A nation that had boasted stars of the world game such as Eusébio, Luis Figo and Pauleta looked to its latest creation, It
took the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and co. to bring the first major silverware for them. This coming World Cup could be the last time we see a number of those old stalwarts though, with a number of their key players getting on in years. Ronaldo’s 33, Pepe is 35, Bruno Alves is 36, Ricardo Quaresma is 34, and the young ones of the bunch, Joao Moutinho and Nani are now 30. They don’t have much time left.
The Selecao’s triumph at Euro 2016 was their first major trophy and they will not travel to Russia as one of the main favourites to be crowned world champions, but with their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad they will always feel that they have a chance of World Cup hopes.
● GROUP :
Group B provides one of the most mouth-watering clashes in the opening stage of the World Cup, with Iberian rivals Portugal and Spain – between them winners of the past three European Championships – being drawn alongside each other.
It would be a shock if both teams didn’t go through to the knockout stages, but their meeting on the opening day of Group B action could go a long way to determining which of the European heavyweights progress as winners of their section.
Being drawn in the same group as Moroco makes things difficult from the outset for the Portuguese.
● Squad Analysis:
Barcelona duo Nelson Semedo and Andres Gomes are set for a summer off after they were left out of Portugal squad for the World Cup but rest of the squad comprises of players of high quality. They boast the possession of the ability of Ronaldo, who netted a further 15 goals in nine matches during qualification.
Andre Silva works as a perfect strike partner for the Real Madrid ace, allowing Ronaldo to more often than not leave his mark on the biggest games.
Followed by Hero of Euro Cup, Rui Patricio & veteran Centerback duo of backline, Pepe -Fonte with a conclusion of experienced dynamism of Bernando Silva, Portugal can hope for bigger things.
○ Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon).
○ Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Jose Fonté (Dalian Yifang), Mario Rui (Napoli), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Ruben Dias (Benfica).
○ Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Mario (West Ham), Joao Moutinho (AS Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), William Carvalho (Sporting).
○ Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)
● Possible Lineup :
Rui Patricio (GK)
● Squad Rating :
○ Defending :- 8/10
○ Midfield :- 7.5/10
○ Attack :- 8.5/10
○ Overall Rating :- 8/10
● Recent Form :
Portugal will go into the World Cup with only one defeat in their last 12 outings but their results in the immediate build-up to the tournament have been mixed. With three-match winless streak which began with defeat to the Netherlands
concluded with 2-1 win over egypt and 3-0 win over Algeria.
● Road Ahead :
Being drawn in the same group as Spain makes things difficult from the Selcaos though, and we expect them to finish as runners-up to their neigbours and the game against Morocco might decide their fate in next Round. Doing so would likely see them face Uruguay in the last 16, and while that is a game which could go either way, if they managed to pimp them out the Quarter Finals then Euro Finalists France will be on cards which is a impeccable task to cut out and the resistance of Brazillian Samba flavours in Semis.
● Manager Quote :-
“It’s a very important game for all of us, we’re a strong team now and will be playing a very strong team too, one of the top contenders,We shouldn’t be underestimating the other two teams, but Spain are one of the favourites. We also have respect for Iran and Morocco and will not take them lightly.”, concluded Fernando Santos
● Writer’s Take :
Portugal are the reigning European champions, but they didn’t exactly sparkle on their way to glory. They are indeed a slow starters and at max Potential Semi finals Line against Brazillian National Team Is on Line.
But Football is a Funny Game, Unpredictablity,suprises happens like it always do.