Preview: Portugal's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari won the World Cup in 2002, and will attempt to a repeat in 2006, albeit with a different team.  The former Bazilian coach leads a Portuguese side that is coming in hot, winning 9 out of 12 qualifying matches, and is somewhat of a trendy favorite.  Portugal reached the final round of the Euro 2004 Championship, led captain Luis Figo and the then 19 year old Christiano Ronaldo.

The 2006 roster features such stars as the playmaker Deco, striker Pauleta, and defendr Ricardo Carvalho.  Former FIFA Player of the Year Luis Figo returns for what is probably his last World Cup.  In their first round group, Portugal faces only one major challenge in Mexico, so more serious competition should come in round two.  "I would say that we are one of the best eight teams in the world at the moment," commented Scolari.

Result: Coach Scolari predicted a run by the Portuguese side, and the nation advanced far into tournament.  Portugal gutted out tough wins against Netherlands and England, before losing to France in the semis.  If the lowlight of Portugal's fourth place campaign was the record setting match against Netherlands, the highlight was probably goalkeeper Ricardo's dominance on penalty shootouts against England.