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The Portugal national under-23 football team (also known as Portugal Olympic football team) represents Portugal in international football competitions (final stage and qualifiers) in Olympic Games, as well as in under–23 football tournaments. The selection is limited to players under the age of 23, except three over-age players. The team is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). In three participations, Portugal's highest place was fourth, in 1996. This team also competed in the now-defunct Under-23 European Championship. The first time Portugal participated in the Olympic Football Tournament, they fielded main team players since the International Olympic Committee rules allowed to do so back then and in the 1980s, the team was composed of semi-professional players. The team currently qualifies in accordance to their under-21 team position in the UEFA Under-21 Championship. The results below comprise both the under-23 team as well as the Olympic team.

Portugal Olympic football team
Nickname(s)Sub–23, Selecção Olímpica
AssociationFederação Portuguesa de Futebol
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRui Jorge
CaptainRicardo Esgaio
First colours
Second colours
Appearances4 (first in 1928)
Best result4th (1996)


1928 Summer Olympics in AmsterdamEdit

Portugal was invited to enter the 1928 Summer Olympics Football Tournament, which was, at that time, contested by the best national "A" teams in the world and, therefore, considered to be the best international footballing tournament until the FIFA World Cup started, two years later, in 1930.

The Portuguese team was drawn in the preliminary round against Chile for a place in the first round. After falling 2–0 behind, Portugal scored four goals, winning the game 4–2 in what was their first win away from home soil. After their fantastic win against Chile, they faced off Yugoslavia and won 2–1 thanks to a late goal in the 90th minute.

Egypt was the team that followed in the quarter-finals. Here the Portuguese adventure ended after a 2–1 defeat. In the following games, the Egyptians lost against Argentina 6–0 in the semi-final and Italy 11–3 for the bronze medal match, which bittered the players. This was the first tournament the Portuguese team had ever competed.

1972 European U-23 qualifiersEdit

Portugal was drawn to Group Five, along with Denmark, to play in a two-legged Play-off. After a 1–1 tie in Lisbon, the Portuguese lost the return leg in Aalborg 2–1, ending with a 3–2 aggregate result.

1974 European U-23 qualifiersEdit

For the next tournament, Portugal was put in Group Six with Bulgaria. The playoff result was 2–1 (0–0 in the first leg in Porto and 2–1 in Pleven) for the Bulgarians.

1976 European U-23 qualifiersEdit

With England and Czechoslovakia in Group One, Portugal ended second with three points (four less than England) coming from a win and a draw against the central Europeans (2–0 in Faro and 1–1 in Teplice). Both games against the English were loses (3–2 in Lisbon and 2–0 in London).

1984 Summer Olympics qualifiersEdit

Portugal was to play in Subgroup A of Group Four with Israel and West Germany for a place in the second qualifying round. They finished second behind the Germans (six points) with four points. After an initial win (3–1 in Lisbon), they lost in Osnabrück 3–0, followed by a 1–0 defeat in Tel Aviv and a 2–1 win against the Israelis in Lisbon.

1988 Summer Olympics qualifiersEdit

With strong sides to play with (East Germany, Iceland, Italy, and the Netherlands) the Portuguese qualification was seen has difficult. With wins against Iceland (2–1 in Leiria and 1–0 in Reykjavík), two away defeats (1–0 in Lecce, Italy and 3–0 in Aue, East Germany) and all other games tied, they ended up in third place with eight points (five behind group winners and qualifiers Italy).

1996 Summer Olympics in AtlantaEdit

Portugal participated in the Atlanta Games and after a win over Tunisia (2–0) and 1–1 draws against Argentina and the United States, they ended in second place in Group A with the same points and goal difference as the first-placed Argentinians (but with lesser goals scored). Then in the quarter-finals, a win over France (2–1) after extra-time assured them a place in the semi-finals. Once again, they played against Argentina, but this time the South Americans won 2–0. For the bronze medal match, they faced a strong Brazil full of world stars such as Bebeto, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, among others. Portugal was heavily defeated by a score of 5–0. This participation remains to this day as their best ever ending with the fourth place.

