U20 national team coach Emílio Peixe has named the Portugal squad that will travel to South Korea for the World Cup starting later this month.

“Our history in this competition is a factor of motivation but also adds to our responsibility,” said Peixe, who was a key player when Portugal won this trophy in 1991, when he was voted MVP in the tournament held on home soil.

The squad is made up mostly of Benfica, Sporting and Porto youth players – 18 of the 21-man squad come from Portugal’s Big Three – and hopes are high of a good showing given many of the players are the same who won the U17 European Championship in Azerbaijan and reached the semi-finals of the U19 European Championship in Germany, both last year.

Historic achievement 

Even before the tournament proper starts, Portugal made history by qualifying for a fourth successive U20 World Cup, becoming the first European country to do so. The fact a powerhouse football nation like Brazil and the current holders of the trophy Serbia failed to make the cut demonstrates how competitive football is at this level.

This will be the twenty-first FIFA organised U20 World Cup, with Portugal participating in the tournament on 11 occasions. The Seleção won the trophy twice, curiously successively, in 1989 in Saudi Arabia, and in 1991 as the host nation. Portugal also made it to the final on one other occasion, in 2011 in Colombia.

“Our first big goal is to qualify for the knockout stage. Our second goal is to win the group, said Peixe. “Both the federation and the players really want to win. Winning is what drives us forward, but we can’t lose sight of the fact one of the main focuses of the national youth sides is to prepare players for the senior Portugal team. But until getting there, we really want to win.”

First stop Japan

The World Cup will be held from 20 May to 11 June. Before travelling to their base in South Korea, the Seleção will hold a one-week training camp in Japan, which ends with a friendly match against USA. In the opening phase Portugal play Zambia, Costa Rica and Iran in Group C.

The FPF have compiled a detailed bilingual 42-page Media Guide about Portugal’s participation in the U20 World Cup. To download it click on the link above.

 

Portugal’s U20 World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Pedro Silva (Sporting), Diogo Costa (FC Porto), Luís Maximiano (Sporting)

Defenders: Pedro Empis (Sporting), Diogo Dalot (FC Porto), Yuri Ribeiro (Benfica), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Jorge Fernandes (FC Porto), Ferro (Benfica)

Midfielders: Pedro Rodrigues (Benfica), Florentino (Benfica), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Miguel Luís (Sporting), Pedro Delgado (Sporting), Xadas (Braga), Diogo Gonçalves (Benfica), Buta (Benfica), Bruno Costa (FC Porto)

Forwards: Alexandre Silva (Vitória de Guimarães), José Gomes (Benfica), André Ribeiro (Zurich)

by Tom Kundert

 

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  • Guest - George

    I absolutely love the U20 World Cup. There are always 3-4 players who make their mark and officially become recognized names in world football. Simply put, it's a tournament that makes stars out of promising talents. I remember watching our squad 2 years ago in New Zealand absolutely destroy our competition. It was such a shame that we didn't win the competition and went out to Brazil on penalties. Brazil had no business winning that game let alone making it all the way to the final; glad Serbia won in the end. But, while watching the tournament, 4 players in particular caught my eye: Andre Silva, Gelson Martins, Rony Lopes, and Rafa Soares. The first 2 are already with our senior team and the other 2 will be there by next summer I believe. So, given that history, I'm very excited to see who will emerge in a couple of weeks.

    If I had to put money on it, and pick a name out of a hat - I'd go with Pedro Rodrigues. I absolutely LOVE this guy. I can't believe he doesn't have more of a profile already! He's another defensive midfielder in the mold of a Ruben Neves - supremely intelligent, pretty quick, can both destroy and create, can spray long passes across the field like a quarterback in the NFL, and can chip in with a fair amount of goals as well. Basically, imagine Andrea Pirlo with more of a defensive appetite and solid tackling ability. Very excited to see the development of these two (Neves and Rodrigues).

    As for who else emerges? Who knows? Diogo Dalot, Diogo Costa, and Jose Gomes are pegged for big things as well. I'm just not sure how much game time they're going to get.

    I hope the games are televised in Canada like they were last time. Or, if not, they will be streamed on FIFA's website like the UEFA Youth League was.

