PORTUGUESE SOCCER NEWS LINKS
Join us on Twitter for quick
news reports, pics and videos.
Join us on Facebook for quick news reports, pics and videos
THE LATEST PORTUGUESE SOCCER NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Portugal opened their World Cup 2022 qualifying in March with three games against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg and if not for a horrible call in additional time that missed the ball crossing the line against Serbia for the win, they would have been a perfect three for three instead of earning two wins and a draw in their encounters. This is the three things we learned about Portugal after the start to their campaign.
1- Bernardo Silva may be becoming Portugal's best player.
Bernardo Silva is the main play making threat on
this Portugal side, his creativity is unmatched when
it comes to national team play and we may be
getting to the point in calling him Portugal's best
player as the torch looks to be slowly be passed from
Cristiano Ronaldo who now counts on Bernardo's
magic to get him the ball up front as he bobs and
weaves through the opposition. There is no one on
this Portugal squad with the skill and confidence on
the ball at this time like Bernardo Silva. The one knock on Bernardo could be his pass first mentality which has led him to score only seven goals for the national side while setting up eighteen goals in his 54 appearances. For those who look only at the goals scored stat you are missing the brilliance that the 2019 Nations League M.V.P. does on the field in the lead up.
2- Diogo Jota shows why we need to take him serious.
Diogo Jota is making it very difficult to take him out
of the starting eleven with his performances for
Portugal since earning his first cap in November
2019. Jota has scored six goals in twelve appearances
to date and added half that total in the two games
that he played over this qualifying. If Jota continues
on this pace he could be in Portugal's top ten all time
scorers in the next couple of years. Jota has earned
his place in the starting eleven going forward over
the likes of Joao Felix and Andre Silva and is a
welcome addition along side Ronaldo who can not
always be counted on to provide the majority of the nations goals. Jota looks confident on and off the ball and is slowly gaining the attention of opposition defenders which will help find Ronaldo a bit more open space on the field.
3- Fernando Santos shows his stubbornness
There is no doubt that Fernando Santos is Portugal's
greatest manager, bringing home the first two ever
International trophies on the senior men's side but
his starting eleven selection and substitutions left
too many questions and doubts in many minds.
Santos choice to only play an in form Andre Silva a
total of 75 minutes in all three games had a few
wondering why the striker was not utilized more
in games that required scoring. His choice to switch
Joao Cancelo from right back to left back in the
Serbia game instead of keeping Cancelo on the right side, were he has dominated this season was odd and Cancelo's sub par performance on his wrong side hurt the squad in this game. Santos' most stubborn quality may just be in not substituting Ronaldo in just about any game he plays which may continue to be the case until CR7 sets the all time International goal scoring record but Ronaldo is not the same player and a change in tactics should be something to consider and hurts Portugal's growth as a squad when it is not done.
WRITTEN BY JORGE CORREIA