As excitement builds for the 2022 World Cup, many fans are already getting their bets on whom they think will win the tournament. During the tournament, we know how serious things get for the biggest national team fans. In fact, many of them get extremely nervous before each and every one of their kick-offs (and rightly so, it’s the biggest event in football).

For these, sometimes it’s easier to just sit back and relax or find something to distract them before each game. This could be by going for a walk alone and listening to relaxing music, or even doing something more entertaining like playing video games like Warzone, or online casino games like Big Bass Bonanza. The Portugal national team has shocked the world of football on several occasions in international tournaments over the past two decades and – good or bad – the Seleção always seems to keep their fans on their toes. Therefore, this butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling is especially the case for Portugal fans, as they do not really ever know what to expect.

Portugal earned their place at the 2022 World Cup with play-off victories over Turkey and North Macedonia. It will be the sixth consecutive World Cup finals appearance for the Seleção as they strive to better their third-place finish in 1966 and fourth-place finish in 2006, in Qatar. Despite a below-par performance at the 2020 European Championships last year, Portugal has an exciting blend of experience and talented players. Some of the nation’s big players could make a huge difference at the 2022 World Cup. 

 

Bernardo Silva 

After making a fairly slow start to his international career, Man City’s playmaker Bernardo Silva has emerged as a key player in recent internationals. Bernardo played a key role in helping Portugal reach the playoff stages of the 2022 World Cup by providing four assists and scoring once in the Group Stages.

For City, Bernardo is a key player on Pep Guardiola’s side, as attested by last night’s goal and man-of-the-match performance in the thrilling Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. In the World Cup, he will likely continue to make the difference in attacking build-ups, especially as Fernando Santos seems to have now decided to play Silva in a central attacking midfielder role.

Diogo Jota 

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota has become a complete number nine for the Reds and Portugal. Despite only making 24 international appearances, Jota has nine goals and six assists, including five-goal contributions in his last five for Portugal. The striker also played a part in the play-off success by setting up one goal and scoring once in the two matches.

Jota has proven his capabilities to be a goal threat for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this season, already notching 21 goals for the 2021/22 campaign. If the talented forward can carry this form into the World Cup, he could be pivotal for the Seleção.

Joao Moutinho

At the age of 35, Joao Moutinho still brings quality and experience to the Portuguese national team. The Wolves midfielder has notched 144 international caps since making his debut in 2005, which is more than any other player in Portugal’s football history apart from Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite the fierce competition for places in the Seleção midfield, Moutinho remains an instrumental player for his national team, his calming influence and consistency demonstrated in two typically excellent showings in the recent World Cup playoffs, where he was utilised in a deeper defensive midfield role, representing his versatility in the squad.

Moutinho will likely continue to play a role for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, even if it is off the bench or only for specific match situations. Even in this role Moutinho can be a difference-maker, such as in the Euro 2016 final where he came off the bench to assist Eder for the championship winning goal. The seemingly ageless Moutinho continues to impress in the Premier League with Wolves. The midfielder has started 33 matches for the Wanderers this season and he has been integral to Bruno Lage’s team in 2021/22.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Even at the age of 37, Cristiano Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down, which is likely to keep him involved in Portugal’s 2022 World Cup campaign. The experienced superstar continues to play an integral role for the national team, captaining his side in the two playoff victories in March. It was widely perceived that Ronaldo was off the pace in the two matches, yet in the 5 goals scored across the playoffs, Ronaldo was involved in 3 of them. His subsequent uptick in form has come at club level where Ronaldo continues to impress despite a disastrous campaign for his team, Manchester United.

With 115 international goals and 21 goals for United this season, Ronaldo could still be Portugal’s hero. 2022 may also be Ronaldo’s last ever shot at winning Portugal their first-ever World Cup.

 

Comments (12)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

So who are the 'MUST be on the team' players?

I'm gonna start off with Sanches and Guedes.

Jerrold Hewson
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I hope whoever wrote this didn’t get paid. I’ll keep this simple and quick.

1. Bernardo isn’t the guy to make the difference. He’s just a part of the puzzle, an important part yeah but he’s not a difference maker. Do you guys only watch YouTube...

I hope whoever wrote this didn’t get paid. I’ll keep this simple and quick.

1. Bernardo isn’t the guy to make the difference. He’s just a part of the puzzle, an important part yeah but he’s not a difference maker. Do you guys only watch YouTube highlight videos?

2. Jota is definitely up there but again that’s obvious to literally every Portuguese human on the planet.

3. Joao Moutinho is actually the worst guy I can imagine to be on this list. Not only should he not be on this list but he shouldn’t even be on the team. At what point are we going to figure out and by we I mean many supporters world world and santos that Joao Moutinho offers nothing that we don’t already have? Anyone watch wolves games here? I do for 4 years and all he does is foul midfielders and pass the ball backwards. If that’s all it takes then I can make this list.

4. Ronaldo is a no brainer just like Jota but to say he shows no signs of slowing down? Hahahaha really? You must be friends with Joao Moutinho and watching the games with Moutinho and his family.

Next time please write an article that actually makes sense and addresses the current situation.

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Justin/rochester
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Could you please write an article as good as or better than this article and we will judge the article.

