Portugal coach Fernando Santos has named the 23 players who will be heading to World Cup Russia 2018 in representation of the European Champions.
He has picked thirteen of the players who participated in Euro 2016. Only six players ply their trade in their home country, and the most represented club is Sporting, contributing four members of the squad.
Rúben Dias is the youngest member of the squad having just turned 21, and the only player who has not debuted for the full national team, while Bruno Alves is the oldest, at 36 years of age (the same age as goalkeeper Beto but Alves is six months older). PortuGOAL brings you a brief profile of the Seleção players striving for glory in Russia.
This 27-year-old currently plays for the French football club Lyon. Lopes made his way through the ranks at Lyon, was eventually called into the first team seven years ago, in 2011, and has been an ever-present since, recognised as one of the top goalkeepers in Ligue 1. He made his debut for the senior Portugal team three years ago and was part of the Euro 2016 squad.
Antonio Alberto Bastos Pimparel, also known as Beto, was born in May 1982, making him a very mature 36 years-old. He currently plays for the Turkish club Gotzepe SK but has a long list of clubs on his CV, including Sporting, Porto, Braga and Sevilla. For the Spanish side he made 87 appearances and won two Europa League trophies. He has already earned 12 caps for Portugal and has been in the squad for two World Cups and Euro 2012.
Patrício, 30, is the undisputed starting goalkeeper for Portugal who currently plays for Sporting CP. He has spent all his professional career with the Lisbon team. He made his senior Portugal debut in 2010 and since then he has represented his country at the 2014 World Cup and three European Championships.
Alves is a 36-year-old centre back who plays for the Scottish club, Rangers. He much of his professional career at Porto, where he made an impressive 171 appearances for the club. Alves has represented his country in the senior team since 2007 and has played in two World Cups, three European Championships and one Confederations Cup.
Cédric Ricardo Alves Soares is a 26-year-old right back who currently plays for the Premier League club Southampton. A product of Sporting’s youth system, he played 94 competitive games for the Lisbon club before signing for Southampton in 2015. He has played at a national level for the senior team since 2014 and played in all the knockout phase matches in the Euro 2016 winning team.
Fonte is a 34-year-old centre-back who currently plays for the Chinese club Dalian Yifang FC. He was a late bloomer, reaching the Premier League with Southampton when he was 29 and making his debut for Portugal at 30. He was a part of the Euro 2016 winning Portuguese team, playing all the knockout phase matches.
Rui is a 26-year-old left back who currently plays for Napoli. He has spent most of his career playing in the Italian league. Despite earning plentiful caps at youth level, he only made his full Portugal debut recently, in the friendly against Netherlands earlier this year.
Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, known as Pepe, is a 35-year-old centre back for Turkish team Besiktas. He was a bedrock of the Real Madrid defence for a decade, following his move the Spanish capital from FC Porto. Despite being born in Brazil, he opted to play for Portugal and has played at two World Cups and three UEFA European Championships and was a key player of the team that won Euro 2016.
Guerreiro is a 24-year-old left back who plays for German team Borussia Dortmund. He was born in France and started his career in Ligue 1, joining Dortmund in 2016. A fabulously talented player, who can also play in midfield or as a winger, his career has been hit by injuries in recent times, missing most of this season. He was another important member of the winning Euro 2016 squad.
Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira is a young right-back and winger who currently plays for FC Porto. An extremely versatile player, he first came to prominence for Vitória Guimarães and the Portugal U21 team as a winger or forward, scoring the winning goal against Benfica in the 2013 Portuguese Cup final, and he also had a successful stint on loan in France at Nice, where he often played left-back.
Dias has just turned 21 years of age but this season he made himself a first-choice centre-back at Benfica and appears to have quite a career ahead of him. In March 2018, Fernando Santos called him up to the senior Portuguese squad for the first time, although he had to drop out due to injury.
Adrien Sebastien Perruchet da Silva is a central midfielder who currently plays for Leicester City. The 29-year-old spent most of his career playing for Sporting where he became captain, before a botched transfer to Leicester forced him to miss the first six months of this season. Made his Portugal debut in 2014 and played all the knockout games in the Euro 2016 winning team.
Silva is an extremely gifted 23-year-old who currently plays for Premier League champions Manchester City. He started his career in Benfica but played almost exclusively for their B-team only, before moving to Monaco where he helped the French club win the league and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. Missed out on Euro 2016 through injury but played in the Confederations Cup last summer.
Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes is a midfielder who plays for Sporting. A product of the Boavista youth system, he spent the beginning of his career in Italian football before moving back to a Portugal in 2017. Has enjoyed a fabulous debut season in the Portuguese capital, with many analysts picking him out as the best player in the Liga NOS in 2017/18.
João Filipe Iria Santos Moutinho, 31 years old, is one of only five players to have more than 100 caps for Portugal. The diminutive midfielder has been a key player for Portugal over the past decade. Starting his career at Sporting CP, it was after moving to northern rivals FC Porto that his career took off, winning multiple trophies for the Dragons before a big-money move to Monaco.
João Mário Naval da Costa Eduardo is a 25-year-old midfielder who currently plays for Premier League side, West Ham, on loan from Internazionale. He started his career at Sporting, where his impressive displays together with a fine showing at Euro 2016 earned him a big-money move to Italy. Played every game of Portugal’s triumphant European Championship campaign in France.
Manuel Henrique Tavares Fernandes is a midfielder who plays for the Russian club FC Lokomotiv Moscow, for whom he won the Russian championship this season. He started his career at Benfica and went on to play for Everton, Valencia and Besiktas. The 32-year-old has been recalled to the national team after a long period out of the Seleção picture.
William Silva de Carvalho is a defensive midfielder who currently plays for Sporting CP. After a successful spell on loan in Belgium, the 26-year-old returned to Lisbon, has forged a successful career at Sporting, and has become a key component of the Portuguese national side under Fernando Santos.
Andre Miguel Valente da Silva is just 22 years old and plays as a striker for AC Milan. A product of Porto’s youth system, he impressed from a young age, earning a big-money move to Milan last summer, although he has struggled to make an impact in Italy. The youngest ever player to score a hat-trick for the national team, he enjoyed a wonderful qualifying campaign for the Russia World Cup, striking up an excellent partnership with captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
If you don’t know about this player, you must have been living under a rock! Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is the 33-year-old captain of the Seleção and Real Madrid and has won the Ballon d’Or award as the best footballer on the planet five times. He has obliterated all records for the national team, earning 149 caps and scoring 81 goals for the Seleção. And he isn’t finished yet.
Gelson Dany Batalha Martins is a winger that currently plays for Sporting CP. He is originally from Cape Verde but moved to Portugal as a young boy. Now 23, the tricky and fast winger was first called into the Portugal squad during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Gonçalo Manuel Ganchino Guedes is just 21 years old and currently plays as a winger or wide midfielder for Spanish club Valencia, on loan from PSG. His career started at Benfica and after impressing, was transferred to PSG for €30 million. He has seven caps for the senior team.
Ricardo Andrade Quaresma Bernardo is a mercurial 34-year-old winger for Turkish club Besiktas. He started off his career at Sporting, going on to play for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea, although his best club football came during two spells at FC Porto. He has played for the full international squad since 2003, but it is since Fernando Santos became manager and recalled him into the squad in 2014 that he has consistently shone for the Seleção.
So there you have it. According to top sportsbetting comparison site, www.winningsportsbets.co.uk it may not be the best team on paper at the World Cup, but with players such as Ronaldo, you cannot rule out Portugal surprising the world for a second tournament running. In fact, with great odds for the team being offered at the top bookmakers, you could get a great return on your money.