to envision Portugal being consistent enough to pass both tests.

TBD by Editor
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in six straight major tournaments.

Predicted lineup:

(4-3-3); GK: Rui Patricio; DF: Vieirinha, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Eliseu; MF: Danilo Pereira, Joao Moutinho, Joao Mario; FW: Eder, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo

He did not shine throughout qualifying, but his five goals helped Portugal win a straightforward group and made him the competition's all-time record scorer. Attempts to build a cohesive team around him do not always convince, and as usual, much will rest on his shoulders.

Manager: Fernando Santos

Santos replaced Paulo Bento in 2014 and steered Portugal to qualification. He was previously in charge of Greece, whom he guided to the knockout stage at the World Cup in Brazil, and he has had a long career in management with domestic clubs in both countries.

Schedule:

June 14 vs. Iceland (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 18 vs. Austria (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Parc des Princes, Paris)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 22 vs. Hungary (Noon ET/4 p.m. GMT; Stade de Lyon, Lyon)
-- LIVE on ESPN

Games are also LIVE on ESPN Deportes, ESPN FC, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

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