General

The 2016 European Champions will have to start planning for life without Cristiano Ronaldo, but the future looks bright for Fernando Santos' men. 

The 34-year-old Portugal captain and legend won't be around forever, even if he feels like he's 24 and probably fitter than most people a decade younger than him. But Portugal's latest crop of talent will allow the side to blend youth and experience in a way that can help them challenge for major honours. They'll also play host to their first tournament since 19-year-old Ronaldo was part of a side that lost to Greece in 2004's final. 

 

 

Veterans including Pepe, Joao Moutinho and Ronaldo have all amassed more than 100 caps for their country and became the driving force between the nation's first ever major trophy. However, only nine players have been retained from that group with the likes Nani, Ricardo Quaresma & Joao Mario all omitted this time around.

In their place, Portugal's young crop of talents looks set to bridge the gap between youth and experience balance out the average age of the squad. The key man will probably be Bernardo Silva. At 24, he's already developing into one of the world's best players after a stellar season for Manchester City. He'll be the link between the younger members of the squad and the over 30s.

 

 

Valencia winger Goncalo Guedes, once of PSG, in only 22 while 24-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes just turned out stunning numbers last season across all competitions; 32 goals &  17 assists in 53 games is a ridiculous return for an attacking midfielder. And then there's teenager Joao Felix, a precocious talent capable of playing behind the striker, as a second striker or in the wide positions. 

All things considered, there has to be life after Ronaldo and it looks like there promising signs.

Follow the new Portugal crop vs Switzerland live on Futaa!