Cristiano Ronaldo lifts Euro 2016 trophy with Portugal

Why Portugal will win the World Cup: 10 reasons

1: Tournament know-how

Portugal Win Euro 2016 – France 0-1 Portugal: The Internet Reacts (Video)

Two years ago, Portugal stunned everybody by becoming European Champions.

Despite drawing all three group games, they squeaked through to the knock out stages as one of the best third placed teams.

A 117th minute winner saw them beat Croatia before they saw off Poland on penalties to make the last 4.

Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo saw Portugal past Wales and into the final. They rode their luck in Paris but somehow defeated the hosts to win the Euros.

Portugal weren’t the best team at the Euros but found a way to win, something they’ll need to replicate if they are to win the World Cup for the first time.

2: Experienced players

Could the key for Portugal be the experience their squad possess?

It is likely that seven of their squad will have more then 65 caps with the likes of Bruno Alves, João Moutinho and Cristiano Ronaldo all having over 100.

This sort of experience is invaluable for any side in tournament football.

3: Players at their peak

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 14: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides seventh goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at Etihad Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Lots of the Portugal squad are going into the World Cup on the back of their best seasons ever.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has impressed and been a key part of the side that won the Premier League and Carabao Cup double this season.

Gonçalo Guedes has been a revelation at Valenica since joining on loan from PSG, scoring 5 and registering 11 assists to help them to their highest La Liga finish for three seasons.

Are these players hitting form just at the right time for their country?

4: Portugal’s favourable draw?

Portugal are in Group B alongside Spain, Iran and Morocco.

Their colossal clash with their Iberian neighbours is their first game which is likely to determine who wins the group.

However, their third game is against minnows Iran which could give Fernando Santos the opportunity to rest some key players which is always vital as games in the knock out stages come thick and fast.

The other advantage is that even if they do finish second they won’t be playing a footballing heavyweight in the last 16. It is likely that should Portugal progress they will play either Egypt or Uruguay and they should fancy their chances against both of them.

If all goes to plan,  Portugal will once again be in the quarter-finals of a major tournament and from there anything is possible.

5: The Cristiano Ronaldo factor

Cristiano Ronaldo golazo vs Juventus

TURIN, ITALY – APRIL 03: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid scores his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Juventus and Real Madrid at Allianz Stadium on April 3, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

If you have Cristiano Ronaldo in your team you have a good chance.

He’s scored a staggering 42 goals in 40 appearances for Real Madrid this season including 15 in the Champions League which has helped his team secure their fourth trophy in 5 years.

Ronaldo has also scored 81 goals for his country with 10 of those coming at World Cups or European Championship final tournaments.

Having won the Euros two years ago he will be desperate to add the World Cup to his never ending array of titles.

6: Portugal’s Confederations Cup experience

KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 28: The Portugal team watch the penalty shoot out during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Semi-Final between Portugal and Chile at Kazan Arena on June 28, 2017 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

As European Champions, Portugal participated in last summer’s Confederation Cup.

They won two of their three group games before being knocked out in the semi-finals by Chile on penalties.

They did recover and beat Mexico in the third place play off. Despite not winning the trophy 12 months ago, that experience of being and playing in Russia, travelling around a huge country and everything else that comes will make the experience more familiar.

Portugal played in three of stadiums in Kazan, Moscow and Saint Petersburg so they will know what to expect.

7: Fernando Santos

This will be Portugal’s head coach Fernando Santos’ fourth experience of a major finals; more then most of the other countries coaches he will come up against.

He guided Greece to the quarter finals of Euro 2012 and under his stewardship, they reached the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time ever in 2014.

This’ll be the second tournament in which he will lead his native Portugal and of course Euro 2016 didn’t go too badly for him.

Will his experience be vital for Portugal in Russia?

8: It’s in Europe

9 of the 10 World Cups to take place in Europe have been won by a European team.

The only exception was back in 1958 when Brazil ruled the World in Sweden but neither they or anybody else from outside Europe have been able to be crowned world champions in Europe.

As a European side, will this work in Portugal’s favour?

9: They’re the European champions

Cristiano Ronaldo lifts Euro 2016 trophy with Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the Euro 2016 trophy following the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France.

Since 1995, three sides have held either both the World Cup and European Championship title or the World Cup and Copa América.

Spain in 2010 completed their double and back in 1997 Brazil added continental success to their World crown.

History proves it is possible, so why can’t Portugal add themselves to this list?

10: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or motivation

Cristiano Ronaldo with his 5 Ballon d'Ors

MADRID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 09: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF poses with his five Golden Ball (Ballon d’Or) trophies prior to start the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 9, 2017 in Madrid, Spain . (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Having now won 5 Ballon d’Or’s and the last two, Cristiano Ronaldo will be desperate to cement a sixth best player in the world title which would take him one clear of Messi and make him the most decorated player in the accolades history.

Ronaldo’s Real Madrid side saw off Liverpool in the Champions League final and the Portuguese superstar is now the overwhelming favourite for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

If Portugal won the World Cup for the very first time it would mean Ronaldo would be a certainty.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s son with a brilliant finish! – video

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Portugal to win the World Cup & Ronaldo to be top goal scorer: 66/1