The all-time Premier League Portugal XI

The Portuguese have long had an influence on English football’s top division, with a host of the nation’s greatest ever players having plied their trade in the Premier League.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Carvalho have all played key roles in title-winning teams, but which of their compatriots would make up a dream XI of Portuguese Premier League stars?

Here is The Football Faithful‘s all-time Premier League Portugal XI…

Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio

The capture of Sporting Lisbon and Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio in 2018 was seen as somewhat of a coup by newly-promoted Wolves, the Midlands outfit adding a shot-stopper of undoubted pedigree as they strengthened ahead of their return to the top flight.

In his short time in English football Patricio has showcased just why he is so highly rated, playing a key role as Wolves defied expectations to finish in the European places for the first time since 1980.

An experienced figure in a healthy Portuguese continent at Molineux, Patricio’s commanding presence and ability see him take the number one shirt in our XI.

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Right-back: Jose Bosingwa

As memorable for his striking uni-brow as he was for his marauding runs from right-back, we’ve included former Chelsea star Bosingwa in our Portuguese XI.

Signed from Porto in 2008, the full-back would spend four largely successful seasons at Stamford Bridge, twice winning the FA Cup and being part of the side which were crowned champions of Europe for the first time with Champions League success in 2012, starting in the final victory over Bayern Munich.

A pacey attacking outlet, Bosingwa would later enjoy an unhappy season at QPR, where is popularity remains low after being seen smiling following the club’s relegation in 2013.

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Centre-back: Ricardo Carvalho

Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Chelsea in 2004 saw somewhat on an influx of Portuguese talent, with Carvalho ‘The Special One’ taking him to Stamford Bridge as a trusted lieutenant, the tactically astute centre-back going on to forge one of the great Premier League partnerships alongside captain John Terry.

The class and composure alongside Terry’s formidable physical presence, the duo formed the heart of a defence which would concede just 15 goals as Chelsea secured the title in his debut season, setting a new Premier League record for the best defensive record.

A second title would be secured the following year, as part of a host of honours won during a six-year stay at the club. Named as Chelsea’s Player of the Year as the club reached a first Champions League final in 2008, Carvalho would make over 200 appearances in West London before leaving for Real Madrid in 2010.

See also – Five of the best centre-back partnerships in Premier League history

Centre-back: Jose Fonte

The cornerstone of a Southampton side which would rise through the divisions and consolidate at Premier League level, the towering defender led the club to back-to-back promotions before a successful period in the top flight.

Named as the club’s Player of the Season as the Saints secured an impressive seventh-placed finish, whilst he was also later awarded the club’s captaincy.

An almost ever-present during the club’s return to top flight football, Fonte would make 154 Premier League appearances for the club before joining West Ham, though the towering centre-back would struggle to make an impact in East London, leaving English football for China in 2018.

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Left-back: Paulo Ferriera 

Though more commonly a right-back, for lack of alternatives we’ve pigeon-holed in Paulo Ferreira on the left-side of our back four (Sorry, Nuno Valente).

Like Carvalho, full-back Ferreira would follow Jose Mourinho to the Premier League shortly after winning the Champions League together in 2004.

A dependable player both offensively and defensively, Ferreira would play his part as Chelsea won their first league title in 50 years in 2005, before again featuring regularly as the club made it back-to-back triumphs.

Despite losing his place as a first choice following the arrival of Branislav Ivanovic, Ferreira would remain at Stamford Bridge for nine seasons, winning three league titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League amongst 11 major honours.

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Midfield: Ruben Neves

Another of Wolves Portuguese contingent making an impact on the Premier League, the classy midfielder opted to leave Porto for Molineux to lead the club’s promotion charge.

A series of spectacular strikes and effortless performances followed, before the youngster showed he could handle the step up to the top level by helping Wolves to Europa League qualification.

Possessing a passing range few in the division can match, Neves also has a penchant for the special, as demonstrated by his catalogue of stunners from distance.

