Fernando Santos names latest Portugal squad
Fernando Santos has announced his latest Portugal squad to face Serbia and Lithuania in the latest batch of Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Portugal, who have just 2 points from their first 2 matches in their qualification group, have it all to do to secure progression to the continent’s biggest national competition.
With that in mind, there is little surprise that Santos has named a very strong squad to try and overcome both Serbia and Lithuania, the former a particularly crucial match in the context of Euro 2020 qualification.
In terms of the goalkeepers, Rui Patricio is unsurprisingly named in the 25-man squad, Portugal’s undisputed number one expected to start both Portugal’s upcoming matches, while he is joined in the squad by the experienced Beto and Olympiakos shot-stopper Jose Sa.
In defence, there are also few surprises, with both Joao Cancelo and Nelson Semedo the two right backs in the side, beating Ricardo Pereira to a spot in the team. Then at left-back, Raphael Guerreiro and Mario Rui are the selected pair.
In terms of the centrebacks, the experienced duo of Pepe and Jose Fonte, as expected, get a call-up, while Benfica’s young star Ruben Dias, who has been a regular in the Portugal starting lineup over the last year and impressed at the Nations League in the summer, is also unsurprisingly included.
The main notable inclusion in defence, though, has to be that of Sevilla man Daniel Carrico who, aged 31, could be set to make just his second senior appearance for Portugal.
Moving on to the midfield, Wolves duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho both retain their places in the team, the latter Portugal’s third most capped player in history.
They are joined in the team by Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira, Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes, Benfica’s Pizzi, and Real Betis’ William Carvalho, in addition to Lille’s new man Renato Sanches.
And in terms of the forwards included in the team, Santos has opted for both Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo, two players who are certain to be central to Portugal’s plans.
They are joined by young star Joao Felix, who is looking to build on his one senior cap, while Wolves’ Diogo Jota is looking to make his first ever appearance for his country at senior level.
In addition to Jota, there is another potential debutant, with Olympiakos star Daniel Podence fully deserving of his chance in the Portugal senior team.
Benfica star Rafa Silva has also been given a well-deserved spot in Santos’ squad, while Nations League hero Goncalo Guedes has also maintained his spot in the 25-man squad.