TugaScout is an English-language site reporting on matters associated with Portuguese football by freelance writer Alex Goncalves, offering the latest news, reviews and opinions surrounding the Portuguese League and the Seleção players based abroad.

Portugal's latest squad has the most players competing in the Champions League and Europa League of all the top 8 European nations

Portugal's latest squad has the most players competing in the Champions League and Europa League of all the top 8 European nations

Of the eight best European footballing countries to have announced their squads for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, Portugal were the side to have named the most players currently competing in European competition at club level.

According to the bookies, the eight most likely clubs to win the European Championship next summer, from most likely to least likely, are France, England, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy and Portugal.

Looking at the squads of each of these outfits, it is Portugal that have the most players in their latest squad competing in either of the Champions League or Europa League.

In total, 23 of Portugal’s 25 players are competing in one of Europe’s two illustrious club tournaments, with the only two players not to be featuring in the group stage of either being William Carvalho, who is currently on the books of Real Betis, and shot-stopper Beto, now playing for Turksih side Goztepe.

None of the other most favoured European countries have that many players in both the Champions League and Europa League, the nations with the next most representatives in European club competition being both World Cup holders France and UEFA Nations League holders The Netherlands, who have 20 players in either tournament each.

Of Portugal’s 23 players to be in European club competition, 16 of them are competing in the Champions League group stage, with the other seven playing in the Europa League proper.

The seven Europa League representative include Wolves quartet of Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota, Sporting star Bruno Fernandes, Porto’s Danilo Pereira and Daniel Carrico of Sevilla.

Portugal Squad September 2019.png

While Portugal have the most players playing in the group stage of either the Europa League or Champions League, it is France who have the most representatives in Europe’s most prestigious club competition, with 19 of France’s 23-man squad playing in this year’s Champions League proper. By contrast, only one of their players - Arsenal’s Guendouzi - is competing in the Europa League group stage this season.

Of the eight most likely teams to win the Euros according to the odds, it is Italy and Belgium who have the fewest players in their respective squads that are competing in continental club competition, each having just 15 players represented in either tournament. And that’s despite Belgium having by far the most players in their squad overall (28).

It is then Italy alone that have the fewest players in the Champions League, with just 10. Belgium, on the other hand, have 14:

Portugal are also the nation that are best represented across the continent, their squad featuring players currently playing in 8 different countries - Portugal, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey. Having such widespread representation from so many different areas of the continent will surely prove invaluable to any national team - and it has served Portugal well over the last few years.

On the opposite side of the scale, England have players plying their trade in the fewest countries in their squad overall, with just 2 players based overseas - Kieran Trippier in Spain with Atletico Madrid, and Jadon Sancho in Germany with Borussia Dortmund.

Portugal squad at the 2018 World Cup. Photo author: Анна Нэсси.  License link.

Portugal squad at the 2018 World Cup. Photo author: Анна Нэсси. License link.

Portuguese free agents who remain available to clubs

Portuguese free agents who remain available to clubs

Fernando Santos calls up replacement for Portugal in place of injured Pepe

Fernando Santos calls up replacement for Portugal in place of injured Pepe