Fernando Santos has named the Portugal squad for next week’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary in Lisbon and the friendly against Sweden in Madeira.

There were no surprises in the announcement, with the injured Sporting captain Adrien Silva and Valencia forward Nani the only names missing from the group of players that have contested the qualifiers so far.

The Seleção have been playing catch-up in Group B since losing the opening match of the qualifying campaign to Switzerland.

The Swiss have a 100% winning record in four matches, and with only the top team in the group qualifying automatically for Russia 2018, victory for Portugal against Hungary at the Estádio da Luz on 25 March is crucial. 

Euro 2016 rematch

It is a rematch of the memorable 2016 Euro encounter that ended Portugal 3-3 Hungary. “We’ll have to rectify what happened in that tremendous game at the Euros,” warned Santos. “I expect a Hungary team similar to that match. I don’t expect Hungary to come here looking for a point. I expect a team that likes to have the ball at their feet and that defend well.”

The Seleção manager said he is counting on the support of the home fans to spur the team on. “Around 2,000 Hungary supporters will be in attendance. I believe the fantastic support we saw at the Euros will be repeated and we’ll have a full Estádio da Luz.”

Asked about the inclusion of Renatos Sanches despite having very little playing time at Bayern Munich, Santos replied: “He’s been called up regularly to the Bayern squad, and he’s played, so that’s good enough for me.”

Santos also made of point of congratulating the Portuguese protagonists who contributed to Monaco’s sensational Champions League victory over Manchester City yesterday. “I sent my congratulations to my friend Leonardo (Jardim). What happened is a reflection of the quality of João Moutinho and Bernardo Silva.”

After the Hungary match on Saturday week, the Seleção travel to Madeira where they will play Sweden on Tuesday 28 March. 

Full squad 

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Marafona (Braga)

Defenders: Bruno Alves (Cagliari), Cédric Soares (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Nélson Semedo (Benfica), João Cancelo (Valencia), José Fonte (West Ham), Luís Neto (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund)

Midfielders: André Gomes (Barcelona), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), João Mário (Inter), João Moutinho (Monaco), Pizzi (SL Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Forwards: André Silva (FC Porto), Bernardo Silva (Monaco), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Éder (Lille), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)

By Tom Kundert

 

 

Comments (8)

  1. jon/usa

While you can perhaps argue the inclusion of the likes of Eliseu and Andre Gomes, it's extremely refreshing to see a squad with such incredibly quality and depth, especially compared to the teams of Queiroz and Bento eras. Hungary have a quality...

While you can perhaps argue the inclusion of the likes of Eliseu and Andre Gomes, it's extremely refreshing to see a squad with such incredibly quality and depth, especially compared to the teams of Queiroz and Bento eras. Hungary have a quality side, but Fernando Santos definitely has more than enough quality to get the job done in Lisbon. I would personally opt for what I would consider his "big game" 11:

Rui Patricio - Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro - William, Moutinho, Bernardo, Joao Mario - Ronaldo, Andre Silva. Quaresma, Gelson, and Renato are excellent options off the bench.

We should field a much more experimental 11 in the Sweden friendly. The game is going to be in Madeira, so Ronaldo is most likely going to get some minutes. I would opt for a 4-3-3 with Eder, Quaresma, and Gelson on top, William, Renato, and Guerreiro in the midfield, and Bruno Alves, Neto, Cancelo, and Eliseu at the back. I highly doubt Pizzi, Nelson Semedo, Danilo, and Andre Silva will get any minutes in the Sweden game since the Benfica-Porto match will be right around the corner.

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  1. joe

Good squad...suprised since ricardo pereira of Nice (highly rated in France) and is fit again, isnt in the squad rather than eliseu but i suppose he did just come back from injury and need more playing time. Also, as much as I see g.martins as a...

Good squad...suprised since ricardo pereira of Nice (highly rated in France) and is fit again, isnt in the squad rather than eliseu but i suppose he did just come back from injury and need more playing time. Also, as much as I see g.martins as a player for the seleccao...bruma's form is just as sensational this season with more goals from a wide position....again a little suprised but its a tough call....other than that....a well balanced squad with tonnes of talent and flair.

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  1. Me

Ugh. Why is Santos still insisting on Alves and Eliseu. I don't know if Daniel Carriço has done something to someone at FPF but it's getting ridiculous. Paulo Oliveira has played well since taking over and should be an option as well. Even...

Ugh. Why is Santos still insisting on Alves and Eliseu. I don't know if Daniel Carriço has done something to someone at FPF but it's getting ridiculous. Paulo Oliveira has played well since taking over and should be an option as well. Even Ferreira from Braga or Josue.

