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Ronaldo headlines Portugal’s 30-man provisional World Cup roster

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal (Getty Images)

photo by Ben Queenborough/


Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Joao Moutinho headline a star-studded provisional World Cup squad that was named by Portugal head coach Paulo Bento on Tuesday.

Bento called in 30 players for his pre-World Cup camp, and some of the other notable selections are Nani, Ricardo Quaresma, Rolando and Raul Meireles. Bento will have to cut the squad down to 23 players by June 2 to comply with FIFA’s mandate.

Portugal take on the U.S. Men’s National Team in their second Group G game in Manaus on June 22. The Portuguese open the tournament against Germany on June 16 in Salvador and close out group play by facing Ghana on June 26 in Brasilia.

Here is Portugal’s full 30-man preliminary World Cup roster:

Goalkeepers – Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Sevilha), Eduardo (SC Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders – André Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Málaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), João Pereira (Valência), Neto (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valência), Rolando (Inter)

Midfielders – André Gomes (Benfica), João Mário (Vitória FC), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Miguel Veloso (D. Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Rúben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Forwards – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Éder (SC Braga), Hélder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (SC Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg)


What do you think of Portugal’s 30-man provisional roster? Think the USMNT can beat this group of Portuguese players? Worried now more so than ever before?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. All you guys must be dreamers if you think the usa team are comparable to a portuguese team without ronaldo.

    With or without portugal are superior. Most of the portuguese players play in the most competitive leagues in the world.

    on there best performances they have matched it wwih your spains, argentinas and brazils. Not to mentioned have knocked england out twice.

    They only lost to spain on penalties in the last euro. With pretty much the same team heading to brazil.

    Usa can only win if portugal stay in the sheds….thats it

  2. This team will shred the flimsy US defense. The most consistent US defender of all year long was not called even to training camp to make room for JK’s legion of mercenaries. He better cut the Yedlins and the Greens of the world from that final roster.

  3. Should be a good game. If it starts to rain since Maaus is in the Jungle, and with temps in the 80’s, I would give the slight advantage to the USMNT in those conditions.

    • Again, Portugal surely has better talent, but they have struggled to put the ball in the net the last two World Cups.

      • Spain “struggled to put the ball in the net”ed their way to a World Cup title. Also what does a tournament like 2006 have to do with this team? how many of those players are on this Portuguese team? maybe 3?

  4. So, a narrow win over Ghana, heavy loss to Portugal and a surprise last-minute thriller 1-0 win over the Germans will catapult us to the second round (cause Portugal surprisingly loses to Ghana).

    Then we worry about Belgians…

  5. Yes they have better talent across the board, and they will probably beat the USA, but let’s not shake in our boots over their supposed offensive firepower. For all their prowess, they didn’t very interested in scoring actual goals the last world cup unless the team was North Korea, and the 0-0 match against the Ivory Coast had the be one of the most disgracefully negative offensive displays during the entire tournament. This is a trend that goes back to 06, with they scored only one goal in three knockout games. Bottom line: they tend to play much more negative in world cups than they do Euro competitions, and I certainly see the possibility of grinding out a 0-0 at the very least.

    • They played negatively in 2010 because of the manager. They obviously no longer have that manager. As for mentioning the 2006 World Cup… of course they aren’t going to score a ton of goals when they’re against England, Netherlands and France. That’s how the knockout rounds work. Good teams don’t concede many goals.

  6. I know that anything can happen at the World Cup, and upsets happen all the time, but let’s be reasonable here, if we beat this team, it will be a huge upset. Other than Howard, do we have a second player who would be in their starting 11? Maybe Bradley….Man for man, they are much better than us.

    • Lol no bradley would not bench Veloso or Moutinho. Howard is the only realistic starter that could start for portugal, even then its a big Maybe

    • in our group, I would like to see the stats of how many players each team has on top champions league teams. Meaning teams from the power leagues. At some point in their carrier, the USA only has Howard, Dempsey, Landon, Jones and Bradley that could have plaid for those teams. And it could be argued that Bradley, Jones and Howard are actually the only three.

    • They have more talent across the board for sure, but they also have a habit of playing surprisingly negative offensive football in recent World Cup history. If they don’t nick an early goal, I could easily see a 0-0 result.

