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FIT FOR A KING

  • Date:5th April 2018
  • Words:Ben Brown

There are a few things you can take from the big reveal of Portugal’s kit for Russia.

One: it matches up very, very nicely with Ronaldo’s new Chapter 6 CR7 Mercurial. Two: Bruno Alves is still playing. And three: Andre Gomes has the best hair in world football. Truly magnificent.

That first point is absolutely no coincidence by the way – the new kit is all about Ronaldo. You can imagine it arriving in a beautifully presented parcel, labelled “For Cristiano, and everyone else”. It’s meant to look regal, inspired by CR7’s talismanic leadership qualities. “Ronaldo is a Portuguese hero. We wanted to tell the story of the modern king of football leading this new team,” says Pete Hoppins, Nike’s Football Apparel Senior Design Director.

It’s inspired by CR7’s talismanic leadership qualities.

It’s an understandable approach – Ronaldo is one of the best players ever, after all – but even if they don’t have his famous name and number on the back, every other member of the squad is going to be wearing the same shirt. And when you look at that squad, you see that for the first time in a while, the band of veterans that Portugal have relied upon for so long have finally been joined by some genuinely talented youngsters.

Man City’s Bernardo Silva and Valencia’s PSG-loanee Goncalo Guedes are probably the pick of the prodigies, but you can also count on 22-year-old Andre Silva to turn it on for the national side, whatever his form for AC Milan.

Portugal are most certainly one to watch.

Add those three to the old guard of Rui Patricio, Pepe, Moutinho, Quaresma, and main-man Cristiano Ronaldo, and you’ve got a really quite formidable side. Head coach Fernando Santos is cautious, placing his team in “the second group” behind supposed favourites Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, and France, but given the current crop of talent and the team ethic shown in abundance during their 2016 European triumph, Portugal are most certainly one to watch.

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