Fernando Santos has confirmed the 25-man Portugal squad for the upcoming matches with Croatia and Sweden in the UEFA Nations League.
With several issues with selection, including some players being on holiday and other coming off the back of incredibly lengthy campaigns, Santos has still named a strong squad, though there are a couple of interesting inclusions.
📋 Esta é a nossa equipa para o início da Liga das Nações: que comece a defesa do título! 🏆 #TodosPortugal— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) August 24, 2020
📅 05/09 às 19h45
📅 08/09 às 19h45 (Hora Local)
📋 This is our squad for the Nations League kick-off: let the title defense begin! 🏆 #TeamPortugal pic.twitter.com/1jSPSw96LV
In goal, Fernando Santos has called upon regular shot-stopper Rui Patricio, while Lyon hero Anthony Lopes returns to the Selecao after a short break from international duty. The third choice goalkeeper is then Rui Silva, who is on track to make his debut.
At centreback, the veteran duo of Pepe and Jose Fonte will be available for selection to Fernando Santos, alongside typical starter Ruben Dias of Benfica. After a very strong campaign, Domingos Duarte also gets a deserved call-up in the absence of Ruben Semedo.
The fullbacks are generally as expected. Raphael Guerreiro and Mario Rui the options at left back, while there are also call ups for both Joao Cancelo and Nelson Semedo, with Ricardo Pereira still available through injury.
Portugal NT squad for the UEFA Nations League.— MKnaldo7 (@MKnaldo7) August 24, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will begin defending their title next week.
5th Sept: Portugal 🆚 Croatia
8th Sept: Sweden 🆚 Portugal pic.twitter.com/yyRlmEgnEh
In midfield, the typical defensive midfielder in Danilo Pereira has been selected, with his Porto teammate Sergio Oliveira also included, while there is then a slot reserved for Ruben Neves. Neves’ experienced Wolves teammate Joao Moutinho is also in the squad, an important part of Fernando Santos’ plans, with the in-form Lille midfielder Renato Sanches also included. As would be expected, Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes is also part of the 23-man team, alongside Andre Gomes, currently on the books of Everton, and Bernardo Silva.
The more attacking options include Goncalo Guedes and Joao Felix, who both currently ply their trade in Spain with Valencia and Atletico Madrid respectively, while one of the more interesting call-ups is that of Francisco Trincao, the youngster set to move to Barcelona after an excellent season at Braga. Diogo Jota of Wolves is also in the squad, while the out-and-out centre forward is Frankfurt’s Andre Silva. Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is also involved.