Our football match prediction:
Champions of Europe lock horns with South American kings in the first of two Confederations Cup semi-final clashes. Cruising on the back of their Euro 2016 victory, Portugal have continued the string of fine results at the international scenes and head into the Confederations Cup in fine form and in high spirits. Fernando Santos’ men are keen for another push ahead of next season’s main event in Russia. Cristiano Ronaldo has been putting in displays worthy of a captain, but several other Portugal internationals, including right-back Cedric, have been in rather impressive forms. South American giants Chile left it late to decide their Confederations Cup faith as they advance into the semi-finals as runners-up in their group. Australia gave Chile a big scare in the final match of the group stage, but a 1-1 draw ended up being enough to see them go through. Boasting the oldest team at the competition, Chile have played most of the Confederations Cup without their star goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. The Manchester City shot stopper has recovered and started against Australia so his return should be a major boost for the South Americans.
Highlighted Player (Ronaldo):
Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the world’s best football players. The Portuguese ace was born on 5 February, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira and he played for the likes of Andorinha, Nacional and Sporting during his youth career. CR7 made his Sporting debut in Primeira Liga on 7 October, 2002, scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Moreirense. Manchester United scouts spotted him and one year later he joined the Old Trafford outfit. Ronaldo became the most expensive teenager in the history of the Premier League and he received the number 7 shirt. He quickly established himself as the team’s key player and it has to be noted that he won three consecutive Premier League trophies with the Red Devils (2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009). In 2008 he helped the Old Trafford outfit beat Chelsea in the Champions League final, scoring for Alex Ferguson’s troops in the regular time. Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 and he helped the Spanish giants with two Champions League trophies. In 2016 he won the European Championship trophy with Portugal. The Real Madrid ace has two Golden Ball awards (2013, 2014).
Highlighted Team (Chile):
The Chilean Football Federation has been established in 1895 while Chile’s first-ever international game was a 3-1 loss to Argentina in 1910. The two countries formed a remarkable rivalry over the years and it was exactly against Argentina that Chile won their last major trophy – a 2015 Copa America title. Prior to their 2015 title Chile had been runners-up in the competition on four different occasions. Chile triumphed in a dramatic final on penalty kicks to reach their first tournament championship. In a symbolic turn of events, Chile start their 2016 Copa America Centenario with a rematch against Argentina. The most capped player of the Chile national team is Barcelona goalkeeper who has past his 100-match mark with the squad he has been a part of since 2004. Former Lazio and Juventus striker, the legendary Marcelo Salas is the leading scorer with 37 goals to his name. Key player to the current set up is Arsenal winger Alexis Sanchez who has been the team’s leader on the pitch since 2006.