Cristiano Ronaldo leads Portugal squad ahead of World Cup Qualifiers


European Champions Portugal are spearheaded by Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo heading into the penultimate international break ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Fernando Santos’ Portugal are second after six games, trailing Group B leaders Switzerland by three points, but can close the gap with routine wins against the minnows of Faroe Islands and last year’s Euro 2016 group stage opponent, Hungary.

AC Milan striker Andre Silva, Sporting CP forward Gelson Martins and Besiktas winger Ricardo Quaresma will join Cristiano Ronaldo in attack, while there were call-ups for RB Leipzig’s Bruma and Norwich’s Nelson Oliveira.

There was no spot for Valencia winger Nani, who is reportedly close to a move to Serie A outfit Lazio, while Fabio Coentrao gets his first call-up since October 2015, replacing the injured Raphael Guerrero.

Despite scoring just four goals in his 33 caps for Portugal, Eder’s strike against France in the final of Euro 2016 could be the most significant goal in Portuguese football history, sealing the nation’s first-ever major trophy.

Euro 2016 winners Eder and Renato Sanches failed to make the cut, the latter of which having just completed a loan move to English Premier League side Swansea City.

World Cup Qualifying Squad vs. Faroe Islands and Hungary

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio, Beto, Bruno Varela

Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Cedric Soares, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte, Fabio Coentrao, Eliseu

Midfielders: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Danilo Pereira, Joao Moutinho, Pizzi, Joao Mario, Andre Gomes, Bernardo Silva

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma, Gelson Martins, Andre Silva, Bruma, Nelson Oliveira



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