Road to Colombia
Beneficiaries of a bye to the main round of European qualifying, Portugal were rampant on the way to topping their group, handing out drubbings to Poland (6-2), Norway (6-1) and Romania (5-0). They found it tougher going in the play-offs, though, just edging past Serbia – who had been buoyed by finishing fourth at this year's UEFA Futsal EURO – 2-1 in each leg.
Strengths and style
After overseeing their run to the quarter-finals in 2012, Jorge Braz now has a second bite at the cherry and will be hoping that on this occasion Portugal can live up to their tag as potential challengers for the throne. Flamboyant star Ricardinho, the adidas Bronze Ball winner in Thailand and the sole survivor from the squad at Guatemala 2000, continues to serve as a talisman. The supporting cast is led by a trio who were involved on the global stage four years ago: Cardinal, the top scorer in UEFA qualifying with eight goals, and defenders Pedro Cary and Joao Matos. They also have an outstanding goalkeeper in Vitor Hugo and two promising, versatile young talents in Fabio Cecilio and Tiago Brito.
FIFA Futsal World Cup record
Portugal were absent from the first three Futsal World Cups, but made their bow at the tournament at Guatemala 2000 and have not missed out since. That maiden campaign also yielded their best result to date, a third-place finish behind Spain and Brazil, with the latter defeating them in the semi-finals. Despite being a constant presence ever since, they failed to emulate that feat in their subsequent three appearances, ending up fifth in 2004, ninth in 2008 and eighth in 2012.