Since the start of the 2014 World League, Portugal have jumped from 38 to 27 in the world rankings. Despite leading Pool E in the early stages of the tournament, they surrendered that position to the Netherlands. They trailed by five points having won and lost six of their matches, including a win at home against the Dutch, and finished joint-fifth in Group 2. The Portuguese team did not qualify for last year's World Championship under young new coach Hugo Silva, who was previously an assistant.
Portugal made their first appearance in international competition at the 1948 European Championship when they came fourth. Following several subsequent fruitless decades, the Portuguese finally qualified for the World League in 1999. The team's best performance to date in the competition was the joint-fifth place they achieved in 2005. In 2007, Portugal hosted the Final Four of the European League and the team came close to claiming a first international trophy before losing 3-2 in a dramatic final against Spain. They broke their duck in 2010 when they took the gold medal in the European League in Spain, after having claimed a bronze medal in the 2009 competition. They have yet to qualify for an Olympic Games but will be intent on making their debut at Rio de Janeiro 2016.