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Portugal announce insane 26-man squad for Qatar, it's STACKED with quality

Ryan Sidle

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Portugal announce insane 26-man squad for Qatar, it's STACKED with quality

Cristiano Ronaldo will lead a strong 26 man squad for Portugal at the World Cup, in Qatar, in what is likely to be his last chance to win the tournament.

Things may not have been going too great for Ronaldo at Manchester United this season, despite returning as captain during last weekend's loss to Aston Villa, but he can return to form with the national team.

The leading men's goalscorer in the history of international football has obviously been named by Fernando Santos to head to the Middle East next week.

Santos is the manager who led the Iberian side to success at the Euros in 2016, with Ronaldo credited with coaching them through the final against France, after his injury earlier in the game.

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The manager has a huge array of attacking talent to pick from, but has often been criticised for his negative tactics and team selection, something Gareth Southgate can no doubt sympathise with.

And the former Benfica and Sporting boss has certainly picked enough attacking players in his final 26 man squad, although how many he uses in each match is another question.

As well as Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Andre Silva will all be hoping to make a huge impact in Qatar, although Diogo Jota misses out due to injury.

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Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patricio (Roma), Jose Sa (Wolverhampton).

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City). Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Pepe (Porto), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Ruben Dias (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton), Otavio (Porto). Vitinha (PSG), William Carvalho (Real Betis).

Forwards: Andre Silva (RB Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Joap Felix (Atlético Madrid), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Rafael Leao (AC Milan).

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With him turning 38-years-old early in 2023, and with his form plummeting for United, it seems unlikely that Ronaldo will make it to the 2026 tournament in USA, Mexico and Canada.

Recent performances for the national team ended up with one national newspaper in Portugal running the headline 'Less Ronaldo, More Portugal.'

He put in what could only be described as a 'disasterclass' during the Nations League loss to Spain, which saw them miss out on the final four tournament.

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His sister, Katia Aveiro, then hit out at the press, and fans of the Euro 2016 winners, calling them "petty, soulless, stupid and forever ungrateful."

Ronaldo has also cut a frustrated figure for Portugal, as well as United. Image: Alamy
Ronaldo has also cut a frustrated figure for Portugal, as well as United. Image: Alamy

Instead, the team may be relying more on Manchester City star Bernardo Silva for most of their attacking intent, especially considering his form for Pep Guardiola's side.

Rafael Leao has been linked with plenty of huge high profile moves and the AC Milan forward could be one of the names to really explode in Qatar.

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Likewise Atletico Madrid forward Felix has also been linked away, especially with fans thinking that he isn't played to the best of his ability, due to Diego Simeone's constrictive tactics.

Santos' side face South Korea, Ghana and Uruguay in the group stages and could go far if they get it right, but could alo be going home before the knockouts begin if it doesn't all come together, especially Ronaldo's form.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Football World Cup, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix

Ryan Sidle
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