I saw the score crawl on the bottom of an ESPN broadcast the other day and was reminded, "Oh yeah, European soccer is happening." Clearly I am not as dialed in as I used to be in younger years. That said, to the extent it's of interest to anyone, I did an overview of how Portugal is doing in Europe, and the answer is: surprisingly well. One positive way to look at it is: They're fifth in Europe overall, ahead of both France and Russia by nearly a point. This is due in large part to having one fewer team in the coefficient denominator (dinged to five from six), and also to Porto having a bang-ass time in the Champs League. And Russia, for which I have held a lifelong antipathy thanks to growing up at the tail end of the cold war, may be on the brink of a shitbag season in Europe. How's it taste, commies?? Let us all hope that both their CL teams lose the next game, which would eliminate them from all European comps. In the EL, two of their teams are group top, but one is bottom so they could end up with only 2/6 teams in Europe after final match day and that would be delicious. But enough ... what's Russian for schadenfreude? Portugal, despite qualifying only 3/5 teams, is looking good. --Porto is confirmed group top and that gives them some shot at a favorable matchup in the R16 of the CL (plus a lock for bonus points for qualifying). Let us hope for more points from them when they play Galatasaray in Turkey (though important also that Lokomotiv loses as well so the Russian team stays fourth). --Benfica is already eliminated from the CL but locked into a third place EL spot, and not doing terribly despite just getting embarrassed by Bayern in Germany. They have a shot to get 7 points with a home win against group bottom, pointless AEK in the final game. Not a bad outcome, plus a shot to go farther in the EL. Certainly better than last year's record-settingly putrescent outcome. --Sporting is second in their EL group, but the group included Arsenal, and SCP could garner a total of 13 points in the group with a home win over Vorskla (Ukraine), plus is already a lock to advance to the next round. So good results + lower denominator = not bad! Of course, if Russia scrapes 4 teams into the next round, and they do well, they could easily pass us, not to mention France, but it's nice to be a bit ahead after so many years of running behind those two.