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Portugal to face Slovakia who almost forgot to lose

Kriralok Desk: Portugal and Slovakia to face each other in UEFA Euro Championship Qualifiers. The match will start at the opponent’s Bratislava Stadium on Friday (September 8) at 1:15 AM Bangladesh time.

Considering the FIFA ranking, Portugal is much ahead of Slovakia. According to FIFA, the current position of Portugal is 9 and Slovakia is 47. But recent history suggests that Slovakia were unbeaten in their last seven international matches. The team last lost to Azerbaijan in the UEFA Nations League in September 2022. The next four consecutive matches were drawn against Belarus, Montenegro and Chile.

Slovakia is unbeaten in four matches in the UEFA Euro Championship this season. In the first match they shared the points against Luxembourg. And in the next three matches they beat Bosnia, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Slovakia is second among six teams with 10 points from four matches in Group ‘G’.

Portugal exited the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar after losing to Morocco. In the current year 2023, they won all four matches against Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Bosnia and Iceland. Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals in four matches. He is the top scorer in the qualifiers so far. Ronaldo scored 36 goals in 39 Euro qualifiers. Which is the highest in history. Besides, Ronaldo owns the most 123 goals in international football.

Recently, the 38-year-old Ronaldo seems to be running with the youth. He won the Arab Champions Club Cup trophy at the start of the season for Saudi club Al Nasr. He was the top scorer of the tournament with 6 goals. He also scored six goals in four matches in the Saudi professional league. In total, in the 2023-24 season, Ronaldo’s number of club goals is 12 in 11 matches. Recently reached the milestone of 850 professional goals as the first player in football history.

Ronaldo is also taking the field as a captain against Slovakia. He is the hope of coach Roberto Martinez. The Portuguese coach said, “You can’t ignore someone who has played 200 matches, scored goals at the highest international and club level, even if you want to. Ronaldo is a great asset to any team. He has a lot left to give to Portugal.”

Bernardo Silva scored three goals in the qualifiers. Bruno Fernandez scored two goals. On the other hand, Slovakia’s defense, known as the European Falcon, is very strong. Iceland managed to find the ball in their net only once in the four qualifying matches. Slovakia is trying to turn around from August 2022 under the supervision of the former coach of Naples, Italy, Francisco Calzona. Having failed to reach the finals of the World Cup, Slovakia stood in the dugout eight times and saw only one defeat. That too in the debut match against Azerbaijan. Slovakia later became a very challenging team.

Slovakian keeper Martin Dúbravka is part of England’s Newcastle United. Team captain defender Milan Skriniar plays for PSG. In addition, Hertha Berlin’s Peter Pekarik, Majorca’s Martin Valent, Fionard’s Dávid Hancko will give Ronaldo a tough test.

Portugal have won three matches in four appearances against Slovakia. a draw. In the last match in 2005, Portugal won 2-0. Ronaldo scored the second goal of that match.

Slovakia’s coach Francesco Calzona said, “We want to play in the finals of the Euro Championship. We will do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.”

Slovakia played in the knock out stage of the 2016 Euro Championship. Portugal won the title in that event. In addition, Slovakia exited from the group stage in 2020.