Portugal coach Fernando Santos today named a largely experimental squad for the friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and USA.

As the European champions begin their preparations for the 2018 World Cup, four players are called up to the senior squad for the first time: defenders Kevin Rodrigues, Ricardo Ferreira and Edgar Ié and attacking midfielder Rony Lopes.

Porto goalkeeper José Sá and veteran midfielder Manuel Fernandes are two more names who stand out, while several certainties for the World Cup such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Rui Patrício are rested.

Despite the wholesale changes - there are 10 different players compared to the squad for Portugal's final World Cup qualifiers - Santos said that all the players selected had a chance of going to Russia.

Indeed, the coach was at pains to emphasise that "this group is never closed", stating that he would continue to consider all possibilities, citing Benfica centre-back Rúben Dias and Sporting forward Daniel Podence, who did not make the cut on this occasion.

Portugal play Saudi Arabia on 10 November in Viseu and USA on 14 November in Leiria.


Portugal squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (FC Porto)

Defenders: Antunes (Getafe), Edgar Ié (Lille), Kevin Rodrigues (Real Sociedad), João Cancelo (Inter), Luís Neto (Fenerbahçe), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), Pepe (Besiktas), Ricardo Ferreira (SC Braga), Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto)

Midfielders: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), João Mário (Inter), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv), Rúben Neves (Wolves)

Forwards: André Silva (Milan), Bruma (RB Leipzig), Eder (Lokomotiv), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rony Lopes (Monaco)


Related: Ten fringe players who could make Portugal's 2018 World Cup squad