Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Ten Euro 2016 champions miss out in Portugal squad

Portugal's coach Fernando Santos Portugal's coach Fernando Santos
Steven Clarke | 18 May, 2018, 15:21

In addition, Euro 2016 hero Eder, who scored the extra-time victor in the final against France in that tournament, was also cut.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads a potent group of attacking players that includes Manchester City's Bernardo Silva, AC Milan striker Andre Silva and winger Goncalo Guedes, who has impressed with Spanish club Valencia.

The only two starters from the final who will not make it are Nani and Renato Sanches. "All of them helped us write a brilliant page in the history of Portuguese soccer".

He left some high-profile names out of the final 23-man selection that will be travelling to Russian Federation, the biggest being Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo.

Forwards Eder and Nani were surprise absentees from Portugal's World Cup squad with national team coach Fernando Santos opting instead for the youth of Andre Silva and Goncalo Guedes to play alongside superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

"From a human perspective, it's very hard to discard players who were with us at Euro 2016", admitted 63-year-old coach Santos.

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"I have to make my decisions taking into consideration the players I believe will best fit the puzzle", Santos said.

Portugal head into the World Cup as defending European Championship winners.

"I trust these players the same way I trusted the players who played at Euro 2016".

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal's all-time leading scorer and most-capped player, headed the list for the European champions, who face Spain, Morocco and Iran in a tricky first round group.

Before the finals, they will play friendlies against Tunisia, Belgium, and Algeria.

Santos' men will start their World Cup campaign against Spain on June 15 in Sochi.

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