Category Archives: International

Portugal’s starting XI far from determined as Seleção prepares for Euro 2016

As expected, last week’s announcement of Portugal’s 23-man squad yielded no surprises. Even the inclusion of Renato Sanches, which was very likely due to Bernardo Silva’s ill-fated thigh injury, was far from unexpected, given the youngster’s impressive season with Benfica, and his pricey move to Bayern Munich. Anyone familiar with Portuguese coach, Fernando Santos’ career, knows… Read More »

2014 Ballon d’Or: David Luiz’ head-scratching inclusion in FIFA/FIFPRO World XI

The FIFA Ballon d’Or awards are never without controversy. The award ceremony is very much a reflection of the institution it represents, and often highlights the biases of players and managers alike. This year,  the inclusions of David Luiz and Andres Iniesta in the FIFA/FIFPRO World XI were certainly causes for some head-scratching, since neither had… Read More »

Portugal vs Germany: Analysis & Player Ratings

This article first appeared on Soccerly.com Follow Eric Krakauer on Twitter @bigsoccerheadny   Once you get past the dubious penalty call, and Pepe’s deserved red card, Portugal’s dismantling at the hands of Germany comes down to tactical ineptitude. Portugal’s friendlies against Greece, Mexico, and Ireland gave Paulo Bento the opportunity to experiment with different formations and… Read More »

Portugal vs Ireland: Analysis & Player Ratings

This article first appeared on Soccerly.com Follow Eric Krakauer on Twitter @bigsoccerheadny   Cristiano Ronaldo’s return and the dismantling of Ireland provided a much-needed psychological boost for Portugal. After underwhelming in their previous friendlies against Greece and Mexico, the Portuguese showed just how much of a threat they could be in the World Cup. With… Read More »

The World Cup: A Love Affair

This article first appeared on Soccerly.com Follow Eric Krakauer on Twitter @bigsoccerheadny It may not be a first memory, but every football fan is indelibly impressed by that one moment, or one sequence of arbitrarily strung events, that has fostered an eternal love affair with the World Cup. The alluring quadrennial has the memory-imprinting power… Read More »

Ronaldo Injury Sounds the Alarm

Follow Eric Krakauer on Twitter @bigsoccerheadny This article first appeared on Soccerly.com   For the superstitious, Tuesday’s thunder and lightning were bad omens. After a brief a press conference that saw Nani get inundated with questions about Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury, the press core was escorted to Portugal’s practice field, only to be shepherded back into the… Read More »

Portugal vs Greece: Analysis & Player Ratings

Follow Eric Krakauer on Twitter @bigsoccerheadny This article first appeared on Soccerly.com Portugal’s first preparation game en route to Brazil served mostly to test out a new system, as well as some of the players who are vying for the last few spots in Paulo Bento’s starting eleven. One of those players could very well be… Read More »