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Thread: Portugal

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    Portugal

    Portugal head coach Paulo Bento named a provisional 30-man FIFA World Cup™ squad with Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Moutinho headlining the list.

    Notably, 11 players come from the Portuguese Liga featuring predominantly from Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Braga. Seven players ply their trade in the Spanish La Liga, while the others play in Turkey, England, Russia, Italy, Germany, France and Ukraine.

    Bento will have to cut his squad down to 23 by 2 June ahead of their Brazil 2014 campaign. The Portuguese are in Group G with Germany, USA and Ghana, and will kick-off their tournament against the Germans on 16 June in Salvador.

    Portugal squad

    Goalkeepers:
    Anthony Lopes (Lyon/FRA), Beto (Sevilla/ESP), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting Lisbon)

    Defenders:
    AndreG Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga/ESP), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce/TUR), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid/ESP), Joao Pereira (Valencia/ESP), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Pepe (Real Madrid/ESP), Ricardo Costa (Valencia/ESP), Rolando (Inter Milan/ITA)

    Midfielders:
    Andre Gomes (Benfica), Joao Mario (Vitoria Guimaraes), Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce/TUR), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)

    Forwards:
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio/ITA), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas/TUR), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United/ENG), Rafa (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma, Silvestre Varela (both Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg/GER)

    * Squad lists are only official once they have been confirmed and published by FIFA on 16 May at 12:00 CET.

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    Bento names his 23, omits Quaresma

    Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo headlines Portugal's 23-man squad named on Monday for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ with veteran striker Ricardo Quaresma overlooked.

    Coach Paulo Bento slimmed down the original 30-man squad named last Tuesday with FC Porto's Quaresma, 30, who had been expected to make his return to the national side, failing to make the cut. Also dropped were Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, defenders Antunes and Rolando, midfielders Andre Gomes and Joao Mario and striker Ivan Cavaleiro.

    All those named have already played for Portugal with the least experienced being Braga striker Rafa, who has just one cap, followed by Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho and Benfica defender Andre Almeida, who have two each.

    Portugal have been drawn in Group G at the World Cup and will face Germany on 15 June in Salvador, USA a week later in Manaus and then Ghana on 26 June in Brasilia. Portugal will face Mexico in a friendly on 6 June at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts. They will take on Ireland on 10 June at MetLife Stadium - home of the Jets and the New York Giants.

    Portugal squad
    Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla/ESP), Eduardo (Braga)
    Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce/TUR), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid/ESP), Joao Pereira (Valencia/ESP), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Pepe (Real Madrid/ESP), Ricardo Costa (Valencia/ESP)
    Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce/TUR), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)
    Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio/ITA), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas/TUR), Nani (Manchester United/ENG), Rafa (Braga), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg/GER)

    * Squad lists are only official once they have been confirmed and published by FIFA on 5 June at 12:00 CET.

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    Ronaldo joins Portugal training camp

    Real Madrid trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Fabio Coentrao joined Portugal's FIFA World Cup™ training camp in Obidos on Thursday, bringing the squad up to its full contingent of 23 players. The three players had been granted a few extra days to recover before linking up with the national team following Saturday's UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon where Real defeated city rivals Atletico 4-1.

    Ronaldo, who was still feeling the effects of a thigh injury sustained late in the season, was not expected to take part in a late afternoon training session and remains a doubt for Saturday's friendly against Greece in Lisbon. The Portugal captain instead carried out rehab work at the team's hotel, the Portuguese Football Federation said in its daily medical report.

    After playing 120 minutes in Saturday's Champions League final, Ronaldo had admitted he "wasn't at 100 per cent" having struggled with muscle problems towards the end of the Spanish La Liga season. Portugal have been drawn in Group G at the World Cup and will face Germany on 15 June in Salvador, USA a week later in Manaus and then Ghana on 26 June in Brasilia.

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    Ronaldo, Pepe to miss Portugal friendly

    Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still feeling the effects of a thigh injury, and Real Madrid team-mate Pepe will both miss Portugal's FIFA World Cup™ warm-up match against Brazil-bound Greece on Saturday.

