Portugal have been given a much kinder draw – especially in comparison with the likes of Italy and France – after they have been paired against the likes of Switzerland in their World Cup qualification group.
Manager Fernando Santos was fearing the worst due to the presence of teams like Netherlands in the second seed. Even world champions Germany was frightened the prospect of facing big teams in their group stage. Since only the group winner can qualify for the World Cup 2018 directly, this was of paramount importance. Following their poor World Cup 2014 campaign, Portugal can now hope to prepare for the next edition in a better manner.
Apart from Switzerland, Hungary, Latvia, Faroe Islands, and Andorra are the other group opponents from Portugal. Santos has admitted that this is one of the better draws for his team since there was a distinct possibility of coming up against the big guns. Even though the World Cup qualification group has thrown up a much easier route, Portugal will first concentrate on the Euro 2016 which will begin next summer. France host this tournament and Portugal are seen as one of the underdogs. This could be one of the final tournaments at international level for superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently turned 30. Read more »
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski says that he is very much keen on reaching the 100 goal figure in the Bundesliga.
The striker moved to the German Bundesliga several years ago with Borussia Dortmund. Even at such a relatively medium-sized club, Lewandowski showed his qualities by scoring numerous goals. He spent four years at the club and scored 74 league goals from just 131 games. This incredible goals to game ratio has only been improved after the move to Bayern Munich. Since coming to the Allianz Arena, the striker has been on a scoring spree. Last season, he managed 17 goals from just 31 games.
It has taken his overall Bundesliga tally to 91 goals and the striker is very keen on reaching the 100 figure. Still just 26 years old, the striker says that he can still improve as a player. The talent with the striker has not been fully utilised by Bayern Munich so far. The team won the German league title quite comfortably last season but they were not able to make a substantial difference in the Champions League. This will be the important priority for Pep Guardiola in this upcoming campaign especially given that it could be his last in German football. Lewandowski was linked with Premier League outfits before moving to Bayern. Read more »
The head coach of the Portuguese national football team, Fernando Santos received an 8 long match suspension due to his actions during the 2014 World Cup when he was in charge of the Greek National team and during a match against Costa Rica; Santos was removed from the pitch after an incident which involved the referee.
This ban was reduced from 8 matches to only 2. Santos had to miss out from Portugal’s matches against Serbia and Armenia which concluded in victories for his team.
Many people believed that an 8 match suspension was just too long and after much deliberation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed that the ban was reduced to only 2 matches and this allows Fernando Santos to be alongside his team for their upcoming match against Armenia.
Portugal has to face off with Armenia on June 13 in a match that is crucial for the Portuguese side to continue their dominance in Group I meanwhile Armenia is still in search for their first victory. Read more »
Fernando Santos wants Portugal to continue the winning ways and make it to the Euro as early as possible.
Portugal is currently at no. 2 in the points table of Group I, but, if they topple Serbia in their next game, they will be able to overtake Denmark which is leading the table.
Portugal had actually been shocked by Albania in the first match, but, they have come back with two wins on the trot and the hero of both those wins for them has been Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo looked pumped up in the training again ahead of the Serbia game.
He was in deep conversation with Santos discussing the tactics or maybe the technicalities of his own game. Whatever it was, but, he was intense. And, there was determination in his eyes.
Ronaldo has had tough times recently, both personally and Football wise. The level of his performances has come down a little bit for his club and he has been criticized.
But, being the genius that he is, Ronaldo can suddenly come up with a high class performance from nowhere. Read more »