Nuno Mendes and Palhinha in the squad of Fernando Santos – ZAP

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Francisco Paraíso / FPF

The Portuguese coach, Fernando Santos.

Palhinha and Nuno Mendes, Sporting players, are the novelties in the 25 elected from Portugal for the first three games in Group A qualifying for the World Cup in 2022, in March, with Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg.

Regarding the last call, on November 5, 2020, for the clashes with Andorra, France and Croatia, the last two for the League of Nations, the returnees are also new Cedric (Arsenal), Pepe (FC Porto), Rafa (Benfica) and André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Conversely, defenses were excluded Nelson Semedo (Wolverhampton), Reuben Semedo (Olympiacos) e Mario Rui (Naples), the midfielder William Carvalho (Betis) and forwards Paulinho (Sporting) and Trincão (FC Barcelona), the latter called on Monday by Rui Jorge for the U21 European Championship.

The formation of the ‘quinas’, which is concentrated on Monday, debuts in Group A qualifying for the Qatar2022 World Cup on March 24, with the reception to Azerbaijan, relocated from Alvalade to Turin, Italy, because of pandemic of the covid-19.

After the match with the Azerbaijan, Portugal fulfills the other two games of the first triple match, facing Serbia, in Belgrade, on March 27, and Luxembourg, in Luxembourg City, three days later. The three games start at 19:45 (in Lisbon).

To guarantee an eighth, and sixth consecutive, participation in the World Cup, whose edition of 2022 will take place between November 21 and December 18, Portugal needs to win the group, with the second placed player playing a ‘play-off’.

List of the 25 summoned:

– Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon, Fra), Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton, Ing) and Rui Silva (Granada, Esp).

– Defenders: Cedric (Arsenal, Ing), João Cancelo (Manchester City, Ing), Domingos Duarte (Granada, Esp), José Fonte (Lille, Fra), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City, Ing), Nuno Mendes (Sporting) and Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund, Ale).

– Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain, Fra), Palhinha (Sporting), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton, Ing), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Ing), Renato Sanches (Lille, Fra), João Moutinho (Wolverhampton, Ing ) and Sérgio Oliveira (FC Porto).

– Forwards: André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt, Ale), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Ing), Diogo Jota (Liverpool, Ing), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Ita), João Félix (Atlético de Madrid, Esp), Pedro Neto ( Wolverhampton, Ing) and Rafa (Benfica).