Few nations in world football can rival Portugal when it comes to producing top-class footballers, so Squawka decided to identify six up-and-coming prospects that you should look to sign on FIFA 17.
Portugal ended decades of tournament underachievement and misery to lift the European Championships in 2016, although the surprising nature of their success has already seen them written off for subsequent competitions.
Judging by some the players coming through their youth ranks, though, the Seleção should be a formidable force for years to come, both on the European and global stage.
The country’s traditional big three clubs – Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon – possess some of the finest academies around and regularly churn out technically brilliant footballers who go on to star for the national team.
There are plenty of outstanding Portuguese youngsters already making a name for themselves, including Monaco’s brilliant playmaker Bernardo Silva, Porto duo Andre Silva and Ruben Neves and last year’s Golden Boy winner, Renato Sanches of Bayern Munich.
Everyone knows all about those guys, though, so instead Squawka sought out some lesser-known stars who can become world-beaters using FIFA 17 as our guide.
Current ability: 72
Potential ability: 84
The tidy Rio Ave left-back is getting valuable first-team minutes in Portugal’s Primeira Liga. On loan from FC Porto, Rafa Soares has represented the national side at every level from the Under-16 up to the U21.
With Raphael Guerreiro currently occupying Portugal’s left-back position, Rafa Soares has healthy competition and will be looking at his next step to breaking into Porto’s first XI.
At 21 years old, Soares can reach highs of 84 with particularly good ratings in pace, crossing and free kicks. A viable attacking option.
Current ability: 67
Potential ability: 83
At 17 years old, Jose Gomes is a real unknown entity. Having played for Benfica B last year, he obviously impressed and was rewarded with a few substitute first-team appearances, one being in the Champions League.
The forward has been prolific for Portugal at all levels and will be looking to break into the U21 side next having won the Golden Boot and Golden Player awards at the UEFA European Under-17 Championships last year.
As for FIFA 17, Gomes is one for the future with Benfica’s coach Rui Vitoria recently remarking that he will be ‘counting on him’.
Even though he is particularly quick and agile, his starting rating is just 67 though this can rise to a very useful 83 with training and first-team football.
Daniel Castelo Podence
Current rating: 74
Potential rating: 84
Wingers are always exciting, especially when their acceleration, balance and agility are already in the 90s. Standing at just 5’5, Daniel Podence is blessed with intricacy and can rise to the mid-80s.
On loan from Sporting Lisbon, the Moreirense winger is unavailable in the first season but is a worthwhile Career Mode purchase come your second season. His four-star weak foot and skill moves make him a bit of a must-have.
He is yet another exciting Portuguese talent to have represented the national side at all levels from U16 upwards and will be looking to break into Sporting Lisbon’s first-team plans over the next couple of years.
Current ability: 73
Potential ability: 85
Perhaps it would be easier to start a Sporting Lisbon career? 21-year-old Francisco Geraldes is another Sporting youth product on loan at Moreirense and he is also enjoying the benefit of first-team football.
Impressing slightly less than Podence, Geraldes still maintains a higher potential. From CM or CAM, the playmaker is a competent passer with the vision to match.
He is particularly agile and is another to consider if you prefer slick football over pace. As is the case with Podence, Geraldes is unfortunately, unavailable in the first season.
Current ability: 76
Potential ability: 85
Atletico Madrid didn’t want to miss out on the potential of this forward. Diogo Jota, who started his career at Pacos Ferreira, made the move to the Spanish capital in March of last year after impressing in his homeland.
Immediately, he was loaned back to Portuguese giants FC Porto and he has had an impressive start to life, most notably scoring in Porto’s 5-0 rout over Leicester City.
Jota is another Portuguese U21 international with an eye for goal and his stats are a testament to that. Able to play as a striker or left winger, Jota is a handy player for those who enjoy using fleet-footed forwards in attack.
Once again, he is unavailable from the start and does not come cheap… You’re probably looking at near £10-15m once he returns to Atletico.
Current ability: 75
Potential ability: 85
The struggle with the majority of the Portuguese talents is their profound reputation at home. Next is Sporting Lisbon’s Joao Palhinha, who is starring out on loan at Primeira Liga’s Belenenses.
Already grabbing attention for his performances, Palhinha is not shy of a tackle. The Sporting youth product is your emblematic, physical central midfielder, both able to play as either a CDM or CM.
Defensively, Palhinha is prime to develop over a couple of seasons. His tackling is already in the high 70s combined with his strength and stamina both in the mid-80s.
As is becoming a theme with our Portuguese youngsters, Palhinha is contracted to Sporting Lisbon and will not be available until your second season.