Seleção coach Fernando Santos has announced his squad for the final two matches of the Nations League group phase.
There was particular interest in the list this time around given that it is the penultimate squad announcement before Santos reveals his World Cup squad.
There were no major surprises, although the inclusion of Pedro Neto and Tiago Djaló raised some eyebrows, with the likes of Gonçalo Guedes, David Carmo and Gonçalo Inácio missing out.
“I started preparing a list with 55 names on it, and even so it was not easy, so imagine what it’s like having to choose 26,” said Santos. “It’s very difficult, fortunately, for Portugal and for me.
“What would be bad would be having to select 26 but only having 20 or so players to choose from. It’s a headache, but it’s a good headache.”
Santos also clarified that Renato Sanches and Otávio Monteiro were omitted because they were declared injured by Portugal’s medical department.
Portugal play the Czech Republic in Prague on 24 September, and three days later finish the Nations League Group A2 campaign with a home fixture against Spain, in Braga.
The Seleção are currently one point behind leaders Spain and need to overtake the Spanish to qualify for the final four to be played in June 2023.
Portugal squad for the Nations League group phase matches
Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (FC Porto), José Sá (Wolves), Rui Patrício (Roma)
Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), João Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Tiago Djaló (Lille), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: João Palhinha (Fulham), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Mário (SL Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Vitinha (PSG), William Carvalho (Real Betis)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Pedro Neto (Wolves), João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Rafael Leão (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga)
Rui Jorge starts prepping for U21 European Championship
Portugal U21 coach Rui Jorge also announced the squad for the friendly match against Georgia in Covilhã on 24 September.
The goal for Jorge is to start preparing the team for the U21 European championship jointly staged in Georgia and Romania next summer.
Portugal U21 squad for friendly against Georgia
Goalkeepers: André Gomes (Benfica), Celton Biai (Vitória Guimarães), Samuel Soares (Benfica)
Defenders: António Silva (Benfica), Bernardo Vital (Estoril Praia), Eduardo Quaresma (Hoffenheim), João Costa (Rio Ave), Leonardo Lelo (Casa Pia), Rafael Rodrigues (Benfica)
Midfielders: Afonso Sousa (Lech Poznan), André Amaro (Vitória Guimarães), André Almeida (Valencia), José Carlos (Vitória Guimarães), Paulo Bernardo (Benfica), Samuel Costa (Almería), Tiago Dantas (PAOK), Vasco Sousa (Porto)
Forwards: David da Costa (Lens), Fábio Silva (Anderlecht), Francisco Conceição (Ajax), Henrique Araújo (Benfica), Rodrigo Conceição (Porto), Vítor Oliveira (Braga)
By Tom Kundert