Can Portugal Win the World Cup For The First Time?

Portugal featured in the World Cup for the first time in 1966. They finished third in their maiden World Cup, led by Ballon d’Or winner Eusebio da Silva. They have since qualified for the tournament seven times and are set to play in the quarter-finals in Qatar. In the past two decades, Portugal has been a household name in world football but has yet to win a World Cup trophy. If you want to know about Can the Dutchmen fly past Argentina, click here.

Is this Portugal’s Golden Era?

Can Portugal Win the World Cup For The First Time

Credits: FIFA

After their World Cup participation drought in the previous century, Portugal returned to the World Cup in 2002 and were knocked out in the group stages. Since then, Portugal has featured in every other World Cup tournament, mainly on account of the quality players they have had.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Portugal rose up the ranks in world football, led by Luis Figo, Rui Costa, and Ricardo Carvalho. Considered amongst the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal in 2003 at 18. The 2006 World Cup in Germany was Portugal’s second-best World Cup run.

France eliminated them in the semi-finals. Over the years, Portugal has had their fair share of star players at their disposal. Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao, Joao Moutinho, Nani, and Pepe have been big for the European side. The national team, led by Ronaldo, won its first major international title in 2016 in France after defeating the host nation in the final of Euro 2016.

Although in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the team failed to go past the round of 16, they have turned things around in Qatar. Although they have a complete squad that blends veteran experience with youth, the breakout performance by Goncalo Ramos against Switzerland made Portugal’s bid look even stronger.

Set to play an unbeaten Morocco

Morocco became just the fourth African country to make it past the round of 16. The North African side has so far had a brilliant run. Coming out of Group F, Morocco was unbeaten, finishing on top of Croatia. Defending is Morocco’s specialty since, despite having played against some of the best goal-scorers in the world, Morocco has only conceded its own goal.

On Tuesday, they eliminated favorites and former champions Spain through penalties. On the other side, Portugal looked vulnerable going into the round of 16. They, however, asserted themselves in a 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland. Set to play Morocco on Saturday, Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos has since acknowledged the toughness of the African side.

Portugal is on a campaign to win their first-ever World Cup trophy. First, they have to go through Morocco.

Brazil knows better than to sleep in Croatia.

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