Having been a regular fixture in the final stages of the World Cup for 20 years, Portugal dreams of winning the title. For the last World Cup of its star Cristiano Ronaldo, the Seleção will be more than a dangerous team.
In Portugal, we are used to it. To qualify, we like to play with fire. This was again verified by a playoff that saw Italy’s major absence from the tournament. Moreover, when commenting on his team’s qualification, coach Fernando Santos did not hide his relief.
“The goal has been reached. We are in the World Cup. We are where we are.” Indeed, since 2002, Portugal has not missed any of the international competitions scheduled in the calendar. With Cristiano Ronaldo in control, Seleção das Cuenas (Choice of Corners) was able to outfit his window with the Euro in 2016 and the League of Nations in 2018. Now, his coach is dreaming aloud about the world of a cup victory.
” It’s the only dream I have, and I’m allowed to, to win a third contest. I won twice, and now I dream of the World Cup. » Far from being rude, Portugal knows their strengths and knows they have a workforce that shouldn’t be shy about competition. The Portuguese national team is a clever mix of young talents and experienced players.
“Portugal is going to the World Cup to win it”
Diogo Costa, a youngster at Portuguese club Porto, has taken charge of the No. 1 goalkeeper position and will be one of the highlights of the tournament. In defence, if Ruben Dias and Pepe have no competition in the midfield, forcing Danilo to go down a lot, provided injuries are left to themselves, on both sides there will be choices to be made between Joao Cancelo, Rafael Guerrero, Diogo. Dalot and Nuno Mendes.
In the middle, there is no shortage of magicians with Bruno Fernandez, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Ruben Neves, Ottavio, Matthews Nunes or even Vitenha or even the immortal Joao Moutinho. To provide the best service to parties such as Rafael Leao, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix and of course Cristiano Ronaldo. And if some in the country suggest the lack of collective cohesion for Fernando Santos’ subjects, the latter recently confirmed that Portugal would be ready for Qatar.
“I have no doubts and I have already said it. Portugal go to the World Cup to win it. We go there with the same calm as in recent years. I am confident. What matters to me is the level of the team. Spain, like Portugal, is definitely a favorite to win the World Cup. Weeks ago Few had everything Bad for her and today everything is fine. It’s football, and there are ups and downs. The answer is to play the World Cup with the same conviction that we had in the previous matches. »
Portugal still has to put in other elements to hope to reach the semi-finals as happened in 1966 or 2006. Otherwise, disappointment with a new failure will look like the decadence of Fernando Santos and Cristiano RonaldoWhich deserves the most beautiful outing.
November 24: Portugal and Ghana at 5 pm.
November 28: Portugal and Uruguay at 8 pm.
December 2: South Korea and Portugal at 4 pm.
How did Portugal qualify?
Winner of the European Zone Qualifier Track C final against North Macedonia (2-0) after beating Turkey 3-1 in the semi-finals and finishing second in Group A behind Serbia with 17 points but ahead of Ireland and Luxembourg. and Azerbaijan.
Player under the microscope: Ronaldo’s latest challenge?
We no longer introduce Cristiano Ronaldo. At 37, the Portuguese legend was about to experience his fifth World Cup. But after a turbulent summer with an unknown departure from Manchester United, he can no longer be as controlling as he once was.
However, he is still a contender and does not want to miss this possibly his last meeting with Portugal, even if he admits to thinking about the European Championship 2024. He will also approach the level of 200 national teams. Record not accessed.
It is the number of participations in the World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo, who will join the legend as the record holder, two Mexicans Antonio Carvajal and Rafael Marquez, German Lothar Mataus and Italian Gianluigi Buffon.
Portugal is still a formidable team. Despite losing the momentum of its star and captain Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese squad does not lack arguing with Dias, Pepe, Silva, Fernandes or Jota to be out of the competition. But she will pass first in the group stage with the hope of going far.