World Cup 2022: Portugal v Ghana match preview

FIFA ranking: Portugal (9), Ghana (61)

Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, has continued to rank among the best athletes to ever play this sport despite his off-the-field troubles at Manchester United and the aging process that has diminished his abilities.

Despite having a difficult season, Portugal’s all-time leading scorer will be motivated to provide a World Cup to remember because it might be his final appearance on a major stage. Never mind that he enjoys constantly putting his critics in their place, especially during important events.

For the sake of his legacy and to one-up Lionel Messi, Ronaldo may feel especially motivated to lead his squad as far as possible in this tournament after Saudi Arabia’s victory against Argentina.

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The team’s efforts to win a first-ever World Cup will be supported by a supporting cast that includes veteran Pepe, AC Milan starlet Rafael Leo, and midfielders Vitinha and Bruno Fernandes.

Fullback Joao Cancelo, a versatile player who excels at delivering crosses with the outside of his foot, will be behind them and attempting to work wonders from the defense.

After the European Championship (2016) and the Nations League (2019) titles, if they make it all the way to the final and take home the trophy, it will be the third time in six years they have had such a successful run.

However, they must first face Ghana, who they defeated 2-1 at the 2014 World Cup.

Ajax’s star forward Mohammed Kudus and Arsenal’s defensive midfield lynchpin Thomas Partey will lead the retaliation effort in an effort to clip Ronaldo and company’s wings.

The Black Stars, as Ghana is called, have a history for pulling off shocks and consistently putting up strong performances at FIFA age-grade competitions despite being ranked 61 overall by FIFA.

They will be aiming to build on their success from the youth World Cup and reach the quarterfinals, if not further, like they achieved in 2010.

Due to the away goals rule, the Ghanaians beat out Nigeria to qualify for Qatar 2022, their fourth appearance, following a dismal performance at the African Cup of Nations in January where they managed just one point in a group that included Morocco, Gabon, and the Comoros.

Fans will be wishing for a change in the Middle East’s fortunes.

Their manager Otto Addo will be able to launch a respectable challenge by drawing on the knowledge of former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton in his staff.

In addition, if they can contain one of the strongest attacking lineups in the history of football, they may be able to overcome any challenges that Uruguay and South Korea, the other two teams in their group, may present in upcoming games.

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