FIFA World Cup 2022: Portugal Team Analysis
Get insider information on the team analysis of Portugal that is expected to be a critical part of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Portugal has quality in every department and players who know how to win international trophies, UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2019 UEFA Nations League. That’s why they can beat any side. Spain’s 1-0 win in the Nations League group phase has dented their confidence, bringing up memories of past slip-ups. Some fans questioned Ronaldo’s place after the loss in the FIFA World Cup.
Portugal needed a point in Braga to reach the semi-finals. Alvaro Morata scored the game-winning goal for the visitors in the 87th minute. The ending was similar to Portugal’s 2-1 home loss to Serbia in November 2021, on the penultimate matchday of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying, which forced them into the playoffs.
The tour to Qatar will help the team win over more fans. Ronaldo will be on the plane with players from many different generations. Joao Moutinho and Danilo are all in their 30s, while Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, and Joao Cancelo are all 28. Ruben Dias is 25, while Joao Felix and Vitinha are three years younger. A protracted world-finals campaign would be the ultimate send-off for Portugal’s veterans and a springboard for the next generation.
Portugal’s Group H Matches
|24 November||Portugal vs Ghana||19:00 (Local Time)||Stadium 972|
|28 November||Portugal vs Uruguay||22:00 (Local Time)||Lusail Stadium|
|2 December||Portugal vs Korea Republic||18:00 (Local Time)||Education City|
Fernando Santos’ Strategy and Techniques:
In anticipation of Portugal’s quest for triumph in Qatar, Fernando Santos stated confidently, “The best is yet to come, and it will come this year.” The 67-year-old coach has cause to be hopeful. Not only can he still rely on the skills of the best player the country has ever produced, but he also has an abundance of talented newcomers at his disposal.
The man they call “The Engineer” has been able to change up the team that won UEFA EURO 2016 by bringing in young players like Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa and AC Milan forward Rafael Leao, who is 23 years old. Paris Saint-Germain left-back Nuno Mendes is three years younger than them.
Santos was appointed to the position in the second half of 2014 and was in a peculiar circumstance. Even though he has led Portugal to its most successful period in history, he has yet to have the full support of the supporters. A significant minority considers his approach overly pragmatic and conservative, accusing him of failing to exploit all available choices.
Match Winning Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s great international career may not finish in Qatar, but it is quite probable that this will be the last time he leads Portugal at a major international competition. He has stated his desire to participate in the 2024 European Championships, but it is difficult to envision him as a starter and major player at that time.
At his age, the entire offense cannot revolve around getting him the ball. Ronaldo is still exceptional at finishing crosses and pouncing on defenders’ shoulders. He no longer possesses the breakaway speed and remarkable athleticism required to dribble consistently past good defenders.
Ronaldo depends more on his excellent positioning and natural ability to create space for himself to take shots. This season, he is still averaging approximately four shots per ninety minutes and has scored just over two xG for Manchester United in roughly four matches.
The injury to Diogo Jota means that Ronaldo will have to play many minutes for Portugal in a hurry. If Portugal wants to go far in Qatar, it is imperative that Santos manages his minutes and that Ronaldo stays healthy. Portugal overcame his age-related lack of work rate off the ball last summer, but you have to wonder if better possession teams will eventually take advantage of this.
Rising Star in the Field: Ruben Dias
Defence was the sector in which Portugal had the greatest need for renovation after 2016. With Pepe, Jose Fonte, and Bruno Alves all nearing their 40th birthdays, the rear-guard needed new blood and found it in Ruben Dias.
In 2018, the centre-back made his debut for his country at the age of 21. At the time, he was a member of Benfica and convinced Santos to include him in the World Cup squad that year. Since then, he has not looked back.
Dias will be one of Portugal’s key players in Qatar for a good cause. He is no longer a rookie in the dressing room. The young Portuguese won the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year title in his first Premier League season after being bought by Manchester City as a replacement for the departed Belgian centre-back Vincent Kompany in 2020. His presence with Pepe in the centre of Portugal’s defence is encouraging, owing to his tenacious tackling and deft ball distribution.
World Cup History
Portugal’s finest World Cup result was in 1966 when Eusebio’s team placed third. The next appearance was Mexico in 1986, followed by Korea/Japan in 2002. The Portuguese have been tournament regulars since and reached the semi-finals in Germany in 2006.