The World Cup is just around the corner now and a host of Manchester United regulars are set to be called up by their national teams.
United had four representatives at year’s European Championship final and one at the most recent World Cup final and that’s a scenario likely to repeat itself.
The Premier League will go on a six-week break as the tournament is played out in Qatar and Erik ten Hag will be keen on having his players back with time to spare for the restart.
Portugal, one of the dark horses to win the storied cup, have called up three Manchester United players for their final rehearsal as they face Czech Republic and Spain in the UEFA Nations League.
As confirmed on Portugal’s official website, Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo have all been named in the star-studded squad.
Quite surprisingly, Dalot has emerged as a key player under Ten Hag and that has been reflected in his rise to international stardom, having also been named in the squad that played the Euro’s in 2021.
Bruno Fernandes remains a key player for Fernando Santo’s side whilst Cristiano Ronaldo will captain them as they seek World Cup glory for the first time.
Earlier today, it was revealed that United have just two players in England’s final squad before the World Cup, with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford missing out.
In some ways, having some of the players stay in Manchester for the mid-season break could be positive for Erik ten Hag. That is, however, unlikely. Most of United’s first-team regulars are also key figures for their nations.
It will be interesting to see how Dalot’s development under Ten Hag impacts his international career. As things stand, Joao Cancelo remains the undisputed first-choice option on the right-hand side.
Raphael Guerreiro, the Dortmund defender, is also fairly secure on the opposite flank, which almost certainly rules out Cancelo switching to the other side to make room for Dalot.
Fernandes and Ronaldo are expected to start most games for Portugal as they aim to bounce back from their disappointing Euro 2020 campaign.