Portugal is without Nani, Eder, Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo to the world cup. The foursome belongs to the twelve players from the 35-man pre-selection that Thursday fallen for the final elite coach Fernando Santos.
Eder was two years ago, the hero of Portugal at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS. The 30-year-old attacker, who last season Lille was rented to Lokomotiv Moscow, was in the final against France the winning goal (0-1).
Also, Nani had a big role in the EK-profit. The 31-year-old vleugelspeler, which is today for Lazio plays, scored twice, and already has 112 international matches to his name, but Santos has him at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS is not necessary. The same goes for Semedo and Gomes, though the two recently champion with FC Barcelona.
The other drop-outs of the pre-selection are Antunes (Getafe), Rolando (Olympique Marseille), Ronny Lopes (AS Monaco), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), Luis Neto (Fenerbahçe), João Cancelo (Internazionale), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Paulinho (SC Braga).
The Portuguese selection is, of course, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who on his fourth and probably last world cup starts. Of the selection that two years ago the European champion was still thirteen players on.
Santos wanted to publicise his selection does not say whether he was a stronger elite than at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS.
“I can do about that except to say that, I just have so much confidence in”, says Santos, that the difficult thought that the big names had to lose weight. “But I’m a professional. I have to make decisions and I know that I cannot please everyone.”
Portugal is in Russia classified in group B with Spain, Morocco and Iran. The first race of the Portuguese on 15 June in Sochi against Spain.
The 23-man EK-selection of Portugal
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Beto (Göztepe), Rui Patrício (Sporting Lisbon)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers FC), Cédric Soares (Southampton), Jose Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Mário Rui (Napoli), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), João Mário (West Ham United), João Moutinho (AS Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
Attackers: André Silva (AC Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas).
Check out the (pre)selections for the world cup 2018