  7. Weren’t they automatic WC qualifiers? Oh, wait a minute, they needed a heroic effort by the best player on the last day, no? If we can man mark CR7, make sure he doesnt get cupcake goal scoring chances, we got this. We can match them in the MF, and I predict Aron Bacon can get a couple past their back line and GK. If not him, the Deuceface will distract them and he can sneak one past, ask Robert Green about this. Big game required from Timmy or Brad, either one. It’s gonna be hard work, but we can get a point or more from this side.

  8. So this “crazy strong” team must have a pretty good record in big tournaments based on these comments, eh? Like the World Cup… oh, wait, they’ve never made the finals let alone won it. Or the Euros… uh… oh, that’s right they haven’t won that either, lost in the finals once. They are beatable.

    • Uh, up until 2010, Spain hadn’t won the World Cup either. It has little to do with skill of a team.

      And Portugal took Spain to penalties after OT in the last major competition they played in.

    • Why do people always say “dont worry about that team, they are beatable”?

      No s***! every team is beatable in the world cup

    • I don’t get these comments. You’re trying to put down the other team and ignoring your own. What the fuck had the US accomplished in the World Cup? what have they done in the last 10 years? when have they ever gone head to head with the likes of Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Netherlands, etc. like Portugal has in recent major tournaments?

      • Not putting down, putting in perspective. Portugal isn’t a team of giants, it is a good team with a fantastic striker. It is a team that has a good history but not better than quite a few other countries. 1990-98 did not qualify. Did not advance out of group stage in 2002. Semifinals 2006. Lost in the round of 16 in 2010. A moment of brilliance away from not qualifying for this tournament. Then ironically got a points bounce from having to play two extra games that elevated them to that 3rd place FIFA ranking.

        US hasn’t been a slouch in results by comparison, since you bring that up. Qualified for the dance every four years since 1990. Advanced out of group play half of those six tournaments, a missed hand ball call away from the group of 8 in 2002. Second in the Confederations Cup, beating Spain along the way. Clearly the dominant team in our confederation: five of the last 10 Gold Cups, first in our last two WC qualifying rounds. No we’re not qualifying in Europe, but then we also didn’t get to play home and away against Israel and Northern Ireland in our final round of qualifying – four of the six teams in that hex are going to be in Brazil and three went to the last WC.

        I’m not arguing the US is the better side, but I don’t see the same bogeymen under the bed and in the closet that seems to be the conventional view here. Shut down one player and we stack up quite well. And Klinsmann’s assistant/tactician did just that with less to work with in his Azerbaijani side last year… twice.

        Portugal is the better side but not by all that much.

  9. I think when you look at the teams these guy play for and compare it to Germany or Brazil they are not as scary. Are they still more talented than us? yes. But just not as much as I thought.

  10. You’re all talking about the midfield and how it is average. I just want to say this: beware william carvalho! He’s a breakout star and a tank of a player even tough he is very young. Just watch him play and see… gives a lot of depht to portugal’s miedfield. Asnfor the goalkeeper, Rui Patricio is also very good, mutch better than howard in my opinion. Finally on the attack there is the best player in the world himself: Cristiano “The Golden Boy” Ronaldo. Nedless to say, but watch out for Portugal and don’t underestimate…

  11. damn. They called in Ronaldo. I thought they’d forget about him and leave him at home. Their coaches must have done their homework – really pulled that outta left field.

  12. I am Portuguese American and wish the US and Portugal were not matched up in the same group. Here is my assessment: GK edge to US. Defense edge to Portugal. Midfield’s best players are Moutinho and Bradley but Portugal has more depth. Forwards edge to Portugal. CR7, need I say more. Portugal is the clear favorite but if the US work hard, not being the favorite could be advantageous. Portugal will win 3-1. Portugal starting 11 will be: Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrão; Veloso, Moutinho, Amorim; CR7, Postiga, Quaresma.

  13. A few points to add: They play Greece at home, Mexico and the Republic (of Ireland) in NE and NJ before going Brazil. Plus a lot of key players in the UCL final (in Portugal) with Real.

    Do they play a 4-3-3 with Nani and Ronald out wide vs us?