    "Ronaldo will be with us but will not play... and Pepe will also not play," Portugal coach Paulo Bento has said.

    Ronaldo sustained the injury late in the season, but Bento said there was no specific timetable to get the Portugal captain back on the pitch. "We're not going to set down a calendar for his return to competition," Bento said, adding that he wanted to take "no risk".

    Central defender Pepe, making his comeback after a calf injury, trained on Thursday and Friday, having remained on the bench during Real's UEFA Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid last Saturday. Ronaldo played all 120 minutes in that match.

    Portugal have been drawn in Group G at the World Cup and will face Germany on 15 June in Salvador, the United States a week later in Manaus and then Ghana on 26 June in Brasilia.

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    Portugal fret over Ronaldo fitness

    Portugal were gearing up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ on Tuesday in New Jersey, fretting over the fitness of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

    With the World Cup looming, the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner as best footballer of last year, had some bad news about his recent aches and pains. Ronaldo has a "muscle injury on the back of his left thigh as well as left-leg patellar tendinitis," the Portuguese Football Association said in a report on his medical issues and those of stars Raul Meireles, Pepe and Beto.

    Amid some heavy downpours, the four spent their time at the New York Jets' training center grinding it out on different exercises meant to get them in the best possible shape in the final sprint before the World Cup starts 12 June.

    While Portugal have previously discussed superstar Ronaldo's thigh injury -sustained late in the season - it was the first time they reported patellar tendinitis.

    The Portuguese have been drawn in Group G at the World Cup and will face Germany on 16 June in Salvador, USA a week later in Manaus and then Ghana on 26 June in Brasilia.

    "We hope that Cristiano is in good enough shape to play - and to help the team," team-mate Nani, who plays for Manchester United, told reporters.

    Ronaldo "is going well, and he is relaxed about it ... Things are going the right way," he added, after hundreds of fans welcomed the team at the Newark airport in New Jersey, just outside New York City.

    Portugal will play two friendlies while in the United States. They take on Mexico in Foxboro near Boston on Friday - at the home of the NFL's New England Patriots. Next Tuesday they face Ireland at the Jets' MetLife Stadium - which hosted the Super Bowl in February.

    Nani, 27, who missed out on the last World Cup in South Africa due to a shoulder injury, said fitness woes can make a player "distracted and less sure of himself."

    "If for some reason (Ronaldo) is not there, whoever is there playing has to be confident in their ability to get the job done," he said. "The World Cup is a one-of-a-kind challenge. I want to be fully fit, and in top form alongside my team-mates. I could not be there last time, but happily, I am here now," said Nani, who has played 73 games and scored 14 goals with Portugal's national side.

    He said the first clash with Germany will be key to setting the tone for the rest of the tournament, preferably a winning one.

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    Portugal fears grow over Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo's chances of being fit for Portugal's opening FIFA World Cup™ clash with Germany were thrown into further doubt when coach Paulo Bento refused to put a timeframe on his return.

    Ronaldo, 29, failed once more to train with the rest of his teammates, as they went through their paces ahead of Friday's friendly with fellow World Cup qualifiers Mexico in the United States.

    Portugal play the strongly-fancied Germans on 16 June but, at this rate, they could be without their star player and talisman, who was already ruled out of the Mexico game because of persistent leg injuries.

    The Real Madrid forward has a left thigh injury and tendinitis in the knee of the same leg, and has been struggling for fitness for several weeks in the crucial build-up to the Brazil showpiece. Even if Ronaldo is free of injury, it looks increasingly unlikely that he will be match-fit.

    "The situation is evolving and our expectations are evolving constantly," Bento told reporters at Foxborough stadium, asked repeatedly when Ronaldo would be fit.

    "When he's ready to play is a decision that will be made just like any other player, regardless of who it is. I'm not at liberty to discuss at full length the situation. As soon as he is ready to train, we will make that announcement."

    Bento added: "We have to prepare for Germany regardless. The decision of if he will play and when is up to me, the player and the doctors. Ronaldo is not the only good player we have."

    Ronaldo, who has scored 49 goals in 110 matches for Portugal, also missed the goalless draw with Greece on Saturday in Lisbon.

