Portugal hosted Liechtenstein in the first round of Euro 2024 qualifiers, with Portugal in first and Liechtenstein in sixth at the time of the draw.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is 38 years old, and it is significantly more difficult to score goals in the Premier League and World Cup, and he is currently "yielding" to the Saudi League. Liechtenstein is Cristiano Ronaldo's favourite rival and is expected to further increase his national team goal statistics. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Liechtenstein lost 0-9 away to Germany, losing 0-4 and 0-5 away to North Macedonia.
After the 2022 World Cup, Portugal coach Santos left the class and former Belgium coach Martinez took over. Compared with the World Cup squad, Martinez called up 5 forwards - Cristiano Ronaldo, Leon, Ramos, Jota, Felix, abandoning Andre Silva and Horta.
Martinez has largely maintained Portugal's World Cup squad, with Portuguese sporting midfielder Gonçalves failing to return to the national team despite scoring a long-range goal in the Europa League knockout of Premier League leader Arsenal. In the attacking midfield position, Martinez still trusts Bruno Fernandes (B fee), Bernardo, Mario and other old faces.
Martinez's management of Belgium's refusal to abandon captain Eden Hazard, who has apparently declined in form, has attracted a lot of criticism. Eden Hazard simply can't play at Real Madrid, and even he himself said in a recent interview that he should not continue to occupy the main position in the World Cup group stage. Now in Portugal, Martinez faces a similar problem: Ronaldo is no longer in his prime.
In the 2022 World Footballer of the Year selection, it was vice-captain Pepe who voted for Portugal as captain, and voted for Mbappe, Modric, and Benzema in turn, and did not vote for the final elected Messi, which should be captain Ronaldo behind the scenes. Martinez voted relatively objectively, voting for Messi, De Bruyne and Mbappe in turn.
In Euro 2024, if nothing else, Cristiano Ronaldo will still start, especially against Liechtenstein on March 3, which has little suspense. The match was played at the Stade Alvalade, home of Cristiano Ronaldo's parent team, Portuguese Premier League giants Sporting de Portugal. Portugal were eliminated by Morocco in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, and the whole team was depressed, this time with a chance to win by at least 24 goals.
Yangcheng Evening News reporter Liu Yi