  14. So the gameplan is:
    -Man-mark Ronaldo
    -Crowd midfield and mark Moutinho tightly
    -slow the game down
    -no stupid fouls around the area for free kicks
    -counter-attack when get the opportunity

    Look for 0-0 or 1-1 draw.

    • That would be my plan vs them, and the Germany to a lesser extent.

      I think we want to attack Ghana and try to put the game in their half. Crowd and fustrait Portugal and Jürgen & Berti are going to compose some sort of masterpiece vs Germany.

    • Seems reasonable but the one thing that is abundantly clear is that we’ll need our wings & fullbacks ready to do a ton of running. Sure that sounds obvious but digging in a layer deeper let’s consider that:
      – To effectively crowd the midfield you’re going to need your CBs staying home even more than usual
      – If your CB’s aren’t spreading themselves that means Moutinho & company will be looking to relieve pressure & create opportunities by playing an inside-to-outside game (and really why wouldn’t you with CR coming off the edge?!)
      – Even if our FBs were rock solid they still wouldn’t be in a position to play 1v1 all day, that’s where the wings come in and need to run, run, run

      Given this scenario, even though I’m not a massive fan of Bedoya, kid puts in a ton of work and, along with Zusi, may give us the legs we need to sustain this balance for the game. Of course this does make me worry that we’re living to bunker and taking several steps back in our overall progress, so I’m hoping there’s some magic between Bradley, Dempsey & Altidore to find some quick paths up the field.

      Not giving up hope, just trying to understand how this tricky equation will work.

      • The wingers will have to do a ton of running. It would probably be a good idea to even have a left side of something like Beasley/Johnson that is really defensive because the Portuguese fullbacks push up so much and often are two of their most dangerous attackers.

    • You can’t slow the game down unless you control the ball the majority of the time, which I highly highly doubt the US can do against 90% of the teams in this tournament.

  15. Lima (Benfica) should have been picked. He is eligible, in-form and a great team player. Alongside Ronaldo it would make an unstoppable pair of forwards for Portugal.

      • Not the same. Lima has been playing in Portugal for over 14 years (a lot longer than Pepe did before turning “Portuguese”) and never played for Brazil. Furthermore he is in great form: fast, creative, good scorer. Watch him tomorrow against Seville.

  16. Watch out for the Braga boys Eder and Rafa and Sporting’s William Carvalho… 3 awesome underrated young players

    • From your comment to the soccer god’s ears.

      Used to play in pickup games after work with a really obnoxious guy from Portugal who said in all seriousness to my son, a Canadian guy and a Mexican guy – all of who could play just a well as the Portuguese guy “only European can play soccer.” So glad in 2002 when we beat Portugal, so the guy never showed up again for the games.

  17. Wow, juddging from the comments Portugal must have rolled Israel and Northern Ireland. That must win game against Israel was probably 6-0…

    Get real folks, Either we are overrating talent or this team is horribly disfunctional.

    • Lol no one is worried about that because if you see them play at tournaments, they are typically one of the stronger sides. If you watch Portugal play then you would know they were the only team to go toe to toe with Spain during the Euro, they actually should have won had it not been for penalties.

      • Even in the last world cup they went head to head with spain and only lost to an offside goal

      • If the Portugal team shares Maykol’s view then we have a chance to repeat 2002..nothing better than an over confident opponent

      • So if portugal has realistic thoughts they will lose??? Do you not read these comments? “Portugal has weak defense, weak gk, average midfield” would you rather have that delusional and Confident mindset?

      • They choked in 2002 with way more talent then they have now. Somewhat choked in uefa 2004 considering they lost the final to Greece in their homeland Portugal. Had a pretty lame 2010 world. Up. Did they lose close to Spain, yes. But basically a lot of strong defense from Portugal. Granted Nani was injured and Ronaldo didn’t play like he is now for them. I saw them in the euro and basically they have a solid team, much like us. But if they lose Ronaldo they are f’d. He carried them through uefa 2012 and qualifying playoff.

