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Portugal want global glory

Last year, he was part of the Portugal squad that made history at UEFA EURO 2016. While helping the team to glory, he wrote his own name into the record books, becoming the oldest player in the tournament's history - 53 days after his 38th birthday - to claim a winner's medal. "I was proud of that," he acknowledged. "[It showed] nothing is impossible."

But 12 years earlier, he was part of another, arguably more talented Portugal squad - containing the likes of Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Deco and a young Cristiano Ronaldo - that was humbled by Greece on home soil. "We had an unbelievable squad in 2004 and the spirit was great, just as it was in 2016," he told "The only difference is that we missed out on the title, and that's football. You need a little bit of luck."

The memories of those 2004 and 2016 EURO finals have taught Carvalho that, at this exalted level, nothing can be taken for granted. And while he will not, at 39, be part of the Selecção das Quinas side taking on the world's best at the FIFA Confederations Cup, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea defender knows his compatriots are eager for a fresh conquest.

"Cristiano is the most complete player in the world," said Carvalho. "And he works harder than anyone."
That blend of talent and toil proved a winning combination for Portugal in France last year. Time will tell whether it proves similarly potent at Russia 2017.

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