Rui Patricio Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Now that Portugal has qualified for next year’s World Cup in Brazil in spectacular fashion, the months of preparation and prognostication could officially begin.

Over the next few weeks Futebol Factory will be analyzing each position. Today, we begin with the last line of defence, the goalkeeper.

Sporting Lisbon’s Rui Patricio is firmly established as Portugal’s number one. The real competition appears to be for the final two spots on the squad.

Tickets Booked: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)

On The Bubble: Beto (Sevilla), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Sporting Braga)

Despite some high-profile ‘frangos’ against Benfica and Israel in recent weeks, Rui Patricio remains Portugal’s best option in goal.

Apart from that, the situation becomes far more complicated. For most of the recent qualifying campaign, Paulo Bento has selected Patricio, Beto and Eduardo.

But Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was selected first as an injury replacement and eventually in place of Eduardo. He is now out of action after fracturing vertebrae in his back in early November.

The injury was not as serious as initially thought and the 23-year old could be back sometime in January. If he returns to the level he was at before it is possible that he could still be selected for Brazil.

Beto has been playing well at La Liga club Sevilla and looks to have the edge over Eduardo, who has had some early struggles for Braga.

Eduardo was once Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper and the country’s best player in South Africa. But since moving to Genoa he has seen his quality decline. He has been loaned to Benfica, Turkish club İstanbul BB and now Braga.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

FEATURE: 10 Portuguese Players Who Need To Improve Before The World Cup

TRANSFER WINDOW: Arsenal in Pursuit Of Rui Patricio

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