Football

Can Portugal finally end the wait for international glory?

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Every four years football fans around the world ask the same question - who will win the World Cup this year?

Every four years the same answers pop up - Brazil could win it this year, Germany are always in the mix, Italy look past their best, it's hard to look past Spain and the Dutch squad will fall out with each other during the tournament.

But what about Portugal? No-one ever mentions Portugal, but maybe they should.

This summer's World Cup will be their 12th appearance at a major tournament, and their sixth attempt to be crowned best in the world.

To date all they can muster up is an appearance in the final of the 2004 European Championships, when they lost 1-0 to Greece in the final on home soil.

That should have been their year. Ronaldo was the most exciting young footballer on the planet, six of the squad had just lifted the Champions League with Porto and Luis Figo was still apart of the famous Galacticos of Real Madrid.

Having seen off the likes of Spain, England and Holland to reach the final, Portugal were surely only 90 minutes away from a first major tournament victory.

Unfortunately Greece had other ideas, and though their style of football was hardly easy on the eye, few fans could begrudge the plucky underdogs being crowned champions of Europe.

A decade on, Portugal could finally be ready to go all the way in the World Cup.

They certainly won't be favourites - Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany are all considered more likely winners. But that could in fact play into Portuguese hands.

In Ronaldo, they possess one of the greatest players to have played the game, and a player who thrives on counter attacking football.

Their group certainly won't be easy to negotiate. Germany will be expected to win it while USA and Ghana will provide brave opposition. But Portugal, will all their class, will progress.

And it's in the latter stages where Ronaldo could thrive, as bigger teams try to take the game to Portugal.

Paulo Bento's team have an experienced back four, protected by the much sought-after William Carvalho, and if they can keep teams out, the forwards will cause damage.

Ronaldo undoubtedly provides the flair, Hugo Almeida provides a target to work around, but look a little deeper and you'll find the conductor of this multi-talented band - Joao Moutinho.

The Monaco man will quietly go about his business, getting on the ball as much as possible and consistently finding the runs of Ronaldo.

Once the Real Madrid is on the ball there's not a team in the world who won't be fearful.

The reigning Ballon d'Or winner will go into the tournament full of confidence and could tear teams apart on his own if he's not suitably marked.

However, when teams opt to double up on Portugal's all-time record goalscorer, space opens up for the likes of Nani and Fabio Coentrao to run at defences.

With their pace, coupled with Ronaldo's all round brilliance, chances will be created.

Though Almedia may not be picked for his goalscoring record, one man who does know where the back of the net is Helder Postiga.

While Tottenham fans may find it hard to believe, Postiga averages just under a goal every other game for his country, an impressive record for someone used mainly as a substitute.

Given a chance, Bento will back his super-sub to find the back of the net and take some of the goalscoring burden off Ronaldo.

To think of Portugal as a one-man team would be naive. They may not have convinced in qualification, but their run to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 proves they have a team, and a squad, capable of getting results when it matters.

As strong as that squad may be, the spotlight will be on Ronaldo as he attempts to add the World Cup to his already impressive trophy cabinet.

Eusebio and Luis Figo may have failed in the past, but Portugal's current shining light could help them shock a few teams and be crowned 2014 World Cup winners.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
World Cup
Football

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again