Portugal’s World Cup squad unveiled

Portugal have unveiled their World Cup squad for Qatar 2022.

Head coach Fernando Santos named the 26-man roster, but can this group of players nicknamed “The Chosen Ones” finally win Portugal’s first World Cup?

Experience wins out

Three players were named in the Portugal squad with over 100 appearances each for the Seleção (Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Rui Patrício). Santos will surely expect a lot out of these veteran internationals.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Euro 2020 Golden Boot winner will want to cement his name in the soccer heavens. He will be leading this Portugal side in his fifth appearance at the World Cup finals. The World Cup remains the biggest empty space in his glittering trophy cabinet. Ronaldo’s recent form for Manchester United has not been up to his usual standards. If this is to be his last World Cup, he will need to channel the glory of former years.


Pepe is currently the oldest player named in a squad traveling to Qatar this month. The 39 year-old defender was still playing regularly for Porto until suffering a knee injury on Oct. 7. The defender is racing to be fit for what will also likely be his last World Cup.

Diogo Costa

Though it seems likely Diogo Costa will be the preferred starter for Portugal, Rui Patrício offers Santos a pair of trusted, experienced hands. Patrício has played every minute in Serie A for Roma this season, and will be ready if the need arises.

Youngster debuts

Fernando Santos named two uncapped outfield players in the 26-man squad. Teenage defender António Silva and forward Gonçalo Ramos could be handed international debuts at the tournament in Qatar. Both youngsters play for Benfica, who recently pipped Paris Saint-Germain to top of the group in the UEFA Champions League.

António Silva

António Silva has been a bedrock in the Benfica defense, playing every minute of the Champions League group stage, and playing every minute of the last 8 games in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. The youngster has represented Portugal at U16, U17, U18, U19, and U21 levels. It would be great to see Silva make his senior debut at the World Cup. Definitely one to watch.

Gonçalo Ramos

Gonçalo Ramos has 12 goals in 20 games in all competitions for Benfica so far this season. The attacker had his breakout season for the Portuguese club last year, appearing 46 times. For his country, Ramos participated in the U19 squad that came second at the UEFA Under-19 Championship as well as the U21 squad that matched the result at the UEFA Under-21 Championship. The link up play between Ramos and João Mário will be one to keep an eye on as the two teammates transfer from club to country.

Everything in Between

Among the rest of the names in the squad the talents from super-rich clubs Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain will be pillars of the Portugal defense and midfield.


Manchester City trio Rúben Dias, João Cancelo, and Bernardo Silva will bring a winning mentality to a talented pool of Portuguese players.

Cancelo has been dangerous from distance for Manchester City. Dias, who won the English Premier League Player of the Season in the 2020/2021 season, is one of the most complete center backs in the world. Bernardo Silva, one of the most productive attacking players in the English Premier League, is in the top 3 for both assists and goal-creating actions.

Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain’s seasoned center back Danilo Pereira brings a wealth of experience to the defense. His pairing with either Pepe or Rúben Dias will be one of the strongest center back pairs in the tournament.

PSG youngsters Nuno Mendes and Vitinha will be looking to make a mark at the tournament. Nuno Mendes will be competing for the left back position with Raphaël Guerreiro. Vitinha will have more competition for a place in the starting XI, but is likely to feature as a substitute.

Who do they face?

The next exciting step will be to see who Fernando Santos names in the side that opens Portugal’s campaign against Ghana on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. The second game is against Uruguay on Nov. 28. Portugal’s final group game is against South Korea on Dec. 2. All three of Portugal’s group games will be shown on FOX, Peacock and Telemundo.

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Roma), Diogo Costa (Porto), José Sá (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Defenders: Pepe (Porto), Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphaël Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), João Cancelo (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), António Silva (Benfica)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Real Betis), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), João Mário (Benfica), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), João Palhinha (Fulham), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Otávio (Porto), Vitinha (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), André Silva (RB Leipzig), João Félix (Atlético Madrid), Rafael Leão (Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica)

Photo credit: IMAGO / HMB-Media

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