Diogo Costa, Gonçalo Inácio and Otávio selected

Fernando Santos has announced Portugal’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Azerbaijan.

Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa, his team-mate Otávio Monteiro and Sporting centre-back Gonçalo Inácio have been given their first call-ups to the senior national team.

There were also recalls for Ricardo Pereira, Domingos Duarte and João Mário, all of whom missed out on the European Championship in the summer.

Notable absentees in relation to the Euro squad include Nélson Semedo, Sérgio Oliveira, William and José Fonte. 

The debut call-ups of Inácio and Costa represent the beginning of a new cycle. The Sporting defender, who turned 20 years old yesterday, enjoyed a brilliant rookie season last year playing his full part in Sporting’s title triumph. Diogo Costa, 21, has long been touted as the future of Portugal between the posts, and has displaced Marchesín as the Porto starter so far in 2021/22.

Brazilian-born Otávio obtained Portuguese citizenship in March and continues the recent tradition of Portugal calling up players born in the South American country but who have made their name playing in the Portuguese league, such as Deco, Pepe, Liedson and Dyego Sousa.

Santos started looking forward to the next step of his tenure as Portugal coach by looking back. “The Euro didn’t work out as we wanted, but there were positives. We have to rectify some things and maintain what we did well,” he said.

The Seleção first face Ireland in the Algarve stadium on 1 September, and Santos is not expecting anything other than a stern test. “Ireland played an excellent game in Serbia. We have to respect our opponents. It is a team that works hard, that fights hard. If we are not at our best we could have problems.”

Portugal are currently joint top of Group A, alongside Serbia, both nations having accumulated 7 points from their first 3 matches. After the match against Ireland next Wednesday, Portugal travel to Hungary where they will play a friendly against the World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar, and then move on to Baku to play Azerbaijan on 7 September.

Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patrício (Roma)

Defenders: João Cancelo (Manchester City), Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City), Domingos Duarte (Granada), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (PSG), João Palhinha (Sporting), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Mário (Benfica), João Moutinho (Wolves), Otávio (Porto)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), André Silva (Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting), Rafa Silva (Benfica)

 

Portugal U21s begin Euro 2023 campaign

Rui Jorge, the Seleção U21 coach, also announced the squad that will begin the campaign to qualify for the European Championship to be jointly hosted in Georgia and Romania in 2023.

Portugal, who finished runners-up in this summer’s U21 Euro, start off against Belarus on 6 September in Amadora, on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Portugal U21 squad

Goalkeepers: Celton Biai (Vitória), João Monteiro (B SAD), João Gonçalves (Boavista)

Defenders: Eduardo Quaresma (CD Tondela), João Mário (Porto), Jota Gonçalves (Tondela), Nuno Tavares (Arsenal), Tiago Djaló (Lille), Tiago Araújo (Arouca), Tomás Tavares (Benfica), Tomás Araújo (Benfica)

Midfielders: Afonso Sousa (B SAD), André Almeida (Vitória), Fábio Vieira (Porto), Paulo Bernardo (Benfica), Tiago Dantas (Tondela), Tomás Händel (Vitória), Vítor Ferreira (Porto)

Forwards: Fábio Silva (Wolves), Francisco Conceição (Porto), Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica), Gonçalo Borges (Porto), Henrique Araújo (Benfica), Tiago Tomás (Sporting)

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Really happy to see OTAVIO in the squad. Very satisfactory team selection from Santos. Hope to see more of Palhinha, Pote and Mendes. I'm confident that Otavio will settle well into the team. This must be an end for William Carvalho. Nothing else...

Really happy to see OTAVIO in the squad. Very satisfactory team selection from Santos. Hope to see more of Palhinha, Pote and Mendes. I'm confident that Otavio will settle well into the team. This must be an end for William Carvalho. Nothing else to say.

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I don't have a big problem with the squad. Glad to see Inacio and Diogo Costa. I think there's a good chance that there could be a three-way fight between Diogo Costa, Rui Silva, and Anthony Lopes for the starting goalkeeper position when/if Rui...

I don't have a big problem with the squad. Glad to see Inacio and Diogo Costa. I think there's a good chance that there could be a three-way fight between Diogo Costa, Rui Silva, and Anthony Lopes for the starting goalkeeper position when/if Rui Patricio's decline becomes too much. I think Costa is the long-term option, but Anthony has lived in Patricio's shadow during most of his career.

The exclusion of Ricardo Horta is a head-scratcher. If he was to move to Benfica/Porto/Sporting, you'd have to feel that he would get a call-up, and I also feel like he wouldn't have a problem walking into any of those teams. I feel he'd be a better option than Guedes, who just hasn't found any consistency since moving to Valencia. I feel similarly about Rafa, who I feel should be replaced by Gelson Martins.

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Good selection and happy to see new exciting faces who deserve their call-up. The obvious omitting due to injury is renato who would have come in for moutinho.

Rafael leao will get there soon....he just needs consistency and more effort to...

Good selection and happy to see new exciting faces who deserve their call-up. The obvious omitting due to injury is renato who would have come in for moutinho.

Rafael leao will get there soon....he just needs consistency and more effort to replace a guedes for example. Also Gelson to replace rafa is a Longshot since rafa has actually been outstanding for Benica so far this season, however is there abouts and with a solid season will find his name in contention. Don't forget about trincao if he has a strong season....scored his first goal.

Joao Mario back in the fold which is fine as long as he is played where is doing well for Benfica which is as an eight.

I'm disappointed not to see rui Jorge not call up Matheus nunes and Marcos Paulo into the u21s and get them on the path as they are both eligible to play for Portugal. Marcos due to his heritage and passport and Matheus as he has his citizenship now and has been in Portugal since he was 14 I think ala OUR Pepe.

Ricardo horta is a question mark but leaving out who in attack...rafa or guedes only but look at the other 3 waiting in the wings as well....

I hope with Inacio in the selection....that there is a chance of a back 3....look how many of our starters play in a back 3 or a team with a fluid formation similiar....alot!

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I agree that a back three would best suit our current crop of players, but it remains to be seen if Santos will be willing to make such a significant tactical shift from the 4-3-3s and narrow 4-4-2s of the past.

A back three with Pepe, Dias, and...

I agree that a back three would best suit our current crop of players, but it remains to be seen if Santos will be willing to make such a significant tactical shift from the 4-3-3s and narrow 4-4-2s of the past.

A back three with Pepe, Dias, and Inacio would be interesting to see. I'm all in favor of bleeding Inacio into the senior set-up as soon as possible as he looks our best young center-back after Ruben Dias and perhaps the only one CB than Duarte who looks ready to step up to the senior national team.

Cancelo and Guerreiro are superb wingbacks, and Nuno Mendes and Ricardo Pereira are excellent alternatives.

Palhinha should be our starting #6 from here on out. Bernardo and Bruno Fernandes should only be operating in a central midfield position. Joao Mario is a decent back-up, but like Bernardo, he is best as an attack-minded #8.

Partner Ronaldo with Andre Silva. Jota and Pote are decent back-ups for the Ireland and Azerbaijan game.

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