A Year Out: Predicting Portugal’s World Cup Squad


July 10, 2016 is a date scorched into the memory of anyone who has ever admired Portugal and its football.  As Eder ran toward the bench with his fists clenched, the worldwide Portuguese community went into uproar.  This week is the anniversary of that hallowed night in Paris.  Also, this week is exactly one year out until the World Cup semi-finals in Russia. While the hearts of many Seleção fans are hoping to be gathering together in a year’s time for another penultimate match, our minds know there is still plenty of work to be done.  With a massive contest against Switzerland looming, nothing is certain.  Still, it is hard to picture this talented side at home next summer and not competing for the world title.  With Fernando Santos to most certainly still be at the helm, let us look at how we might line up in Russia.  While there are still many kinks for Santos to work out in the next 11 months, I still expect him to employ a 4-1-3-2 type of formation.  Continue reading

Advertisements

How Will Portugal Move Forward?


Fernando Santos with Greece

Photo: Getty Images Europe

With the Seleção’s surprise triumph this summer still fresh in the football world’s mind, Fernando Santos will soon begin preparations to move the team forward. To begin this transition, Portugal will play two games in early September. First, the team will face Gibraltar on September 1st in the first ever meetings between the two nations. Five days later, Switzerland and Portugal will kick off both teams’ 2018 World Cup qualification campaigns. Santos will likely choose a much different squad than what was selected for the European Championship. Post-tournament friendlies are typically used as a means for experimentation and as such typically involve new players, but Santos will have to balance experimentation with results. While the result of the Gibraltar match is inconsequential, Santos will surely be looking to get a win against Switzerland, who are on paper Portugal’s most difficult opponents in their qualification group. Here’s a list of who I would argue deserves to be selected by Santos. Continue reading

Éder Opens Portugal Account


Eder and Quaresma - Portugal vs Italy

Italy 0-1 Portugal

International Friendly

After almost three years appearing for the Seleção, Éder scored his first goal today, as Portugal scraped through a 1-0 victory over Italy in a friendly match played in Geneva, Switzerland. For fans of the Portuguese team, Éder has gained a reputation for profligacy in front of goal, despite impressive (yet waning) performances in Portugal for Braga. His excellent finish from Ricardo Quaresma’s trivela cross in the 52nd minute was all Portugal needed to earn the victory, despite going long spells during the match on the back-foot.  Continue reading

Portuguese National Team: Highs and Lows


Fernando Santos led the team to two wins against two difficult opponents

Fernando Santos led the team to two wins against two difficult opponents

It was a big week for the National team heading into games 3 & 4 of Fernando Santos’ tenure. The good news now is in competitive matches he sports a 2-0 record, and overall has a record of 3 wins from 4 matches. I for one was not a fan of the hiring because with his pending suspension it puts the team in a precarious situation, but not one to cry over spilled milk, I also like to give folks a chance before I criticize them. Continue reading

Last-Gasp Goal Pushes Portugal Past World Cup Finalists


Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Cristian Ansaldi, of Argentina. Photo: AP/Jon Super

Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Cristian Ansaldi, of Argentina. Photo: AP/Jon Super

Portugal 1-0 Argentina

International Friendly

A last-minute goal from 20 year-old left back Raphael Guerreiro was enough to give Portugal a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina in a match played at Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford. The build-up to the match was predictably centered around the Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry, but neither player influenced the game too heavily, and both exited play at half time. Overall, many would probably agree that the final scoreline did not reflect the way the game unfolded, but Fernando Santos and co. surely won’t complain.  Continue reading

Preview: Portugal vs Argentina


Ronaldo could be the star of the show against Argentina

Ronaldo could be the star of the show against Argentina

Having narrowly edged Armenia on Friday, the Portuguese national team faces much stiffer competition at Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford as the Seleccao are pitted up against World Cup finalists Argentina in an international friendly. Cristiano Ronaldo once again saved Portuguese blushes against Armenia and the spotlight will be on the Portuguese superstar as he competes with rival Lionel Messi to steal the show at a place he once called his professional home. Continue reading