G6 Team Profile: PORTUGAL

”Portugal After Portugal won two successive FIFA World Youth Championships in 1989 and 1991, many expectations were placed upon the country’s so-named “Golden Generation” of soccer players. Unfortunately for fans, successes failed to materialize and the team consistently underachieved.

Finally, in 2004 on home soil, Portugal made it the final of a major international tournament when they advanced to meet Greece for the European Championship. They lost 0-1, however.

In World Cup qualifying Portugal was up and down. Against tiny Liechtenstein they were humiliated as they blew a 2-0 lead and tied 2-2. Liechtenstein had never before earned a point in a World Cup qualifier. Portugal then proceeded to destroy Russia, a team immensely more talented the Liechtenstein, 7-1. Liechtenstein almost played the spoiler again last fall when they led Portugal 1-0 at the half. The Portuguese were finally able to come back and seal a 2-1 win with an 85th minute goal.

This summer’s tournament will most likely be the international swan song for veteran winger Luis Figo (Inter Milan), one of the leaders of the “Golden Generation.” The former FIFA World Player of the Year remains an adept goal-creator and his leadership will be heavily relied upon. Joining Figo in the midfield will be versatile Deco (Barcelona) and immensely talented 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United). Veteran striker Pedro Pauleta (Paris Saint-Germain), who broke the legendary Eusebio’s all-time scoring record of 41 goals for Portugal last fall, will most likely be the team’s top offensive weapon.

Led by Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Portugal’s defense will be strong. However, the back line is sure to miss the skills of Jorge Andrade, who injured his knee while playing for Deportivo La Coruna in March.

On paper, Portugal seems to have a good mix of players. If that translates to reality then this just might be their year.


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  • Ben

    I don’t know about Portugal. Normally, they ge tpretty far and make mistakes and they’re out. Pauleta wasn’t playing as well as usual in qualifiers and friendly’s. I hope hes playing it safe. But this could be the year!

  • ForzaItalia

    Watch out for this team. Cristiano Ronaldo could be a difference maker.

  • brandon

    Easy group! Could be able to afford to rest some players if getting a good lead. They will atleast get to the quarter finals.

  • yo mama

    Brandon, portugal has the hardest group and will lose to ivory coast in the finals.

  • Lynn

    I am looking for Rui Costa’s #10 top wear. Please send me an e-mail to: Lynntang6@hotmail.com. Thank you very much at advance.

  • Lynn

    I am looking for Rui Costa’s #10 top wear. Please send me an e-mail to: Lynntang6@hotmail.com. Thank you very much at advance.

  • Brandon

    potugal is not in the hardest group, not even close! The hardest group is group E with czechs, italy, united states and ghana. so i dont understand your comment.

  • gggg

    i want ivory coast to win it all. i bet $1000 on them.

  • Mark

    Portugal rocks and i hope they take it all. Good luck to Portugal

  • PortugueseAmerican

    Portugal has a good team & a good coach.The downside is not having Jorge Andrade(due to a knee injury)probably one of the best defenders in Europe.Him and R.Carvalho form a great duo but hopefully Meira can get the job done.C.Ronaldo has to cool off a little he retaliated after getting fouled in the last 2 friendlies Portugal played, in the WC things will be diferent he will get sent off and Portugal will be down a man,so he has to be careful if he wants to make a name for himself in a positive way. He will probably be one of the most fouled players in the WC. I think Portugal can go far with a little bit of luck after the group stage anything can happen. Portugal’s success will most likely depend on C.Ronaldo,Figo,Deco & Pauleta and of course Scolari.FORCA PORTUGAL!

  • ForzaItalia

    Portugal vs Italy in the final!

  • anfxgangsta3 – my aim someone IM me

    ross musumeci is a loser!!

    portugal all the way!!!!

  • laingge gomes

    portugal will win
    no one can’t stop it
    kill them all

  • laingge gomes

    I khow abaout portugal team, so I think that portugal will win world cup this year.make nuno gomes the striker, it can remaind about europe 2000, portugal defeated by france, zinedine zidane take the penalty, luis figo one of ‘golden generation’ to lead portugal team.

  • Patty

    I think Portugal sucks!

    Italy all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • truth

    I’m still mad that Portugal beat Mexico, but Portugal is good. And Cristiano Ronaldo is FINE!

  • Chantal

    I wish portugal all the Luck…
    It’s time they show the Italians how real soccer is played..

