After seeing off Ghana on the opening day and a draw between Uruguay and Korea, Portugal are in a position to book their place in the last 16 with a win over Uruguay on Monday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has already found the net, becoming the first player to score in five World Cups. Joao Felix’s goal is also a cause for optimism, and he will be looking to make his mark on the tournament, after a disappointing few months at Atlético Madrid.
Uruguay were held to a draw by South Korea in their first game in Group H. Uruguay’s competitive nature means they are expected to give Portugal a run for their money in the second round match.
Fernandes inspires Portugal
Portugal beat Ghana thanks to a superb display from Bruno Fernandes, the team’s creator going forward. Fede Valverde will be hoping to turn his Real Madrid form into some impressive displays with his country. The box-to-box midfielder struck the post against South Korea but the South Americans had to settle for a point as Portugal moved top of the group.
Vitória muito importante na nossa estreia neste Mundial, mas nada está ganho! Foi apenas o primeiro passo! Seguimos focados na busca dos nossos objectivos. Força Portugal!🇵🇹🙏🏽💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/SmaEEGwYsK
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 25, 2022
Ronaldo’s World Cup record
Against Ghana on Thursday, Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five World Cups with his goal for Portugal. The 37-year-old tucked away a penalty in the 65th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead.
“It’s a beautiful moment, in my fifth World Cup. We won, we started off on the right foot, a very important victory,” Ronaldo said of the milestone. “We know that in these competitions winning the first game is crucial. Another record too, the only player to score in five consecutive World Cups, that for me it is a reason of great pride.
“I am very happy for the team to have given an excellent performance. Difficult, but fair win.
“The important thing was that the team won. The [Manchester United] chapter is closed, and the focus is solely and exclusively on the World Cup. As I said, we wanted to start off on the right foot. We won, we played well, I helped the team. Everything else is not important. The important thing is the national team.”
Top appearance holder for Portugal
Ronaldo has scored in every World Cup since his first in 2006, when he scored from the spot against Iran in the group stage. Ronaldo, who is Real Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer, scored one goal at the 2010 World Cup, and another in Brazil in 2014.
The 2018 World Cup was Ronaldo’s most successful, scoring four goals, including a hat trick in a 3-3 draw with Spain. The former Manchester United player has made a record 18 World Cup appearances for Portugal. After netting against Ghana, he now has eight World Cup goals.
Oldest player to score for Portugal
At 37 years and 292 days, Ronaldo also became the oldest man to score for Portugal at the FIFA World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner needs two more goals at the World Cup to surpass the legendary Eusebio, who is the top goalscorer for Portugal in World Cups with nine goals.