To experiment or not to experiment? That was the question. Portugal coach Fernando Santos has opted for the latter, it seems.

With just six months and six competitive matches to prepare for the Qatar World Cup, Santos has called up all of Portugal’s big guns as he seeks from an enormously talented Seleção squad the combination of players to produce the right team chemistry – a task that has often eluded him in recent months. 

Nevertheless, there is room in the 26-man squad for two newcomers: Ricardo Horta and David Carmo.

Braga captain Horta has enjoyed yet another outstanding season, while his club teammate Carmo has also excelled since returning from a year out with injury. Carmo is seen by many as the long-term centre-back partner for Rúben Dias at the heart of Portugal’s defence. 

Portugal play Spain in Seville on 2 June before hosting Switzerland (5 June) and the Czech Republic (9 June) in Lisbon. The four-match sequence in quick succession ends with the return match against Switzerland on 12 June in Geneva.

Portugal squad for first four Nations League matches:

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), José Sá (Wolves), Rui Patrício (Roma)

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), João Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (PSG), David Carmo (Braga), Domingos Duarte (Granada), Pepe (Porto), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: João Moutinho (Wolves), João Palhinha (Sporting), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Matheus Nunes (Sporting), Vítor Ferreira (Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Otávio Monteiro (Porto)

Forwards: Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafael Leão (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), André Silva (Leipzig), Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

 

Portugal U21s on the brink

U21 coach Rui Jorge also announced the Seleção squad for the final 3 matches of Portugal’s campaign to qualify for the 2023 European Championship jointly hosted in Romania and Georgia. 

Portugal play Belarus, Liechtenstein and Greece. The Seleção are well placed to finish top of Group D having won 6 and drawn one of their 7 matches so far.

Goalkeepers: Celton Biai (Vitória), Gonçalo Tabuaço (Estrela), Samuel Soares (Benfica)

Defenders: Alexandre Penetra (Famalicão), Eduardo Quaresma (Tondela), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting), João Mário (Porto), Nuno Tavares (Arsenal), Rafael Rodrigues (Benfica), Tiago Djaló (Lille) 

Midfielders: Afonso Sousa (B-SAD), André Almeida (Vitória), Fábio Vieira (Porto), Fábio Carvalho (Fulham), José Carlos (Varzim) , Paulo Bernardo (Benfica), Tiago Dantas (Tondela), Vasco Sousa (Porto) 

Forwards: David da Costa (Lens), Fábio Silva (Wolves), Francisco Conceição (Porto), Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica), Gonçalo Borges (Porto), Henrique Araújo (Benfica), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Vítor Oliveira (Braga) 

by Tom Kundert

 

Comments (18)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

RENATO SANCHES VITINHA E INACIO FODAS...

BUT FROM THE CURRENT SELECTION ID LIKE TO SEE SOME YOUNG BLOOD GET A RUN THE 2 BRAGA MEN GONCALO GUEDES aswell

Tomas Sheehan
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Vitinha is there, look again.

Chris
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Oh no!!!!!!!!

Moutinho has been called up! Someone, please check on Justin in Syracuse. I don't want to think about what he's gonna do when he sees this seleccao call-up!

Chris
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Horta replaces the injured Felix. Carmo replaces Fonte. Ignacio is Dias's longterm partner. Dalot has no place on this squad. R Pereira needs to replace him as Cancelo's backup. Moutinho, no thank you. I am with Justin. He is too old. Guerreiro...

Horta replaces the injured Felix. Carmo replaces Fonte. Ignacio is Dias's longterm partner. Dalot has no place on this squad. R Pereira needs to replace him as Cancelo's backup. Moutinho, no thank you. I am with Justin. He is too old. Guerreiro should be used as a midfielder. I would like to see a midfield trio of Pahlinha, B Silva, and Nunes/Guerreiro.

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DanDaSilva
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I do not disagree, Moutinho does not need to be on this squad, and neither does William for that matter. But there's a difference between saying we can blood some new faces for the Nation's League vs trashing one of the best Portuguese players...

I do not disagree, Moutinho does not need to be on this squad, and neither does William for that matter. But there's a difference between saying we can blood some new faces for the Nation's League vs trashing one of the best Portuguese players of the last 10-12 years.

I hope Vitinha and Mateus Nunes both start, and would have loved to see Fabio Vieira called up as well. Too bad Pote had such a poor season, as I feel he is one of the best Portuguese talents currently playing in Portugal. He needs to get back to his level next season.

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Chris
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I like Fabio Vieira over Vitinha. Admittedly, I don't watch them play daily and see more highlights, but when I've watched games in the Champion's League I see Vieira as a solid contributer. Someone that exudes confidence and can be trusted out...

I like Fabio Vieira over Vitinha. Admittedly, I don't watch them play daily and see more highlights, but when I've watched games in the Champion's League I see Vieira as a solid contributer. Someone that exudes confidence and can be trusted out there. I don't get that same feeling with Vitinha. He can score a spectacular goal on occasion, but seems (to me) to be more inconsistent and thus, less reliable.

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Charles
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I agree with you completely.....when you say you don't watch them play.

If you did, you would understand they are 2 completely different style of players.

Fabio V is an excellent attacking mid, excellent work off the ball, an eye for the...

I agree with you completely.....when you say you don't watch them play.

If you did, you would understand they are 2 completely different style of players.

Fabio V is an excellent attacking mid, excellent work off the ball, an eye for the perfect assist and an eye for goal as well. When he is on, he is more of a highlights player.

But Vitinha is the Pirlo of this year's Porto. He's not there for the end product like Fabio, and that's because most of the time, he's created that chance.

He is basically the heart of the Porto midfield (along with Uribe, Grujic, for a Liverpool product, sucks).

