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Thursday, 04 October 2012 12:05

Bento calls up Luís Neto

Siena centre-back makes squad for World Cup qualifiers

Luís NetoFormer Nacional centre-back Luís Neto is the biggest surprise in the squad named by Paulo Bento for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Northern Ireland.
 
Few would begrudge Neto his opportunity. The defender showed excellent form for the Madeira team throughout last season, and has carried on where he left off in Italy since making the switch to Siena in the summer.

Another unfamiliar name in the squad is Sereno, the FC Porto centre-back currently on loan at La Liga outfit Valladolid. The fact that two of the more surprising names in Bento’s squad play in the same position indicates one weakness in the current Portugal set-up - the back-ups for first choice central defenders, Pepe and Bruno Alves.
 

Full squad

 
Goalkeepers: Beto (Braga), Eduardo (Büyükşehir Belediyespor), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Sereno (Valladolid), Miguel Lopes (FC Porto), João Pereira (Valencia), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Siena)

Midfielders:
Custódio (Braga), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raúl Meireles (Fenerbahce), Rúben Amorim (Braga), Rúben Micael (Braga)

Forwards
: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United), Pizzi (Deportivo La Coruña), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo La Coruña), Varela (FC Porto), Éder (Braga)
 
Bento has chosen the exact same starting line-up in 8 of Portugal’s last 9 competitive matches. On current form, right-back Miguel Lopes, central midfielder Rúben Micael and winger Silvestre Varela would appear to have the biggest chance of dislodging the usual occupants of their positions, João Pereira, Raúl Meireles and Nani respectively.
 
But it will be little surprise if the coach chooses the same players who have racked up a string of impressive results over the past year. Even allowing for the well-documented flaws in the FIFA world ranking system, Portugal lie in an impressive 3rd place in the current standings.
 
The Selecção play Russia on 12 October in a match that could go a long way to deciding who claims the one automatic qualification spot in Group F for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Four days later Portugal host Northern Ireland at the Estádio do Dragão.
 
by Tom Kundert
 
Comments (15)
Quaresma
15 Monday, 08 October 2012 18:51
I heard that if Quaresma will agree to play for Besiktas, he will be in Selecao also is this true? Cuz now they will let Quaresma to play from this week :D
positive
14 Saturday, 06 October 2012 16:11
This is an important step in the right direction. After Brazil 2014, we'll need a good center back or two. I've seen Sereno play for Koln here in Germany last season and he wasn't spectacular, but he is physical and strong which is pretty much how I'd sum up B. Alves. As for Neto, it's great to see another talented defender popping up in Serie A that we can call on. Maybe he works out, maybe he doesn't, but I like that Bento's trying to work him in now.

Filipe, Quaresma has been suspended indefinitely by Besiktas for an incident at the end of last season. He hasn't played at all since then and would be horribly out of shape. It's likely that he'll move on in the winter transfer window. Back to Portugal perhaps? ;)
Quaresma
13 Friday, 05 October 2012 21:00
To Filipe/Canada:

Although your point is very valid most of the time he is ineffective for Portugal. But on this occasion Pizzi is ahead of him because Pizzi is playing soccer at his club right now while Quaresma is not seeing playing time and is not even training with the first team at Besiktas, so he would have absolutely no business being here this time around!
portuguese n. team selection
12 Friday, 05 October 2012 19:41
portugal does not need all those defensive mid they are not good either. gama of deportivo la corunha and c. martins merit to be in this team. i dont see the need of custodio is very embarrasing to still see this team without a number ten.

people will be taking about ronaldo not scoring for the team. when we hve no creative player on the team. ronaldo should carry the ball and do everything it is a shame.
i rest my case cause it is aunfair and embarrassing issue
Quaresma
11 Friday, 05 October 2012 17:13
As much as many don't like him, his creativity could be of use against teams that play 10 men behind the ball, Northern Ireland will likely do this and a player with the ability to beat players 1 vs 1 off the bench would be complementary. Is he really worse than Pizzi?
Finally!!!!
10 Friday, 05 October 2012 15:45
Ive been clamouring for bento to show some faith in other players, case in point, luis neto. This guy was a beast for nacional last year. Its really about time that bent start looking at possible starlets in the back for portugal. By the time the world cup comes, pepe will be 29,30 and bruno alves will be already pushing mid 30's although his fitness is pretty solid he should have atleast one more tourney in his body. But i love everything about Luis Neto's inclusion.

Sereno, im not so much of a fan but at least deserves a shot to see. Id rather see carrico in there just because he's more flexible with positions as well if we needed him.

Question, what happened to Brandao???? I forgot about this guy completely, did he fall of the radar??? Anybody know? Last time i checked he was in italy but i have no idea if he's playing well or not ( most likely not if i have not seen him.

Jon form USA, bang on comments all around. Ive always been impressed with Eliseu's footballing capability, just too much surplus there. As regards Pizzi, i am glad hes getting a chance but ive been watching some depor games because of the portuguese contingent, and Bruno Gama is a firecracker. I have no idea why nobody takes notive. He touches the ball and defenders are scared to death of him.

The most important thing now is that maybe bento is starting to get rid of all the dead weight in the squad. Rolando is not a good CB and everytime he played, i got nervous for him and the team. He just seems like he lets some flimsy challenges go and commits himself too much. Almeida is out of this squad, hopefully for good.

Lets take it to Russia in a week's time
Finally!!!!
9 Friday, 05 October 2012 15:36
Ive been clamouring for bento to show some faith in other players, case in point, luis neto. This guy was a beast for nacional last year. Its really about time that bent start looking at possible starlets in the back for portugal. By the time the world cup comes, pepe will be 29,30 and bruno alves will be already pushing mid 30's although his fitness is pretty solid he should have atleast one more tourney in his body. But i love everything about Luis Neto's inclusion.