Having been named captain of Porto as a teenager, Neves has long been tipped for the very top and Wolves will have to continue their improvement to retain their prized asset.

Midfield: Pedro Mendes

Another of Porto’s 2004 Champions League winning side to be tempted to the Premier League, Pedro Mendes signed for Tottenham that summer to bolster the club’s midfield ranks.

A determined defensive midfielder capable of producing the spectacular, Mendes is remembered for his time in North London for a 50-yard effort against Manchester United that was wrongfully disallowed.

Though he failed to establish himself as a key figure at White Hart Lane, he soon became a fan’s favourite following a move to Portsmouth.

A brace of stunning strikes from distance secured his new club a vital win in their relegation battle, endearing him forever more to supporters on the South Coast.

He would win his only piece of silverware in England in 2008, as underdogs Portsmouth won the FA Cup for the first time in 69 years.

Here’s a reminder of the goal that never was against United…

Midfield: Bernardo Silva

A key figure in the dominance of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in recent seasons, the diminutive Silva has established himself as one of the club’s best creative talents since his 2017 move to the Etihad.

Having shone in the exciting young Monaco side which reached the Champions League semi-finals, City decided to bring the playmaker to the Premier League to add to their depth of talent.

Silva would shine as the club won the title with a record 100 points in his debut season, before being named as the club’s Player of the Season as they completed an unprecedented domestic treble last year.

Possessing agility, technique and an ability to ghost past players and then create, the 25-year-old is now as vital to City as some of his more illustrious teammates.

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Right-wing: Nani

Few players in Premier League history have been as exciting to watch in full flow as Nani.

The former Manchester United winger arrived from Sporting Lisbon amid much fanfare, and soon began to delight the Old Trafford faithful with his repertoire of tricks, flicks and dazzling displays.

With trademark back-flip celebration in tow, Nani would produce some electric performances and prove a nightmare for full-backs when at his very best.

Whilst consistency may have plagued him throughout his eight seasons in the Premier League, he would depart having won four league titles, two League Cups and the Champions League.

Far from a bad medal haul by any measure.

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Left-wing: Luis Boa Morte

Boa Morte would spend 15 seasons in English football’s top division, taking into spells at four different Premier League clubs and earning a Premier League winner’s medal during his time at Arsenal.

He would fail to establish himself as a regular under Arsene Wenger, before shining after opting to leave North London in search of first-team football.

It would be at Fulham where he would truly thrive, where his unique blend of pace, power and dribbling ability made him a firm fan’s favourite at Craven Cottage.

Equally capable playing from the left or centrally, Boa Morte would later be named as club captain, before enjoying a five-year spell at West Ham.

He would eventually leave English football for Greece in 2011, having made just short of 300 Premier League appearances – more than any other Portuguese.

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Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo

Undisputedly the greatest Portuguese talent to have played in the Premier League, whilst almost certainly now his country’s greatest ever player.

Ronaldo would arrive at Manchester United as a talented but raw teenager in 2003, before flourishing into one of the world’s finest footballers during six seasons at Old Trafford.

He would inspire United to three consecutive Premier League titles between 2007 and 2009, with the middle of those triumphs coming alongside Champions League glory, the forward scoring the opener against Chelsea on a rain-soaked night in Moscow.

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That stunning 2007/08 season would see the Portuguese superstar score 42 goals in all competitions, picking up the first of his five Ballon d’Or trophies.

Capable of playing across the forward line, Ronaldo scored 84 league goals in just 194 games for United before departing in a then world-record £80 million transfer to Real Madrid in 2009.

From there he has gone on to even greater heights, becoming the Spanish side’s all-time record goalscorer in addition to winning four Champions League titles and a further four Ballon d’Or awards.

He is currently starring for Juventus, where he will bid to win Europe’s biggest prize at a third different club.

See also – Ranking all of Manchester United’s number 7’s in the Premier League era