Cristiano Ronaldo will Lead Portugal's 26 Man Squad to The FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Lead Portugals 26-Man Squad To The FIFA World Cup In Qatar

<p>Cristiano Ronaldo Will Lead Portugals 26-Man Squad To The FIFA World Cup In Qatar</p>

Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Portugal to the World Cup after Fernando Santos nominated him to his 26-man team on Thursday. The 37-year-old Manchester United striker has not been his club's first choice this season

Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Portugal to the World Cup after Fernando Santos nominated him to his 26-man team on Thursday. The 37-year-old Manchester United striker has not been his club's first choice this season, but he will be part of his country's effort to win the event for the first time. Ronaldo, the captain and all-time greatest scorer in men's international football with 117 goals, is supported in attack by a youthful squad that includes Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and AC Milan's Rafael Leao. Ronaldo will compete in his fifth World Cup, representing his nation in every iteration since 2006. The coach, who guided Portugal to Euro 2016 triumph in France, left out PSG midfielder Renato Sanches in favor of Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes. "What matters most are the players who will compete in the World Cup," Santos said, refusing to discuss individuals who did not make the cut. "The 26 (selected) think that justice has been served, whilst those who do not go belief otherwise." Santos summoned up 19-year-old uncapped Benfica center-back Antonio Silva as well as Pepe, 39. The Porto defender has not played since October 4 due to a knee strain, but he is expected to be ready for the tournament in Qatar, which begins on November 20. When queried about Pepe, Santos responded, "I asked my medical department whether there were any unfit players, and the answer was negative." Diogo Jota of Liverpool will miss the game due to a calf injury. Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho, 36, who has played 146 times for his nation, more than any other player save Ronaldo, was left out, as did teammate Goncalo Guedes. Portugal's World Cup campaign begins on November 24 against Ghana, followed by matches against Uruguay on November 28 and South Korea on December 2. Santos was critical of the tournament's date, the first-ever winter World Cup, but he was pleased with the little travel needed, with all of the venues being reasonably near together. "There is a benefit in this regard. There are no stadiums more than 25 minutes distant. We don't have to take everything along with us. It won't tire us down, so the game concludes and we return to the hotel." The entire team: Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patricio (Roma/ITA), and Jose Sa (Wolverhampton/ENG) are the goalkeepers. Defenders include Diogo Dalot of Manchester United, Joao Cancelo of Manchester City, Danilo Pereira of Paris Saint-Germain, Pepe of Porto, Ruben Dias of Manchester City, Antonio Silva of Benfica, Paris Saint-Nuno Germain's Mendes and Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro. Midfielders: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton/ENG), Joao Palhinha (Fulham/ENG), William Carvalho (Real Betis/ESP), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/ENG), Vitinha (PSG/FRA), Otavio (Porto), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton/ENG), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG). The Portuguese manager will be seeking to improve on his record in Russia in 2018 when his team fell 2-1 to Uruguay in the Round of 16. In their team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Euro 2016 champions feature a mix of young and veteran players who have played for Europe's major clubs. Ronaldo, who will be competing in his fifth FIFA World Cup, took to social media to share a snapshot of the full 26-man team, pledging to give their all for ultimate triumph in Qatar. Cristiano Ronaldo's likely big moment for his nation arrived as Portugal unveiled their FIFA World Cup roster, led by him. The all-time leading men's international goalscorer will try to take center stage in Qatar, where he will compete for the ultimate trophy in what may be his final World Cup. Ronaldo, who owns nearly every team and individual award for club and country, will be trying to lead his squad to a World Cup victory. Despite struggling to establish a regular spot in the Manchester United system under Erik ten Hag, the Portuguese attacker has been working hard to prepare for the biggest event in sport.

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