Portugal coach Paulo Bento has announced the squad for Portugal’s must-win encounter against Norway in Lisbon on 4 June.
Bento has rewarded Andre Santos, Ruben Micael and Silvestre Varela for positive displays in the two friendlies against Chile and Finland in March, all of whom are called up for a competitive match for the first time.
Despite his excellent form since returning to Brazil, former Sporting striker Liedson is not included in the 23-man group.
Should the Selecção beat the Norwegians, Portugal will move to the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group H, but any dropped points could prove fatal for their aspirations of making it to a seventh successive major tournament.
“I don’t think there will be any difficulty in getting the players focused. They are motivated and when they arrive the focus will be on 4 June. It’s an extremely important game and if we win, it will allow us to be at the European Championships in one year’s time,” said Bento.
The match shall be played at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz.
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Genoa), Rui Patrício (Sporting) Ventura (FC Porto)
Defenders: João Pereira (Sporting), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Real Madrid), Rolando (FC Porto), Fábio Coentrão (Benfica), Silvio (Braga)
Midfielders: Andre Santos (Sporting), Raul Meireles (Liverpool), Ruben Micael (FC Porto), Duda (Malaga), Carlos Martins (Benfica), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Paulo Machado (Toulouse)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Hélder Postiga (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş), Nani (Manchester United), Varela (FC Porto)
Glad Varela is called up but poor Liedson isn't, we badly need an in form striker. Silvio is still listed as Braga player there because he hasn't been officially announced as part of Atletico Madrid's team yet. No surprises in the lineup, Silvio gets called up over Bosingwa...why is Duda called up? Has he been exceptional in his team? I don't really know the answer on that one. Anyway, some questions aside.. força Portugal!
Epic Pepe, Nani and Liedson gif is from here