Ronaldo called up to lead Portugal in Nations League

Real Sociedad's Jon Pacheco and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during group E Europa League soccer match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

Cristiano Ronaldo was included in the Portugal squad on Thursday for upcoming Nations League matches against the Czech Republic and Spain.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said he is not worried with Ronaldo not playing much at Manchester United this season.

"Nobody here has any doubts about how important he continues to be for the national team," Santos said.

Joao Felix, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes also were included in the 26-player list, along with defenders Joao Cancelo, Pepe and newcomer Tiago Djalo.

Out because of injuries were Otavio and Renato Sanches. Santos also left out Andre Silva, Goncalo Guedes and Joao Moutinho, Portugal's player with the second-most appearances with the national team behind Ronaldo.

Portugal will play at the Czech Republic on Sept. 24 and then will host Spain three days later.

Portugal, winner of the inaugural edition of the Nation League in 2019, trails Spain by one point in Group 2 of League A. The team is three points ahead of the Czech Republic.

The Portuguese soccer federation earlier Thursday released its uniform for the World Cup in Qatar, with a jersey inspired by the nation's green and red flag. Moving away from the traditional plain red, the new shirt has both the red and green colors on each side of a diagonal line across the chest.


Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Jose Sa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rui Patricio (Roma)

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Tiago Djalo (Lille), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Vitinha (Paris Saint-Germain), William Carvalho (Real Betis)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga)

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