Lisbon: Cristiano Ronaldo makes a big difference for Portugal. When an ankle injury kept him out of Portugal's first two European Championship qualifying games, the team drew at home against Cyprus and lost to Norway. When the captain returned, Portugal racked up a five-game winning streak that put them back in contention.
Portugal's problem, however, is that the squad lacks depth and, beyond Ronaldo, top-class talent in some key positions.
As with previous greats Eusebio and Luis Figo, Ronaldo's presence lifts the team a notch. The Real Madrid forward was Portugal's top scorer in its qualifying campaign, with seven goals in eight games, and is the country's third-highest scorer with 32 goals in 87 appearances.