The wait is over.

Fernando Santos has announced the Portugal squad for World Cup 2018. In a largely expected list, the major surprise was the exclusion of Rúben Neves, who had a magnificent season for Wolverhampton Wanderers and seemed a natural replacement for the injured Danilo. Santos preferred Adrien Silva as the backup to William in the defensive midfield position.

Elsewhere, Porto right-back Ricardo Pereira got the nod over João Cancelo and Nélson Semedo, while another Barcelona player, André Gomes, also missed out. Santos said the players will report for duty next Tuesday.

 

Santos has been accused by some critics of being too loyal to the same group of players, but of the 23-man squad that travels to Russia, only 13 players were in the Euro 2016 squad. While the selection of the centre-backs in particular reinforces concerns about the veteran status of certain players, on the other hand the group contains six players aged 23 or under: Rúben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Gelson Martins, Gonçalo Guedes and André Silva.

Asked whether he felt the squad was stronger than the set of players he took to Euro 2016, Santos replied: "That's impossible to say. At Euro 2016 Portugal won a trophy for the first time and we have to be grateful to the players for that. What I can say is that I'm as confident in this squad as I was for the Euro."

Força Seleção!

 

Portugal's World Cup 2018 squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon/France), Beto (Goztepe/Turkey), Rui Patrício (Sporting/Portugal)

Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers/Scotland), Cédric Soares (Southampton/England), José Fonte (Dalian Aerbin/China), Mário Rui (Napoli/Italy), Pepe (Besiktas/Turkey), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/Germany), Ricardo (Porto/Portugal), Rúben Dias (Benfica/Portugal)

Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City/England), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/England), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting/Portugal), João Mário (West Ham United/England), João Moutinho (Monaco/France), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), William (Sporting/Portugal)

Forwards: André Silva (AC Milan/Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Spain), Gelson Martins (Sporting/Portugal), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia/Spain), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas/Turkey)

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (32)

  1. SupremoGino

Thank you as always for the stream. Will be sad to see Nani not get selected.. pulling for Fonte or Alves to be dropped (they will be our downfall) and as much as I've hammered him in the past, a part of me wants to see Eder available off the...

Thank you as always for the stream. Will be sad to see Nani not get selected.. pulling for Fonte or Alves to be dropped (they will be our downfall) and as much as I've hammered him in the past, a part of me wants to see Eder available off the bench when the 'inevitable' moment has come.

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  1. John

Those CB's are scary shaky, hopefully he goes with Dias and Pepe...also Andre Silva has been nonexistent for Milan this year, so not sure about that one. Other then that I respect the decision to leave off Semedo and Gomes and not just calling...

Those CB's are scary shaky, hopefully he goes with Dias and Pepe...also Andre Silva has been nonexistent for Milan this year, so not sure about that one. Other then that I respect the decision to leave off Semedo and Gomes and not just calling them up because they play for Barca, which they rarely do. Neves should be there, but Adrien was so solid for us at Euro and has looked decent at times for Leicester so it's hard to argue with that call-up...Either way the squad is strong and will make us proud I have no doubt.

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  1. Jojofaith

Very questionable choices by Santos especially in the defence. I dont understand how Fonte got picked he literally plays for a team I've never heard. Our only saving grace will be CR7!

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  1. Joao

Ricardo Pereira making the team - Fantastic
Manuel Fernandes making the team - Fantastic
Rúben Neves left out - Terrible
Both Alves and Fonte making it - Even more Terrible



Santos better change his game plan. Going defensive with this team is...

Ricardo Pereira making the team - Fantastic
Manuel Fernandes making the team - Fantastic
Rúben Neves left out - Terrible
Both Alves and Fonte making it - Even more Terrible



Santos better change his game plan. Going defensive with this team is just not going to work. Use what you have. Bruno Fernandes and Guedes need to get in the starting line up.

Even with Neves out that is still a fantastic team barring the centerbacks which we all have know will be a massive problem for us. We’ll either make a deep run with our young guns or we won’t even get out of the group due to defensive errors we can see coming a mile away. No inbetween

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  1. Paulo6

Good/solid choices by Coach!

