Farewell to the group is important for the Portuguese. However, Ronaldo may not play – World Cup 2022 – Football – Sport

Although the Portuguese footballers secured their place in the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar after only two matches, they definitely do not want to miss the final appearance in the basic H-group.

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A fan of Portugal with an image of Cristiano Ronaldo on his head.

Instead of conserving their strength ahead of the knockout stage, they plan to go all out against Korea Republic on Friday to secure a group win.

This could give the Portuguese a smaller advantage going forward – they could avoid the Brazilians in the round of 16.

“If we were to face each other, it would be a match between two great teams. Our wish, and certainly the wish of Brazil, is that we meet later,” declared the coach of the Portuguese team, Fernando Santos.

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After Monday’s victory over Uruguay, he said that he does not plan to spare too many key players in the third meeting of the group stage, the exception being the captain and the best scorer in the history of the Portuguese national team, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old striker did not train on Wednesday and instead trained in the gym, which could indicate that coach Santos plans to leave him out of the squad to be better prepared for the round of 16 clash. In that case, Goncalo Ramos or André Silva could start in attack against the Koreans.

However, Santos said on Thursday that Ronaldo will train and if he is physically fit enough, he will also field him in Friday’s duel against the Asian opponent.

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“I don’t even know if there is a 50-50 chance. It depends on our preparation. I hope he can play,” Santos noted.

To advance, the Koreans need to win and at the same time hope for a favorable result in the match between the selections of Ghana and Uruguay.

The duel will have a special touch for the Portuguese coach Paul Bento, it may be his last game on the bench of the South Korean team. The day before the meeting, he admitted that he would sing his national anthem.

“I was born as a Portuguese and I will die as a Portuguese. I am proud to be from Portugal,” remarked the 53-year-old native of Lisbon, who also led the national team of his homeland in 2010-2014.

Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by futbal.pravda.sk.

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