By Craig Pearson on May 28, 2014
Portugal have one of the single biggest game-changers in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, but they also have have a few weak links in their current setup, which Ronaldo does tend to make up for. Ronaldo will obviously be the man they will be looking towards in Brazil at the World Cup, but their chances of success would be higher if they could improve a few other areas of their current team.
Portugal have a talented and balanced midfield, especially if William Carvalho manages to make the breakthrough any time soon ahead of Miguel Veloso. Raul Meireles is the more rounded player of the midfield, and although a good player who does contribute at both ends, he's not quite to the level that Joao Moutinho is or that Carvalho could soon be.
Nani's downfall at Manchester United in the last couple of seasons has been dramatic. He's never truly hit the heights that were expected of him, but he's never fallen as low as he is right now either. He hardly plays, and when he does he barely helps the team in any way. Yet, still, he'll most likely start for Portugal at the World Cup. Nani has a ton of ability, but in his current form, he's not much of a help to any team right now.
The Portugal starting XI pretty much picks itself right now, and that can be a good thing or a bad thing. For Portugal, it is a bad thing because there are improvements that can be made but they just do not have anybody else to come in and improve those positions; Nani and Helder Postiga are just two examples.
Portugal have lacked a dependable striker for a long, long time. Perhaps Nuno Gomes was the last striker they had of genuine quality, and now, luckily they have Cristiano Ronaldo to chip in with the goals they miss from their front man. Ronaldo can't do all of their job, though, and Portugal clearly lack a striker who makes a telling contribution to the team and can take some of the scoring pressure off of Ronaldo.
Is it really a bad thing to rely on one of the best players on the planet? It's unavoidable in many ways, but there is a difference between relying on one player and being over-reliant to the point where your only chance of winning pretty much sit with that one player.
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