Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Following a heart-breaking loss to Serbia, Portugal will look to give fans some cheer when they take on Turkey in the World Cup playoffs semis. A Selecao are eager to qualify for the showpiece tournament, but they need to cross two hurdles if they are to meet the goal. Joao Felix has been in a splendid form of late, and the Atletico Madrid ace is widely expected to start against Turkey, while Man City centre-back Ruben Dias has been left out of the squad with injury.
As a result, Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio has received a call-up. Joao Palhinha misses out with injury as well, while Cristiano Ronaldo is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts. The Turks, on the other hand, booked their place in the playoffs thanks to a 2-1 win over Montenegro. As always, a man to watch in the away team will be Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, but he is unlikely to help Steffen Kuntz’s men spoil Portugal’s party in Porto.
Highlighted Player (Cristiano 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 (Turkey):
Present on the international stage since 1923, Turkey only started showing some promise during the 70’s, but they had to wait until the turn of the century to place themselves on the map. While they lost all three fixtures at their first ever European Championship finals in 1996, they fared much better four years later, reaching the last eight in Netherlands and Belgium.
Milli Takim were able to build on that result as they went on to reach the podium at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, while also finishing third at the 2003 Confederations Cup and making it to the semi-finals at the Euro 2008.
Rustu Receber, Hakan Sukur and Emre Belezoglu were important parts of the country’s most successful generation, but the one including Arda Turan, Selcuk Inan, Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu is threatening to surpass their achievements. As the Turkish Super Lig continues the get stronger, the national team follows, and we should expect some big result from Milli Takim in the near future.