The Portugal national football team is slotted at number 3 on FIFA's most recent rankings of the world teams, meaning that every time the team appears on the pitch whether wearing its home kits, its away jersey, or its Portugal 2014 World Cup sideline tracksuit everyone in the football community will be paying sharp attention to see if the team can make good on its immense promise. For those looking to root for the team, Soccer Box has a full array of Portugal gear available, including the aforementioned jerseys and tracksuits.

Close Qualification Performance

Portugal may be ranked third in the world by FIFA at the moment, but that doesn't mean the team had the easiest time of things in the qualification round. On the contrary, the Portugal team initially came in second in its UEFA group after being edged out in points by Russia.

Both Russia and Portugal were drawn into qualification Group F, along with Israel, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, and Luxembourg. Of those six teams, Portugal actually had the fewest losses. However, a larger number of drawn matches and therefore, a smaller number of wins left Portugal facing a playoff with other second-place teams to make it into the World Cup.

Luckily, the time that the team members had spent in their Portugal training kits was evident in the second round, and Portugal quickly went to work proving itself worthy of a spot in this year's Brazil tournament. In a two-match, home and away playoff, Portugal beat Sweden twice with an aggregate score of 4-2.

That victory against Sweden guaranteed that fans would be seeing the Portugal tracksuit on the football pitches in Brazil in 2014. Now, as the team has continued to climb FIFA's world rankings, fans might get a chance to see their players not only appear on the pitch this summer, but win the entire tournament.

The Biggest Threats

Now that Portugal has landed a slot in the 2014 World Cup (and been labeled a dark horse contender, to boot), the team is undoubtedly taking a look at the drawing board and trying to determine where its most notable threats will come from.

One of those notable threats will be faced in Portugal's very first match at this summer's World Cup, and it could influence the tenor of the tournament for the European team. On June 16, Portugal will come up against the German national soccer team one of the two squads that currently outrank Portugal on the FIFA seeding list.

When Portugal's squad takes the field for that match, wearing the team home kit or the Portugal 2014 World Cup sideline tracksuit, fans and critics alike will be waiting with bated breath to see whether or not the team can muster a win. Should Portugal defeat Germany, the team will more or less guarantee itself advancement beyond the group stage, while also marking itself as an undeniable contender for the crown.

Portugal will face its other prime opponents top-ranked returning champs, Spain, and host team, Brazil later on the in the tournament. If Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo gets his wish, though, then Brazil won't be the only team feeling loyal local support. Just recently, Ronaldo expressed his hope that his Brazilian "brothers" would cheer for Portugal at the World Cup at least in games not involving Brazil.

If Brazil's fans do indeed decide to cheer for Portugal as their "alternative favorites," that could certainly make a difference in how the team performs. Fans wearing Portugal training kits and bellowing from the stands would give the team a jolt of adrenaline, and if that sounds appealing to you, you can find such kits online at Soccer Box!