Santos recalls Ricardo Pereira, Bruma, João Mário and André Silva

Seleção coach Fernando Santos has announced the squad for Portugal’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine.

The big news is a first call-up for centre-back Rúben Semedo, who has put personal problems behind him and is rewarded for an excellent start to the season at Olympiakos. Meanwhile, good recent performances have earned recalls for Ricardo Pereira, João Mário, Bruma and André Silva. 

Rúben Semedo’s life, let alone his football career, appeared in tatters a year and a half ago with the defender facing charges and a possible jail sentence for his involvement in separate incidents of alleged assault, brandishing a firearm, kidnapping and theft while at Villarreal.

After the furore died down, Semedo was loaned to Huesca at the start of last season, but his recuperation truly began when returning to Portugal and playing for Rio Ave – also on loan – for whom he performed admirably in the second half of last season.

Nevertheless, Villarreal were not keen on retaining his services and sold him to Olympiakos in the summer. Semedo has continued his excellent form, becoming a key player under Portuguese coach Pedro Martins as the Greek giants have made a strong start to the season. Semedo has been an ever-present in a stingy defence (1 goal conceded in 5 league games) and has proved his usefulness at the other end of the pitch, scoring three times in all competitions this season including in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“It’s not because of a setback in life that people don’t have the right to follow their path and move forwards,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos when asked about Semedo’s call-up.

“Rúben has clearly shown he has been able to react the right way and he’s having a very good season at Olympiakos. I’ve watched him many times. He was close to being called up in the last squad, but an injury meant he ended up missing out. What counts for me is his ability and what he can bring to the team. He’s certainly got over his bad phase.”

Portugal play Luxembourg on Friday 11 October at Sporting’s Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, before the clash against Group B table toppers Ukraine in Kiev the following Monday.

The Seleção are currently on a 4-match winning streak in competitive play and two more victories next week will all but book their place at Euro 2020.

 

Full Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Wolves), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)

Defenders: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Rúben Semedo (Olympiakos), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Porto),  Rúben Neves (Wolves), William Carvalho (Bétis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (Lokomotiv), João Moutinho (Wolves), Pizzi (Benfica) 

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruma (PSV), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica), André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), João Félix (Atlético Madrid)

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (10)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The only question mark I have is Joao Mario. Haven't really been following him in Russia but I'm pretty certain he isn't lighting it up like Manuel Fernandes was a few years back. I would rather have Renato in the squad as he is still very young...

The only question mark I have is Joao Mario. Haven't really been following him in Russia but I'm pretty certain he isn't lighting it up like Manuel Fernandes was a few years back. I would rather have Renato in the squad as he is still very young and getting more game time.

Stacked at the RB position but I wish we could get a stronger LB. Guerreiro is fine for now but if any of Ricardo, Cancelo, Semedo or Dalot could switch to LB we would be in a much better place.

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Dissapointed that r.sanches was displaced by j.mario...to me a mistake...also, i realize that j.cancelo hasnt played much yet! But remember who he plays for....and as stated by very famous coaches and pundits..he is argubly the best attacking...

Dissapointed that r.sanches was displaced by j.mario...to me a mistake...also, i realize that j.cancelo hasnt played much yet! But remember who he plays for....and as stated by very famous coaches and pundits..he is argubly the best attacking rigt back in the world....why no have the 3 in the team and possibly cancelo plays right wing or goes in at left back...mistake....i like the ruben semedo call up but Ferro should continue his development in squad....bruma i like as i still see him as better than guedes for output and his performances at national level have been consistently good...

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And...andre silva is ok but i was hoping Leao would get a run out in the team to see how he takes to senior level....we have no other player of his type...he makes a.silva look average

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I agree!! A.Silva, Joao Mario have no place on this team. Very average and sends wrong message to young talent.
Daniel Podence, N. Tavares and . Is Wiliam Carvallho hurt? why is he not on the call up?
Danillo?? Seriuosly!! should also be replaced...

I agree!! A.Silva, Joao Mario have no place on this team. Very average and sends wrong message to young talent.
Daniel Podence, N. Tavares and . Is Wiliam Carvallho hurt? why is he not on the call up?
Danillo?? Seriuosly!! should also be replaced with Florentino Luis in my opinion.. if W. Carvallho is hurt.
I think F.Santos has a father/ son relationship with A,Silva and feels sad for Joao Mario lost potential..

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I don’t understand why is Ricardo Horta not called up. I don’t understand why he doesn’t get called up. Been consistent last 2 yrs and he is the heart and soul of Braga.

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Some of these comments are ridiculous and shows that people don’t actually watch any games.
I’m far from Joao Mario’s biggest fan but he has been arguably Lokomotiv’s best player and his call up is 100 percent deserved. Andre silva has been...

Some of these comments are ridiculous and shows that people don’t actually watch any games.
I’m far from Joao Mario’s biggest fan but he has been arguably Lokomotiv’s best player and his call up is 100 percent deserved. Andre silva has been gaining form and has been playing very well. Meanwhile Sanches just had a horrific game a couple of weeks ago in the champions league which relegated him to the bench where he only comes in as a sub occasionally for 20 minutes or so. I will never understand people’s obsession with this guy.

Ricardo Pereira FINALLY gets his due. Only one missing is Ricardo Horta now. Pizzi needs to stop getting called up. Such an average player

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Rafael Leão is the player Portugal should and need to be focused on if he turns out to be the guy he would be frightening up top as a 9 hes big fast strong great technical ability with Cr7 and Silva/Felix not sure why he wasnt called up?

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Wonder why Cancelo didn't get called up?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ummm, because he sucks? Seriously, watch the Wolves-Man City highlights from yesterday. Look out for Cancelo on defence (Hint: no-where to be seen).

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I'm sure Beto is a great guy, but I truly do not understand how he is constantly called up. I "think" I heard he is a great teammate and almost a secondary goalkeeping coach, but honestly how does a 37 year old "6ft" goalie get called up and is...

I'm sure Beto is a great guy, but I truly do not understand how he is constantly called up. I "think" I heard he is a great teammate and almost a secondary goalkeeping coach, but honestly how does a 37 year old "6ft" goalie get called up and is our back up.

Again I have no issue with him as a player, I just believe there are those more deserving.

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