Cristiano Ronaldo Named in Portugal World Cup Squad; Renato Sanches Misses out

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2018

Portugal's midfielder Renato Sanches walks towards Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo as he sits on the pitch during the Euro 2016 final football match between France and Portugal at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on July 10, 2016. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal's charge at the FIFA World Cup this summer having been named in the squad for the Russia showpiece, but there's no place for Renato Sanches in the 35-man preliminary group. 

BeIN Sports' Eric Krakauer provided the squad chosen by manager Fernando Santos:

According to Goal, the manager could trim down the group to a final 23 in the coming days.

Ronaldo will skipper the side again, as they go in pursuit of more glory. Portugal are the reigning European champions, so they will have high hopes of going all the way this summer.

At that competition Sanches also shone and was recognised as the best young player at Euro 2016. However, following a switch to Bayern Munich after the tournament, his stock has dropped dramatically.

Sanches has had a torrid time at Swansea.
Sanches has had a torrid time at Swansea.Athena Pictures/Getty Images

The Portugal starlet spent the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Swansea City. He's only made nine Premier League starts for the Welsh side in a season that saw them relegated.

As noted by FourFourTwo, it's not gone well for the former Benfica man in south Wales:

With that in mind, it's no surprise to see Sanches miss out, despite having been a key member of the XI as an 18-year-old two years ago.

Ronaldo will play an important role again, as the 33-year-old is enjoying yet another memorable season for Real Madrid. Despite a slow start to the campaign, he's netted 42 goals in all competitions.

FUNCHAL, PORTUGAL - MARCH 28: Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo with European CUP trophy during the match between Portugal v Sweden - International Friendly at Estadio dos Barreiros on March 28, 2017 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodr
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

The Portugal skipper continues to perform on the biggest stages and has helped Madrid into their fourth UEFA Champions League final in the space of five years.

Ronaldo's compatriot and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes the Los Blancos star is capable of inspiring the country to victory again, per Goal UK:

Elsewhere in the squad there is plenty of attacking talent, including veteran winger Ricardo Quaresma, who has enjoyed a fine season with Besiktas.

There are a number of exciting young players, too. Bernardo Silva will be key having helped Manchester City to the Premier League title, while Sporting CP's Gelson Martins provides thrust from the flanks. After inspiring Wolverhampton Wanderers to promotion to the Premier League, Ruben Neves is also one to watch in midfield.

There's also experience for Santos to tap into, with Euro 2016 stalwarts Rui Patricio, Pepe, Jose Fonte and William Carvalho called up.

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