Having conquered Europe, Portugal go into the FIFA World Cup 2018 eyeing global domination. Against all odds, they produced an emphatic team-performance and defeated France in the final who were backed by home support.
Following their latest exploits at the European Championships 2016 and featuring arguably the best footballer of our generation, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal are no pushovers and shouldn't be taken lightly on the road to Russia.
In the past, Portugal shocked the entire footballing world with their record highest 4th place finish in the 2006 World Cup.
Featuring the likes of legends Figo, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and a maturing Ronaldo in their side, Portugal did the unthinkable by reaching the semifinals of the tournament eventually losing to France.
Following poor displays in the 2010 and 2014 edition, Portugal will be looking at redemption and announcing themselves as one of the best teams in World football supporting their FIFA ratings as the fourth best nation in world football presently.
Portugal topped qualification into the World Cup final 32 against the likes of Switzerland and Hungary facing just one defeat. Portugal along with Spain, Morocco and Iran from Group B of the World Cup and are favorites to advance to at least the quarterfinals of the World Cup barring all upsets.
Possessing a youthful squad and with the expectations that come as Champions of Europe, let's take a look at five key players for Portugal at Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2018:
#1 Rui Patricio
Portugal wouldn't have won the Euros 2016 without the contribution of their experienced goalkeeper, Rui Patricio, who saved the only penalty in the semifinals of the tournament against Poland. His performances also earned him a place in the 'Team of the Tournament.'
Portugal will look to the inspiration from their accomplished veteran if they are to top the group and keep favorites Spain at bay and really stake their claim at the final few places of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
With 68 appearances under his belt at the International stage and a rumored imminent move to the newly promoted EPL side Wolves, Patricio will need to impress as he allows the Portuguese attackers to score the all-important goals with freedom.
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