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Portugal certainly had luck on their side against Croatia on Tuesday night.

Thanks to Mark Rog’s red card, a quite literal helping hand from Diogo Jota and a last-gasp blunder from goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, Fernando Santos’s side ended their UEFA Nations League defence on a high.

Portugal might have lost their crown, as a 1-0 defeat to France on Saturday robbed them off a place in the final four.

But, after picking up 13 points from a possible 18 in the group while blooding a classy crop of Iberian youngsters, the future looks bright for the reigning European champions.

What If Benfica, Porto And Sporting Joined La Liga? Football Manager 2020 Experiment

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Joao Felix and Diogo Jota have emerged as a bona fide match-winners at international level while Pedro Neto, Trincao, Ruben Neves and a reborn, rejuvenated Renato Sanches are all under the age of 23.

Yet, in that most dramatic of 3-2 wins against Croatia last night, it was a man at the other end of the international spectrum who showed once and for all that he can still run the show on the biggest of stages.

Photo by Slavko Midzor/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

At 34, and with almost 130 caps under his belt, Moutinho cannot keep defying Father Time forever.

He is no longer a guaranteed starter for Portugal or Wolverhampton Wanderers these days either.

But, after a performance in which he more than matched Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic while barely misplacing a pass, no one will be consigning Portugal’s veteran play-maker to the retirement home just yet.

In fact, his experience and continental nous could be more important than ever as a vibrant, fresh-faced team look to retain their European crown next summer.

No one leads by example better than the magisterial Moutinho.

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In other news, Gary Neville thinks Arsenal look so much better after Arteta dropped three players