A countdown of the 10 most memorable moments of Portuguese football in 2018: PART 3
3. Portugal U19s winning Euro 2018
If further indication was needed that the future of Portuguese football is very bright indeed, look no further than the nation’s current U19s, who fulfilled the extraordinary achievement of lifting the European Championship title at both U17 and U19 level after victory in Finland back in July - an accomplishment only a select few generations gone by have managed to fulfil.
It was an outstanding tournament for the Portuguese youngsters, who picked up from where they left off two years earlier - where they beat Spain on penalties to lift the U17 European Championship trophy.
With Benfica’s Joao Filipe setting the tournament alight with his flair, creativity and dribbling ability, proving once and for all that he is most definitely going to the very top of the game, and Braga’s Francisco Trincao demonstrating his goalscoring prowess and footballing credentials, Portugal’s star-studded lineup didn’t disappoint an expecting nation as they beat Italy 4-3 in one of the most extraordinary and entertaining finals you are ever likely to see, having already thrilled the fans by thumping an impressive Ukrainian side 5-0 in the semi-finals.
It wasn’t as easy as it perhaps should have been though; having led Italy up until the 72nd minute thanks to Joao Filipe’s first half stoppage time goal, Trincao then found the back of the net with just 18 minutes to go and it looked as if Portugal were going to cruise to victory.
However, a Moise Kean double in the space of just a minute shocked the young Portuguese stars, who had very little time to respond and salvage the game in normal time.
It meant the game went into extra time, an additional 30 minutes of outstanding end-to-end football that offered up 3 more goals as momentum switched with great regularity.
Ultimately though, Portugal came out on top, securing the 4-3 victory that will live long in the memories of Selecao fans from across the globe.
The future is bright for Portuguese football, and the success of this generation of youngsters is testament to that. There is great excitement in the nation looking on at this talented group, with hope that they may deliver the greatest trophy the sport has to offer. World Cup 2026, anybody?!