Portugal will be making their sixth appearance at a FIFA World Cup™. Nicknamed Selecção, the Portuguese first appeared at the 1966 edition in England where they finished third. In 2014, the Portuguese find themselves in Group G alongside Germany, Ghana and the United States of America (USA).
Portugal is one nation that has over the years been blessed with brilliant players. From Eusebio, Pauleta and Luis Figo to the current world player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo. However, not even one Portuguese captain has had the privilege of leading the Navigators to World Cup glory. But if there was ever a time for one to do so, surely this could be it. Os Navegadores have featured six times at the World Cup finals. The most forgettable was their 1986 showing where players went on strike and refused to train between their first and second match after an outcry over prize money. Their best display in the tournament saw them finishing third in 1966 when Eusebio lit up the tournament. In 2006, the Iberian nation once again reached the semi-finals where they fell to France.
Following their win over Sweden in the play-offs where it was Ronaldo versus Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Seleção das Quinas became favourites for many people as they put on an impressive display in both home and away encounters. It will be interesting to see if they can go on to better their 1966 third-place finish. As expected the eyes of the world will be on the current world player of the year, whom the hopes of every Portuguese native lie upon.
Paulo Bento’s troops finished second to Brazil in group G in 2010; a group which was beefed by the presence of Ivory Coast and North Korea. They were beaten by eventual winners Spain 1-0 in the knockout phase. Once again they find themselves in group G, but this time they are set to square off with Germany, Ghana and USA. Can Ronaldo bring home the title that is missing in his decorated career? Only time will tell.