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Rui Pires introduces Portugal squad

Published: Friday 14 July 2017, 11.10CET
Captain Rui Pires takes us through Portugal's Under-19 squad, revealing the main DJ, the best at snooker, ping-pong and table football, and the "soul of the team".
by Vladimir Bogachovs
from Tbilisi
Rui Pires introduces Portugal squad
Rui Pires talks through the Portugal squad ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

The UEFA European Under-19 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.

Qualifying round
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress.

Elite round
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 26 qualifiers join the top two seeds, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.

Final tournament

The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.

Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.

Published: Friday 14 July 2017, 11.10CET

Rui Pires introduces Portugal squad

Captain Rui Pires takes us through Portugal's Under-19 squad, revealing the main DJ, the best at snooker, ping-pong and table football, and the "soul of the team".

Diogo Costa
We've played together for a few years now. He likes the position he has in the team, he is a fan of music and he likes having fun with everybody.

Dani Figueira
Another one I regularly play against at club level. He likes to stay in his room; he usually shares with Diogo Costa. He likes to play on the PlayStation and watch either box sets or movies.

Diogo Dalot
I know Diogo very well as we've both played for Porto for several years. He's very funny and loves to make jokes. And he's the main DJ!

Diogo Queirós
Another player from Porto, like me. We've played together for a while now. He's our king of pataleca*; he loses every game!


Diogo Dalot: the main DJ

Diogo Leite
He also plays with me for Porto. He likes to be alone sometimes; on other days he can be very funny. Like a few of us, he likes to play PlayStation and watch box sets.

Abdu Conté
Abdu is from Sporting and we've been playing against each other for several years. Those are always good games, between Porto and Sporting or Benfica, but once we gather with the national team it's like a real family. We often get together to play cards.

João Queirós
We played together for a number of years, before he left to join Braga. I'm happy to see him again every time in the national team.


Gedson Fernandes: master of ping-pong, table football and snooker

Gedson Fernandes
He is Benfica, so we meet regularly. He is a quality ping-pong player, likes to play snooker and table football as well, and is really into the card game Uno.

Bruno Paz
A leader in our team. I've played against him for many years as our clubs are arch-rivals, but we've also been playing together for a long time with the national teams. He is a general of the team.

Florentino is very calm, a quiet person. But he likes to pick an unexpected moment and make his joke from time to time.

Miguel Luis
Miguel Luis is another very funny guy. He too always loses in pataleca!


João Filipe: vain

João Filipe
Another player from Benfica, my rival. A very quiet, tranquil person. And he spends too much time in front of the mirror before games!

Madi Queta
We call him 'the team doll', because his face looks like a doll!

Mesaque Dju
The soul of our team. He likes music, likes to dance and is fond of joking with all the players. The funniest person in our team.

Rui Pedro
He also plays for Porto. We share a room together in the hotel and I am his boss!

Rafael Leão
Like Mesaque, he's a keen dancer. With Quina, they try to teach the rest of the team their dancing steps.

A very epic guy – in fact, a big personality all the time. The keenest teacher when it comes to showing the rest of the team their dancing moves.

Rui Pires
I'm very quiet, calm. I like spending time with myself sometimes. I love my team and occasionally make some jokes. I am also one of the captains of our team.

*Pataleca is a game Portuguese players play in training. You can only touch the ball twice, with your feet or head, before passing it to a team-mate. Whoever allows the ball to touch the ground loses.

Last updated: 14/07/17 17.33CET

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