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End of the Road: Portugal on their World Cup Exit

End of the Road: Portugal on their World Cup Exit

Finish: Third place, Group stage

(Featured Image: Portugal players | Source: FIFA)

 

While Portugal were not necessarily considered the top favorites to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they were not seen to bid adieu early in the tournament either. Cristiano Ronaldo’s knee injury had a huge impact on the side’s campaign and it certainly slowed down the striker’s scoring capacity. As the team’s talisman, all eyes were on him although a few other players in the pack also deserve some credit. In the end, however, the lack of genuine attacking power has taken a significant toll on their championship aspiration.

 

A Seleccao debuted in the match in the least impressive way possible. The side lost to Germany on a four-goal clean sheet, producing one of the earliest and worst upsets in the competition. This caused severe disappointment amongst the Portuguese fans and to everyone else rooting for the Ronaldo-centered squad.

 

In what was supposed to be an easy way to redeem themselves from the embarrassment they incurred in the curtain raiser, Portugal’s brawl in their second fixture only gave them one point following a 2-2 draw against the underrated and underestimated USA. If not for their 2-1 win over Ghana in their final Group stage battle, Paulo Bento’s men might have been stuck in the table’s bottom. They ended up third, trailing behind the United States who scored the same number of points as Portugal but advanced through the Round of 16 via goal difference.

 

Portugal’s elimination was largely centered on team captain Cristiano Ronaldo. It has been the Real Madrid linchpin’s third exit from the World Cup and he is not getting any younger—this World Cup might be his last. Most fans and figures in the media speculated that the other team-mates have been complacent and relied heavily on the squad’s top seed despite his being not-much-in-good-shape. They did not give their 100 percent and they should feel guilty about that. It has been long touted that Portugal are a one-man team, and it is easy to see why.

 
 
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