Hey, just representing DFW sports, and I'm also quite fond of football. (as in soccer) I'll always try to be optimistic as possible, however....trying to be realistic as well. Forgive me if my affiliation does offends you, but I have to defend my teams lol.
I could definitely see the United States making it out of the group stages, but I doubt they'll make it past the quarter-finals. They can beat almost anyone on their day, but they just don't have the technical quality to regularly compete with the world's elite just yet. Nevertheless, there is a ton of depth on the US squad and they certainly won't go out without a fight.
I've read quite a few reports linking Bruma to Chelsea, but I think it would be best for him to stay in Portugal for another 2-3 years. He is undoubtedly talented with world-class potential, but still very far from the finished product. He needs consistent playing time to reach this potential, and I don't see him getting much for a club like Chelsea.
Benfica regularly exhibits some of the most attractive, free-flowing football in Europe, but I'm still not convinced that we have the mental fortitude to compete with the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, etc. We have the technical quality, but lack discipline. They will, however, start the draw in pot 1 (seeded teams) so there's a great chance they'll avoid one of the big boys in the group stages. Thus, the quarter-finals should be considered a realistic goal. I would love to see us win the title in the Estadio da Luz though lol!
I don't know about Real Madrid. They certainly have the individual quality to beat anyone. Let's wait until the season starts before we make any rational judgments and predictions.
Tommy thanks for being a fan and for the support !!
Most people agree that the current Portuguese national team needs to immediately adapt a 4-2-3-1 formation (with a true #10) in order to provide more creativity and solidify the midfield with two holding midfielders.
This would be my preferred 11 with back-ups in parentheses:
CF: Eder (Lima, Lica, Balde)
LW/RW: Ronaldo, Nani (Pizzi, Vieirinha, Bruno Gama, Bruma)
AM: Pizzi (Danny, Josue)
CM: Moutinho (Manuel Fernandes, Andre Martins, Tiago Rodrigues)
DM: Andre Leao (Andre Almeida, Miguel Veloso).
LB: Fabio Coentrao (Vitorino Antunes)
RB: Cedric Soares (Joao Pereira, Andre Almeida, Miguel Lopes, Silvio)
CB: Pepe, Luis Neto (Steven Vitoria, Tiago Ilori, Tiago Valente, Bruno Alves)
GK: Rui Patricio (Mario Felgueiras, Anthony Lopes)
I would obviously love to have Jose Mourinho or Andre Villas Boas manage the current national team, but I know neither of them are going to take the job anytime soon. Porto's current coach, Vitor Pereira would be a realistic option, but he does prefer the 4-3-3 formation (tactics would likely be too similar to Bento's). Benfica's Jorge Jesus would definitely improve our attack as he prefers to utilize two strikers. We'd likely cruise through qualification, but with like Benfica, our overly ambitious tactics could hurt us against quality teams.
I actually wouldn't mind seeing a foreign manager at Portugal as long as he has plenty of experience and success. I honestly would take anyone over Bento at the moment lol!
Bruno Alves is currently the vice captain, but I'd prefer Moutinho.
Well, even with Bento, I think Portugal could make another deep run in the tournament. But if we had a quality coach who uses a 4-2-3-1 and calls up our best players (unlike Bento) Portugal would definitely be considered among one of the contenders to win the tournament. Spain and Germany would still be the favorites, but I think Portugal would have the same chance as Argentina, Italy, Brazil, etc.