Portugal squad for Roberto Martinez’s first games incharge

Portugal will take on Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in the Euro 2024 qualifiers

(Football news) Portugal got knocked out of the World Cup quarter finals by Morocco after which Fernando Santos resigned. Roberto Martinez who left Belgium after they were eliminated in the group stage was appointed as the new Portugal boss. He has now named a 26 man squad for the Euro qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. The squad isn’t that much different as there are only 3 changes since the World Cup squad. Roberto Martinez has had a lot of criticism for not bringing the best out of Belgium’s golden generation. Therefore he has a lot to prove with this talented Portugal squad. 

Portugal squad:

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa, Jose Sa, Rui Patricio

Defenders: Antonio Silva, Danilo Pereira, Diogo Liete, Gonçalo Inacio, Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Nuno Mendes, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Dias

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes, Joao Palhinha, Joao Mario, Matheus Nunes, Otavio, Ruben Neves, Vitinha, Bernardo Silva

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Goncalo Ramos, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao

The big talking point is that Cristiano Ronaldo is a part of the squad. Roberto Martinez has said that Ronaldo’s experience will make him an important figure in the team. Pepe has also kept his place in the squad which is deserved as he was Portugal’s best defender at the World Cup. 

Even with Belgium, Martinez counted on senior players like Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Martinez used to select Eden Hazard even when he wasn’t playing regularly for Real Madrid so the decision to select Pepe and Ronaldo isn’t a surprising one. What remains to be seen is how much do the 2 end up playing as they could be starters like before or substitutes.

Diogo Jota has returned to the squad after missing the World Cup. His absence was clearly felt and his return is a massive boost for Portugal. Gonçalo Inácio is back in the squad and could make his senior international debut for Portugal. Diogo Leite also gets a maiden international call-up. 

From the World Cup squad William Carvalho, Ricardo Horta and Andre Silva have been dropped. All 3 are fit so it is definitely because of the three not fitting Martinez’s plans and/or because they are out of form. Roberto Martinez has selected 2 extra centre which indicates to a change in formation. At Belgium, Martinez always played 3 at the back so it won’t be surprised if he continued doing that. 

Also read: UEFA Champions League 2022/23 quarter finals draw


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