Portugal has long been a powerhouse in the world of football, and their roster is filled with top talent. In this blog post, we will be counting down the five most popular Portugal footballers. Whether you’re a fan of Ronaldo or not, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most popular footballers in the world. He currently holds the record for most goals scored in international matches, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. Other popular Portugal footballers include Nani, Pepe, and Ricardo Quaresma. Keep reading to find out who else made it onto our list!
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, and has won five Ballon d’Or awards, four European Golden Shoes, and many other individual and team awards.
Born in Madeira, Ronaldo began his professional career with Sporting CP before signing with Manchester United in 2003. At United, he won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and the UEFA Champions League in 2008. He then moved to Real Madrid in 2009 in a world record transfer fee of €94 million. In Spain, he has won two La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues, three FIFA Club World Cups, and two Copas del Rey. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, having scored 17 goals in the 2013–14 campaign.
Ronaldo has represented Portugal at five FIFA World Cups Tournament and three UEFA European Championships; he has been crowned Euro champion twice (in 2016). He made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003 at age 18. Ronaldo scored his first international goal against Greece in June 2004. He helped Portugal reach the final of Euro 2004 where they lost to Greece 1–0 after extra time. Ronaldo was named man of the match despite the defeat. In 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying he scored seven goals, including a hat-trick against Bosnia which ensured qualification for
Nani is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. He is the son of former Cape Verdean international Domingos Barbosa. Nani began his career with Sporting CP, where he spent six years before moving to Manchester United for £17 million in 2007. He spent eight seasons at United, winning four Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. He then returned to his homeland signing for S.L. Benfica in 2015 on a season-long loan, later making the transfer permanent for €8 million. In June 2019, he was traded to Orlando City SC in MLS.
Nani is a skillful and quick winger who is known for his dribbling ability and crossing accuracy. He has also been used as a secondary striker on occasion. Although he primarily plays on the right flank, he is equally adept at playing on the left or through the center of midfield. In addition to his club career, Nani has also earned over 100 caps for Portugal and represented them at two European Championships and two World Cups, helping them reach the final of Euro 2004 as well as the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and World Cup 2006.
If there is one word to describe Portugal’s style of play, it would be “deco.” The Portuguese national team has been known for its technical ability and flair on the ball, and this is thanks in large part to the influence of former Barcelona midfielder Deco.
Deco was an instrumental part of Portugal’s golden generation, which reached the final of Euro 2004. His ability to find space and create chances for his teammates made him a key player for Portugal, and he was named Player of the Tournament as they finished runners-up to Greece.
After retiring from international football, Deco continued to be a pivotal player for club sides like Chelsea, Fluminense and Corinthians. He may have retired from professional football in 2013, but his legacy remains one of the most important in Portuguese football history.
Pepe is a Portugal international football player who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team. He primarily plays as a centre back, but can also be deployed as a right-back.
Pepe started his professional career with Portuguese club Maritimo in 2001, before moving to Porto in 2004. He helped Porto win the Primeira Liga title in the 2004–05 season and the UEFA Cup in the 2003–04 season. In 2007, he signed for Real Madrid for a transfer fee of €30 million, becoming the most expensive Portuguese player ever.
With Real Madrid, Pepe has won three UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and many other honours. He has also been named in the FIFA World XI three times and was voted as the best Portuguese footballer of all time by readers of Mais Futebol in 2009.
At international level, Pepe has represented Portugal at two FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Championships, winning one UEFA European Championship medal in 2016.
Ricardo Carvalho is a retired Portuguese professional footballer who played as a centre-back. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. Carvalho began his career with Portuguese club Porto in 1999, winning several trophies during his three-year spell, including the UEFA Cup and Primeira Liga. He moved to Chelsea in 2004 for a fee of €30 million, becoming the most expensive Portuguese player in history at the time. During his six years at Chelsea, he won six major trophies, including two Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League. After spells with Real Madrid and AS Monaco, he returned to Portugal in 2014 to play for FC Porto.
Carvalho earned 17 caps for Portugal between 2003 and 2006, appearing at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. He was named Portuguese Footballer of the Year on three occasions (2006, 2009 and 2010) and was included in both FIFA World XI (2004 and 2005) and UEFA Team of the Year (2004).