• Thursday, 13 May 2010

    Few surprises for Queiroz

    Carlos Queiroz named his initial World Cup squad with few surprises. Perhaps the only real shock was the inclusion of dependable defender Pepe who has been out of action at Real Madrid since December due to a knee injury. He was a key man in a difficult qualifying campaign in which the much-fancied Portuguese had to come through the rigged play-offs, seeing off the Bosnian challenge and it's that form that Queiroz will be hoping he can recover quickly.

    There's a trio of Chelsea players, fresh from their Premier League winning campaign, and Simao and Tiago are in after their Europa League win. Braga's best ever Superliga campaign earns them just one player, first choice keeper Eduardo, as do champions Benfica with Fabio Coentrao their only representative. That's perhaps indicative of the fact so many players ply their trade outside Portugal, leaving domestic clubs to rely heavily on imports, mainly from South America.

    Needless to say, the side will largely be built around Cristiano Ronaldo, but in a tough group, they'll need him to be more of a team player than has been the case recently.

    The squad in full:

    Goalkeepers: Beto (Porto), Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis), Eduardo (Braga)

    Defenders: Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Ze Castro (Deportivo La Coruna), Bruno Alves (Porto), Rolando (Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille), Duda (Malaga), Pepe (Real Madrid), Miguel (Valencia)

    Midfielders: Tiago (Atlético Madrid), Deco (Chelsea), Raul Meireles (Porto), Nani (Manchester United), Miguel Veloso (Sporting CP), Pedro Mendes (Sporting CP)

    Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Atlético Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen), Liedson (Sporting CP), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg).

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