2004 Summer Olympics in AthensEdit

In the 2004 Games, the Portuguese were seen as major contenders for Olympic gold, but they didn't make it past the group stage. This disappointing performance started with a 4–2 defeat at the hands of Iraq. The second game ended in a 2–1 win over Morocco and in the third game, Portugal were once again defeated 4–2 by a minor team (Costa Rica).

Tournament historyEdit


Olympics Record
Year Round Position Games Won Drawn Lost GF GA
  1896 No football tournament
  1900 Did not enter
  1928 Quarter-finals - 3 2 0 1 7 5
  1932 No football tournament
  1936 Did not enter
  1984 Did not qualify
  1996 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 6 10
  2000 Did not qualify
  2004 Round 1 - 3 1 0 2 6 9
  2008 Did not qualify
  2016 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 5 6
  2020 Did not qualify
Total Fourth place 4/26 16 7 3 6 24 30
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

European U-23 ChampionshipEdit

  • 1972: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 2 in qualification group.
  • 1974: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 2 in qualification group.
  • 1976: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 3 in qualification group.


Current squadEdit

The following 18 players were selected to participate at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[1]

The following is the Portugal squad in the men's football tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team of 18 players was officially named on 14 July.[2] On 17 July, Pité replaced Nuno Santos.[3] On 21 July, Fábio Sturgeon left the squad due to injury and was replaced by Fernando Fonseca.[4]

Head coach: Rui Jorge

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Bruno Varela (1994-11-04)4 November 1994 (aged 21) 0 0   Vitória de Setúbal
2 2DF Ricardo Esgaio (c) (1993-05-16) 16 May 1993 (age 26) 1 0   Sporting CP
3 2DF Tiago Ilori (1993-10-28)28 October 1993 (aged 22) 1 0   Liverpool
4 2DF Tobias Figueiredo (1994-02-02)2 February 1994 (aged 22) 1 0   Nacional
5 2DF Edgar Ié (1994-05-05)5 May 1994 (aged 22) 0 0   Villarreal B
6 3MF Tomás Podstawski (1995-01-30)30 January 1995 (aged 21) 0 0   Porto B
7 3MF André Martins* (1990-01-21)21 January 1990 (aged 26) 0 0   Olympiacos
8 3MF Sérgio Oliveira* (1992-06-02)2 June 1992 (aged 24) 1 0   Porto
9 4FW Gonçalo Paciência (1994-08-01)1 August 1994 (aged 22) 0 0   Porto
10 3MF Bruno Fernandes (1994-09-08)8 September 1994 (aged 21) 1 0   Udinese
11 4FW Salvador Agra* (1991-11-11)11 November 1991 (aged 24) 0 0   Nacional
12 1GK Joel Castro Pereira (1996-06-28)28 June 1996 (aged 20) 0 0   Manchester United
13 4FW Pité (1994-08-22)22 August 1994 (aged 21) 0 0   Tondela
14 2DF Paulo Henrique (1996-10-23)23 October 1996 (aged 19) 0 0   Paços de Ferreira
15 3MF Fernando Fonseca (1997-03-14)14 March 1997 (aged 19) 0 0   Porto B
16 3MF Francisco Ramos (1995-04-10)10 April 1995 (aged 21) 1 0   Chaves
17 4FW Carlos Mané (1994-03-11)11 March 1994 (aged 22) 0 0   Sporting CP
18 3MF Tiago Silva (1993-06-02)2 June 1993 (aged 23) 0 0   Feirense

* Over-aged player.

Previous squadsEdit


  1. ^ "Eleitos para os Olímpicos" [Selected for the Olympics] (in Portuguese). FPF. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Eleitos para os Jogos Olímpicos" [Elected to the Olympics] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 14 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Pité chamado aos trabalhos" [Pité called to work] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 14 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Fernando Fonseca rende Fábio Sturgeon" [Fernando Fonseca relieves Fábio Sturgeon] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 21 July 2016.

External linksEdit