Earlier today, speculation surfaced that Macedonia was close to agreeing a friendly with Portugal in late May of this year. Those reports seem true as the Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) published a banner on its official website announcing the friendly against Portugal.
The friendly is expected to be played in Lisbon, Portugal. Macedonia will use the game against a strong opponent to get ready for the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifications while Portugal will use the friendly as a way to prepare for the EURO 2012 tournament. Portugal’s first game in EURO 2012 is on 9 June against Germany in Lviv, Ukraine so the friendly against Macedonia on 26 May will be played exactly two weeks prior to the Germany game.
FFM released the following banner on its website:
It lists the upcoming games for the national team. On the left, it’s the match against Luxembourg that will be played in six days while on the right, it shows a match against Portugal on 26 May.
In late January of this year, John Toshack held a press conference in which he hoped to participate in a mini tournament in late May where the Macedonian national team would play a couple of games against strong opponents. It now seems that one of those opponents will be Portugal, currently #6 on the FIFA World Rankings list. Portugal possesses one of the most talented national teams in the world and is led by Cristiano Ronaldo from Spanish giants Real Madrid. This will obviously give the Macedonian players a lot of motivation to perform well and impress manager John Toshack who will be evaluating the squad before the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifications in early September. Macedonia opens up with two tough road fixtures against Croatia and Scotland.
The speculation earlier in the day was that FFM was also working on scheduling another one or two friendlies, besides Portugal, in the period before the start of the EURO 2012 tournament.