Portugal coach Fernando Santos noticed the weaknesses in the Belgian team.
He just won’t tell anyone what they are.
The Belgians won all three matches in the European Championship group to host a match against defending champions Portugal on Sunday in the round of 16. Santos praised Belgium, but said the team was also struggling, especially in the victory behind Denmark, when FIFA’s top-ranked team was held back by just six attempts.
“I will not talk about their weaknesses now because I do not want them to know what I think,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos. “But there are things we can study. The game against Denmark showed some of their weaknesses. “
Belgium opened with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Russia and then needed late goals to beat Finland 2-0 in their final game in the group. The Belgians beat Denmark 2-1 between them.
Only Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands won all their group matches at Euro 2020. Portugal struggled to advance with wins, draws and losses, but was in a much more difficult group that included World Cup champions France, Germany and Hungary.
“Belgium has many strengths, especially the knowledge they have of each other that they have been together for so long,” Santos said. “Everything flows naturally. They already know where everyone is without having to think about it. “
Santos said Belgium’s ability to use multiple formations could also be a challenge for Portugal.
“They can go 3-4-3, or five in attack, or 3-4-1-2,” he said. “It’s a team that likes to go out and play.”
Santos is expected to have midfielder Danilo available for the match at La Cartuja Stadium, after he had to be replaced at halftime in a 2-2 draw against France after a clash with the opposing goalkeeper. Right-back Nelson Semedo, who also came out injured against France, also looked in good shape during training on Thursday.
Also back in the lineup was left Nuno Mendes, who was injured and trained separately.
Portugal will again be led by Ronaldo, who is one goal away from breaking the overall men’s record. He has already scored five times at Euro 2020 to catch up with former Iran striker Ali Day with 109 goals.