    Portugal will make it to the finals… Ihave Faith in them.

  • Nela

    Portugal is the best team out there. And they proved it on Sunday’s game againts the Netherlands. Although the referee made a lot of mistakes, we still showed the world that are team can surpass anything, we fought till the end. FORCA PORTUGAL…

  • Heath Young

    Portugal do not have the mindset to go much further in my opinion. Between Ronaldo’s antics in qualifiers (and now picking up an injury), Figo diving all the time and headbutting the opposition, and Deco completely losing his cool; they are not showing the composure they will need to beat some of the teams that will be awaiting them in the coming rounds. They were lucky to get past the Netherlands in yet another match that was absolutely ruined by poor officiating. A horrifically blown no call in the box would have given Holland the goal they needed from the penalty spot. A couple of other blown chances, and their astonishing decision to do nothing but send 40 yard balls into the box for the last 20 minutes meant that Holland simply couldn’t take the game Portugal had given them.

    If Portugal cannot find some maturity and composure to take with them into the next round, they’ll be going home. However, if cooler head prevail, Ronaldo is fit and Pauleta shows some life, they could survive yet another round.

  • Carlos Nunes

    Portugal will beat England. Pitty they have to meet Brazil in the Semis!!! But they can do it – remember 1966??? My dream final would be Portugal vs Brazil. Go Portugal!!!

  • geni

    Portugal did an amazing jod in defeating the netherlands, it was a tough battle and they showed endurance and great strenght despite the many chalenges they faced. It was the best game i have seen so far and after watching that game there is no doubt that they can win the world cup. Keep up the great job!

  • Yeah

    Im so glad, Portugal is throgh to the next round, I have complete faith we gonna win on Sat against England. Also good to know that Ronaldo and Figo will be playing on Sat, hopefully FIFA allows Deco to play..but we will only know on thurs.

    VAMOS A VITORIA PORTUGAL!!!

  • Ricardo

    Portugal is going ALL THE WAY BABY!!! For the first time ever they have the team to win it ALL. I can’t wait to see the cup in Figo’s hands they deserve it!!!
    VIVA PORTUGAL
    Mocambicano Ricardo

  • Heath Young

    I found it to be a terrible match against the Netherlands, at least the majority of the second half. Portugal lost every bit of the composure that got them to the round of 16, lost Deco for the quarter finals in their recklessness and could easily have lost Figo after his moronic headbutt. Up to that point, Portugal was looking strong and it was a quality match, but horrible officiating and both teams’ rash reaction to it, the game declined and was easily the worst second half of football I have seen in this tournament.

    That said, England have been getting through matches by the skin of their teeth and have not looked particularly steady, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Portugal advance to the semi-finals with England’s lack of form. But after that, I think it’s a plane ride home.

  • wilko

    I’m sure Portugal will win, they flew through the qualifiers and never lost a match, they won their group and turned over Netherlands. Now we’ve knocked out England who many people thought had they picked up form could’ve won. Now with France beating brazil, it makes our job easier. still Zidane and Figo’s last WC so both sides will play amazing. The teams are balanced but, i think Scolari will sway it Portugals way.

  • matt

    don’t give up on Portugal, they are 1 of the most interesting teams out there. They played in some terrible games, sure but they always found a way to win and thats what counts. Scolari is the best coach out there and i think that he will find a way to get Portugal into the finals. If not I just hope that they play an exciting game that will be worth watching and remembering.

  • Makhila- Portugal 4 life!!!

    Forca Portugal!! I have complete faith that Portugal will make it to the final!We have played well despite what people might be saying! Portugal deserve to be where they are. They have faught damn hard and have come up victorious against Mexico, Netherlands and now England. Come on Portugal, lets show the world what we’re made of and beat the French next and Germeny/Italy in our next match thereafter! GO PORTUGAL!!!

  • GO PORTUGAL

    We should all be proud of our team (PORTUGAL)
    they have done a wonderful job,win or lose they are still winners in my book and every portuguese should be real proud.
    BOA SORTE PORTUGAL (WE LOVE YOU)

  • Emmanuel Soto-Costa Rica

    I’ve never seen such as good soccer players as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo. Congratulations guys..you are the best! PORTUGAL THE NEXT CHAMPION FIFA WORLD CUP !!

