Portugal has played relatively a few World Cup Finals (6). The 2018 edition will be the 7th time they participate in a World Cup. The first time they qualified for the Finals was in 1966, which was also Portugal’s best finish at a final (3rd). Currently, Portugal is ranked 3rd according to FIFA rankings. This boost in ranking was helped when Portugal won the Euros (2016) and qualified for the World Cup.
Fact: This will be Ronaldo’s fourth World Cup. He’s played the most games for Portugal in the World Cup (13).
Portugal qualified for the World Cup by topping group B during qualification, but just on goal difference. The winners of the Euro’s in 2016 will be looking forward to another successful World Cup campaign as this will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup. Spain qualified as group toppers themselves.
Fact: Eusebio is Portugal’s top goal scorer with 9 goals, all in the 1966 World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo has only 3 goals in the World Cup.
The most important fixture that will determine the outcome of the group is Portugal versus Spain. A draw in this game could potentially open this group up to the other two teams. Spain should have a slight edge in this game and group.
Portugal has never won a World Cup and doesn’t look like they will win one this time around. The best Portugal can hope for is a quarter-final or semi-final finish if they get an easy draw. It also depends on how far can Cristiano Ronaldo carry Portugal this World Cup.
Portugal has been drawn in group B, alongside Spain, Morocco and Iran. Two European heavyweights (Spain and Portugal) will battle it out for the top two qualification spots in the group.
The expected group finish is as follows:
- Spain – 1st
- Portugal – 2nd
- Morocco – 3rd
- Iran – 4th