Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Top 5 players to watch out for in HUN vs POR: Reigning European champions Portugal begin their title defence in Group F on Tuesday, when they lock horns with Hungary in Budapest. Despite being clear favourites on paper, Portugal will know that Hungary pose a considerable threat, especially with the backing of their fans on home soil.
Fernando Santos has a stronger side compared to the one he guided to silverware in France four years ago, but he could not have asked for a tougher group. France and Germany are the other teams in Group F and Portugal will know that any slip up against Hungary could prove critical to their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds.
Ahead of the Group F opener between Hungary and Portugal at the Puskas Arena, we profile the top five players to watch out for during the game.
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Top 5 players to watch out for in HUN vs POR:
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Key Player 1
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
No one gave Ronaldo and Portugal even an outside chance of winning Euro 2016. The fact that they did not win a single game during the group stages and still qualified for the knockout rounds was remarkable.
As they say, the rest is history. Even without Ronaldo for the majority of the final, Portugal prevailed and brought glory to the Iberian Peninsula. Unlike in 2016, Portugal are not underdogs anymore.
Although there is considerable talent around Ronaldo, the focus will be mainly on him. With several quality players in rich vein of form around him, the Juventus forward will be raring to make a blockbuster impact on Tuesday.
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Key Player 2
Peter Gulacsi (Hungary)
Chances are that Gulacsi could be in for a busy night in Budapest owing to the sheer quality in attack possessed by Portugal.
The 31-year-old has been in sensational form for RB Leipzig though. Nobody kept more clean sheets than Gulacsi (15) in the Bundesliga last season.
Having finished second behind champions Bayern Munich with the fewest goals conceded in the German top-flight, Gulacsi is expected to be confident. However, it remains to be seen if confidence alone can help keep Portugal at bay.
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Key Player 3
Bruno Fernandes (Portugal)
Some would argue Fernandes is the best creative midfielder in the world at the moment. Such comments come with the backing of his impeccable record at club level.
The Manchester United star netted 28 goals and registered 17 assists across all competitions last season. These numbers are quite simply extraordinary.
Fernandes will be playing in his first major tournament for Portugal this summer. The 26-year-old, who scored twice in the warm-up friendly win over Israel, will be eager to make a mark at the international level.
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Key Player 4
Adam Szalai (Hungary)
The Hungary captain will lead the line for his nation at the Euros. Szalai’s strengths are holding the ball up and being a consistent aerial threat due to his tall stature.
It is unclear if Szalai will get the kind of service to make an impact against Portugal on Sunday. But with the Hungarian fans cheering him and his teammates from the stands in Budapest, Szalai will relish the challenge on any given day.
Euro 2020, Hungary vs Portugal: Key Player 5
Ruben Dias (Portugal)
Undoubtedly, Dias proved to be one of the most impactful signings across Europe last season. The 24-year-old fit in like a glove at Manchester City since joining from Benfica and won the FWA and Premier League ‘Player of the Year’ awards in his debut season.
To throw further light into his impact at the club, it is worth noting that City conceded just one goal every other game on average with Dias at the heart of their defence.
Portugal can benefit tremendously with his presence at the back and he will be keen to get off to the right start ahead of sterner tests against Germany and France.