Pepe returns to Portugal squad

The Real Madrid defender had been welcomed back into the international fold after missing his nation's last fixture through suspension

Paulo Bento has handed a recall to Pepe for Portugal's friendly with Netherlands on August 14.

The 30-year-old, who made his 51st appearance for the national side against Azerbaijan in March, was suspended for Portugal's last qualifying game against Russia on June 7.

He was also absent for the 1-0 friendly win in Croatia three days after, but returns to the squad for their final game before their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in September.

It will be the first time Portugal and the Oranje have met since their group fixture in Euro 2012, which Portugal won 2-1, and Bento has kept faith with Manchester United winger Nani as well as recalling Zenit St Petersburg forward Danny.

There is no place for Hugo Almeida, despite the forward starting the victory over Croatia at the Stade de Geneve, while Andre Martins of Sporting Lisbon could be given his second cap, as he replaces the injured Raul Meireles.

Both sides currently top their qualification groups for the World Cup next year, with Portugal having lost just one game so far.

After they travel to Windsor Park to face Northern Ireland, Bento’s side will round off their campaign with home fixtures against Israel and Luxembourg, while also taking on Brazil in a non-competitive tie.

Name Club
Beto  Sevilla
Eduardo  Braga
Rui Patricio  Sporting Lisbon
Joao Pereira  Valencia
Fabio Coentrao  Real Madrid
Bruno Alves  Fenerbahce
Ricardo Costa  Valencia
Silvio  Benfica
Pepe  Real Madrid
Neto  Zenit St Petersburg
Andre Martins  Sporting Lisbon
Joao Moutinho  Monaco
Miguel Veloso  Dynamo Kiev
Ruben Micael  Braga
Custodio  Braga
Ruben Amorim  Benfica
Nani  Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo  Real Madrid
Silvestre Varela  Porto
Vieirinha  Wolfsburg
Helder Postiga  Valencia
Danny  Zenit St Petersburg
Nelson Oliveira  Rennes