Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal to the 2022 World Cup after Fernando Santos named the veteran striker to his 26-man squad on Thursday. The Manchester United forward, 37, is not the first choice for his club this season but is part of his country’s bid to win the tournament for the first time in its history. Captain of men’s international football and all-time leading scorer with 117 goals, Ronaldo
Ronaldo has many younger teammates to support him in attack, including Joao Felix of Atletico Madrid and Rafael Liao of AC Milan.
“All the players I called are hungry to win and make Portugal the world champion, including Ronaldo,” said Santos.
The coach who led Portugal to the European Championship in France left out Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Renato Sanchez and brought in Benfica center-back Antonio Silva (19) and veteran Pepe (39).
Wolves midfielder Joao Mourinho, 36, has 16 caps for his country, more than any other player apart from Ronaldo, and was not included along with team-mate Goncalo Guedes.
Portugal opens their World Cup campaign in Group H against Ghana on the 2nd in November, before facing Uruguay on November 28 and South Korea on December 2.
Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City) ) /FIN), Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City/ENG ) ) ), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Raphael Guerriero (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Midfielders: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton/ENG), Joao Palhinha (Fulham/ENG), William Carvalho (Real) Betis/ESP), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/ENG), Vitinha (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Otavio (Porto), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton/ENG), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) / EST)
Forwards: Rafael Liao (AC Milan/ITA), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Ricardo Horta (Braga), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/ENG), Andre Silva (RB Leipzig) / GER)
Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patricio (Roma/ITA), Jose Sa (Wolverhampton/ENG)