  • Adam

    Now Italy’s defeated Germany in the semis and it’s either Portugal or France to face Italy in the finals of the WC. I think with Deco back there will be more shots on net and more opportunities for Portugal. I hope that France doesn’t pull another upset on Portugal like they did on Brazil and Spain. I’m going for Portugal all the way!

  • portual fan

    …so sad they lost… prayin’ 4 ITALIA now

  • divya, India

    when christiano’s on the feild, all others are as good as invisible. His moves, n his dodging is simply unmatchable & he’s plain magic on the field,(n i’m sure all women ‘ll agree widd me on tht..lol). France was good, but hey.. the goal was a penalty goal… And for all u guys there, tryin to run down Ronaldo all the time, try to b 1/2 of what he is.. n try to get to halfway to whrr he is, at such an early age, thn give u’r expert comments on his game n his fouls n all tht junk.
    Great goin Portugal!!! And grt goin RONALDO!!! you simply rock!! i’m sure Portugal’ll come out stronger in the nxt FIFA cup. Till thn… Way to go Ronaldo…. Way to go……

  • Nadisha

    Portugal deserves to be in the final. Thierry Henri was faking that foul!!!!!!!!!!Don’t worry there’s still the 3rd place playoff, you can thrash the Germans!!!!!

  • whiners

    Haha, Portugal complaining about someone else faking? All the Portuguese do on the field is flop, cry and complain. If they’d stand up and keep playing, they’d be much better. Everyone — the fans, opposing players, and the ref has caught on and they are sick of the fakers and whiners.

  • niki

    my portuguese pride
    i will not hide
    my portuguese race
    i will not disgrace
    my portugu4ese blood
    flows hot n true
    my portuguese people
    will always stand by
    through thick n thin
    till the day we die
    our portuguese flag
    rises higher then the rest
    because every1 knows
    PORTUGUESE R THE BEST!!!

  • Heath Young

    Portugal did indeed put together a nice run, but in my opinion, the better team won. France has been playing arguably the best football of anyone in the tournament, only allowing 2 goals for a +6 goal differential, and producing two of the best wins of the tournament against Spain and Brazil.

    Additionally, again my opinion only, France are playing a style of football I have much more respect for. Granted, they won on a penalty kick, and I’ll even grant you that Henry went down easily. However, if you look at the replay, Carvalho very clearly sticks his leg out intentionally without making any attempt at the ball. The contact with Henry wasn’t particularly harsh, but as a defender, you simply can’t stick your leg out after being beaten in the box. I found it a much more convincing case for a penalty than the gift the Italians received in the 95th minute of their match against Australia.

    The penalty aside, Portugal as a team flops, dives and complains as much as almost any other team in the tournament, eclipsed perhaps only by Italy. I like Ronaldo and Figo as players, but they are more flagrantly guilty of taking obsurd dives than anyone and they should have earned several cards for diving thoughout the tournament. It’s a disgraceful aspect of the game, especially from players that are talented enough not to need such antics. Henry may be guilty of it now and then, but nowhere near as much as Portugal. They lost their composure way too easily as well. A poorly officiated game to be sure, but they were lucky to escape with a win against Holland, when their immaturity bought them cards and next game suspensions.

    As for Ronaldo, he is extremely talented and fun to watch, but he doesn’t yet make the players around him better and that is the difference. For all his trickery, pace and skill; he is an individual player and runs himself out of space and often forces bad shots or poor crosses at the end of an otherwise impressive run. That will come with age, though. He’s a fantastic player and maturity will see him become the type of player that can take Portugal deep into the World Cup again before he is done.

    I’ll also say that Ricardo could have an argument for inclusion in the Golden Ball list for his performance. Keepers are often overlooked, but he deserved it if any did.

    Regardless, I think we’ll see Germany giving their fans the consolation of a 3rd place finish Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    Portugal played a great game in every aspect,much better than France, we had more corners more shots on net, more possetion of the ball, The only thing we did’nt have was a penalty kick and that my friends is why France won. Otherwise it would of been good- nite and bon suah to them !

  • yoyo

    I agree, Ricardo is a very good keeper. And Deco is very good as well. But as others have said, the complaining and diving that the portuguese do is unnecessary and annoying. I think this is why the ‘golden generation’ never lifted a major trophy, despite all their talent.