    Portugal, who squeezed into the World Cup via a play-off with Sweden, face a mounting injury crisis -- key defender Pepe and experienced midfielder Raul Meireles are also out of the Mexico encounter.

    Real Madrid's Pepe has a left leg injury, although indications are that he will be fit for the World Cup.

    "He had a lot of games this season and he had a good season," said Bento. "It's a question of evaluating the situation and seeing how he is, then we will decide."

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    Bento worried by 'struggling' Portugal

    Coach Paulo Bento said there was work to do after his Portugal side missed the qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo in their 1-0 friendly win over fellow FIFA World Cup qualifiers Mexico yesterday. Portugal have concerns over the fitness of talisman Ronaldo with the tournament just six days away. Having settled for a scoreless draw with Greece last weekend they were lacking potency once more.

    The game looked all set to end goalless until stand-in skipper Bruno Alves popped up in injury time with a powerful header to seal a victory Portugal barely deserved. Manchester United winger Nani had been anonymous, while forward Eder failed to convince. All of which left Bento with plenty to ponder ahead of Tuesday's final warm-up match with the Republic of Ireland. Bento had no fresh update on the fate of Ronaldo, who has now missed the last two games with knee and thigh injuries that are threatening to wreck his- and his country's - World Cup.

    Four strong teams
    "We struggled, mainly at the beginning, with Mexico's attacks," said Bento, whose side face Germany in their World Cup opener on June 16, followed by USA and Ghana in a very competitive Group G. "It's going to be a balanced group with four strong teams so it's going to be very difficult for us, but we will fight to the end to achieve our first goal, which is to reach the knockout phase. We still have a few mistakes that we need to correct before the World Cup."

    Mexico, playing their last friendly before heading to Brazil, have their problems too.They dropped striker Javier Hernandez after he failed to fire in a 1-0 defeat to Bosnia on Tuesday, but neither Giovani Dos Santos nor Oribe Peralta did enough to suggest they can trouble the hosts on June 17. Coach Miguel Herrera was upbeat despite a second narrow defeat on the bounce. "Even if you lose this way, it's only a friendly," he said. "We have a week to analyze where we failed and where we need to adjust. We need to focus on better results but I like what I'm seeing and how the team is functioning.

    "The goalkeeping tonight from Portugal was amazing and if we could have scored it would have been an almost perfect game."

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    Ronaldo returns to training

    Cristiano Ronaldo has given Portugal a boost on the eve of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ by resuming training. There were concerns the Real Madrid player may miss the opening Group G game against Germany because of knee and thigh problems. However, the Portuguese Football Association gave an encouraging update on Saturday, nine days before the opener in Salvador.

    The FPF statement read: "Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul Meireles integrated with the remaining group of players." Midfielder Meireles had been struggling with a muscular problem. However, central defender Pepe worked away from the main group of players as he continued his recovery from a leg injury. The statement added: "Pepe is carrying out his rehabilitation and sport specific exercises in the field individually."

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    Ronaldo in line for Portugal return

    Cristiano Ronaldo is in line for a morale-boosting return to the Portugal side for Tuesday's friendly in the United States against Republic of Ireland, just two days before the FIFA World Cup™ begins. The 29-year-old forward has missed Portugal's previous two warm-up matches through injury, hindering their preparations for the Brazil tournament and sparking speculation that he might not be fit in time. But the Real Madrid ace returned to training on Saturday with Paulo Bento's side, who have failed to sparkle in their captain's absence.

    Portuguese officials were tight-lipped Sunday about Ronaldo's availability for the Ireland encounter, but forward Vieirinha told reporters: "If he is fit to train, he is fit to play the match." Portugal face a daunting World Cup opener on 16 June against Germany in Group G, which also comprises USA and Ghana.

    Bento has been keen to stress that Portugal - who only made it to Brazil via a play-off with Sweden that saw Ronaldo fire a hat-trick - are more than just one player. But Wolfsburg man Vieirinha admitted their star player's return had buoyed the whole squad. "Everybody knows the importance of Ronaldo to our team and his importance to the group, both on and off the pitch," said Vieirinha, 28. Ronaldo has scored 49 goals in 110 matches for Portugal.

