The Athletic has live coverage of Portgual vs. Ghana in World Cup 2022 Group H.
Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, are in Group H at the Qatar World Cup and will take on Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea.
That means we will see a repeat of a 2018 World Cup clash, when Portugal were knocked out at the round-of-16 stage after a 2-1 loss against Uruguay. Portugal have also faced Ghana at a World Cup before, beating them 2-1 in the 2014 group stage with neither side progressing to the knockouts.
The Portuguese, however, almost did not make it to the tournament this year, having finished second behind Serbia in their UEFA qualifying group.
That meant Fernando Santos’ side went into the UEFA play-off path, where they beat Turkey 3-1 in the semi-final followed by a 2-0 victory over North Macedonia — who had beaten Italy in their semi-final — to book their spot at the World Cup in Qatar, whose hosting of the tournament is controversial for the reasons outlined in this article.
That play-off win saw Portugal continue their streak of qualifying for every World Cup since the turn of the century. Their best tournament run, however, came over 50 years ago when they finished third at the 1966 edition.
Portugal team guide: Young stars, ageing stars, and a familiar debate about Ronaldo
Though they ‘only’ qualified through the play-offs, Portugal will go into the World Cup with high ambitions — particularly as this may well be the last time we see 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo on the world stage.
Ronaldo — whose club future is back in the spotlight after his tell-all interview — will be supported by quality players in Portugal’s deep squad, with Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo and Rafael Leao among those who will be expected to make a splash in Qatar. Ronaldo missed a training session with gastroenteritis but Santos will hope to have him available for the opener against Ghana.
Liverpool forward Diogo Jota and Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Pedro Neto, however, will miss the tournament after sustaining calf and ankle injuries respectively earlier this season.
Portugal World Cup squad list
Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Jose Sa (Wolves), Rui Patricio (Roma).
Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Otavio Monteiro (Porto), Vitinha (PSG), William Carvalho (Real Betis).
Forwards: Andre Silva (RB Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga).
Thursday, November 24: Portugal 3-2 Ghana
Monday, November 28: Portugal vs Uruguay
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal
Portugal squad analysis
Portugal have a team of stars, but there are discussions about which generation they turn to. The debate is familiar to anyone who has followed the Premier League season so far: should Ronaldo be in the starting XI? But there are a host of other older stars whose places are threatened by the production line of young talent in Portugal.
For a full analysis of their chances in Qatar click here.
Meet The Athletic’s guest writers for the World Cup
World Cup provisional squads explained
(Photo: Carlos Rodrigues – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)