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Portugal World Cup 2022 squad: Fernando Santos names his final qualification squad

Portugal World Cup 2022 squad
(Image credit: PA)

The Portugal World Cup 2022 squad will be named in around 12 months' time. Today, Fernando Santos takes a step closer to that final 23, with his last selection for the group stage qualifiers.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time leading international goalscorer in September and has continued to add to his tally since then. The 36-year-old might not be as mobile as he once was, but he remains one of the most decisive attacking players on the planet.

Portugal have no shortage of talent in forward areas, with Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota and Andre Silva all hoping to make an impression in the final rounds of World Cup qualifying.

Raphael Guerreiro, Joao Mario, Rafa Silva and Anthony Lopes have all been left out due to injury, but Bernardo Silva remains in the squad for now despite picking up a muscular problem in training.

Portugal World Cup 2022 squad: The final qualifying squad

  • GK: Diogo Costa, Porto
  • GK: Rui Patrício, Roma
  • DF: Joao Cancelo, Manchester City
  • DF: Nelson Semedo, Wolves
  • DF: Diogo Dalot, Manchester United
  • DF: Nuno Mendes, PSG
  • DF: Jose Fonte, Lille
  • DF: Pepe, Porto
  • DF: Ruben Dias, Manchester City
  • MF: Danilo Pereira, PSG
  • MF: Joao Palhinha, Sporting CP
  • MF: Matheus Nunes, Sporting CP
  • MF: William Carvalho, Real Betis
  • MF: Ruben Neves, Wolves
  • MF: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United
  • MF: Joao Mario, Benfica
  • MF: Renato Sanches, Lille
  • MF: Joao Moutinho, Wolves
  • MF: Bernardo Silva, Manchester City
  • FW: Joao Felix, Atlético Madrid
  • FW: Andre Silva, RB Leipzig
  • FW: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
  • FW: Diogo Jota, Liverpool
  • FW: Rafael Leao, AC Milan

How many players are Portugal allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?

Fernando Santos was permitted 26 players for Euro 2020, due to the potential of COVID-19 outbreaks during the tournament. For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - unless otherwise stated - it is expected that the squad number will be reduced back down to the usual 23.

This could well be adjusted, however, in the coming months. Substitute numbers were raised during the pandemic too, allowing five changes to be made a game instead of the regular three. This has remained this season in international competition: it is possible that the squad number will increase to 26 once more - especially with the World Cup taking place midseason.

When will the final Portugal 2022 World Cup squad be announced?

The 2022 World Cup takes place in November of next year. It is expected that the preparations for the tournament will begin as soon as next summer. 

While the next World Cup's staging is a break from the traditional football calendar, World Cup squads are usually announced around six weeks prior to the tournament beginning. 

This may change with club football being played closer to the start date of the tournament. 

Who will make the final Portugal 2022 World Cup squad?

Barring injuries or bans, there are a few players that we expect to be dead certs for Fernando Santos's final Portugal 2022 World Cup squad. 

Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, will be on the plane to Qatar. This will almost certainly be his last chance to win the World Cup, and although he will be almost 38 by the time the action kicks off, few would back against him to finish as the tournament's top scorer.

Bruno Fernandes, his team-mate at Old Trafford, is another player whose place in the squad is virtually guaranteed. The same can be said for Manchester City trio Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva. 

Pepe, Jose Fonte, Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho are all nearing the end of their careers but continue to be regulars for the national team.

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