Portugals final preparations for the
Fernando Santos side faced Nigeria who havent qualified for the tournament in a friendly on Thursday evening and they emerged with a resounding 4-0 victory.
Manchester Unitedstar Bruno Fernandes got himself on the scoresheet twice, with Benfica duo Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario also finding the back of the net.
Portugals captain and record scorerCristiano Ronaldomissed the game due to a stomach bug and in truth, Fernando Santos side looked a far more threatening proposition without him.
Atletico Madrids Joao Felix was one of those drafted in to replace Ronaldo and alongside Andre Silva, he wreaked havoc.
Felix was arguably the star of the show, despite the fact he didnt score or assist a goal.
The 23-year-old did play a key role in Portugals fourth of the night, though. It was a truly wonderful team move as well.
LISBON, PORTUGAL NOVEMBER 17: Joao Felix of Portugal in action during the friendly match between Portugal and Nigeria at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 17, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Felix, Ramos and Mario all combined to devastating effect at the Jos Alvalade Stadium.
Ramos skilful flick to assist Mario was marvellous, while the build-up play from Felix was equally good and suggests he may be worthy of a starting berth at the Qatar World Cup.
Joao Felix freed from the shackles of /LvX9jWR5D4
M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic)November 17, 2022
Liquid football from Portugal, something we havent seen too often under the pragmatic Santos.
Portugal might just be a serious problem in Qatar, despite the fact theyve been drawn in a reasonably hard group along with Uruguay, Ghana and South Korea.
Heres how fans reacted to the wonderful team goal from the Euro 2016 winners against Nigeria
One of the key takeaways from the team goal against Nigeria is the fact that the three players at the heart of it may not be in the starting XI to play Ghana on November 24th.
Ronaldo and Rafael Leao will likely come in for Felix and Ramos, while Mario whos been electric at Benfica in 2022/23 may find minutes at the World Cup hard to come by given the wealth of midfield options available to Santos.
The manager is certainly going to have a few selection headaches, particularly with regards to Felix, who really looked a player reborn against Nigeria.
As youll see for yourself below
Yes, its a friendly. Yes, hes yet to really shine for Portugal. But, give him the freedom he so desperately desires & Ive no doubts that hell do wonders for club & m/lj6PJD50jU
Marino Peixoto (@marinovpeixoto)November 18, 2022
The kid is special, very special indeed and without Diego Simeones defensive tactics hampering him, Felix could explode at the World Cup. Well, if hes given the chance to
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Danny Ryan is a Senior Writer and Boxing Lead at GiveMeSport. Hes had the pleasure of interviewing the likes of Tyson Fury, Gary Lineker, Amir Khan, Lennox Lewis, Joe Root, David Haye, Frank Warren, Kell Brook & Joseph Parker. He once got Eoin Morgan to commentate on THAT Super Over and is an above average FIFA player.
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