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Portugal wants to avoid WM-off: I

Who does not pursue the high-voltage first four World Cup play-off duels on Thursday night – for example in the live! -Ticker on World from 20.45 clock – who never loved the World Cup qualification! Joking aside…

The tension and potential drama can hardly be exceeded the mode that only a game decides on progress or disillusionment. And Portugal pulled on the paper with the hardest lot. Because before it goes for the Seleçao in a possible one-duel final of the foresight after next Tuesday (20.45 clock) against Italy, in the domestic Estadio do Dragao to Porto must first look at the Turkish national team supervised by the former U-21 coach Stefan Kuntz be cleared out of the way.

Of course, losing for the European champion of 2016 is prohibited, otherwise the first World Cup missed since 1998 in France (since five participations in a row with the best result of third place in 2006 in Germany) are already directly to beech.

A footballnation under pressure

And of course, the hopes in footballing cadres of national coach Fernando Santos, who has cope with the defensive personnel problems and also has to refrain from Renato Sanches, Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo, once again on Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old record scorer on a country level, which with Manchester United Apart from a Famosen Three-pack in the Premier League last heavy times, should judge against the Turks – and at best, of course, a few days later directly, then probably against his Old home Italy, where he has raised three seasons for Juventus before his manunited return.

FIFA World Cup | Portugal need to be

In any case, it would be a finale around the World Cup ticket of the extra class, Portugal should then meet Italy on Tuesday. Should. Because at least quiet doubt, whether CR7, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix & Co. can do there at all. The Portuguese are missing against Turkey both anhest domestic defenders: Pepe has to do without Corona, Ruben Slides is injured. For national coach Santos, this is not a problem: “Of course, the injured players are missing, but we are missing as a team. And I know that my players will play for eleven million (inhabitants of Portugal, anm. D. Red.) and give everything “

The WM-play-offs in overview

In addition, despite the numerous stars, the Portuguese engine builds the preliminary round from the European Championship last year as well as sleused appearances during the World Cup qualifier (in the end just rank two behind Serbia) greet here. The sporty mood in the country is tense, because departure, for example, directly against Turkey would not meet the self-image.

“No easier” way for CR7 & Co.

And certainly not the own expectation of Cristiano Ronaldo, who may want his last World Championship – it would not be missing the fifth – certainly. But even the final and header-minded graduating player knows that the way about coach Kuntz and Turkey is “no easier”. But “together we will fight to bring Portugal where it belongs”.

After an out of the World Cup play-offs, his job would also be on the cant: Portugal Fernando Santos. Imago / nurphoto

Praise has already received the aging star from that Kuntz. The German European Champion of 1996 knows exactly that CR7 is burning to such games and hard to brake: players as he are “their own ego-ags”, for whose marketing a World Cup participation is “extremely important”. “And that’s why Cristiano Ronaldo is extremely effective against us.” One should not underestimate, “what way he can concentrate in such a game”. But, says Kuntz, “That makes the pressure for him not lower”.

Especially a lot on the game stands for the little older Seleçao: next to CR7 (37), the missing Pepe (39) and goalkeeper Rui Patricio (34), José Fonte (38) or Joao Moutinho (35) would probably leave Also National Trainer Santos no further World Cup chance received.