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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Portugal's World Cup squad

Penpix of Portugal's World Cup squad

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May 29, 2006 18:55 IST

Portugal's squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 24 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Ricardo (Sporting Lisbon). Born: 11.2.76 Caps: 47 Goals: 0.

Started the season in poor form before re-establishing himself. Dominates the area, but is sometimes uncertain in dealing with crosses. A hero for Portugal in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals penalty shootout win over England when he saved Darius Vassell's kick and then blasted the winner himself past England keeper David James.

12-Quim Silva (Benfica). Born: 13.11.75 Caps: 24 Goals: 0.

Quick and agile, never afraid of diving at the feet of opposing strikers. Confident and cool under pressure. Is a good second choice. However he has lost his place as Benfica's first choice since they signed the Brazilian Moretto in January.

22-Bruno Vale (Estrela Amadora) Born: 8.4.83 Caps: 1 Goals: 0.

He moved on loan from Porto to Amadora where he has had a lot more opportunity to play regularly. Was third choice at Euro 2004 and likely to be so again although coach Luiz Felipe Scolari wants to give him as much experience as he can.

DEFENDERS

13-Miguel (Valencia, Spain) Born 4.1.80. Caps: 26 Goals: 1

Likes to attack down the right flank from where he can fire in raking crosses. He was an alternative in the right-back position to Paulo Ferreira.

14-Nuno Valente (Everton, England) Born 12.9.74 Caps: 22 Goals: 1.  

Fast and effective defender and a fine crosser of the ball from the left. He played a leading role in Porto's Champions League success but lost his place last season and joined English Premier League side Everton in August with an eye on winning back his place in the squad.

16-Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, England) Born 18.5.78. Caps: 22 Goals: 1.

An uncompromising tackler with great timing and anticipation. Strong, secure and good with his head. Carvalho has been a defensive rock for English champions Chelsea whom he joined after winning the Champions League with Porto in 2004.

5-Fernando Meira (VFB Stuttgart, Germany) Born 5.6.78 Caps: 28 Goals: 2.

Utility player able to move easily between defence and midfield. Fine header of the ball at set-pieces and dangerous at corners and free kicks near opponents' area.

3-Marco Caneira (Sporting Lisbon) Born: 9.2.79 Caps: 13 Goals: 0.  

Joined Valencia on loan from Girondins Bordeaux during the close season and then moved again in January to Sporting. Versatile player able to fill every position across the back four with a reputation as a tough tackler.

2-Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea, England) Born: 18.1.79 Caps: 29 Goals: 0

Slight, unassuming but very effective right back who followed Jose Mourinho to Chelsea after winning the Champions League with Porto in 2004. Combines solid defensive abilities with an attacking threat.

4-Ricardo Costa (Porto) Born: 16.5.81 Caps: 2 Goals: 0.

Effective, versatile defender who has come in as a replacement for the injured Jorge Andrade.

MIDFIELDERS  

20-Deco (Barcelona, Spain) Born: 27.8.77. Caps: 33 Goals: 2.

Brazilian-born playmaker who switched nationalities to play for Portugal under Scolari, drawing strong criticism from Luis Figo. Scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Brazil on his debut. Playmaker, possesses wonderful technique, authority and creativity and capable of dictating the pace of a match. Another player who won the Champions League with Porto in 2004, he scored the second goal in the 3-0 win over Monaco and picked up a second winner's medal with Barcelona in Paris on May 17.

8-Armando Petit (Benfica) Born: 25.9.76 Caps: 34 Goals: 3.

A warrior who has great power of anticipation and does a lot of the hard work for his forward colleagues. Dangerous with powerful shots from outside the area.

6-Costinha (Dynamo Moscow, Russia) Born: 1.12.74. Caps: 42 Goals: 2

Midfield anchorman who was an integral part of Porto's success in winning the Champions League in 2004. Good in the air, making him a player to watch on set pieces. Nicknamed "The Minister" for his impeccable dress sense. However he has fallen out of favour at Dynamo and has not been playing regularly.

18-Maniche (Dynamo Moscow, Russia) Born: 11.11.77. Caps: 28 Goals: 3  

Another member of Porto's European championship side who moved to Dynamo Moscow before linking up with former coach Jose Mourinho again at Chelsea for a five-month loan spell which has now ended.

Fine all-rounder who likes a battle in midfield but is also a good passer and has a strong, long shot. He was one of the team's most important players in Euro 2004.

10-Hugo Viana (Valencia, Spain) Born: 15.1.83 Caps: 19 Goals: 1

Loaned to Valencia by Newcastle United this season with a view to a permanent move. A creative playmaker with a knack of scoring spectacular goals who failed to make any real impact in England and is now unlikely to return there in the near future.

19-Tiago (Olympique Lyon, France) Born: 2.5.81 Caps: 20 Goals: 0

Joined Lyon from Chelsea at the start of this season after a year in London which culminated with him winning an English championship medal. A ball-winning midfielder who gives the team some much-needed bite. Is also a decent passer of the ball but rarely gets forward into dangerous positions himself.

FORWARDS

17-Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, England) Born: 5.2.85. Caps: 30 Goals: 11

His speed and trickery persuaded Manchester United to pay close to $20 million to sign him from Sporting in August 2003. Capable of some truly breathtaking and innovative moves and passes and maturing into a fine creative player in England, although inconsistency remains a weakness as does some over-elaborate flourishes when a simple pass is on.

23-Helder Postiga (St Etienne, France) Born 2.8.82. Caps: 22 Goals: 9

Has had a roller-coaster ride since leaving Porto for Tottenham Hotspur in 2004, failing to establish himself in England and returning to Porto where he failed to settle back at his old club. Technically accomplished with an eye for goal but sometimes drifts out of games. Now looking for games and goals in France to re-establish his international credentials.

7-Luis Figo (Inter Milan, Italy) Born 4.11.72. Caps: 118 Goals: 31.

FIFA's World Player of the Year in 2001 and still the inspiration of the Portuguese side. Does not quite have the speed or strength of old but he remains an excellent crosser of the ball and is a danger from free kicks. Most capped Portuguese player with 118 appearances after reconsidering his decision last May to retire from international football following Euro 2004.  

21-Nuno Gomes (Benfica) Born: 5.7.76. Caps: 53 Goals: 23.

Quick striker blessed with good control. Has played for Boavista and Fiorentina and also represented Portugal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

11-Simao Sabrosa (Benfica) Born: 31.10.79. Caps: 41 Goals: 7

Speedy winger, became Benfica's key player when they won the league in 2005 for the first time in 11 years. His fast skills often lure opponents into giving away free kicks close to the box. Is dangerous at free kicks and has been linked with several big-money overseas moves, one of which could well come to fruition after the World Cup.

9-Pauleta (Paris St Germain, France) Born: 28.4.73 Caps: 80 Goals: 43

He broke Eusebio's all-time scoring record for Portugal with two goals in their last qualifier against Latvia last year. Did not score at Euro 2004 but returned to form and scored 11 goals in the World Cup qualifiers.  

15-Luis Boa Morte (Fulham, England) Born: 4.8.77 Caps: 24 Goals: 1

Has now been based in England for nearly nine years and after spells with Arsenal and Southampton has established himself at Fulham. Dangerous in attack or marauding down the left wing, he missed out on Euro 2004 but played himself back into international contention.

Source:
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