Peseiro: Moutinho key for Portugal

Sport360 staff 12:00 16/06/2014
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Man in the middle: Joao Moutinho in training with Portuga

It is incredible to be in Brazil for the World Cup, and I will be travelling across the country to watch Portugal.

There is a big atmosphere in the resort close to Salvador in which I am currently staying.

There are many people here from the Netherlands, understandably very happy after Friday night’s incredible 5-1 win against Spain.

Against Germany tonight, I hope our supporters will be just as happy as the Dutch.

The Portugal fans have confidence in our team, everybody believes in them.

Germany are bigger favourites than us, but we have the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo.

It is not easy for Ronaldo, he finished a big season with fitness problems and is carrying some injuries.

But if he plays like he does normally, Portugal are capable of winning any match.

When it comes to dealing with the big players, and Cristiano is the biggest, they have to decide if they are fit to play or not.

If Ronaldo feels good, then the coaching staff are sure to let him play.

I know head coach Paulo Bento well.

When I managed Sporting Lisbon nearly a decade ago, he retired as a player to lead the Under19s team.

He works hard every day to improve his team’s balance.

He does not like to take too many risks, balance is the key for him.

Joao Moutinho is a very important player for us in central midfield, and I gave him his Sporting debut aged just 17.

This was no problem for me, as he is so intelligent that he plays like a coach.

He’s a smart guy, he controls everything on or off the pitch so well.

He creates the platform for Ronaldo.

This team has played together, with the same players and coach, since 2010.

We play like a club side, which is hard to achieve on the international stage as most do not have time to create such a model – that is our main power.

Germany have overpowered us with their height and size in the past but Pepe and Bruno Alves are very strong and tall guys, who I am sure can deal with that threat.

We also cannot give any space to Germany, who with Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze, possess several brilliant playmakers.

Balance is key for Portugal – we will not commit too many people to attack, we will stay tight and look to use Ronaldo’s pace on the counter.

Portugal and Germany are the best two teams in this group, on a different level to Ghana and the United States.

This game is big, but a loss is not the end for either side.

A lot will depend on how well Germany can adapt to the humid weather conditions. 

Al Wahda coach Jose Peseiro previously managed Portuguese top-flight clubs Sporting Lisbon and Braga and was assistant to Carlos Queiroz at Real Madrid.

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