  • Heath Young

    I don’t think you can say Portugal played ‘much better’ than France with any true justification. Posession was actually almost dead even, recorded in the stats as 51% to 49%. That’s a difficult stat to measure and about as even as it could possibly get in a match. Portugal did have an edge in shots and corners, but only 6 of them were actually on goal, so it’s not like they were peppering Barthez. Portugal certainly had a couple of good chances, but the fact of the matter is they didn’t score and the match was very even overall. A penalty decided it, and that’s just the way it goes in this sport. So many of the matches in this tournament have been decided on one goal or on penalties. It was a good match by both teams.

  • Maria Raposo-DaSilva

    The previous email from ‘Niki’ that person should read ‘Heath Young’s’ email…..also the above person’s email as well should read Heath Young’s email ALSO LAINGGE GOMES,NELA EMAIL READ AND WEEP.. which is right to the point short and simple…..As Heath’s email stated the only reason France won on weds. was because of that poor call and France had that LUCKY penalty kick….if both of these people Niki & Nadisha’s email watched Weds. game Portugal did play a very good game they kept shooting on net. They never backed down and they showed that when they played against England last Sat. Portugal Team has played great against previous teams.(and that is the reason why they have come to this point)..to that person in the previous email saying Portugal Team are whiners ,complainers or fake an injury did Figo fake his injury when I believe they were playing against Mexico or some other team when he got hit with the opposing players cleat right on his cheek….did the referee in that game called it a penalty kick against that player NO he did not … that referee just let that slide and Figo kept playing as the side of his face was swollen….there are poor referee’s that are calling crapping calls & also talk about the same referees of making $$$ deals & i would not be surprised..perfect example the game USA VS Italy that stupid referee was pulling yellow and red cards in that game left & right like it was out of style…..Portugal has made it this far due to : 1. Team Work 2. They never give up and they have proven that….again the only reason why France won was that Henri how ever you spell his name went down and pretended he was hurt the poor thing…if he had gotten up like a real man the game i am positively sure would not have ended as it did…..I AM VERY PROUD OF PORTUGAL KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK WHAT EVER HAPPENS ON SATURDAY, AGAIN I AM PROUD OF THEM…..VIVA PORTUGAL…..FROM A SOCCER MOM….

  • Victoria

    the portugal team are the best in the world!C.RONALDO is the best forever!!!

  • paulina

    GO PORTUGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PORTUGAL IS THE BEST. i love cristano r. he is the hottest guy out there

  • giova* * * *

    Portugal isn’t going anywhere. They don’t have the experience and are choke prone. When Portugal wins a major tournament, George Bush will be loved by everyone. It isn’t possible. Sorry.

  • Nicole Rocha-Southern California

    VIVA PORTUGAL! portugal did what they did, but i will let you know portugal is a great team and will come back and win! Trust me! FORCA PORTUGAL!!

  • Anonymous

    PORTUGAL TO ME IS THE BEST . I KNOW IT WILL WIN THE WORLD CUP. GO GO GO PORTUGAL

  • JC Cordeiro

    PORTUGAL is the best team in my eyes but I had my doubts when they came up against brazil in England feb 6 2007 and guess what they won 2-0 oh oh my GOD BLESS PORTUGAL VIVA, VIVA PORTUGAL OH ya shout out to C.Ronaldo

  • JC

    lay olay olay olay portugal is the best but i still cant understand why they dont win uefa & the fifa you know what team i hate it is ITALIA!!!!! Hay did u know portugal is better than brazil because out of all the matches portugal always beat brazil lol i alway thought brazil could kick portugals butt well portugal proved me wrong and this is coming from a portugeuse 11 year old lol oh by the way VIVA PORTUGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christopha

    POTUGAL is the best team ever!!!!!!
    no one can stop this indestructable team!!!
    Viva Portugal!!!

  • bloog

    Listen, i know you Italy people have no tast… well i am here to make it all right it is simple PORTUGAL Rules Italy Drools.
    thank you for your time :)

  • alex

    hey my name is alex i know alot of people like portugal but i like poland a bit better

  • Kassie

    Portugal rox and is the best!!!!!!!!!

  • nikki

    Portugal will never win ANYTHING, they ALWAYS choke in the end..and now that FIGO is gone, they have no hope.

  • Mickael

    Portugal rocks!but Cristino Ronaldo is falling every 2 seconds but thats ok he is stil a very good

  • stephanie carvalho

    i think portugal is so going to beat italy.portugal should show the italians how to play soccer.i think italy sucks.olay olay olay olay portugal is going to win.go portugal go show them how its done.wow.portugal all the way.