        Yes, their midfield is fine, but I don’t see why they are placed above Dempsey, Donovan, jones, and Bradley with such ease. Dempsey, Bradley, and Donovan have all knocked in goals on the world biggest stage, World Cup, confederations cup, worlds top teams. Geez did we all of a sudden forget the like 100 international goals these guys combined for made?

        Zusi is a clutch and crafty player, and Bedoya is of good quality. Cameron has EPL experience, and F Johnson Bundesliga experience. Our midfield is not a bunch of chumps.

    • Yeah and usa lost to honduras and costa rica, whats your point? Portugal always struggles in qualifying, dosent mean they dont perform on the big stage.

      • And your point is what? Im saying qualifying dosent matter once you are in the tournament. Uruguay last world cup made it via playoffs and almost lost out to Costa Rica. I honestly dont know how so many of you can be so clueless

      • Maykol,

        Portugal has a solid team plus a super player in Ronaldo. That is basically what they were in the last euro too. We know, EVEN IN BIG TOURNAMENTS, Portugal can choke or not play well.

        You basically have two teams, USA and Portugal, that can be erratic in how well they play. I would not be surprised by a win loss or tie by either team. Obviously Portugal has the edge with Ronaldo, but their past results don’t strike fear into the USA. Just another really good team the USAhas to be ready for.

    • Like when they drew garbage Cyprus 4-4 and lost to Denmark and Norway in 2012 qualifying and then advanced from the group of death and were penalties away from beating Spain and probably winning the tournament? how anyone thinks qualifying means anything is beyond me…

      • Well, if Ronaldo hadn’t rescued the team against Sweden at the last minute of the “meaningless” qualification process, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      • Congrats to him on finishing 1v1s after having the ball put on a platter for him. He didn’t rescue anybody, nor was it anywhere near the last minute.

  18. Very good midfield, Moutinho Meireles and Veloso are great. Defense is a bit weak and the goalkeepers aren’t that great. Forwards are decent. Postiga is great with the receiving end of crosses. Can’t wait to see the long balls from the midfield to CR7.

      • Right? Rui Patricio plays in the Portuguese league and people saying he’s as good as Tim Howard? Same goes for midfield, Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles, are ok but they don’t really merit any kind of fear.

      • Rui Patricio is probably as good, if not msybe better than howard. And their midfield is pretty scary when you consider Omar Gonzales might be playing

      • The midfield is fantastic and alot of CR7’s goals would not have happened if it were not for amazing long balls especially from Moutinho. And a free kick cross from Veloso to Postiga helped score Portugal’s only goal against Russia.

    • And defense is weak based on depth. Their first four are pretty damn good as we saw in the Euros. Many people were saying pepe and bruno were the best partnership of the tournament. Fullbacks are machines, except Joao perreira leaves the bavk vulnerable b/c he dosent always go back to defend, unlike Coentrao who has 3 lungs and is literally everywhere working his a$$ off. But any back up to any position in defense is definitely a step down

      • Well I mean that`s the case with most teams no? even the mighty Spain have awful Raul Albiol at backup, and Javi Martinez who isnt even a proper defender. France is the only team that really has a lot of great options right now with Koscielny, Mangala, Varane and Sakho. But from what ive seen Rolando has been Inters best defender this season which isnt too bad of a backup. Neto is a starter for Zenit who are in the CL every year but im not sure how good he is. Costa is a starter for Valencia who are also good, and they could have called Fonte who is a starter for Southampton. Realistically their depth isnt that bad in that position.

      • Dont get me wrong, the bench defense is overall solid, but theres a big stepdown for replacements for worldclass pepe and Coentrao

  19. Quaresma — there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. And now that I googled him, I know why, but he’s only 30.

    • He’s been in the running for Goal of the Week in multiple outlets quite a few times this season. He’s had a pretty solid season since moving back to Porto.

      • Quaresma. Do not EVER give that dude even an inch to get a shot off. He can kill you at a moment’s notice. Some of his goals for Porto this season have been unreal.

  20. Very strong defense, solid forwards(if you take CR7 out, average), average midfield, weak gk .

    a good team but certainly beatable.

    • fair assessment. If you compared to US. Strong Goalie, good midfield. weak defense, weak forward.
      Portugal will be the favorite.

