Portugal starts World Cup qualifying without injured Ronaldo
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo will sit out Portugal’s first games since it won the European Championship as he continues his recovery from a knee injury sustained in that tournament’s final.
The Portugal captain hasn’t yet played this season for his club Real Madrid, and wasn’t called up on Friday for Portugal’s friendly against Gibraltar on Sept. 1, and first World Cup qualifier against Switzerland five days later.
Making up for his absence in Portugal’s attack will be Eder, who scored the winning goal against France in the Euro 2016 final.
Apart from Ronaldo, coach Fernando Santos made two other changes from the Euro squad, leaving out injured defender Vieirinha and veteran central defender Ricardo Carvalho, who has no club.
Striker Andre Silva and defender Joao Cancelo earned their first call-ups.
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Chelsea), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon).
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Cagliari), Cedric (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Joao Cancelo (Valencia), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Luis Neto (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfielders: Adrien (Sporting Lisbon), Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Joao Mario (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon).
Forwards: Andre Silva (FC Porto), Bernardo Silva (Monaco), Eder (Lille), Nani (Valencia), Rafa Silva (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas).