Portugal coach Paulo Bento

Paulo Bento

Portugal is a small country in south western Europe which is well known for having produced one of the biggest football sensation of all times, Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro. Portugal qualified for the 2014 World Cup via the play-offs when they beat Sweden 4-2 on aggregate, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. The team looks solid on paper and is one of the teams that has the ability to pose great threat to its rivals. As per the 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw, they have been placed alongside Germany, Ghana and USA in group G. Here is a quick look at the national football team of Portugal.

Coach: Paulo Bento

Team: Portugal are very well known for their attacking style of play. They definitely dominate their counterparts when it comes to speed, aggression and agility. The squad consists of excellent midfielders like Joao Moutinio, Nani and none other than their captain Cristiano Ronaldo himself. Their defence looks settled with players like Pepe, Bruno Alves and Fabio Coentrao patrolling the goal area. With this squad and team play, Portugal have fair chances of advancing till the quarter finals.

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Strengths: Portugal has the ability to play world class attacking football. They have developed the art of playing the 3rd man release very efficiently which is the way they are able to score against their competitors. The Portuguese have various other capabilities like speed , strength and aggression. However, their biggest strength is Cristiano Ronaldo. On his day, he can blow away any opposition, as he showed against Sweden in the play-offs. Portugal will need a lot of Ronaldo’s service if they are to make it big at the World Cup.

Weaknesses:  As mentioned above, Portugal’s biggest weakness is not having a world class striker. A game of football is won by scoring goals and their main striker Helder Postiga does not seem to have the class to lead the attack. Moreover, I feel they lack team work. The team strongly believes in the theory of  “Pass to Ronaldo” for its success which is not a good indicator of team work. Though Cristiano Ronaldo may be a one man army but this style of play by them is strongly discouraged.

What to watch out for: 2013 has been a great year for Cristiano Ronaldo, probably the best of his career. If he continues his good form in the 2014 World Cup, it will be a good sign for Portugal as well as the fans. Having made it to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup and the Euro 2012, Ronaldo will look to add a major trophy with Portugal to his  name.

 Expected Starting X1:

Rui Patricio

Joao Pereira – Pepe – Bruno Alves – Fabio Coentrao

Joao Moutinho – Miguel Veloso – Raul Meireless

Nani – Cristiano Ronaldo

Helder Postiga