The talented Portugal wants to get rid of his stumbling blocks in Qatar

Lisbon: led by Cristiano Ronaldo at the twilight of his career, Portugal and one of its best generations arrive in Qatar under pressure to prove it lives up to their expectations. The image of Portuguese football has changed enormously over the past two decades, with the national team moving from a mediocre level to one of the best in the world and Portugal transforming. in a talented car. With Bruno Fernandez, Rafael Leao, Joao Felix, Joao Cancelo, Rubén Neves, Bernardo Silva, Vitenha and others, Portugal has one of the best individual teams at the World Cup on paper in Qatar. But the reality is completely different from the theories. The rise of striker Ronaldo and manager Jose Mourinho has had a big impact on the culture of the game in Portugal, and managed to reach the final of the 2004 European Championship until winning the title 12 years later. But it seems like ages have passed since winning the title in 2016, and winning in home of the European Nations League in 2019 did not mitigate the criticism after the disappointing exit from last year’s European Championship round of 16, while it did not reach the knockout in the last two editions of the Nations League, and was forced to fight against the play-offs to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The recent defeat in home against Spain, in the last match of the Nations League group stage, sparked a lot of criticism against coach Fernando Santos and captain Ronaldo. Public e media wondered if it was time for the manager to step down and for Ronaldo to give way to a new generation, with only a secondary role with a squad full of young and elite talent, but he did not shine with the national team due to the insistence on “stereotyping” and adapting one’s game to Ronaldo’s wishes. After the 1-0 defeat to Spain in Braga when Portugal had a lot of ball possession but wasted chances until their neighbors scored in injury time in October, Santos had to answer numerous questions about his future, just five weeks before the start of the World Cup. “My contract will last until 2024 and I intend to be honored to work until the end,” Santos told reporters. And if the pressure from recent results weren’t enough, Santos has to solve two problems in attack, the first is the absence of Diogo Jota, injured in Liverpool’s victory over Manchester City, and the second is the decline of Felix with Atletico Madrid. , like the attacker, who cost him club 120 million, became a seat captive in Park bench in this season. (Reuters)