Friday, May 24, 2024

Cristiano Ronaldo headlines Portugal squad for March internationals

Must read

Cristiano Ronaldo is named in the Portugal squad for the March friendlies with Sweden and Slovenia.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the Portugal squad for the country’s March friendlies with Sweden and Slovenia on March 21 and March 26 respectively.

There had been doubt surrounding the forward’s international future following the 2022 World Cup, but incoming head coach Roberto Martinez immediately made it clear that Ronaldo was in his plans.

At the age of 39, Ronaldo appears destined to play at Euro 2024, and he will be bidding to add to his 205 caps during the upcoming international break.

Ronaldo has scored 128 goals for Portugal, with the second-highest goalscorer in the current squad proving to be Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes on 19.

© Reuters

There are three uncapped players in the squad, with Union Berlin’s Diogo Leite, Porto’s Francisco Conceicao and Vitoria de Guimaraes’ Jota Silva named in the latest selection.

“It will allow us to gather information to put together a balanced team,” Portugal boss Martinez told reporters at a press conference when asked about naming a 32-man squad for the friendlies.

“These two matches are very good opportunities for the players to show what they can bring to the group.”

Ronaldo is not the oldest player in the squad, with Pepe included at the age of 41, having demonstrated his quality once again for Porto throughout the campaign.

Porto defender Pepe on November 7, 2023© Reuters

Diogo Jota is a notable absentee, with the Liverpool attacker not available for selection due to injury.

Pedro Neto, who has been in excellent form for Wolverhampton Wanderers during the 2023-24 campaign, could also not be selected by Martinez due to a hamstring issue.

Portugal have five friendlies in the diary against Sweden, Slovenia, Finland, Croatia and Republic of Ireland before opening their Euro 2024 campaign against Czech Republic on June 18.

The Iberian nation won the European Championship in 2016, but they were knocked out of the 2020 tournament in the round of 16 by Belgium.

Full Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio, Diogo Costa, Jose Sa

Defenders: Pepe, Danilo, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Nelson Semedo, Nuno Mendes, Diogo Dalot, Antonio Silva, Goncalo Inacio, Joao Mario, Toti Gomes, Diogo Leite

Midfielders: Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Neves, Joao Palhinha, Otavio, Vitinha, Matheus Nunes, Joao Neves

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, Bruma, Goncalo Ramos, Francisco Trincao, Francisco Conceicao, Jota Silva

ID:539126:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4433:

Latest article