Let’s not forget Neves plays in second tier league, smart choice by Santos to choose Adrien over him. Had Neves played some games for the Selecao and been on point , well then that would be a different argument.

For...

Good/solid choices by Coach!

Let’s not forget Neves plays in second tier league, smart choice by Santos to choose Adrien over him. Had Neves played some games for the Selecao and been on point , well then that would be a different argument.

For all the people ripping Santos, let’s not forget he finally guided the ship which finally won us a trophy when before SO many coaches and players FAILED in epic fashion!. The players were mentally sharp in 2016 and no doubt that was from Santos a lot! In the past Portugal players were never mentally focused with the exception of maybe 2000!

If we play smart,disciplined tournament style football we will go far.
Stay away from stupid yellows, and reds (Pepe ala 2014 VS Germany), stay away from injuries.. Portugal will go deep!

How do yellows work in WC again?, being Portuguese I’m too lazy to look it up.

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  1. Nelson Oliveira

Would have gone with Neves and Semedo but hopefully the starters (Ricardo and William) will be fit and they wouldn't be needed. This is pretty close to our strongest squad. CB is a problem but we knew that. Good to see Ruben Dias make it.

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  1. David NYC

Generally content with the selection - did not expect him to take Ricardo and very happy that he did. I am concerned about the lack of a 2nd #6. I think Neves is an excellent prospect and I think we should have given him a run...plus he's the...

Generally content with the selection - did not expect him to take Ricardo and very happy that he did. I am concerned about the lack of a 2nd #6. I think Neves is an excellent prospect and I think we should have given him a run...plus he's the only other natural #6 in the setup. If William gets hurt or yellows, we're in trouble. I don't agree that Adrien can fill this role...he's more of an 8 and if we roll with him at 6, then we'll be hanging on for dear life. He's also been in pretty bad form and it bothers me that him and Mario make the team given their form, but I don't think Santos had much choice. As much as I like Manuel Fermandes, I think he's surplus and I would have left him home and taken Neves.

I hope Santos gives Ruben some time to gel with Pepe in the friendlies. He's young and inexperienced, but if you pair him with a player of Pepe's caliber, I think he can be solid with his physical ability. Fonte and/or Alves will not have the legs to make it through the tournament and we'll have to pray that they recover their form of years past.

I think Santos will be forced to embrace a more attacking strategy than he has in the past. We'll see if he can adapt. If he thinks he can turn this team into a solid defensive unit that will keep us in close games, we're going to be in trouble.

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  1. Danny DaSilva

We'll get to watch the older crowd crash and burn before we get on track in this tournament. Fonte, Cedric, and Adrien will start until Spain smashes us. Then Santos will replace Fonte with Dias and Cedric with Ricardo and Bruno F with Adrien,...

We'll get to watch the older crowd crash and burn before we get on track in this tournament. Fonte, Cedric, and Adrien will start until Spain smashes us. Then Santos will replace Fonte with Dias and Cedric with Ricardo and Bruno F with Adrien, and will advance out of the group.

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  1. joe

Well let's be positive and look at it this way, a lot of these guys don't play all the time for their clubs so they should be nicely rested and the CBs except for Dias are so old that they need the rest Still this is probably as good a team as...

Well let's be positive and look at it this way, a lot of these guys don't play all the time for their clubs so they should be nicely rested and the CBs except for Dias are so old that they need the rest Still this is probably as good a team as Santos could choose. You might get a decent starting 11 our of this group and that's about it. Good luck.

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  1. Matt

Saying Neves didn’t go because he plays in the English second division is such a terrible excuse when you look at some of the other players who got called up play in much worse leagues. Fonte plays in China and Alves plays in Scotland (actually...

Saying Neves didn’t go because he plays in the English second division is such a terrible excuse when you look at some of the other players who got called up play in much worse leagues. Fonte plays in China and Alves plays in Scotland (actually he hasn’t even been playing recently since he’s gotten dropped for being horrible.

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