Portugal head coach Fernando Santos named today a squad of 25 to face Armenia and Italy. The Portuguese National Team faces Armenia in a Euro 2016 qualification match on June 13th, before facing Italy in a friendly match three days later. Santos used this opportunity to call up a number of players who have impressed this season, both in Portugal and Spain. Danilo Pereira, Pizzi, and André André all earned calls, after excellent seasons for Marítimo, Benfica and Vitória Guimarães, respectively. In addition, Daniel Carriço earned his first call, after his excellent season saw him lift the Europa League trophy with Sevilla for the second time in two seasons.
The players named in this squad suggest Fernando Santos may be a bit more forward-thinking than his predecessors. In previous squads, Bento and Queiroz stuck to their usual core of players, sometimes at the expense of seemingly more in-form and worthy players. Though Danilo Pereira, Pizzi, and André André were all called for March’s friendly against Cape Verde, their inclusion in this squad points toward more progressive shift from Santos, as all these players had excellent seasons in Portugal. Here’s the squad:
Goalkeepers – Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Sevilla), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders – Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), Cédric (Sporting), Daniel Carriço (Sevilla), Eliseu (Benfica), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), José Fonte (Southampton), Ricardo Carvalho (Mónaco), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg)
Midfielders – Adrien Silva (Sporting), William Carvalho (Sporting), André André (Vitória SC), Bernardo Silva (Mónaco), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Danilo (Marítimo), Pizzi (Benfica), Tiago (Atlético Madrid)
Forwards – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Éder (SC Braga), Nani (Sporting), Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), Varela (Parma)
Cristiano Ronaldo will only be available for the match against Armenia, to be played on June 13th. Both William Carvalho and Bernardo Silva have been called for both squads, and will likely be discharged by Santos for U-21 duty after the Armenia match.
In addition, Rui Jorge named a provisional 25-man squad for the UEFA U-21 European Championship, which will take place later in June. Two players will be dropped for the final squad, trimming the squad to the enforced 23 players. Here’s the preliminary 25-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Bruno Varela (Benfica), Daniel Fernandes (VFL Osnabruck), José Sá (Marítimo)
Defenders: Frederico Venâncio (Vit. Setúbal), João Cancelo (Valencia), Paulo Oliveira (Sporting), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Ricardo Esgaio (Académica), Tiago Ilori (Bordeaux), Tobias Figueiredo (Sporting)
Midfielders: Tozé (Estoril), Bernardo Silva (Monaco), Bruno Fernandes (Udinese), João Mário (Sporting), Rafa (Braga), Rúben Neves (FC Porto), Rúben Pinto (Paços de Ferreira), Sérgio Oliveira (Paços de Ferreira), William Carvalho (Sporting)
Forwards: Carlos Mané (Sporting), Gonçalo Paciência (FC Porto), Iuri Medeiros (Arouca), Ivan Cavaleiro (Deportivo), Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto), Ricardo Horta (Malaga)