Argentina and Portugal will kick of their respective campaigns in the 2016 Rio Olympics soccer tournament on Thursday at Olympic Stadium. Both teams belong to Group D together with Honduras and Algeria.
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo In Rio?
Soccer fans were thrilled upon knowing that Argentina and Portugal were grouped together in the Rio Olympics soccer tournament. Who would not be excited about the potential of seeing rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo collide in the biggest sporting event in the world?
However, both soccer superstars begged off from their respective national teams. Messi announced his retirement from international football after a painful loss in the Copa America Centenario final. Ronaldo, on the other hand, opted to rest following their successful title campaign in the Copa America Centenario.
Players To Watch For Argentina & Portugal
With Messi and Ronaldo out of commission, there are rumblings that the match will be a boring showdown. However, soccer fans should expect that the match will not lack luster.
According to ESPN, Argentine fans should pin their hopes on Angel Correa, who will be the main man for the team in the tournament. He is tipped to wreak havoc with his high soccer IQ and versatility on the field. He will be backed up by two overage defenders Victor Cuesta and goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.
On the other hand, Portugal will lean on skipper Bruno Fernandes, who will look to pick up from where he left off during his campaign with Udinese in the Italian Serie A. Aside from the star midfielder, overage players Salvador Agra, Sergio Oliveira and Andre Martins are expected to have big responsibilities on their shoulders.
Rio Olympics Soccer Schedule, Live Stream & Predictions
The Argentina vs. Portugal match will start at 5 p.m. ET and will be available live on NBC Olympics. The complete Rio Olympics soccer schedule is available here, while more live stream information can be seen on Live Soccer TV. The two teams are expected to go toe-to-toe on Thursday. Prediction, 1-1 draw.