Also why can't our most promising leftback after Guerreiro get called up to either the senior team or the U21s? Rafa Soares has been fantastic all season and gets passed up for inferior players. I just don't get it. What about Mário Rui of Roma. Come on. We have better options.
Anyway 3 points are a must. I don't expect Santos to make any changes except Adrién's replacement in midfield which will either be Gomes or Moutinho.
---------Rui Patrício--------
Cédric----Pepe----Fonte----Guerreiro
Bernardo---William---Moutinho---J.Mário
------A.Silva--------------Ronaldo

I hope vs Sweden we get to see more of Gelson.
Hopefully Jota and Bruma get called up soon as well

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  1. Kevin

Starting 11

------------------Patricio----------------------
Cancelo --- Pepe----Fonte-------Guerreiro
-------------Danilo----Renato-------------
Bernardo--------------------------Joao Mario
----------Andre Silva---Ronaldo-------------

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  1. George

Ugh. The one person I did NOT want to see gets called up AGAIN (Eliseu)! Enough with this guy, he's past it! Did Antunes get hurt or something? He was fine off the bench the last time he played. Hoping Ricardo Periera fills that slot moving...

Ugh. The one person I did NOT want to see gets called up AGAIN (Eliseu)! Enough with this guy, he's past it! Did Antunes get hurt or something? He was fine off the bench the last time he played. Hoping Ricardo Periera fills that slot moving forward. He hasn't played yet since coming back from injury.

I was also hoping to see Paulo Oliveira get a call up into the squad. We need to start integrating younger CBs. Pepe has been breaking down and we can't rely on him forever - in fact I think he's moving to China next year. Also, Bruno Alves is old and Jose Fonte seems much slower this year than last (not that he was lightning quick to begin with). Get Paulo in there - he has class. It's not his fault Jorge Jesus can't see it.

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  1. SupremoGino

Santos has a plethora of attacking talent at his disposal. Let's see if they have developed better cohesiveness since the last qualifier and can take a couple more strides forward. Andre Silva has been a revelation for a team who has...

Santos has a plethora of attacking talent at his disposal. Let's see if they have developed better cohesiveness since the last qualifier and can take a couple more strides forward. Andre Silva has been a revelation for a team who has struggled/relied on CR to score goals since Pauleta but the other guys need to get it together. It's not 2008 anymore yet C.Ronaldo & Ricardo Quaresma are still the ones that provide Portugal with that cutting edge. So until further notice.. i'm nervous about what will happen to the selecção after they're gone.

Defense wise, Santos should start experimenting with Danilo or William at CB until those younger guys are ready to be called up. Pepe is 34, Fonte is 33... this could be disastrous if we make it to Russia. One CB at that age is OK depending on their positional awareness. We seen it work with Ricardo Carvalho's brilliant reading of the game but there has to be a younger, faster partner to provide cover. ex. (Luisão, Lindeöf)
Speaking of Ricardo Carvalho who is playing in China now..I don't know what Bruno Alves is still doing on this team, he is never going to see the pitch again. If Santos wants a mentor on the team, why not Carvalho? Ricardo Carvalho is one of the greatest Portugal defenders of all time and is a model who should be followed for any aspiring Portuguese defenders. Not Bruno Alves.

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  1. Hungary fan

Bom dia! Greeting from Hungary!

First let me congratulate to this fantastic site, there are several quality articles in here.

According to the news, 2600 tickets were already sold here in Hungary. This is a great number, although the opinions...

Bom dia! Greeting from Hungary!

First let me congratulate to this fantastic site, there are several quality articles in here.

According to the news, 2600 tickets were already sold here in Hungary. This is a great number, although the opinions on the game are not so great. Generally we agree, that our team doesn't have quality players; we hardly have any players in the top 5 leagues, we have no players in the Champions League, nor in the Europa League. The strenght of our team is based on the team cohesion. Before Euro 2016 the national team had a one-month-long preparation camp to prepare for three games.

This time our team doesn't have so much time, plus our key players are not in a great form. We (or at least me) expect a confident home victory, but I would be more than happy with 1 point.

However the game turns out, we hope to see a good game, see you in the Luz!

Cheers

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  1. Nelson

Starting 11

------------------Patricio----------------------
Semedo --- Pepe----Fonte-------Guerreiro
-------------Danilo----Pizzi-------------
Bernardo--------------------------Gelson
----------Andre Silva---Ronaldo-------------

I'm surprised...

Starting 11

------------------Patricio----------------------
Semedo --- Pepe----Fonte-------Guerreiro
-------------Danilo----Pizzi-------------
Bernardo--------------------------Gelson
----------Andre Silva---Ronaldo-------------

I'm surprised that Renato is on the team. He probably only made it because Adrien is injured. Tough choice between Pizzi, Joao Mario, and Gomes for who starts along Danilo. I gave it to Pizzi because he is the only one of the 3 that plays consistently for his club team, but he is probably tired. At left win either Gelson or Quaresma can start. I went with Gelson because Quaresma is so good coming on as a sub for Portugal.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Portugal will play to win every match, one by one. That’s the winning mentality of the team, of Mister Fernando Santos and of our captain Cristiano."

Rony Lopes
(Monaco and Portugal forward on Portugal's World Cup prospects)

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