Portugal World Cup Roster 2014: Full 30-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections

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Portugal World Cup Roster 2014: Full 30-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Portugal head into the 2014 World Cup among the second wave of contenders. Although landing in an extremely difficult group is a major roadblock on their path to a championship, the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo ensures the side won't be an easy out.   

Ronaldo headlines the 30-man preliminary roster chosen by manager Paulo Bento. The question is whether the Real Madrid superstar's supporting cast will be strong enough for Portugal to challenge the likes of Brazil, Spain, Germany or Argentina in the later rounds.

But first, the side must focus on making it out of Group G, which also features the aforementioned Germans, Ghana and the United States. Let's check out the entire preliminary roster, followed by a lineup projection and a squad breakdown.

Full 30-Man Preliminary Roster

Portugal 2014 World Cup Roster
Position Player Club
GK Anthony Lopes Lyon
GK Beto Sevilla
GK Eduardo Braga
GK Rui Patricio Sporting
DF Andre Almeida Benfica
DF Vitorino Antunes Malaga
DF Bruno Alves Fenerbahce
DF Fabio Coentrao Real Madrid
DF Joao Pereira Valencia
DF Luis Neto Zenit
DF Pepe Real Madrid
DF Ricardo Costa Valencia
DF Rolando Inter Milan
MF Andre Gomes Benfica
MF Joao Mario Vitoria
MF Joao Moutinho Monaco
MF Miguel Veloso Dynamo Kyiv
MF Raul Meireles Fenerbahce
MF Ruben Amorim Benfica
MF William Carvalho Sporting
FW Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
FW Eder Braga
FW Helder Postiga Lazio
FW Hugo Almeida Besiktas
FW Ivan Cavaleiro Benfica
FW Nani Manchester United
FW Rafa Silva Braga
FW Ricardo Quaresma Porto
FW Silvestre Varela Porto
FW Vieirinha Wolfsburg


Starting 11 Projection

Prediction for Portugal Starting Lineup
Position Player
GK Rui Patricio
DF Fabio Coentrao
DF Pepe
DF Bruno Alves
DF Joao Pereira
MF Miguel Veloso
MF Joao Moutinho
MF Raul Meireles
FW Cristiano Ronaldo
FW Helder Postiga
FW Nani


Lineup Outlook

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Quite simply, everything starts and ends with Ronaldo for Portugal. If the talented winger is in top form, as he was during the UEFA playoffs, the Seleccao are a legitimate title threat because he's one of the few players in the world capable of completely taking over a match.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the deciding leg of the playoffs to eliminate Sweden and ensure Portugal would be heading to Brazil. A couple individual efforts like that in the World Cup is all his side needs to make a serious run.

The Real Madrid fan favorite is keeping things in perspective, though. Michael Wade of the Daily Mail passed along comments Ronaldo made to Spanish outlet AS in which he talked about other countries serving as the top contenders:

[Portugal] must take it one game at a time, nothing is impossible in football. The strongest teams are Spain, Brazil, France, Italy, Argentina... Any team could go on and win it but the two big favourites are Spain and Brazil.

Aside from him, there aren't many certainties when it comes to the lineup. A lot will be decided by Bento based on the form players show during a trio of friendlies before heading to South America.

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Rui Patricio should get the nod in goal but figures to get a challenge from fellow veteran Eduardo.

Pepe will headline a back line that features a solid combination of skill and experience. Perhaps the biggest question mark is on the right side. Joao Pereira has the most appearances and showcased good form for Valencia, giving him the edge.

The toughest choices for Bento come in the midfield. It's the one area where opponents have an opportunity to gain a serious advantage. And if Portugal aren't able to control the middle of the pitch, advancing from a tough group becomes much tougher.

Paul Carr of ESPN notes they are only a slight favorite to advance over the United States:

Finally, the best options to join Ronaldo up front are Helder Postiga and Nani. It would have been nice if the Manchester United winger had a better club campaign, but unless one of the other wingers shines during the build-up, it's probably his spot to fill.

All told, there weren't any surprises in the preliminary squad. Those usually don't come until the final cut-down occurs and a manager is forced into some tough decisions. But for a side without a ton of depth like Portugal, it should be straightforward for the most part.

As things stand right now, Portugal look like a side capable of reaching at least the final eight assuming Ronaldo is at full strength. Their game against the United States could very well decide which team ends up advancing.

Anything can happen if they do move on to the knockout rounds.

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