Portugal look to replicate success of 1989 and 1991.
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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Samuel Philip Steinbock
Portugal have enjoyed their greatest successes at international level in the U20 category, with a win over Nigeria in the final of the Saudi Arabia 1989 edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and victory at the same competition on home soil two years later.
The winning goal in 1991 was scored by AC Milan legend Manuel Rui Costa. But, since then, the 'Golden Generation' has failed to live up to expectations.
Bowing out at the group stage in Australia 1993 and at the semi-final in Qatar 1995 to Brazil, Portugal have reached just two FIFA U-20 World Cups since, failing to go further than the quarter-finals at Nigeria 1999 and Canada 2007.
Qualifying for Colombia 2011 will be Portugal's first appearance at the competition since Canada 2007. They secured their place as one of the three best-ranked sides in each of the two four-team groups at the 2009/10 UEFA European U-19 Championship in France.
They got off to a winning start, beating Italy 2-0. However, they were beaten 2-1 against Spain and although they only needed a point in their final game against Croatia, they were soundly beaten 5-0 with Zvonko Pamic scoring a hat-trick.
Despite this, they managed to finish third which was enough to grant them a place in Colombia. Their involvement this year will be their eighth appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Although repeating the feat of their 1989 and 1991 of their predecessors will prove to be difficult, Porto midfielder Sergio Oliveira and Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira will be hoping to become part of the next golden generation.