Jose Mourinho has been signed up by Russian broadcasters RT to act as a pundit for the World Cup.
He began his analysis with a tweet praising Russian national team manager. In his opinion, Stanislav Cherchesov is the man of the match for the opening game. The United boss did not exactly elaborate on his thought process for saying this, however.
He also made a cheeky but rather well-intentioned comment on Ronaldo, saying: “One thing is Ronaldo for Portugal. Another is Ronaldo with Real Madrid. We don’t have a Modric or a Kroos.”
Portugal is propped up by a strong backline featuring experienced players like Pepe, Jose Fonte, and Bruno Alves. Southampton right-back Cedric, Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, and Ricardo Pereira are some other big-name players in the squad. All-in-all, their setup sports a settled look without any major surprises.
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Although Portugal certainly don’t have a midfielder of the class of Modric or Kroos, Joao Moutinho is one of the better midfielders in world football. The Monaco man is playing in his third World Cup, and he was crucial to Portugal’s success in the European championships of 2016.
Moutinho is given sturdy support by the likes of Adrien Silva, Bernardo Silva, and Goncalo Guedes. Bruno Fernandes is another midfield talent who could act as an assist man for the 5-time Ballon D’Or winner.
Thus, these comments by the Special One beg the question of whether this was a dig at his former protege at Real Madrid.
At a bare minimum, A Selecao can be looked at as dark horse candidates to win it all, alongside the likes of Argentina, Belgium, and Croatia. They face off against Spain in their World Cup opener today, in a game that could decide the group topper.
The other two teams in Group B are Morocco and Iran, who are essentially minnows present in the tournament to make up the numbers.