Khamis, 17 November 2011

Pemain-pemain yang akan mewakili Portugal ke Euro 2012

Rui Patricio Sporting Lisbon
Beto CFR Cluj
Eduardo Benfica
Mika Benfica

Rui Patricio has benefited from the fact that he had already worked with Paulo Bento at club level when the 42-year-old was in charge of Sporting. Every time he has been called to action, he has not disappointed, so the 23-year-old custodian is red-hot favourite to guard Portugal’s goal in Poland-Ukraine.

On the other hand, Eduardo has found things hard in the national team since he joined Benfica on loan in the summer: his lack of playing time at the Estadio da Luz has cost him his place between the sticks, but he should still remain in the squad as a back-up plan.

CFR Cluj loanee Beto has been a regular third-choice in Paulo Bento’s reign, but the coach may decide to hand his last goalkeeping place to Mika, who was the hero in the Seleccao’s impressive second-placed finish at the Under-20 World Cup.

Bruno Alves Zenit St. Petersburg
Fabio Coentrao Real Madrid
Pepe Real Madrid
Joao Pereira Sporting Lisbon
Eliseu Malaga
Rolando           Porto
Silvio Atletico Madrid
Ricardo Costa Valencia
Miguel Valencia
Sereno FC Koln

Following Ricardo Carvalho's dropout, Pepe will partner Bruno Alves at the heart of the team’s defence as the duo showed in play-off games against Bosnia and Herzegovina that they work well together. Fabio Coentrao will certainly claim a place on the left side of the defence, while Joao Pereira seems to be Paulo Bento’s preference in the right-back position.

Although Malaga's Eliseu did not particularly impress as a full-back, he is widely expected to be included in the squad as Coentrao’s understudy given the lack of choices for that position. Doubts remain over who will be the squad’s second right-back for the showpiece event: with Atletico Madrid's Silvio recently struggling for form, Valencia's Miguel could still come in handy despite not having featured for the national team for over a year.

Porto’s Rolando has his place in the squad practically guaranteed, but the last defensive spot is expected to be contested by Ricardo Costa and Sereno. The Koln defender has enjoyed a positive start to the season at the Bundesliga side, which has made Paulo Bento favour him over Costa, but the Valencia man could still regain the coach’s trust if he manages to find regular playing time at the Mestalla.

Raul Meireles Chelsea
Joao Moutinho Porto
Nani Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Danny Zenit St Petersburg
Carlos Martins Granada
Ruben Micael Zaragoza
Ricardo Quaresma Besiktas
Miguel Veloso Genoa
Ruben Amorim Benfica
Duda Malaga
Manuel Fernandes Besiktas
Silvestre Varela Porto
Hugo Viana Sporting Braga
Vieirinha PAOK

The midfield is, without a doubt, Portugal's strongest asset and the area in which Paulo Bento has the biggest number of quality choices at his disposal. The coach is expected to remain faithful to his five-man midfield, with three players in the middle of the park and two out wide.

After impressing in the two-legged affair against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miguel Veloso should be a certainty as a holding midfielder, especially because Carvalho's absence forces Pepe to play in the defence, rather than in front of the backline.

Porto’s Joao Moutinho and Chelsea’s Raul Meireles are both favoured choices as the two central midfielders, with Ruben Micael and Carlos Martins both expected to be considered, as Hugo Viana remains an outsider despite enjoying a good season at Sporting Braga.

Further forward on the field, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani are obvious choices for the flanks. Danny should make the 23-man squad, despite missing Portugal’s last four matches, first because of personal problems, then because of an injury - just like Besiktas star Ricardo Quaresma. In case one of these players is unavailable, Duda, Vieirinha and Silvestre Varela could all be considered. Utility man Ruben Amorim may also make the cut, as the Benfica midfielder can also play at right-back.

Hugo Almeida Besiktas
Helder Postiga Zaragoza
Nuno Gomes Sporting Braga
Helder Barbosa Sporting Braga

Helder Postiga’s impressive track record during Paulo Bento’s reign will certainly earn him a starting berth at the Euro 2012 finals. Besiktas' Hugo Almeida, too, should make the 23-man group, even as a back-up for the Zaragoza striker.

Sporting Braga veteran Nuno Gomes should be in the coach's thoughts for Poland-Ukraine: at the very least, the experience that the 35-year-old can bring is something the coach could make use of. If the former Fiorentina and Benfica striker does not make the cut, then Helder Barbosa could be under consideration, regardless of the fact the 24-year-old has not yet worn the Portugal shirt at senior level.


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