    Modest form
    Portugal have failed to impress without Ronaldo, who has been hampered by a left thigh muscle problem and tendinitis in his left knee. Last weekend they laboured to a 0-0 draw in Lisbon against fellow World Cup qualifiers Greece. Then on Friday, near Boston, they survived several scares before beating Mexico - who will also be in Brazil - 1-0 thanks to an injury-time header from Bruno Alves.

    The Portuguese will expect to make it to the knock-out rounds, but Vieirinha cautioned: "We all know that the first game is always the most important. We know how good the Germans are, but we also know what we can do against them. There are a lot of good teams at the World Cup. "But we just need to do our work and what we do on the pitch is our responsibility, nobody else's. Our first goal is to get through the group stage, and if we do that, we'll see how far we can go."

    Ronaldo trained with the full squad again on Sunday at the New York Jets' training centre, as did experienced midfielder Raul Meireles, another who has been sidelined with injury. Portugal's remaining injury worry is feisty Real Madrid defender Pepe, who has been on a separate rehabilitation program as he returns after a calf injury.

    The centre back trained Sunday away from the rest of the squad and is unlikely to feature against the Irish.

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    Ronaldo leads rampant Portugal to big win

    Cristiano Ronaldo had a hand in a goal and hit a post on his return as Portugal concluded their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ preparations with a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday. The Real Madrid striker, who missed his country's previous two warm-up games because of thigh and knee injuries, was not at his brilliant best for long periods of a one-sided friendly in the United States. But coach Paulo Bento will just be relieved to see his captain and talisman back after an injury layoff that had sparked fears that Ronaldo might not be fit for Brazil.

    Ronaldo was substituted on 65 minutes, but it appeared to have been a planned change and there was no indication that he was suffering any ill effects from his injury problems. He was replaced by Real team-mate Pepe, a key defender and another whose World Cup preparations have been badly hindered by injury. "Ronaldo played a good match, especially when considering that he has not played competitively for two weeks," said Bento. "Players like him are important for any team, and that is the case with ourselves too. It's good to have him back." Portugal, who were to fly to Brazil immediately after the match, start their World Cup assault against Germany on 16 June in Group G - the so-called "Group of Death" - which also includes the USA and Ghana.

    Ronaldo quickly out of the blocks
    It took Ronaldo just 51 seconds to show what he can do, picking the ball up and powering towards goal, but his shot from outside the box was comfortable for Irish keeper David Forde. With their next attack, on three minutes, Portugal took the lead, as Silvestre Varela crossed from the right and striker Hugo Almeida rose unmarked to crash home a header. Ronaldo's next contribution, on 10 minutes, was to slip awkwardly as he tried to turn, drawing gasps from the 46,000 crowd at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. But the 29-year-old, cheered every time he touched the ball, picked himself up off the turf - no doubt to the relief of Bento and 10.5 million Portuguese.

    Ronaldo was inches away from grabbing a second on 19 minutes, but his direct free-kick from 20 yards pinged off the inside of Forde's post and away to safety. A minute later it was 2-0, as a Fabio Coentrao cross was deflected off the Irish boot of Richard Keogh, the ball looping over Forde and beyond his outstretched glove. On 37 minutes Ronaldo was heavily involved as the Portuguese went 3-0 up. His close-range header was saved by Forde but Almeida was quickest to the rebound to net his second of the match. An experimental Irish side showed greater appetite for the fight in the second half and scored the best goal of the night, as a quick free-kick caught Portugal napping, setting James McClean free in the box.

    He still had plenty to do, but did it brilliantly, slaloming towards goal before unleashing a shot that gave keeper Rui Patricio no chance. Portugal put gloss on the scoreline in the closing stages as Nani, a substitute, set up Vieirinha to thrash home and then teed up Coentrao for number five. Nani, who impressed in his cameo, said it was "great" to have Ronaldo back. "I think he showed he's good, he's well, and I think he showed he will be 100 per cent," said the Manchester United winger. "We are in a tough group but when you are in the World Cup you know you have to challenge the best teams. We are ready for that and we are confident."

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