3 players who missed out on a place in Portugal's provisional World cup squad
Portuguese manager Fernando Santos announced a strong 35-man preliminary World cup squad for the 2018 FIFA World cup beginning next month. As expected, several mainstays who won the 2016 Euro in France made the squad. Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, Ricardo Quaresma, Nani and William Cravalho made the cut. While there are also some surprise exclusions in the squad announced for the showcase event which will take place in Russia from June 14- July 15.
Portugal are in a tricky Group B where they are clubbed alongside the 2010 FIFA World Cup winners Spain, Morocco and Asian heavyweights, Iran. They begin their campaign their World Cup campaign against their neighbors, Spain on June 15 at Sochi.
Let us now look at the players who failed to make it to Portugal's Preliminary 2018 World Cup squad.
Apart from being a part of the Portuguese squad that won the 2016 Euro at France, Sanches also won the Young Player of Tournament award. Sanches, who scored a solitary goal in that tournament was the recipient of 2016 Golden Boy award as he became the youngest to win the European title. The former Benfica player earned a lucrative contract at Bayern Munich, in a deal that was worth €35 million after his dream run in the 2016 Euro. Sanches who played 25 games across all competitions for Bayern in the 2016-17 season, failed to appear on the score sheet.
Following his poor stint with the Bavarians, he was loaned out to Swansea City on 31 August 2017. But he failed to impress after his loan move to the Premier League club. So far, Sanches has made just 13 appearances for the Portuguese National side after making his debut on March 25, 2016, and has found the back of the net just once. A versatile midfielder, he can play in any roles according to the team's needs.
Once regarded as the next biggest thing in world football, his career hit rock-bottom after his unsuccessful stints in the Bundesliga and the Premier League. His exclusion from the World cup squad has further dented the youngster's hopes of re-announcing himself to the football fraternity.