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  • Guest - jon/usa

    I am also a huge fan of Pedro Rodrigues. I have only managed to watch him a handful of times over the past two seasons, but from what I've seen, he does look to be quite the talent. He generally plays as a #6, but as George mentioned, he is more in the mold of a Julian Weigl or Ruben Neves than a proper destroyer. His passing range is absolutely superb from deep, perhaps even better than that of Ruben Neves. He does, however, need to work on the defensive side of his game -- he will probably never be an excellent tackler, but he could improve his positional sense and perhaps play with a bit more intensity. If he could improve his defending, I see no reason why he can't make the jump up to the A team to serve as a more technically gifted alternative to Fejsa at the 6 position.

    Florentino is more of a proper defense-minded #6, Gedson Fernandes is an energetic, all-action #8, Diogo Goncalves is a talented, albeit inconsistent winger, and Ze Gomes is a hugely promising out-and-out #9.

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  • Guest - Jalil Malik

    This is wonderful and talented squad for under 20 world cup 2015 but in my opinion that squad was strong squad by all means as there was wonderful batch of quality players all around on each and every position.. Even our bench was also very strong I was were upset after Portugal lost to Brazil on penalties but to be very fair Brazil didn't deserve to win that match as Portugal have dominated them whole match but luck wasn't on Portugal side as Rony Lopes have hit the post on a very good one on one chance.. Andre Silva penalty miss was also very heartbreaking..

    Anyhow considering current batch of players majority of the players are those who have won under 17 Euro 2016 so they must have wonderful understanding and team chemistry among them.. But i would like to see some more talented players in this squad list..

    Considering current form 18 years old Benfica midfielder Joao Felix who is dubbed as next Rui Costa should be in this squad as football pundits in Portugal have predicted that this guy have very very bright future ahead of him for benfica and Portugal So he should be in this squad to add more quality in midfield.. I have watched him playing this season he is wonderful attacking midfielder and treat to watch.. His two goals against Real Madrid in semifinal of Youth league could describe his talent..

    Another Benfica b winger Joao Felipe should have been in the squad as he is also wonderful player he offered goals to his team he could be very handy in upcoming World Cup..

    Sporting CP striker Pedro Marques is very lethal finisher of the ball in my opinion he should be in the squad to add more quality in attack as we always have lack of goal scorers whether it is Portugal national team or any youth team we always fail to capitalize our chances and in the end we always suffer.. Portugal vs Brazil semifinal of 2015 world cup could also sum up my claim..

    Any hows I am looking forward for upcoming world cup and I am very excited to see Portugal playing.. I hope Portugal win this trophy and make us all proud <3

    ForcaPortugal

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  • I went to the Benfica Braga game at the Luz in September 16 and was only a few rows from where Jose Gomes was subbed on during the 2nd half. Very impressive 20 minutes, or so, of football. Small sample size but this kid really was fantastice to watch up close.

    from Montreal, QC, Canada
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  • Guest - Rui

    Wondering why Ruben Neves, Joao Carvalho and Jota not on the team. They're all 20 and would really help push this team

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  • Guest - jon/usa

    Hey Rui,

    Ruben Neves, Joao Carvalho, and Diogo Jota have all been regulars for Rui Jorge's U21 side, so they will all likely be participating in this summer's U21 European Championship, which takes place in June. It will be interesting to see how many of our best young talents will make it to the senior side for the Confederations Cup since quite a few of our best players (Andre Silva, Gelson Martins, Bernardo Silva, Renato Sanches, Joao Cancelo, etc) are all eligible for the U21s. Needless to say, even if the aforementioned names all participate in the Confederations Cup in Russia, the U21s and the U20s both have a realistic shot at winning their respective competitions. The fact that we can construct 3-4 extremely competitive squads with largely the same talent pool truly is a testament to the incredible depth in quality we have between the ages of 18 and 23. Exciting times!!!

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  • Guest - Alexandre

    Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Can anyone tell us if Angel Gomes (Nani's cousin at manchester United) can play for Portugal after playing for england's U16??? Why the hell aren't we trying to put this kid on our roster?!?!?!

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