NOTHING IS certain but death and taxes… and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring on any given matchday. In the 2013-14 season, CR7 netted an astonishing 51 goals (from 47 games) for Real Madrid. At 29, the galactico is at the peak of his powers and this is Portugal’s best chance ever to win the elusive World Cup. However, the ride to Brazil was a bumpy one. Paulo Bento’s men needed a play-off victory against Sweden to book their place. Of course, Ronaldo scored all four goals in the 4-2 win over two legs. This team is undoubtedly built around Ronaldo and the supporting case has matured with age. Bruno Alves and Pepe remain imperious in defence, while Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao have the licence to bomb forward in support of Ronaldo on either flanks. In William Carvalho and Joao Moutinho, Portugal have the perfect combination to run the midfield engine. A switch to Monaco in the French Ligue 1 has made Moutinho a better player and his link-up play with Ronaldo will be the key for Portugal’s attacks. The trouble with Portugal has always been the lack of genuine goal poacher. But then again, they have Cristiano Ronaldo.




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