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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Portugal team guide

A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Portugal ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Fixtures (Group D):

  • v Angola - 11 June, 2000 BST, Cologne
  • v Iran - 17 June, 1400 BST, Frankfurt
  • v Mexico - 21 June, 1500 BST, Gelsenkirchen

    How did they get to Germany: Easily. Portugal were unbeaten in their group in which they thrashed Russia 7-1 and finished seven points clear.

    Qualifying star: Striker Pauleta ended the campaign with a brace that saw him overtake Eusebio's record of 41 goals for Portugal. He came top of the scoring charts in the European zone with 11.

    Manager: Charismatic Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari. Known as "Big Phil" and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Gene Hackman, Scolari guided Portugal to the final of Euro 2004 but has yet to win over the Portuguese public and was hunted by England as a replacement for Sven-Goran Eriksson.

    Portugal skipper Luis Figo
    Captain: Luis Figo. Back from international retirement, the talismanic figure of Portuguese football was quickly given back the armband that he regarded as his own and he is now definite this will be his swansong.

    World Cup pedigree: Patchy. Just the three so far. Portugal's first attempt in 1966 was highly successful but the 1986 and 2002 campaigns left a lot to be desired.

    World Cup high: Reaching the semi-finals in 1966, beaten in the end by home nation and eventual champions England.

    World Cup low: The 2002 World Cup was a disaster for the Portuguese. The USA and South Korea both beat highly-fancied Portugal, who finished bottom of their group.

    World Cup legend: Difficult to see beyond Eusebio, a true footballing superstar and a great of the game who was the top scorer at the 1966 tournament.

    Cristiano Ronaldo - the bright young hope of Portuguese football
    Present star man: Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo is the heir apparent to Figo. With his dazzling feet and blinding skills he has the ability to illuminate the finals.

    Strengths: Solid in defence, exceptional in midfield and with plenty of options in attack, Portugal are not short of highly-rated personnel. The remaining players from the 'golden generation' of Portuguese football are determined to win a major trophy.

    Weaknesses: Despite the exploits of Pauleta in qualifying he has failed to deliver in major tournaments. The goalkeeping position remains a major problem. Benfica's Quim and Sporting Lisbon's Ricardo are competing for the jersey that many want to be seen given to the out-of-favour Vitor Baia.

    Did you know? The Portuguese squad were so unhappy with their training camp at Saltilho, Mexico in 1986 that they threatened to go on strike. One practice match saw them line up against staff from their hotel.

    World ranking: 7

    Odds: 20/1

    Local view: "I think Portugal will be in the top eight teams in Germany. They are more prepared for competition than at Euro 2004 and the coach understands his players better." Luis Octavio Costa, Publico newspaper.

    Our verdict: Portugal still boast plenty of talented players but are unlikely to equal their Euro 2004 exploits.

    Ranking and odds correct at 22 May. Odds supplied by William Hill.


    Pick your Portugal XI
    31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
    Country profile: Portugal
    09 Nov 05 |  Country profiles


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