Ronaldo, Coentrao called up for Portugal’s upcoming friendlies

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Lisbon, March 15 (IANS) Real Madrid’s star Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Fabio Coentrao, Andre Gomes and Goncalo Guedes on Thursday were called up for the Portuguese national football team’s upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Egypt.

Portugal national team coach Fernando Santos also decided to call up Benfica’s central defender Ruben Dias, 20, who could make his debut with the team after playing with the national teams at youth level, reported Efe.

The coach said at a press conference that he hopes that Ronaldo will be at his best for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where Portugal was drawn with Spain, Iran and Morocco in Group B.

Former Real Madrid defender Pepe and Barceona’s defender Nelson Semedo were left out of the squad with injuries.

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Portugal is scheduled to play both friendlies in Switzerland; first against Egypt in Zurich on March 23 and then in Geneva against Netherlands on March 26.

The Portuguese squad is as follows:

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

Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Fabio Coentrao (Sporting), Joao Cancelo (Inter), Jose Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Rolando (Marseille) and Ruben Dias (Benfica).

Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Andre Gomes (FC Barcelona), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Joao Mario (West Ham), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton) and William Carvalho (Sporting).

Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia) y Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas).

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–IANS

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