Portugal’s 2018 World Cup squad: Who joins Cristiano Ronaldo in the 23-man squad?

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Cristiano Ronaldo was more or less guaranteed to be on the plane to Russia, but who else will join him at the tournament?

Portugal qualified automatically for the 2018 World Cup by the skin of their teeth. Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. finished top of qualifying Group B, but only by virtue of goal difference, having ended the campaign level on points with Switzerland.

Indeed, each side won nine and lost one of their 10 games, but Portugal were able to avoid a play-off, while Switzerland had to beat Northern Ireland over two legs to qualify.

Having won the European Championship in 2016, manager Fernando Santos will now plot a way to assert global domination and he has revealed his 23-man squad for Russia.


Who made Portugal's 23-man squad?


It's no surprise to learn that Cristiano Ronaldo has been included in Santos' final panel for the tournament and the Real Madrid man hit a timely patch of form towards the end of the season, which bodes well for Portuguese hopes.

In terms of goalkeepers, Sporting's Rui Patricio is set to be number one, with veteran shot-stopper Beto and Lyon's Anthony Lopes providing back-up. The defence will have a grizzled complexion to it, with seasoned players such as Pepe, Bruno Alves and Jose Fonte amassing 215 caps between them.

That trio will be joined by a younger contingent that includes Southampton full-back Cedric Soares, Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro and new Leicester City signing Ricardo Pereira.

Napoli's Mario Rui has been included after an impressive season with Napoli, while Benfica's 21-year-old defender Ruben Dias is the only uncapped member of the panel.

Joao Moutinho Portugal

The midfield has a relatively youthful feel to it, with Man City's Bernardo Silva and Sporting's William Carvalho among the star names, but Monaco man Joao Moutinho is set to play in his third World Cup, bringing some valuable experience.

Joao Mario and Adrien Silva, both of whom recently moved to the Premier League, are named, with Manuel Fernandes and Bruno Fernandes capping the midfield selection.

In attack, Ronaldo will be joined by fellow veteran Ricardo Quaresma and AC Milan's Andre Silva has been included despite an inconsistent campaign at club level. Paris Saint-Germain youngster Goncalo Guedes and Sporting's Gelson Martins complete the panel.


Who didn't make the Portugal squad?


Andre Gomes Portugal

Santos has made some bold calls for the 2018 World Cup squad, leaving out a number of experienced players, as well as those who ply their trades at the biggest clubs in the world.

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Despite enjoying a decent season with Lazio, the vastly experienced Luis Nani missed out, as did Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo.

Bayern Munich youngster Renato Sanches was one of the stand-out players for Portugal in their Euro 2016 triumph, but the 20-year-old has endured a difficult season on loan at Swansea and has been snubbed as a result. Another Euro 2016 hero, Eder, who scored the winning goal against France in the final, has also been left out of the 23-man squad. 

Inter defender Joao Cancelo may feel aggrieved to have missed out, while Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is another player who has not been deemed worthy of inclusion by Santos.

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