'We can't depend on only Ronaldo'
DECLINE: Ex-Portugal goalkeeper Vitor Baia (above) feels that current custodians Beto and Rui Patricio are not exceptional.
One minute they are joking, laughing and hamming it up for the cameras.
But ask them about their national team, and former Portugal internationals - Deco, Vitor Baia, Paulo Ferreira, Nuno Gomes and Maniche - turn pensive, for they know the line of questioning they are about to face.
Just why have Portugal continued to produce batch after batch of top-class players such as Eusebio, Nene, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, but contrive to be perennial underachievers who have not won a single major championship?
More recently, despite boasting Ronaldo, the reigning World Footballer of the Year, Portugal crashed out in the group stages at the World Cup, and their best performance remains a third-placed finish in 1966.
You could also see them wince at the thought of that heartbreaking European Championship final defeat by Greece on home soil in 2004.
But they all have their own idea of what is required to break the hoodoo.
Former Chelsea midfielder Maniche, 36, and part of the quintet here for the Tiger Street Football event, sums it up nicely by saying: "When you lose, it's always convenient to find excuses and everyone looks at Cristiano because he has worked his way to this status.
"But we need a strong squad, not just one player, strong character, humility, a good team relationship, and some luck."
Former Porto and Barcelona goalkeeper Vitor Baia, capped 80 times by his country, feels there is a need to "renovate" his national team and introduce more youth such as Valencia duo Ruben Vezo and Andre Gomes.
The 44-year-old said: "They have to renovate the team right now, change their mentality and bring in new players. We are a country with natural talents and we have fantastic young players that are technically skilled.
"We have top players like Cristiano Ronaldo, but we cannot rely on just Cristiano and that is the main problem. The coach has to ensure that all the players play at the same high level."
As Portugal leaked seven goals in three group games at this year's World Cup, Baia also bemoans the lack of a top goalkeeper, and added: "Beto and Rui Patricio played well last year, but they are not at the top level."
At the other end, former Benfica striker Nuno Gomes feels they also lack a prolific striker at international level despite having Ronaldo breaking scoring records with Real Madrid.
The 38-year-old said: "We always have some problems with scoring, and the number nines for a very long time."
Maybe it could be something to do with the manager, and the Special One could come to his country's rescue one day.
JOSE FOR PORTUGAL
Maniche said: "Wherever Jose Mourinho goes, he is a winner. He has said he would like to coach Portugal one day, and all the fans are expecting and hoping he will bring a major championship to Portugal.
"He has of course managed only at club level so far. But he is a clever man and he is probably waiting for the next high-quality generation before taking over the national team!
"That's not to say he's afraid of challenges. After all, he did deliver Chelsea's first league title in 50 years, and we hope he will eventually create history with Portugal, too."