Originally featured on the TalkingTikiTaka – WC2014 Blog
Not only did it seemingly provide a fatal blow to Real Madrid’s title hopes but Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent hamstring injury cast doubt over whether he would be fit to lead the side in this summer’s World Cup. In what on paper was a routine Liga BBVA match against Real Valladolid, Cristiano Ronaldo was substitute amid fears of a hamstring injury and consequently missed his side’s crucial match against Celta Vigo, a game which severely dented Real Madrid’s title hopes as they fell to defeat against the 8th place side. However, luckily for Bento, for Portuguese football fans and for the World Cup itself, it does seem that Ronaldo will be fit to lead the line for Portugal in this summers competition and is expected to recover in plenty of time ahead of Portugal’s opening Group G match against Germany on the 16th June. In regard to Bento’s 30 man provisional squad, Cristiano Ronaldo is just one of 10 striking options drafted in by Bento with veterans such as Helder Postiga and Ricardo Quaresma, who are no strangers to the international circuit, mixed with the likes of young Ivan Cavaleiro of Benfica and Eder of Sporting Braga.
Bento has gone with four keepers in his 30 man provisional squad with this set to be whittled down to 3 with Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio set to be Portugal’s first choice this Summer despite recent strong arguments for former FC Porto keeper Beto to be selected as first choice after his recent success and stand out performances with Sevilla in their Europa League campaign which culminated on Wednesday in a penalty shoot out victory against Benfica. William Carvalho, a player on the radar of several of Europe’s top teams, has been included alongside another young midfielder Andre Gomes, Benfica who has made a string of first team performances this season, thus earning him his first major call up to the national side at 20 years of age. Germany will be Portugal’s challenge this Summer but before then Bento will need to whittle his squad down from 30 to 23 as he prepares for what many see as the most challenging group in this summers competition.
The Portugal 30 man provisional squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentreo (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Rolando (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Andre Gomes (Benfica), Joao Mario (Vitoria Setubal), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Porto), Varela (Porto), Vieirinha (VfL Wolfsburg)