Portugal【Qatar World Cup:Full Explanation】

National Team

All 32 teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar are introduced.

This time, we will introduce Group H, Portugal, a team with mega-club caliber talent that failed to qualify for the World Cup at the end of the qualifying round and had to go to the playoffs, but will win the playoffs and qualify for the World Cup, and will be able to win their first World Cup championship, which they have always dreamed of.


Basic Information

Number of appearances8th(Sixth consecutive
Highest AchievementThird place
FIFA Ranking9th
Capital cityLisbon
Population10.34 million
ManagerFernando Santos
NicknameSeleção das Quinas
(The Selection of the Shields)

<Results in last 6 games>

11/18Friendly matchNigeria4-0H

In the World Cup and European qualifying round, the team was unceremoniously beaten by Serbia, causing an accident that sent them to the playoffs, but in the playoffs they defeated Turkey and North Macedonia to safely qualify for the tournament. The playoff final was originally expected to be Italy, but even so, the team has become so well-rounded that it can be said to have won at a high rate.

For the Portuguese national team, the Qatar World Cup is a milestone in an era: it will be the last World Cup for the generation that has long led the team, such as C. Ronaldo (37) and Pepe (39). On the other hand, compared to the EURO 2016 winners, the current team is superior in every aspect. There has been a steady generational shift in all positions, and the new regulars are all top-class talents who have been mainstays at mega clubs, which has helped to raise the strength of the team.

The team’s roster is at an all-time high, and the team’s veterans and young players are well integrated, offering a variety of faces on the pitch. Overall, this is a squad that has the potential to make it to the top four, if not the favorites to win the World Cup in Qatar. A second major title and a first World Cup victory, a long-cherished dream, is not a pipe dream after winning EURO 2016, the only major title in Portugal’s history.

<Group Stage Schedule 【Group H】>
Date of a matchLocal game start timeOpponentTotal match record
Section 1November 2419:00Ghana
1 wins, 0 draw, 0 losses
Section 2November 2822:00Uruguay
1 wins, 1 draw, 1 losses
Section 3December 218:00Korea
0 wins,0 draw, 1 losses


(Name)Fernando Santos
(Date of birth)October 10, 1954.(68)
(inauguration)Sep. 2014

・”Old army general”

Challenging for his second World Cup in nine years in office, he aims to win his first major title since EURO 2016.

He led the team to win EURO 2016 and Nations League 2019, helping Portugal win its first major title in history.

・During his time as manager of FC Porto, he won five major titles. He then went on to serve as manager of AEK Athens and the Greek national team.

He speaks Portuguese, English and Greek.

Basic Formations & Tactics

Top-notch talent lineup, from “fast defense” to “super-attacking style” for the tournament.

<Basic Formations>

For a long time, Santos has consistently prioritized building a team based on “solid defense and quick attack,” placing the highest priority on offensive and defensive balance, leaving all the offensive work to the rare striker C. Ronaldo, and maximizing offensive power on the counter. Tactically, the team plays a passive style of soccer that does not concern itself with possession, but rather lets the opponent have the ball and patiently waits for their chances.

 This tactic, combined with the world-class talent of B. Fernandez, B. Silva, and Cancelo, and the creativity of the next generation of star candidates such as N. Mendes, Vitinha, and R. Leão, has led to a technical soccer game.

In the March playoffs, the team adopted an extremely aggressive formation with Ronaldo in the first lineup and four attackers in the second row, and in both games, the ball control rate jumped significantly to over 60%.

 Going into the World Cup in Qatar with a system that accepts the risk of conceding goals in exchange for an unconventional offensive system will be a “big gamble” for the Portuguese team. Whether or not it will work against a strong team remains to be seen. However, the current squad has the talent to allow it to do so.

・The presence of the hugely influential Ronaldo could be a “double-edged sword. For a long time, the team has depended on Ronaldo’s scoring and decision-making ability, and his absence could cause major changes in the team.

<At Attack>

・They attack in a [2-1-4-1-2] formation, with Ronaldo moving around extensively up top and participating in the buildup to draw the ball out. Both wingers move inside to form the top two, and both attacking SBs run up into the open space on that side and combine with Ronaldo to finish.

When A. Silva plays up top, the team maintains a [4-3-3] shape and attacks up front, with A. Silva in the front line, using his strong physicality and post play to provide a starting point.

・R. Neves will throw a long feed into a wide side space, and the individual talents of the team can counter with a quick burst toward the goal.

<At Defense>

・When attacking, 2CB + anchor to prepare for opponent’s counter.

