The Portugal national football team has never won the FIFA World Cup so far. Under the tutelage of Manuel da Luz Afonso and Otto Glória, Portugal made their FIFA World Cup debut in England in 1966. Since then, Portugal have featured in six more editions of the FIFA World Cup in 1986, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. A Selecao’s best result at a FIFA World Cup was reaching the semi-finals of the 2006 edition in Germany. Here’s how Portugal have fared at each edition of the FIFA World Cup that they have appeared so far.
Portugal FIFA World Cup record
|2010||Round of 16|
|2018||Round of 16|
1966 | Group stage
Portugal’s first-ever appearance in a major football tournament was at the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England. As many as 16 teams from four confederations participated in the eighth edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Portugal were placed in Group 3 alongside Hungary, Brazil and Bulgaria. Under Manuel da Luz Afonso and Otto Glória, Portugal national team secured a 3-1 win over Hungary in their first match in Football World Cup history. Portugal later thrashed Bulgaria 3-0 in their second match of the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The A Selecao went on to beat a star-studded Brazilian side 3-1 in their final Group 3 fixture to advance to the World Cup quarter-finals.
In the last eight of the tournament in England, Portugal pipped North Korea 5-3 to storm into the semi-finals of the football world cup for the first time in their history. However, England ended Portugal’s memorable debut at the FIFA World Cup as the hosts clinched a 2-1 win at Wembley in the semi-finals.
Led by Mario Coluna, Portugal later defeated the Soviet Union 2-1 to finish third at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Portugal star striker Eusebio finished as the top-scorer in the tournament with nine goals to his name. He clinched the golden boot having netted three more goals than second-placed Helmut Haller.
Hosts England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at the Wembley Stadium.
1986 | Group stage
After missing four editions of the football World Cup in 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1982, the Portugal national football team once again qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico. FIFA, the sport’s global governing body, allowed 24 teams to participate in the marquee football tournament.
Portugal were placed in Group F alongside Morocco, England and Poland. Under head coach José Torres, Portugal started their 1986 FIFA World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over a much-fancied England side. However, Portugal lost 0-1 to Poland before succumbing to a 3-1 loss to Morocco in their final group game.
With just two points from three games, Portugal finished at the bottom of the Group F standings and were knocked out in the group stage of the tournament.
Diego Maradona’s Argentina edged West Germany 3-2 in the final match to claim the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
2002 | Group stage
Portugal made their third football world cup appearance at the 2002 FIFA World Cup held in South Korea and Japan. Considered to be one of the widely viewed sporting events, FIFA World Cup witnessed 32 teams from five confederations participate for the second time in the international competition.
Portugal featured in Group D alongside host country South Korea, United States and Poland. Under head coach António Oliveira, Portugal lost 2-3 to the United States in their opening match of the tournament. Meanwhile, Portugal bounced back in their second match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup to hammer Poland 4-0 and stay in contention for the round of 16 spot. In their final group game, host nation South Korea stunned Portugal 1-0 to finish at the top of the Group D standings and eliminate Portugal out of the international football competition.
Having registered one win and two losses, Portugal finished third in the standings with three points from as many games.
Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the World Cup finals in Japan to clinch the 2002 edition. With another title, Brazil currently tops the World Cup winners list with five titles.
2006 | Fourth place
Portugal were one of the 32 teams to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany. The star-studded Portuguese side was placed in Group D alongside Mexico, Angola and Iran.
Portugal started their 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Angola before beating Iran 2-0 in their second group match. Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal against Iran as he converted a penalty to guide his team to a convincing victory. Portugal later pipped Mexico 2-1 in their final Group D encounter. With nine points from three matches, Portugal advanced to the Round of 16 in the World Cup.
In the pre-quarter-finals, Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 courtesy midfielder Maniche’s strike in the 23rd minute.
Under Brazilian head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Portugal pipped England on penalties to storm into the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup.
However, France defeated Portugal 1-0 in their semi-final clash to knock Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men out of the tournament. During their World Cup defeat, Cristiano Ronaldo was booed in the match.
Italy later went on to clinch the 2006 FIFA World Cup after beating France on penalties in the final match.
2010 | Round of 16
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11. Portugal made their fifth football world cup appearance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Under head coach Carlos Queiroz, Portugal were placed in Group G along with Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea.
Led by talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal made an underwhelming start to their World Cup campaign as they were held to a goalless draw by Ivory Coast in their first match of the 2010 edition.
However, Portugal bounced back strongly to thrash North Korea 7-0 in their second match of the World Cup. The A Selecao later played a goalless draw against Brazil in their final group match to finish second in the Group G standings. With five points from three matches, Portugal advanced to the next round of the World Cup.
In the Round of 16, favourites Spain beat Portugal to end their campaign in the tournament in South Africa.
Interestingly, Spain pipped the Netherlands 1-0 in the World Cup finals to clinch their maiden title.
2014 | Group stage
The 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup was held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13 in 2014. Portugal were one of the 32 teams to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Portugal were placed in Group F along with Germany, the United States and Ghana. Under head coach Paulo Bento, Portugal made a shocking start as they succumbed to a 0-4 hammering at the hands of Germany in their opening fixture of the 2014 World Cup.
Portugal continued their underwhelming performance in their second match as they were held to a 2-2 draw by the United States.
While Portugal won 2-1 Ghana in their final group game, it was too little too late as they were knocked out of the World Cups in the group stage once again.
Having registered one win, one draw and one loss, Portugal finished third in the Group F standings with four points from three games.
In the 2014 World Cup final, Germany pipped Lionel Messi’s Argentina 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium to clinch the coveted trophy.
2018 | Round of 16
Portugal made their seventh football World Cup appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in Russia.
Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal were put in Group B alongside Spain, Iran and Morocco.
Under head coach Fernando Santos, Portugal played an exciting 3-3 draw against Spain in their opening match of the tournament. Ronaldo’s men later pipped Morocco 1-0 in their second fixture of the tournament.
However, Portugal were held to a 1-1 draw by Iran in their final group match as they finished behind table-toppers Spain in the standings.
With five points from three matches, Portugal finished second in the Group B standings to qualify for the Round of 16.
In the pre-quarter-finals, Portugal lost 1-2 to Uruguay to get eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The upcoming edition of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022.
How many times BRAZIL won the FIFA World Cup?
Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup on five occasions previously in 19858, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.
How many times ARGENTINA won the FIFA World Cup?
Argentina have won the FIFA World Cup two times previously in 1978 and 1986.
How many World Cups have been played so far?
So far, 21 editions of the FIFA World Cups have been played so far.
How many World Cups are hosted by Qatar?
Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2022.
Who has won the FIFA World Cup the most?
Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup the most on five occasions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.