Portugal Under-21 coach Rui Jorge named yesterday a 23 man squad to face the Netherlands in the playoff for the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship. The playoff is a two-match series, with first played in Netherlands on the 9th and the other in Portugal on the 14th. Needless to say, these two matches are of great importance. This is the closest the U-21 team has come to qualification to a major tournament since 2007, which is the last time the team appeared in a U-21 Euro. Continue reading
Ze Castro, who has seen limited playing time and happiness, has decided to leave Deportivo La Coruna. Ze Castro had a season to forget last season, seeing extremely limited playing time. The worst part was that in June 2009, before the start of his nightmare-ish season, he had made his debut for the Portuguese Senior National Team. He started the season strong, but it all went downhill from there. In the January transfer window, he was linked with a host of clubs, including Sporting Lisbon (who he was very close to signing for). But in the end, he stayed at the Spanish outfit. Now, with Ze Castro’s options looking even more grim, he has decided to rescind his contract on Monday. He does mention talks with other clubs, so we will most likely see him in a different jersey by the end of the transfer window. Here’s what he said: “I talked with the coach and we agreed that it would not logically play tomorrow [today] and eventually quit Monday [tomorrow], because there are talks with some clubs”
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.
I’m sorry to say I, and a lot of people, saw it coming. Ze Antionio had yet to play for Santander this season, so it is no surprise that he was released. Here’s the full story.