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Carlos Queiroz announced his 23-man squad for South Africa...

Portugal have announced that Deportivo la Coruna defender Ze Castro is the player to be omitted from the final 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Seleccao boss Carlos Queiroz had named 24 players for his preliminary squad for the competition with fears that Real Madrid defender Pepe would not be fit for South Africa.

Ze Castro had been linked with the drop since the weekend, and the Portuguese Football Federation has now confirmed the reports on its official website.

A statement issued by the federation read, "The national coach, Carlos Queiroz, wants to thank the professionalism, commitment and sense of responsibility that Ze Castro demonstrated in the days he was part of the national squad's training camp."


Portugal, who have been drawn in Group G along with the Ivory Coast, Brazil and North Korea, will kick off their World Cup campaign against the Elephants on June 15th at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The Seleccao will play one more pre-World Cup friendly, against Mozambique, on June 8th.

Portugal World Cup squad


Goalkeepers -
Eduardo Sporting de Braga
Daniel Fernandes
Iraklis (GRE)
Beto FC Porto
Defenders -
Miguel Valencia (ENG)
Ricardo Costa
Lille (FRA)
Paulo Ferreira
Chelsea (ENG)
Ricardo Carvalho
Chelsea (ENG)
Bruno Alves
FC Porto
Rolando FC Porto
Pepe Real Madrid (ESP)
Midfielders -
Fabio Coentrao
SL Benfica
Duda
Malaga (ESP)
Pedro Mendes Sporting CP
Tiago Juventus (ITA)
Deco Chelsea (ENG)
Raul Meireles FC Porto
Miguel Veloso Sporting CP
Simao Sabrosa Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Danny Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Nani
Manchester United (ENG)
Forwards -
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid (ESP)
Liedson
Sporting CP
Hugo Almeida Werder Bremen (GER)

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