Portugal Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Third, 1966
Manager: Paulo Bento
Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo
Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Group G: With Germany, Ghana and USA
Portugal is no doubt one of the world's soccer powerhouses, coming into this tournament with FIFA's third overall ranking. However, they looked anything but dominant during UEFA F qualifying matches. First off, they tied lesser Northern Ireland and Israel (twice) squads. Then they lost to a solid Russian team, which proved to be the difference in the latter topping the group. This meant that Portugal had to play Sweden in a tough playoff match that required Cristiano Ronaldo's heroics to win 4-2 on the aggregate and advance to the 2014 World Cup.
Speaking of Ronaldo, this is always a good place to begin when discussing Portugal. He scored all four goals against Sweden and added another four goals during the team's 10 UEFA qualifying matches. Considered by many to be the world's best player, Ronaldo did nothing to dispel this notion in qualifiers and makes Portugal a threat to run straight to the World Cup title. Hélder Postiga and Bruno Alves provide further offensive punch for this team as they scored five and four goals, respectively, during UEFA play.
Aside from an excellent front line, this team also features a tough back four. But there have been some concerns about Rui Patricio in the goal. Additionally, this team has the tendency to lose focus and show some lapses in judgement. So while Portugal is capable of playing better than the world's elites like Spain, Germany and Brazil, they also have the troubling ability to play at the level of weaker competition.
Taking this into account, even top experts have trouble predicting how the 2014 World Cup will go for this team. But with Ronaldo on their team, Portugal always has a chance even when they're struggling mightily.