Both the Netherlands (No. 5) and Portugal (No. 7) are among the top 10 sides in the world according to FIFA's ranking system . Since the turn of the century, each team has proven to be a force to be respected in major tournaments. The Dutch have made two European Championship semi-finals since 2000 and advanced to the World Cup final in 2012 in South Africa, where they were edged in extra time by Spain. Portugal, in the same period, have never failed to make it into the knockout stages of the European Championships, finishing fourth, fifth, second and third in the last four editions of that tournament. They also made it to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup. Despite boasting an impressive record in recent tournaments, neither Portugal nor the Netherlands have managed to capitalize on their consistently strong playing rosters by going all the way in a major championship.
Data published by the Bank of Portugal on Tuesday showed the cumulative borrowing from the euro zone central bank rose from 49.4 billion euros at the end of June. Lisbon, which ended an internal rift in the country's ruling coalition late last month, is fighting to repair its public finances and gain full access to debt markets. The country's banks were shut out of financial markets in 2010 and forced to rely on the trading ECB for funding. Dependence on ECB funding peaked at 60.1 billion euros in June 2012 and banks have made occasional incursions into bond markets since then. Analysts say reliance by Portuguese banks on ECB borrowing remains significant and will continue in the near future. The financial sector has been hit hard by a deep recession, now in its third year, which has led to a jump in bad loans. ($1 = 0.7553 euros) (Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga, Editing by Axel Bugge and David Cowell)
Portugal banks' ECB borrowing up 1.5 percent in July
Pepe returns for Portugal Paulo Bento's Portugal has been far from impressive in qualifying, and heads its group by just two points, having played two more games than closest challenger Russia. Netherlands, by contrast, has yet to lose a game in qualifying and heads into the clash at Estadio Do Algarve, Faro, seven points clear of Hungary at the top of its group. Both teams can boast a plethora of big names, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho and Pepe all included in the Portugal squad, while Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart are all set to feature for Louis van Gaal's side. There is nothing to separate the sides on recent form, Van Gaal's side has not lost a game since falling 4-2 to Belgium in August 2012, while Portugal's 3-2 loss to Ecudaor in February marks the last time it tasted defeat. The last competitive meeting between the two sides - which took place at EURO 2012 - ended in a 2-1 Portugal win as it eventually progressed to the semi-finals, with Netherlands sent home in the group stage after failing to earn a single point. Defence has been the key behind Van Gaal's side's recent turnaround, having conceded only three goals in its last 10 outings, but it does face an imposing challenge in the form of Ronaldo, who is the undoubted focal point of the Portugal attack. The Real Madrid man netted in the win over Croatia in June, and has 39 goals in 104 appearances in his senior http://jedzijv.wikispaces.com/Obama%27s+embrace+of+Amazon+dismays+many+booksellers international career.
Portugal, Netherlands to clash in Faro
The centre-right government is currently drafting the 2014 budget, which is set to include the spending cuts and which has to be presented to parliament by October 15. "Portugal remains fully committed to its obligations under the assistance programme as agreed under the last regular review (of the economy) by the 'troika'," Poiares Maduro told Reuters in an e-mailed statement. Poiares Maduro is also responsible for ensuring the government's political coordination in cabinet, supporting the prime minister. "The 2014 budget is being prepared according to those commitments and the values agreed," he said, referring to the planned spending cuts of 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, or roughly 4.7 billion euros. Officials from the 'troika' of creditors, made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, are expected to arrive in Portugal at the end of this month to carry out their next http://yourtrainings.com/gavinvpti/trainings/716575/ review of the economy. Portugal's budget goals under its bailout were eased during the last review as the country struggles through its third year of a recession exacerbated by austerity measures. Lisbon now needs to cut the budget deficit to 4 percent of GDP next year from 5.5 percent this year.
Portugal remains committed to 4.7 billion euros in spending cuts - minister
The 30-year-old, who made his 51st appearance for (source) the national side against Azerbaijan in March, was suspended for Portugal's last qualifying game against Russia on June 7. He was also absent for the 1-0 friendly win in Croatia three days after, but returns to the squad for their final game before their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in September. It will be the first time Portugal and the Oranje have met since their group fixture in Euro 2012, which Portugal won 2-1, and Bento has kept faith with Manchester United winger Nani as well as recalling Zenit St Petersburg stocks forward Danny. There is no place for Hugo Almeida, despite the forward starting the victory over Croatia at the Stade de Geneve, while Andre Martins of Sporting Lisbon could be given his second cap, as he replaces the injured Raul Meireles. Both sides currently top their qualification groups for the World Cup next year, with Portugal having lost just one game so far.