World Cup: Portuguese Goalkeeper Explanation

Carlos Queiroz raised some eyebrows with his choice to leave out Quim from the 24-man squad. Instead, Porto stopper Beto was given a surprise inclusion, along with Iraklis shot-stopper Daniel Fernandes. So, here is my explanation for each player as to why they were chosen to go to the World Cup:

Eduardo – The Braga number 1 has been just that, number 1. He has had an exemplary season with the arsenalistas, and is currently being courted by a number of different clubs. During World Cup Qualification, Eduardo was part of our defense that only conceded five goals during qualification, so lets hope he can keep up his amazing shot-stopping ability going for the World Cup!

Beto – The 28 year-old keeper was arguably the best keeper playing in Portugal in the 2008-2009 season, so it came as no surprise that Porto snatched him up. Since then he has mostly appeared in cup matches, but recently, in the last part of the season, has won a place in the starting XI. He, almost single-handedly kept last June’s Portugal-Estonia match tied 0-0, with a string of superb saves.

Daniel Fernandes – Fernandes loves, and thrives in, Greece. PAOK was the first place he got noticed, and after making a move to Germany, with Bochum, he wasn’t quite the same. Realizing that he needed playing time if he wanted to play in the World Cup, Fernandes was loaned to mid-table Iraklis (of Greece). There he has rediscovered his heroics, enough that Queiroz found him worthy of a World Cup call-up. He is no stranger to the National Team, with 2 appearances under his belt. He has also been called-up quite a few times, which means that he knows the other players well, which could prove invaluable.

Queiroz Releases 24-man Squad

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz released a 24-man squad for next month’s World Cup. Due to Pepe’s questionable fitness, Queiroz released a 24-man list instead of the official 23-man list, so that if Pepe is deemed unfit, he can drop him, or if Pepe turns out to be ready, Ze Castro or Ricardo Costa can be dropped. Surprise inclusions are Beto, Daniel Fernandes, Ze Castro, and Ricardo Costa. Moutinho was not included in the squad most likely due to his mediocre season.

Here’s the list:

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Braga), Beto (FC Porto) Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis)

Defenders: Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Miguel (Valencia), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Bruno Alves (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille), Rolando (FC Porto), Pepe (Real Madrid), Duda (Malaga) Ze Castro (Deportivo)

Midfielders: Tiago (Atletico Madrid), Deco (Chelsea), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Sporting), Pedro Mendes (Sporting), Danny (Zenit St Peterburg)

Wingers/Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Liedson (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen)

Queiroz also released a list of 6 reserves, just in case any of the players in the squad of 23 get injured. Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Amorim, Manuel Fernandes, Eliseu and Makukula all have an outside chance of playing in the World Cup after being included in this list.

Portuguese Duo Moves to Iraklis

Andre Marques and Daniel Fernandes have moved from Sporting and Bochum, respectively, to Greek outfit Iraklis Thessaloniki. Andre Marques, a left-back, was finally finding his stride under former coach Paulo Bento, but when Carvalhal took over the reigns, it became evident that Marques was not in his plans. In Germany, Daniel Fernandes has slowly been falling out of favor, and has barely played at all this season. The move probably has more meaning for Fernandes than it does for Marques, because Fernandes is trying to salvage any chance of playing for Portugal at the World Cup.