Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Soccer-Bento springs surprises in Portugal squad

Reuters

(Adds squad list)

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Portugal sprang several surprises when naming their squad on Friday for the midweek friendly with Cameroon, including two uncapped youngsters plus five players who did not take part in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Braga attacking midfielder Rafa and Benfica forward Ivan Cavaleiro, both 20, were chosen for the first time by coach Paulo Bento while first-choice goalkeeper Rui Patricio, ever-present in the qualifiers, was left out.

Bento picked former first-choice Eduardo, Beto, who has made sporadic appearances since 2009, and uncapped Anthony Lopes as his trio of goalkeepers for the game in Leiria on Wednesday.

Inter Milan defender Rolando and forward Edinho were also named after missing the qualifiers.

"This is the moment to have a look at the players who have not been playing for the team and it's the last chance we can do this before the final (World Cup) callup," Bento told reporters.

The coach criticised UEFA's so-called "week of football", during which internationals will be spread from Thursday through to Tuesday, for Euro 2016 qualifying.

"What they did was to take away 24 hours rest," said Bento. "We need to find a balance between television broadcasts, revenue and time for preparing the team.

"It would have been appropriate to have included the national coaches in these conversations and not have it decided by people who maybe have never even kicked a ball."

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Braga), Beto (Sevilla), Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon)

Defenders - Miguel Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Pepe (Real Madrid), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Rolando (Inter Milan), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Antunes (Malaga)

Midfielders: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), William Carvalho (Sporting), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), Josue (Porto), Rafa (Braga)

Forwards: Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Edinho (Erciyesspor), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Silvestre Varela (Porto) (Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Tony Jimenez)

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (0)