Portugal gears up for their last group match encounter with Iran, and Cristiano Ronaldo was the main focus as they train this morning according to dailymail.
The European champions, who will qualify to the knock-out stage if they beat or draw Iran in their next encounter, thanks to Ronaldo’s early goal that gifts Portugal a deserving three points against Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium in their last match will do all it takes to try and progress to the next level.
The Ballon de Or winner was seen focused in training to avoid mistakes in a warm morning in Kratavo. And the Portuguese stars were seen motivated ahead of their final World Cup group encounter in Saransk on Monday evening.
Photo Credit: mirror.co.u
Fernando Santos’ men have already secured four points from their opening two games after drawing with Spain 3-3, before beating Morocco 1-0. Ronaldo and his teammates are on the same point with Spain, with Iran one point after two games and Morocco with no point.
Jose Fonte the Portuguese defender thinks that Ronaldo will always be the best player in the world. (‘I think that for us Portuguese he is the best, he always will be,’ Fonte said. This is always a difficult debate. For us he is the best and this is what matters. Cristiano is ours but talking about the best of all time is relative and very difficult to say. ‘The fact that he is breaking all records, keeps scoring and surprises all of you, but not us because we see him every day. For sure he will keep on doing this. At the end we will see. ”It’s obvious Ronaldo has a huge influence in our team. It would be the same in any other team in the world,’ he added).
Notwithstanding, if Spain beat Morocco and Iran put up a surprise shock win against the European champions, then the Asian nation would qualify from Group B with Portugal being eliminated.
- This is Iran and Portugal’s second encounter at the World Cup after 2006. Portugal won 2-0 thanks to goals from Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo , it was Ronaldo’s first ever goal in the tournament.
- Portugal have won three of their four World Cup games against Asian opposition, losing against host nation South Korea in 2002.
- Iran are winless in seven World Cup meetings against European sides (D1 L6), with that draw coming against Scotland in 1978.
- Current Iran national coach Carlos Queiroz had two spells managing Portugal during 1991-1993 and 2008-2010. He took charge during the 2010 World Cup, overseeing their biggest ever victory in the competition (7-0 vs North Korea).
- Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco last time out was their first World Cup clean sheet since a goalless draw with Brazil in 2010, ending a run of five matches without a shutout.
- A win against Portugal will guarantee that Iran are in the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in their history – failing to make it out of the group in each of their four World Cup appearances.
- Iran have never won their final game of the World Cup group stages (D1 L3), scoring three and conceding 10 in these matches.
- Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has scored each of his country’s last five goals at the World Cup; the last player to do so for a particular nation was Oleg Salenko for Russia in 1994 (6 in a row).
- Against Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 85th international goal for Portugal, the most of any European player at international level in football history, overtaking Ferenc Puskas’ 84 goals for Hungary and Spain combined.
- Should he feature in this match, Joao Moutinho will make his 113th appearance for the Portuguese national side, overtaking Nani (112) to become the third most capped player in the country’s history, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (152 before this game) and Luis Figo (127).
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