Portugal announce preliminary World Cup squad

Manager Fernando Santos has announced Portugal’s 35-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo taking centre stage. Which 12 players will be cut?

Portugal stunned many when they beat France in the 2016 European Championship final – a game they went into as underdogs.

Santos’ men showed resilience and a superb fighting spirit throughout that tournament, and will need to work twice as hard to succeed in Russia. The boss has now named his 35-man preliminary team ahead of the World Cup, from which 12 players will eventually be cut.

Superstar Ronaldo is unsurprisingly the biggest name in Santos’ side, while FC Barcelona’s struggling Andre Gomes was also among the names. Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva is also one of the men Santos will rely on ahead of the tournament, as is in-form attacker Goncalo Guedes.

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On-loan Swansea midfielder Renato Sanches was left out of the selection, despite being a regular fixture in A Selecao’s 2016 European Championship side.

Here is Portugal’s full 35-man prelim squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe), Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)

Defenders: Antunes (Getafe), Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Joao Cancelo (Inter Milan), Jose Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce SK), Mario Rui (Napoli), Nelson Semedo (FC Barcelona), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Rolando (Marseille), Ruben Dias (Benfica)

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Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Andre Gomes (FC Barcelona), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Mario (West Ham United, on loan from Inter Milan), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Sporting CP)

Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain), Nani (Lazio, on loan from Valencia), Paulinho (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Rony Lopes (Monaco)

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