With the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicking off in four days, it’s time to start navigating Group H, beginning with Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Every day until November 20th, we’ll explore a different team represented in this year’s tournament, from Group A to Group H, including predictions about where they’ll end up.
Yesterday, we looked at Group G’s biggest underdog – the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. Now we’ll explore a team we expect to underperform in 2022 – Portugal.
Nickname: The Selection, The Navigators
Colors: Red, green
Coach: Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Portugal has some of the biggest names in the game, starting with CR7 himself, striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal’s defense is stacked with Ronaldo’s Man U teammate Diogo Dalot, Portuguese legend Pepe, PSG’s Danilo Pereira, and Man City’s João Cancelo.
Man City’s Bernardo Silva and Man U’s Bruno Fernandes hold down the midfield, backing up Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid’s João Félix, and AC Milan’s Rafael Leão up top.
Qatar will be the eighth World Cup appearance for Portugal, whose best result came in 1966 when they finished third. Portugal was upset by Uruguay in the round of 16 in 2018.
Portugal is 5-1-2 in 2022, with losses to WC-qualifying teams Spain and Switzerland.
The Navigators are currently in an odd place. Ronaldo, club teammate of international teammates Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot, has pissed off many of his cohorts by publicly trashing Old Trafford in a Piers Morgan interview. Videos like the clip above could be interpreted to illustrate a possible rift or lack of team chemistry in Portugal, seemingly due to CR7’s antics.
Tournament Prediction: Group stage exit.
Though many will pick Portugal to win Group H, we think most of their players are over the hill at the international level, especially Ronaldo. (Have you seen him lately? He looks like a shell of a shadow of a ghost of his former self.)
Portugal will either beat or tie Ghana in their first game, but we think they lose to Uruguay and either lose to or tie South Korea in their last two matches, bowing out of the Cup early with between 1-3 points, effectively ending Ronaldo’s career.
Featured Image: Generated Image: DALL-E 2/DM
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