Diogo Leite and Gonçalo Inácio called up to Roberto Martínez’s first Portugal squad

New Seleção coach Roberto Martínez announced his first squad at the Cidade do Futebol this afternoon for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

Former Porto centre-back Diogo Leite gets his debut call-up in an otherwise practically identical list to Portugal’s World Cup squad. 

Sporting centre-back Gonçalo Inácio is also given the nod, while Liverpool forward Diogo Jota is recalled after missing the tournament in Qatar due to injury.

From Portugal’s World Cup players, only William Carvalho, André Silva and Ricardo Horta miss out.

New formation in the offing?

One interesting aspect is that Martínez selected six central defenders and four full-backs, suggesting he may set up with a 3-4-3 tactical system. Many analysts and fans have long been calling for such a system to be implemented, principally owing to Portugal’s extremely offensive full-backs, but Fernando Santos never experimented with it.

The Seleção kick off their 2024 European Championship qualification campaign against Liechtenstein in Lisbon on 23 March, at the Estádio de Alvalade, before taking on Luxembourg away three days later.

Portugal’s other opponents in Group J are Iceland, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  

Full Portugal squad: 

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

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), João Cancelo (Bayern Munich), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), António Silva (Benfica), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting), Diogo Leite (Union Berlin), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: João Palhinha (Fulham), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Mário (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Otávio (Porto), Vitinha (PSG)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr), Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica), João Félix (Chelsea), Rafael Leão (Milan), Diogo Jota (Liverpool)

By Tom Kundert