This is Portugal’s fifth World Cup qualification in a row and the arguably the team has never had as much reason to be optimistic as this time around. After all, the Portuguese are the current European champions (after their 2016 victory over France). Portugal has been drawn into a relatively easy group, with Spain their only real rivals to win first place.
Some changes have been made since the 2016 squad and some of their top players are getting on in age. Still, Portugal has proven to be a very resilient side. And with Cristiano Ronaldo in top form, The Navigators could have a memorable tournament.
– Star players: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)
– FootballCoin stars: Cristiano Ronaldo – 1,039.87 points (Pro), 623.85 (Easy)
– Coach: Fernando Santos
– Group: B
– Group fixtures:
Fri June 15: Portugal – Spain – Sochi, 7pm
Wed June 20: Portugal – Morocco – Moscow (Luzhniki), 1pm
Mon June 25: Iran – Portugal – Saransk, 7pm
– Prediction: Portugal should easily qualify from their group. Finishing top, in front of Spain could provide an easier draw in the Round of 16. The Portuguese should be considered among the favorites to enter the final rounds of the competition. With good luck on their side, they could finish in the Top four, even, perhaps, grab a medal.
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyonnais/France), Beto (Goztepe SK/Turkey), Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)
Defenders: Antunes (Getafe/Spain), Bruno Alves (Rangers/Scotland), Cedric (Southampton/England), Joao Cancelo (Internazionale/Italy), Jose Fonte (Dalian Aerbin/China PR), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce/Turkey), Mario Rui (Napoli/Italy), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona/Spain), Pepe (Besiktas/Turkey), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/Germany), Ricardo (Porto), Rolando (Marseille/France), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City/England), Andre Gomes (Barcelona/Spain), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/England), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Mario (West Ham United/England), Joao Moutinho (Monaco/France), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), Rony Lopes (Monaco), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers/England), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William (Sporting CP)
Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan/Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Spain), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia/Spain), Nani (Lazio/Italy), Paulinho (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas/Turkey)
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) May 28, 2018
– World Cup history: 1966 (Third place), 1986, 2002, 2006 (Fourth place), 2010, 2014, 2018