Roberto Martínez announces “perfect mix of players” for Portugal’s Euro 2024 squad

The wait is over. The Portugal squad for the 2024 European Championship was today announced at Cidade de Futebol on the outskirts of Lisbon.

The inclusion of Francisco Conceição, the return of Pedro Neto, who has recently recovered from injury, and the call-up of Nélson Semedo for the injured Raphaël Guerreiro, are the only slight surprises in a list of names that largely met expectations. 

“I think this is a perfect mix of experienced and young players,” said coach Roberto Martínez. 

The calibre of players who miss out on the tournament – Pedro Gonçalves, Matheus Nunes and Ricardo Horta, among others – is indicative of the exceptional quality of the Seleção.

Several Portuguese analysts have suggested it is the strongest ever Portugal squad at a major tournament in terms of the depth of top-class options available.  

Asked to justify certain omissions, the Spaniard reiterated that the group was formed mainly by players who had taken part in the “impeccable” qualification campaign, adding that the likes of Pedro Gonçalves and Francisco Trincão were unlucky given that missing the March training camp was decisive in scuppering their chances of making the cut.

Along the same lines, Martínez explained that Francisco Conceição took his chance in the March get-together, both with his second-half performance against Slovenia and during the training sessions, adding that “from January to now, Chico has become a different player.”

When asked whether having three players in the squad who play in Saudi Arabia may be a disadvantage as a less competitive league, Martínez replied: “this is easy to answer. We don’t look at where the players play. The only thing we look at is compiling the strongest possible squad from the options available.”

Portugal will play three friendly matches on home soil before flying to Germany, against Finland (4 June) and Croatia (8 June) in Lisbon, then against the Republic of Ireland (11 June) in Aveiro. 

The Seleção play their first Euro 2024 match on 18 June against Czechia in Leipzig. 

 

Portugal’s Euro 2024 squad

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

Defenders: António Silva (Benfica), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting), João Cancelo (Barcelona), Nélson Semedo (Wolves), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Neves (Benfica), João Palhinha (Fulham), Otávio Monteiro (Al Nassr), Rúben Neves (Al-Hilal), Vitinha (PSG)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Francisco Conceição (Porto), Gonçalo Ramos (PSG), João Félix (Barcelona), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Rafael Leão (AC Milan)

By Tom Kundert