Portugal are one of the most consistent European nations yet to make the breakthrough and grab major international silverware.
Their appearance at Euro 2016 continues a strong record of having appeared at every major tournament since the turn of the millennium.
They have never failed to make it out of the group stage at a European Championship Finals and have three times been eliminated by the eventual tournament winners, including at Euro 2012 where Spain got their measure in a semi-final penalty shootout.
Of course, much of that sterling work is still undone by the shadow cast from the bitter defeat suffered on home soil to Greece in the Euro 2004 Final in Lisbon. Portugal stand alone as the only host nation to have lost a European Championship decider.
Fernando Santos landed the manager’s job after defeat to Albania at home in their opening qualifier saw Paulo Bento dismissed in September 2014.
Thereafter, Portugal won all seven of their remaining qualifiers to take top spot in the only five-team section ahead of Albania and Denmark.
Despite that winning run, they were economical as opposed to over-powering, with all of their wins coming via one-goal margins.
No doubting, Portugal draw their inspiration from the talent of captain and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
In qualifying, Ronaldo appeared just six times in eight games, scoring five goals. Amongst his tally was a stoppage-time winner against Denmark in Copenhagen and a hat-trick in a battling 3-2 success against Armenia in Yerevan.
Without Ronaldo in their midst, Portugal would present an ordinary threat. His game-changing ability and goal ratio makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Monaco’s Joao Moutinho is another vastly experienced member of the Portuguese cast and he chipped in with winning goals in the final two qualifiers against Denmark and Serbia.
Zenit midfielder Danny and Fenerbahce winger Nani are among the other attacking options in midfield while Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho could be deployed in the holding role.
The group stage draw will suit Portugal down to the ground. They open their campaign against tournament debutants Iceland on June 14 in Saint-Etienne.
From there it is on to Paris and a meeting with Austria, a side that qualified in similarly strong fashion to Portugal, on June 18.
Lyon will host Portugal’s Group F finale against Hungary on June 22.
It would be a major surprise should Santos not maintain the Portuguese tradition of coming through the group stage but, whether or not they have what it takes to land a knockout blow on one of the tournament contenders is open to debate.
At 31, Ronaldo may be slowing down a bit and there will come a time soon when his influence on this team begins to lessen.
In qualifying, Portugal used no fewer than 13 different options across a defensive line in front of the ever-present goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
No defender made more appearances than Ricardo Carvalho, who will be 38 by the time Euro 2016 begins.
Jose Fonte and Pepe offer slightly younger options at the heart of defence while Cedric Soares and Nelson Semedo are among the promising up-and-coming defensive options.
Portugal’s success or otherwise in France will hinge on Ronaldo’s continuing ability to positively shape their collective destiny.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting CP), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Dínamo Zagreb)
Defenders: Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Cédric (Southampton), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), José Fonte (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient)
Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting CP), Danilo Pereira (Porto), João Moutinho (Monaco), Renato Sanches (Benfica), Adrien Silva (Sporting CP), André Gomes (Valencia), João Mário (Sporting CP)
Forwards: Rafa Silva (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş), Nani (Fenerbahçe), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Éder (Lille)