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Ronaldo to spearhead Portugal at fifth World Cup

Lisbon, Nov 11 (IANS) Portugal coach Fernando Santos has announced a 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with two veteran players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, continuing to lead the team.

Ronaldo will take part in his fifth World Cup, having played for the national team in every edition of the tournament since 2006.

Two young players from Benfica, Antonio Silva and Goncalo Ramos, are World Cup debutants, reports Xinhua.

RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva replaces the injured Liverpool star Diogo Jota.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolves in the English Premier League, Benfica and Porto in the Portuguese Premier League and French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain have each contributed three players to the squad.

“All the players I have called up come with the hunger to win and make Portugal world champions,” said Santos.

Portugal will play a warm-up match with Nigeria in Lisbon on November 17.

Drawn in Group H with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana at Qatar 2022, Portugal will kick off their campaign against Ghana on November 24.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patricio (Roma/Italy), Jose Sa (Wolverhampton/England);

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United/England), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City/England), Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City/England), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/Germany);

Midfielders: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton/England), Joao Palhinha (Fulham/England), William Carvalho (Real Betis/Spain), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/England), Vitinha (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Otavio (Porto), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton/England), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/England);

Forwards: Rafael Leao (AC Milan/Italy), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/England), Andre Silva (RB Leipzig/Germany).

–IANS

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