Reigning Euro 2016 winner Portugal announced its 35-man provisional squad on Tuesday for the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
Among the notable roster decisions is the inclusion of a young player who thrived in a maiden English campaign, and the omission of another budding talent who stumbled in the Premier League.
Top-flight bound Wolves star Ruben Neves made Fernando Santos’ preliminary squad after a stellar season in the Championship, where the 21-year-old was nominated for Player of the Season and named to the Team of the Season. Neves was one of six Portuguese nationals in countryman Nuno Espirito Santo’s league-winning squad.
A tale of opposites for once-prodigious midfield marauder Renato Sanches, whose season-long loan at Swansea City from Bayern Munich was nothing short of a disaster for the 20-year-old. After playing a pivotal role in the Euro 2016 conquest, Sanches was omitted from Santos’ latest roster.
Since the tournament in France, Sanches has made just a two-minute substitute appearance in a competitive match for Portugal and his last league appearance for the relegated Swans was on Jan. 2.
Portugal will trim its squad to 23 players by the June 4 deadline ahead of its World Cup opener with 2010 winner Spain on June 15 in Sochi:
GK: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe SK), Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)
DF: Antunes (Getafe), Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric (Southampton), Joao Cancelo (Inter), Jose Fonte (Dalian Aerbin), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce), Mario Rui (Napoli), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo (Porto), Rolando (Marseille), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
MF: Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Mario (West Ham United), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), Rony Lopes (Monaco), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William (Sporting CP)
FW: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Nani (Lazio), Paulinho (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)