Portugal coach Fernando Santos has named a 25-man squad for the World Cup play-offs, including three Manchester United players.
You don’t win anything for guessing who because all three are regulars in Santos’ selection process.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot will be doing their utmost to guide Portugal to the next round of the play-offs where they can face either North Macedonia or Italy (to be played on 29 March). To winners will book their place in the Qatar World Cup.
Portugal host Turkey in a sold-out Estadio do Dragao on 24 March, so the pressure is on to get a result.
“This is one of the most important moments since I became Portugal coach,” said Santos, who took over as manager in 2014, as per Portugoal.
“We will be playing for Portugal, the stadium has been sold out for a month, we know the whole country is behind us. The focus is total to win and get to the World Cup.”
Portugal squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 playoffs
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) March 17, 2022
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patrício (Roma)
Defenders: Cédric Soares (Arsenal), João Cancelo (Manchester City), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (PSG), Matheus Nunes (Sporting), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Moutinho (Wolves), Otávio Monteiro (Porto), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Forwards: João Félix (Atlético Madrid), André Silva (RB Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafael Leão (AC Milan)
It has been a dire period on the pitch for Ronaldo in terms of goals but he did strike a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes hasn’t been at his best and Diogo Dalot is getting games under Ralf Rangnick despite rarely impressing.
A World Cup without Ronaldo qualifying wouldn’t be the same, so we are sending our best wishes to Portugal ahead of the play-offs.