When they lose the ball, they press, but do not go deep and retire. In the middle zone, form a [4-1-4-1] block to drive the opponent to the side and try to recover the ball with several players.

Both SBs take high positions when attacking, so if they return too late, they are in big trouble.

Star players(Top 8 )

Cristiano Ronaldo (FW/Without Club)

・”The Beautiful Destroyer”

Known as “CR7”, he is a rare striker. He has scored more than 800 official goals, won the Ballon d’Or five times, won the UEFA Champions League five times, and holds the record for most goals scored in the competition’s history (141).

・He also has 191 caps for Portugal, and at the World Cup in Qatar, he could overtake Malaysia’s Soh Chin Ann’s world record of 195 caps.

・His weapon of choice is his overwhelming decisiveness. His pinpoint movement to match crosses and outflows is at the top level. He has a wide variety of shooting patterns, such as a high point head that makes use of his leaping ability, a strong mid-shot without rotation, and a dynamic bicycle shot that gets the stands excited.

João Cancelo (DF/Manchester City)

・”The best offensive SB in the world”

Known as an attacking sideback who can play both backs, he adds depth to Manchester City’s attack with his speedy overlaps and accurate crosses.

As a “false SB”, he is a player who stays inside in the build-up and participates in the passing game, but in the last 30 meters, he opens up his attacking ability and breaks into the opposition’s territory to cross and shoot powerfully through the middle.

・Because of its high offensive performance, it faces challenges on the defensive side.

Bernardo Silva (MF/Manchester City

・”The Little Magician”

・He is a rare mitt-fielder who possesses all the abilities required of an attacker at a high level, including passing, dribbling and shooting.

He excels at using his small dribbling skills to play around the opposing DF, and his last passes and finishes break up the situation. His ability to hold the ball up when surrounded by multiple opponents is also astonishing, and he can draw opponents to the spot to create space.

・He is also a defensively-minded player who shows up in all areas of the field for 90 minutes with his abundant athleticism. He can also be used as a winger, a top player, or an inside half.

Bruno Fernandes (MF/Manchester United)

・”Creator willing to do the hard work”

・An attacker who can be directly involved in goal, mainly in the top half of the field. He combines originality and skill with a strong mid-range shot. He has a wide field of vision and completely dominates the midfield, providing accurate through passes and crosses with the best timing between the receiver and the sender to create the decisive moment.

・He scores with strong mid-shots and direct free kicks. He also often jumps in front of the goal at the right time to score, and is also noted for his off-the-ball play when he does not have the ball.

・He puts in more offensive and defensive hard work than anyone else and supports the team with his dedicated defense.

Rúben Dias (MF/Manchester City

”Perfect CB”

・A defensive leader with a high level of qualities needed in the center pack. He is at the top of his game in all aspects of defending against, covering, and building up, and he keeps his opponents at bay in both ground and aerial battles.

He shows fighting spirit and leadership even in difficult situations, and is often seen loudly inspiring his team from the rear.

Rúben Neves (MF/Wolverhampton)

”Heart of Portugal”

・He is a key player in offense and defense, controlling the game from midfield by scattering long and short passes that seem to thread the needle. He is a key player in the midfield, controlling the game from the offensive and defensive positions. His long ball accuracy is one of the best in the Premier League.

・He also has a destructive and powerful mid-shot, and has made many gorassos in his career.

Rafael Leão (FW/Milan)

”Destroyer of the left side”

・A speedster who cuts through the left side of the field with his strong, flexible physicality and explosive speed. His smooth, fine-touch, propulsive dribbling is nearly impossible to stop, even for a professional defender. Once in the vital area, he can produce game-deciding goals and assists with both feet.

Last season, he helped Milan regain the Scudetto. He also won the Serie A MVP award after scoring double-digit goals and assists himself.

Nuno Mendes (DF/Paris Saint-Germain)


・At the age of 19, he is one of the best left backs of the next generation and a regular in PSG’s starting lineup.

・He is a super-aggressive SB with a wide variety of vertical passes, high-speed crosses, and sharp breakthroughs. He uses his freakish speed to dribble down the left flank, and even if you know he’s going to make a move, it’s not easy to stop him without a foul.

・He still has a thin frame, and there are still some concerns about his defense against opponents, coordination with others, and care for space behind him, but if he improves his defensive skills, he should become one of the best left backs in the world.

