- Despite the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese were the first team in history to reach the League of Nations final tournament.
- In the fall, the Portuguese confirm that they can play even without Cristiano Ronaldo. And in the spring, with Juventus, they will be even stronger
- The Portuguese do not need to worry about the future. They already have wealth in the help line, and the next talented generation begins to enter the team
Even despite the autumn absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, European champions won the group until the last match. And historically, as the first team of the department, they reached the Final Four. The best football player and national symbol after the federation and coaches allowed himself to abandon numerous speculations about the rape charges and adapt to the new environment in Juventus, which he found in the summer for 117 million euros. But the Portuguese in competitions with Italy and Poland have already shown themselves to be the most mature and most effective team.
Staff for several major tournaments
The players Fernando Santos are also lucky that he has two rebuilt teams – Roberto Mancini has just returned the Italian national team to good condition, and the team led by Jerzy Brzeczka continues to experience many problems.
European champions are not considered to be one of the most dangerous groups of the Old Continent, because they cannot match the human potential even of France, but they will have a chance for another great success that will win the League of Nations. Their greatest assets are a good organization in defense and pragmatism, brought up by coach Fernando Santos. Names change, but the Portuguese can still play modestly after the match. They showed it at three previous meetings, when they were slightly better than the Italians (1: 0 and 0: 0) and Poland (3: 2), when they had a clear advantage.
Their team can look to the future with optimism, even without Juventus in the lineup. In the spring, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return to the national team to take part in the qualifying round of the European Championship in 2020. Autumn, however, confirmed that the Portuguese can also play without it. And the players that make up the group are of such age that there are still several major events ahead.
Results are more important than style.
The Generation of Unsuccessful Tournaments is represented by Pepe, Rui Patricio and José Fonte, who are the leaders in the locker room. Other players, however, are a guarantee of a good game for many years. The core of the team consists of players under the age of 26 – William Carvalho, Joao Cancel, Bernardo and Andre Silva, Broome, Joao Mario, Raphael Gerreiro and Bruno Fernandez. And a group of young people should be added to them who already have a lot in this team, and they can still play in youth performances – the main middle defender Ruben Diaz, European champion Renato Sanchez, the largest diamond in the help line Ruben Neves and Gonzalo Goodes, who was the main striker alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Championships.
Most importantly, the Portuguese are convinced that they have found the right person for the manager's position. Fernando Santos, or rather the Engineer, whom he called his passion for mathematics and electrical engineering, convinced them of this conviction for more than four years. Sometimes the presentation style led by Santos is questioned, but the facts are in his favor – Portugal lost only two of the 36 games for points: in September 2016 0: 2 with Switzerland in qualifying for the World Cup, and in June of this year 1: 2 with Uruguay in the 1/8 finals of the World Cup in Russia. The results of the 64-year-old coach show that he developed: in 20 of 36 matches his team kept a clean sheet, and only seven times the rivals scored more than one ball. Poland only the match in the League of Nations lost 2: 3, joined this narrow group.
Today in Guimaraes, Santos can beat Louise Felipe Scolari's record for the number of victories and points won in official matches. Brazilian at 43 official meetings scored 86 points. Santos may have enough 37 meetings to get his achievements, because he already scored 84 points.
Fighting Veteran Time
In the coming years, the Portuguese can be calm. The greatest wealth of our current rivals is in the second line, where the selector can choose talented players. In the context of the next European Championship, the question remains whether the defense will be based on Pepe or Fonte. Both will be 37 years over two seasons, so it’s not known whether they will remain in the right position to maintain such efficiency as before. A well-equipped one will probably be the second in the center of defense, because 21-year-old Ruben Diaz from Benfica has made great progress.
In addition, we must remember the next generations that are already achieving attractive results among their peers. The runners of Europe until the 21st of 2015, that is, the generations of Bernardo Silva and William Carvalho, are already in the squad, but the time has come for the current European under-19 champions from Finland, who next year successfully passed the qualification for participating in the Youth World Cup. The top scorers of this event, Francisco Trinkau from Braga and Jota from Benfica, are only taking their first steps in adult football, but they have already managed to send a signal that another talented year will come. The difference in potential was seen in matches with peers from our country – last week the team at the age of 21 in Zabrze lost 0: 1, and the representation before the age of 20 years in Faro was 0: 2. At both meetings, the game was held by the Portuguese.
Complete with landfill
Only the last group match in the League of Nations with Poland will be an opportunity for them to experiment. Because of the suspension of the cards, there will be two main players, Mario Rui from Napoli and Ruben Neves from Wolverhampton, who have already returned to their clubs. The damage caused by the fact that Bernardo Silva will not play, and Andre Silva can take a rest on the bench. – This does not mean that we will miss this match. I will not allow this. The last meeting with Poland will be important for us, because we will play in front of our own audience, which is always with us. You must reward her, ”said the selector.
In recent years, the Portuguese ball has experienced some shocks, such as beating Sporting Lisbon players or financial problems of the biggest league clubs, but this has not affected the level of football in any way. Portugal continues to perform well in Europe, so representation is not a cause for concern. Thanks to such opportunities and talents, her ambitions can achieve success on the continent.