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Women's World Cup: Portugal Women's Team Profile

This year's Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is edging closer and there are eight teams ready to make their debuts at the tournament, including European powerhouses Portugal.

Portugal have failed to qualify for any of the previous eight editions of the Women's World Cup but featured at Euro 2017 and Euro 2022 and are 100/1 to win the tournament.

They are a team with experience at the back and talent in attack, with Jessica Silva among their key players, while manager Francisco Neto has done a great job since taking over in 2014.

It will be fascinating to see how Portugal get on as they prepare for what is a tough Group E campaign against four-time champions USA, European juggernauts the Netherlands and fellow debutants Vietnam.

Portugal's World Cup record:

Portugal have never previously qualified for the Women's World Cup and are preparing for their tournament debut in Australia and New Zealand this year.

They have, however, got a bit of major tournament experience behind them, having qualified for each of the last two runnings of the UEFA European Women's Championship.

They exited those competitions at the group stage on both occasions but at Euro 2017 they at least picked up a win over Scotland, while in England last year they took a point off Switzerland before losing to the Netherlands and Sweden in Group C.

How Portugal qualified:

Portugal were a late addition to Euro 2022 last year but they showed their class in European qualifying for the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Stationed in Group H, Portugal won seven of their 10 matches to take second spot below Germany and above Serbia, Turkey, Israel and Bulgaria.

They then progressed to the European play-offs in which they defeated Belgium 2-1 and then Iceland 4-1 after extra time but they ranked third out of the play-off winners.

That meant they had to head to the inter-confederation play-offs which took place in New Zealand in February this year.

They played just the one match against Cameroon, claiming victory thanks to a 94th-minute penalty from Carole Costa which sent them through to their first-ever Women's World Cup.

The Manager - Francisco Neto:

Portugal's women's team have only ever featured at two European Championships with head coach Francisco Neto having overseen both of those campaigns and the 41-year-old is now preparing to lead the national team into their first-ever Women's World Cup.

Neto entered the coaching set-up for the Portugal women's team as goalkeeping coach, working under Monica Jorge between 2008 and 2010, before taking charge of Goa in India in 2013.

It is fair to say Neto is short on experience compared to some of the managers involved at the Women's World Cup this year but he has so far enjoyed plenty of success in the Portugal hot seat.

Confirmed Portugal squad:

Goalkeepers: Rute Costa, Ines Pereira, Patricia Morais

Defenders: Ana Seica, Carole Costa, Catarina Amado, Diana Gomes, Joana Marchao, Lucia Alves, Silvia Rebelo

Midfielders: Ana Rute, Andreia Norton, Andreia Jacinto, Dolores Silva, Fatima Pinto, Kika Nazareth, Tatiana Pinto

Forwards: Ana Borges, Ana Capeta, Carolina Mendes, Diana Silva, Jessica Silva, Telma Encarnacao

Portugal's Key Players:

Although none of the Portugal squad have featured at a Women's World Cup before, their group is not short of experience, especially in defence.

Carole Costa and Silvia Rebelo, who both ply their trade for Benfica at club level, have 276 international caps between them and will be important leaders in the team in Australia and New Zealand.

The star of the show is, however, at the other end of the pitch with Silva likely to catch the eye in Group E.

Striker Silva, 28, has previously played for Lyon and Kansas City and has a Champions League title to her name.

She is now an integral part of a dominant Benfica team in Portugal and recently reached 100 caps for her country.

Midfielder Kika Nazareth, 20, will also be one to keep an eye on, having been widely labelled as a future star in the Portugal women's team.

Portugal's Group Fixtures:

Group E
Netherlands vs Portugal, Dunedin, 23rd July 2023
Portugal vs Vietnam, Hamilton, 27th July 2023
Portugal vs USA, Auckland, 1st August 2023

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