Also let us know the benchmark of your article.

ALL THE BEST

Neville
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Whoscored.com Portugal World Cup Qualification Player Ratings:

Joao Moutinho: 7.02
Renato Sanches: 6.85
Bernardo Silva: 6.90
William Carvalho: 6.38
etc.

The only midfielders with a higher rating are Otavio (7.82), but having played 2 games,...

Whoscored.com Portugal World Cup Qualification Player Ratings:

Joao Moutinho: 7.02
Renato Sanches: 6.85
Bernardo Silva: 6.90
William Carvalho: 6.38
etc.

The only midfielders with a higher rating are Otavio (7.82), but having played 2 games, this is skewed high (and I love the guy), and Bruno Fernandes (7.81).

So it seems that while YOU don't like Moutinho, his stats speak for themselves and are more than just 'fouling other midfielders'.

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Chris
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@neville

Yes of course, I’d love to do that. Feel free to contact me and send the money to my Venmo account. I’ll write an article for $1.99 American as I live in New York.

Here’s a quick free snippet for your viewing pleasure, here’s who are...

@neville

Yes of course, I’d love to do that. Feel free to contact me and send the money to my Venmo account. I’ll write an article for $1.99 American as I live in New York.

Here’s a quick free snippet for your viewing pleasure, here’s who are “actual difference makers”.

1. Leao(he’s a mismatch for every defender)
2. Renato(assuming health, he’s arguably our only midfielder that is willing to break the lines with the ball at his feet)
3. Cancelo(if he’s played in the correct position and used properly, he’s an enormous threat to playmake from the wingback position and take shots outside the 18 yard box)
4. Dias(he’ll have to shoulder the load defensively, this is his team now, he’s the new Ricardo Carvalho for 10 years)

Their you got buddy, that was free for you and I didn’t even have coffee yet.

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Justin/rochester
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So you say your assessment are perfect.

In Brazil we had the caranguejo predicting the world Cup in Brazil.

Euro 2008 was predicted by polvo (octopus) followed by 2010.

In Qatar we have you for just $1.99

I wish you all the best

Neville
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Justin, where do I send my $1.99? Lol Your listing is worth the money. The minute I saw Joao Moutinho's name in the main article, I was like, are you kidding me?. Just don't see the quality with Joao Moutinho. Maybe if JM...

Justin, where do I send my $1.99? Lol Your listing is worth the money. The minute I saw Joao Moutinho's name in the main article, I was like, are you kidding me?. Just don't see the quality with Joao Moutinho. Maybe if JM followed Ronaldo's workout regiment and took courses in leadership, I would give him 15 minutes of game time to pass the ball back to the goalie. We need to shock other teams with the speed of a Leao , relentless of a Sanches and the attack of a Cancelo. Also put in some young talent like Palhinha in mid field. Let sleeping dogs like JM lie.

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John Senos
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Palhinha is 26 so not that young?

Don't get the Moutinho hate as he still performs in the Premiership and experience is important (in football generally) but especially at international level. He's not even a certain starter either so honestly...

Palhinha is 26 so not that young?

Don't get the Moutinho hate as he still performs in the Premiership and experience is important (in football generally) but especially at international level. He's not even a certain starter either so honestly where's the beef?

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Christopher Santos
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What you have Justin, is called an opinion. You may think you know better, but the reality is that dumb people never have the self awareness to know they themselves are ignorant. You may watch the sport, and for years and years, but you're just...

What you have Justin, is called an opinion. You may think you know better, but the reality is that dumb people never have the self awareness to know they themselves are ignorant. You may watch the sport, and for years and years, but you're just behind a computer screen writing garbage while people with much more knowledge are handling the team, and thank God for that.

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Robbie
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Renato Sanches, Cancelo, Pepe and Ronaldo, they all have to stay healthy and stay on the field. Every other player can be swapped with the amount of depth Portugal has. Outside Cancelo, the players listed absolutely bring “IT” went they pull on...

Renato Sanches, Cancelo, Pepe and Ronaldo, they all have to stay healthy and stay on the field. Every other player can be swapped with the amount of depth Portugal has. Outside Cancelo, the players listed absolutely bring “IT” went they pull on the Portugal jersey. Santos can and will tinker, but these guys are the game changers.

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Brian/RI/US
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Agree with the people mentioning Leao - no idea why he isn't getting more looks and call-ups. Hopefully, with Nations League around the corner, they finally pull the trigger on him starting slightly to the side of the 9. His pace and his strength...

Agree with the people mentioning Leao - no idea why he isn't getting more looks and call-ups. Hopefully, with Nations League around the corner, they finally pull the trigger on him starting slightly to the side of the 9. His pace and his strength are unmatched on our team. Renato Sanches, as others mentioned, also a no-brainer. He is our best and most creative midfielder, not even close and similar to Messi in that he is hard to steal and foul to the ground. From there Dias (no Fonte,) Cancelo, Ronaldo and Nuno Mendes would be people I would start automatically.

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Martim Lucena
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Leao isn't a team player. Guys like him are the worst. They've all the talent in the World yet squander it due to attitude issues. He owes Sporting a lot of money too.

DanielDaSilva
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