Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo is missing from the list released to play the qualifiers for the coming World Cup billed for Russia in 2018.
Portugal will need to get past Gibraltar and Switzerland to have a chance at the World Cup, and Ronaldo would be missing. He picked up the injury during the final of the Euro 2016 after he was roughly tackled. He had to be substituted, but remained active supporting his mates to the title win.
The 31-year old was reported to only have just started training with Real Madrid last week, hence his missing name in the list of players for the World Cup qualifiers. Coach Fernando Santos dropped two other top names from his list as he deemed they were not active enough to get an invitation. He dropped Wolfsburg defender Vierinha and former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho – who is unattached.
Another difference to the Euro 2016 title winning squad is the addition of two players. Valencia defender Joao Cancelo and Porto striker Andre Silva have received their first invitation to the national team. Monaco attacker Bernardo Silva also returned to the set-up after missing Euro 2016.
“The clubs are only just starting their championships and this is an unusual phase of the season. My choice was to maintain the base of the final stages of the European championship, apart from the ones who are medically not in shape,” Santos disclosed.
On Calvalho not featuring, or other player missing, Santos said the national team call-up was not closed to any player. He admitted that there were other options, but they weren’t just right. Portugal will play host to Gibraltar in a friendly warm up on September 1, before travelling to Basel to take on Switzerland in the qualifier five days later.