Portugal are in Group H for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
This draw means Portugal will face off against Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.
Portugal will be hoping to perform significantly better than in recent tournaments, having only gone past the last 16 once in their last six attempts, back in 2006 when they reached the semi-finals before losing 1-0 to France.
A Seleção will come up against a very familiar face in Paulo Bento, the current manager of South Korea and the man who made 35 appearances for Portugal and also presided as Seleção manager for four years. Portugal also faces Uruguay, the side who knocked them out at the last World Cup, as well as Ghana.
At the last World Cup (Russia 2018), Portugal lost to Uruguay in the round of 16. Portugal will be hoping to put that defeat behind them by getting a good result against the South Americans this time around. In 2014, it was a dismal display from A Seleção who were eliminated in the group stages, finishing behind Germany and USA. In 2010, it was another last 16 exit, this time losing 1-0 to neighbours Spain.
Shaky Qualification but Room for Optimism
Despite making very difficult work of the qualification process, there are still very high hopes for this crop of players. Fernando Santos has genuine world-class players at his disposal, with the majority of the squad turning out for elite clubs on a weekly basis. We only have to look at a team like Manchester City to see the real impact that Portuguese players are having at the top level. The issue Santos now has, however, is how does he get Portugal’s best 11 on the pitch, playing in a way that allows the rich attacking talent to be able to express themselves and make a crucial impact for Portugal. In recent tournaments, there has been perhaps an overreliance on the superstar that is Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2022 however, with such an abundance of talent in the Portugal ranks, if A Seleção are to achieve something at this World Cup, it will come through Portugal playing as a cohesive and well-rounded unit, that allows all of Portugal’s stars to shine.