    • Average midfield? Theres is much better than ours. Moutinho and Veloso have insane passing whether short or giving longballs to ronaldo or nani. Meireles is very good too not very fast though cause hes getting old. Dont know much about the others though.

      And definitely not weak goalkeeper. Their backup Eduardo was one of the best keepers in 2010 South Africa. Rui Patricio is at least on Howards level, if not better

      • You are out of your mind. Moutinho is very good I grant you, but I wouldn’t say he’s any better than Bradley. Meireles is horribly inaccurate at times, as is Nani. Howard is one of the top 5 keepers in the world right now. Ronaldo is the only thing that makes Portugal clearly better than us. Without him, the two teams are pretty close in talent.

      • Moutinho is far and away better than Bradley, and no, Howard is absolutely nowhere near the top 5 goalkeepers in the world. If you took a survey across Europe I would safely bet that people think Rui Patricio is a better goalkeeper than Tim Howard. Regardless, even if Howard is marginally better, saying he is `weak GK“is absolutely retarded. Not to mention as backups they have Beto who is the starter for Sevilla who are in the EL final, and one of the best keepers in Spain this season, Eduardo who was one of the best keepers at the last World Cup, and Anthony Lopes who is starter for Lyon and up for the best GK award in France with Sirigu and Enyeama. If you dont watch European soccer and dont have a clue about players then its best just to not say anything at all.

      • Moutinho and Veloso are definitely better players, amazing vision quick, excellent dribblers. Just b/c you never watch them play dosent mean bradley is better.

        And ahem,
        Casillas, buffon, diego lopez, curtuios, neur, weidenfellar, sirigu, abbiati, all clear GKs better than howard. Heck plenty of people dont even rate him best in concacaf

      • Who doesn’t rate him best in CONCACAF? Howard is every bit as good as those other “names”. I’ve seen these guys play, they aren’t super human…

        Buffon in 2006 was amazing, he has slowed a lot in recent years. Casillas is still a fine keeper, but he doesn’t even start. I’ve never thought Abbiati was good, I’ve only seen 5 or 6 of his games, small sample set, but he seems to react too slowly. Ball is in the net before he bends his knees. Curtois has been superb when I’ve seen him, still I’ve seen him make a mistake or two. I’d put Howard right in the middle of any of those “names”. He is every bit as good.

      • Keylor Navas is making a strong case for best in Concacaf, so many reporters on soccer rank him there. He is without a doubt Levante’s best player.
        And how have all these players slowed down? But oh yeah Howard is still good as ever right? Buffon was probably best keeper at the Euros, and if you watch the Champions League, you see Casillas is still pure class, but he isnt gonna play in the league until Diego Lopez plays bad, and that certainly has not been an issue, Lopez has shown that he is one of the best in the world. Curtois is up there too, and please tell me which keeper never makes a mistake? And im a Milan fan, and Abbiati is a monster in net and is one of our best players and i hope we keep him for at least a couple more years.

    • That team crushes us in every position except keeper. I’m far more fearful of them than Ghana. We play Portugal in the jungle. Portugal know how to play keep away and with their speed in attack, spearheaded by Ronaldo, they’ll score a number if we tire easily. Discipline is the name of that game: hold the line, close down.

      • I am not scared of Ghana since they have our bumber. What I am scared about is hat tricks by Ronaldo and Muller.

      • we pride ourselves in being thee fittest team and I don’t think that changes this tourney! If anything they’ll tire before we do! I’m saying it now, having the full team together for a month will do wonders for us and I think JK has us coming out playing on another level! You heard it here first!

      • Not to mention extremely high humidity and a heat index of 100f plus are even more common. I hope Juergen parks the bus until the 70th minute, and then we strike like a cobra on the counter.

      • Portugal doesn’t play keep away. They can pass the ball very nicely, but they are always trying to go forward. They won’t just hold onto the ball like Spain does. That just isn’t the way they play. If they have the ball, they attack. Actually pretty fun to watch but it’s gotta be exhausting.

      • miereles is overated. I don’t think he starts for the US. Mountinho is loved by the masses but that is really only one stud CM. Veloso… yeah don’t think I’ve ever noticed him standout and don’t pretend you watch a whole lot of Ukrainian football to see him at the club level.

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