Sporting midfielder and captain, Bruno Fernandes, widely rated as the player of the season so far in the Portuguese Liga, has withdrawn from the Euro-qualifier squad due to physical limitations.
Fernando Santos called up 25 players for the double-header of qualification for Euro 2020: the Group B games against Ukraine (22 March at 19.45) and Serbia (25 March, also at 19.45). Both games are to be played at Benfica’s Luz Stadium in Lisbon.
A surprise is a first call-up for Braga’s Brazil-born striker Dyego Sousa, in Portugal for ten years; he has 14 Liga goals to date. Also in are young Benfica revelation Jõao Félix and Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota, doing great things at Wolverhampton Wanderers this season. Keeper José Sá gets the nod over Anthony Lopes of Lyon. And back comes phenomenon Cristiano Ronaldo after time off to settle in at Juventus.
Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Beto (Goztepe), José Sá (Olympiakos)
Defenders: João Cancelo (Juventus), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona), José Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Rúben Dias (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Mário Rui (Napoli).
Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), William Carvalho (Bétis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), João Mário (Inter), João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Pizzi (Benfica)
Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), João Félix (Benfica), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Benfica), André Silva (Sevilla), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dyego Sousa (Sporting Braga).