Players List

NameAgeClub teamRepresentative Results (Goals)
Diogo Costa23Porto5 caps・He grabbed the club’s regular defender position last season and is also named to the national team.
・A well-rounded GK with no major flaws.
Rui Patrício34AS Roma104 caps・Conference league champion with his club, but his place as regular goalkeeper is under threat with his national team.
Rui Silva28Real Betis1 caps・He played consistently with excellent reflexes and corrective skills at Betis, but remained as the third goalkeeper for the national team.
José Sá29Wolverhampton0 cap・After moving to the club for 8 million euros as a replacement for Rui Patricio, he made a series of good saves and was the top save percentage player in the Premier League last season.
Pepe39Porto128 caps(7)・Portuguese legend and heavyweight among heavyweights
・Covering the decline with precise reading and positioning
Danilo Pereira31paris saint-germain61 caps(2)・Outstanding physical ability to hold off enemy attacks.
・Anchor by profession but also plays CB and has a humble personality.
Raphaël Guerreiro28Borussia Dortmund56 caps(3)・A brainy SB, game-maker with high foot skills.
Rúben Dias25Manchester City37 caps(2)・Separated from singer last September, now dating a dancer
João Cancelo28Manchester City36 caps(7)・The number “7” taken over from Sterling is the anniversary of his mother’s death.
Nuno Mendes20Paris saint-germain15 caps・His appearances in the national team have increased and he has gained in stature.
José Fonte38Lille45 caps・Played in all 49 official Lille matches despite being 38 years old
Diogo Dalot23Manchester United5 caps・Participate in attacks with strong feelings and sprinting
・Nickname is “train” because of its repeated up-and-down motion
António Silva19Benfica1 caps・Although he just made his debut with the top team this season, he is a super talented player who is attracting attention from famous big clubs.
・ Already boasting a high degree of perfection, showing impeccable defensive response
・The pass success rate is high, and the compatibility with Otamendi is outstanding.
João Moutinho36Wolverhampton146 caps(7)・A key offensive and defensive player who supports the midfield with an intensity that is hard to believe for a 35 year old.
Bernardo Silva28Manchester City70 caps(8)・Last season was the club’s MVP and best season for three consecutive months.
Bruno Fernandes28Manchester United46 caps(8)・Loves the number “8” so much that he has it tattooed on his back.
Rúben Neves25Wolverhampton30 caps・Rumored to be moving to Arsenal or Manchester U this summer.
Otávio27Porto7 caps(2)・Dynamic in offense and defense with bottomless stamina
・In the national team, he has established himself on the right wing.
・Naturalized from Brazil in September 21.
Vitinha22Paris saint-germain3 caps・Technician who made a breakthrough at Porto last season and is a candidate to succeed Berlatti at PSG, to which he moved this summer.
William Carvalho30Real Betis73 caps(5)・Awakening at the Pellegrini Regeneration Plant
・Vertical propulsion is attractive
Renato Sanches25Paris saint-germain32 caps(3)・Versatile MF
・Many weapons such as propulsion, keeping power, ball winning, etc., but also many injuries.
João Palhinha27Fulham14 caps(2)・A defender who covers the entire pitch with abundant athleticism
・And the starting point of an attack.
Matheus Nunes24Wolverhampton8 caps(1)・Wolverhampton’s most expensive transfer ever
・Advanced ball technique and propulsion are attractive.
Fábio Vieira22Arsenal0 caps・A small technician who breaks the deadlock with his passing sense and ability to keep possession
・Good soccer play-by-play imitation
João Mário29Benfica52 caps(2)・A creator who instantly finds free allies and creates chances with accurate passes
Cristiano Ronaldo37Without Club189 caps(117)・Aiming for a long-cherished first victory in what will be the last World Cup of his career.
André Silva27RB Leipzig51 caps(19)・CF to play in the area and score a goal with one touch.
Gonçalo Guedes25Wolverhampton32 caps(7)・Scored 11 goals last season as one of the top two scorers, and is making his first attempt at the Premier this season.
Diogo Jata25Liverpool27 caps(9)・Scorer with all forms of scoring patterns, including dribbling, head, right foot, left foot, and sneaking out of the game.
Rafael Leão23Milan9 caps・Six siblings, father a civil servant, mother a hairdresser
João Félix23Atletico Madrid22 caps(3)・Last season foreshadowed an awakening, and his head and one touch were polished.
・The face changes, and when contacted, he pushes forward without appealing.
・Marked 3 assists in the season opener.
Gonçalo Matias Ramos21Benfica0・An orthodox striker who has the power to break through the dribble
・ Mass production of goals from the opening
Ricardo Jorge da Luz Horta28Braga5 caps(1)・One of the best wingers in Japan who can both score and create chances
・Convened for the first time in eight years due to his success in the club

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