Vitinha plays the classic Xavi/Pirlo game, chasing down balls, regaining possession, and the catalyst for a majority of Porto attacks and counter attacks.

As we have guys like Bernardo, Bruno F, that are currently better than Fabio V, he would merely ride the pine, whereas Vitinha is ready to lead this midfield. He's the next #8 for Portugal, in my opinion, if he's not overlooked for Matheus Nunes (another excellent midfielder).

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Chris
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GOOD TO SEE DAVID CARMO & RICARDO HORTA GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY.

AND THE BEST ARE THE EVERGREEN STARS OF PORTUGAL. JOAO MOUTINHO, PEPE, RONALDO etc SELECTED TO LEAD THE SQUAD AND SET EXAMPLE TO THE YOUNG TALENT.ED PLAYERS

WELL DONE Portugal...

GOOD TO SEE DAVID CARMO & RICARDO HORTA GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY.

AND THE BEST ARE THE EVERGREEN STARS OF PORTUGAL. JOAO MOUTINHO, PEPE, RONALDO etc SELECTED TO LEAD THE SQUAD AND SET EXAMPLE TO THE YOUNG TALENT.ED PLAYERS

WELL DONE Portugal coach Fernando Santos

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Neville
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I hope by being "given an opportunity", Carmo, Vitinha and Horta all get to start some games and not just ride the bench. I think it's great they have been selected, but they also need to play minutes. Let's see what happens.

Chris
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Totally agree, hope they get a surprise call like Diego Costa

Neville
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I am glad that Santos isn't afraid to Experiment and I do think that's important but I don't understand why Renato Sanches, a player who has proven himself again and again is a frequent unselected player - it happens fairly often.

Can someone...

I am glad that Santos isn't afraid to Experiment and I do think that's important but I don't understand why Renato Sanches, a player who has proven himself again and again is a frequent unselected player - it happens fairly often.

Can someone explain WHY Renato Sanches is AGAIN Not Selected?

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Renato
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Renato is THE National Team player. Always performing at NR no matter what the club situation is. Like Nani used to do for Portugal or Podolski for Germany. Or Forlan for Uruguay. A shame that Santos doesn’tt recognize who his key player is. We...

Renato is THE National Team player. Always performing at NR no matter what the club situation is. Like Nani used to do for Portugal or Podolski for Germany. Or Forlan for Uruguay. A shame that Santos doesn’tt recognize who his key player is. We can call it incompetence.

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Rolf Gerber
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Rolf,

I do agree some players show up for their NT's and can be average for their clubs. Another to add to your list is Miroslav Klose. In two years overlapping 2010(09-10,10-11) for his club, Bayern, he played in 65 games and only 12 goals. For...

Rolf,

I do agree some players show up for their NT's and can be average for their clubs. Another to add to your list is Miroslav Klose. In two years overlapping 2010(09-10,10-11) for his club, Bayern, he played in 65 games and only 12 goals. For Germany, he play 12 games and had 10 goals.

Clubs can be a bad fit for a player(Felix), wrong system, too many options at that position, coach, etc.

Conversely, with Portugal(and other teams I am sure), some players can't replicate their club forms to the national teams. Until very recently, Bruno was one of them, let's hope he continues.

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Paulo
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Finally, Ricardo Horta and Carmo. I've been calling for them to be called up for over a year now. Really glad they got the call. Going to be a fun Nations League tournament.

As for Moutinho, I get it that he's too old now when there are a bunch...

Finally, Ricardo Horta and Carmo. I've been calling for them to be called up for over a year now. Really glad they got the call. Going to be a fun Nations League tournament.

As for Moutinho, I get it that he's too old now when there are a bunch of interesting youngsters waiting, but Santos seems to like him very much and he hasn't disappoint much in any of his games. So, whether we like it or not, he is going to be in the squad for the World Cup, so suck it up.

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Dhazer
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@RolfGerber really appreciate your comments. I am trying to be Objective but I do feel very similar. I actually think that Renato is a Talisman of the Team and oftentimes a Key Difference Maker - He's a super hard worker, very aggressive and...

@RolfGerber really appreciate your comments. I am trying to be Objective but I do feel very similar. I actually think that Renato is a Talisman of the Team and oftentimes a Key Difference Maker - He's a super hard worker, very aggressive and pushes the team forward.

Honestly though, I am really looking for someone to Explain to me Why in this instance and AGAIN Renato was left out? I look forward to hearing something from those commentators Wiser than Myself or the Wizard from this site.

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Renato
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He was injured at the time of this call up no?

Jerrold Hewson
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SAD not to see RICARDO PEREIRA not being selected, HE is dependable defender and a good attacker. ِِ

Yesterday, Diego Dalot was a miserable player in his last Premier league outing for Man united, this season.

What has Fernando seen good about...

SAD not to see RICARDO PEREIRA not being selected, HE is dependable defender and a good attacker. ِِ

Yesterday, Diego Dalot was a miserable player in his last Premier league outing for Man united, this season.

What has Fernando seen good about "Les MISERABLE" Dalot and cannot see the skills reliability in Ricardo.

Is Fernando Santos having a Racism problem with Ricardo Pereira .


What about Renato Sanchez? Great player.

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Neville
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Way off. William and Danilo were staples, Mendes and Leao get play time (not enough IMHO) Eder…

Jerrold Hewson
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“I tried to take advantage of every minute the mister gave me. It wasn’t the result we wanted, we always want to win, but we played a great team with some of the best players in the world and a draw ended up a positive outcome.”

Ricardo Horta
(Portugal’s goalscoring substitute after 1-1 draw against Spain in Seville in the Nations League) 

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