Sereno, im not so much of a fan but at least deserves a shot to see. Id rather see carrico in there just because he's more flexible with positions as well if we needed him.

Question, what happened to Brandao???? I forgot about this guy completely, did he fall of the radar??? Anybody know? Last time i checked he was in italy but i have no idea if he's playing well or not ( most likely not if i have not seen him.

Jon form USA, bang on comments all around. Ive always been impressed with Eliseu's footballing capability, just too much surplus there. As regards Pizzi, i am glad hes getting a chance but ive been watching some depor games because of the portuguese contingent, and Bruno Gama is a firecracker. I have no idea why nobody takes notive. He touches the ball and defenders are scared to death of him.

The most important thing now is that maybe bento is starting to get rid of all the dead weight in the squad. Rolando is not a good CB and everytime he played, i got nervous for him and the team. He just seems like he lets some flimsy challenges go and commits himself too much. Almeida is out of this squad, hopefully for good.

Lets take it to Russia in a week's time
About Coentrão
8 Thursday, 04 October 2012 18:13
What happened to him, he hasn't played for Real for over a month (?!) I know Marcelo has been excellent but still...
Looking forward to these games
7 Thursday, 04 October 2012 15:59
Russia being our main opponent in this group, it would be great to get the lead on them.

We need depth on our CB’s, so I fully agree with these new call-ups, giving some guys a shot is good but I would have liked to see Eliseu called up. He’s having one hell of a season at Malaga. To me he could be a great option to have on the team in case Fabio gets red carded or injured. I say start our main line-up, if we’re playing good with a lead, then give one of these CB’s a shot in each game as a sub to see how they do.
@ Manuel
6 Thursday, 04 October 2012 15:30
Benfica is not the only team guilty of this my friend. I hate to say it, but FCP is almost as guilty. We've almost single-handedly been responsible for the recent surge of the Colombian and Uruguayan national teams into the top ten by developing guys like Falcao, James R., Fucile, Alvaro Pereira, Cristian Rodriguez, Freddy Guarin, and now Jackson Martinez.

I like the fact that Miguel Lopes is coming into his own as RB, and hopefully he can be "the Man" there and allow Danillo to move to the center of the pitch. But realistically, Braga and Sporting are the teams that push Portuguese talent, which is why I am secretly supporting these guys when they play as well.

Is it just me or are there a lot less midfielders on this current selection? And why is Amorim in and Manuel Fernandes out?

Anyways, good job by Bento, but I'd like to see Carrico and Adrien called up as well.

Forca!
Selections
5 Thursday, 04 October 2012 15:24
Clearly Bento selecting those centre-backs shows he is concerned with the lack of depth we have in that department. It will be a good experience for both guys to be in the squad. I've got no complaints about the squad, and it should be good enough for us to pick up 4 points in the 2 qualifiers, which would be a good tally, considering the 2 opponents. A win in Russia would be great, but they are a good team and are at home, so I would be more than happy with a point in Moscow, which is a more realistic outcome. Fans of both the Seleccao and SLB have two huge matches coming up in Moscow in the next few weeks!

I was impressed with Varela yet again last night for Porto, and if Nani isn't careful he could lose his place in the first-team. Hopefully Eder carries on his good form for Braga, because he looks a better option for the squad than Almeida. On another note, what has happened to Eduardo? Barely 2 years ago he was definitely one of the best keepers in the world, and now he plays for the 4th team of Istanbul! Shame to see him not realising the huge promise he showed not that long ago. Good thing Patricio just seems to be getting better and better, and Beto is also looking impressive. I also think Carlos Martins would've been a better inclusion than Amorim. But otherwise the squad looks quite strong...
Forca Portugal
4 Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:10
Hopefully the days of Bento calling up Rolando, Ricardo Costa, and Nuno Andre Coelho are OVER! Those guys suck and are average at best. I like that Luis Neto got called for all the reasons Tom said, but please no Sereno. What does poor Daniel Carrico need to do to get a call-up? His better than Rolando, Costa, Coelho, and Sereno. And I agree with Jon, Eliseu should've been called up. He scored a brace for Malaga last night in the Champions League! Another guy who should be here is Ricardo Vaz Te. Portugal can really get all the help they need when it comes to forwards.

Who else deserves a call-up?
Sad
3 Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:27
though i like the selections, I am sad at the fact that my Benfica does not have one Portuguese player in the Seleccao... I love my club to death but hate that we go everywhere but look in our own home for talent. We have a huge group of players that all represent other countries...I love our style of play and really like certain players, I just wish we had more portugees on the team.

FORCA PORTUGAL!!! Russia will be tough but I think we should come away with another 6 points this month.... Love to see that we are ranked 3rd in the world, but we all know fifa rankings are b*s lol

Can't wait for the matches!
Neto deserves the call-up
2 Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:06
I watched a lot of Neto last season at Nacional and he always impressed me. I've only managed to watch one of his games for Siena(2-0 away win at Inter Milan) and he was arguably the man of the match. From what I've read, he's had an excellent start to the season in Italy so his call-up is well deserved. He is definitely a much better option than Rolando, Ricardo Costa, and Nuno Andre Coelho.

Henrique Sereno isn't an excellent defender, but he's managed to get plenty of playing time in both the Bundesliga for Koln and in La Liga for Valladolid. He isn't great, but at least he plays consistently.

I was also really relieved to see Eder get the call-up rather than Hugo Almeida. He's been really impressive at Braga this season.

I am a little surprised to see Pizzi get another call-up since I haven't been too impressed with him at Depor. I've watched a lot of their games and I've always been more impressed with Bruno Gama. Eliseu has been unplayable for Malaga this season so I was surprised that he was left out again. He's a winger, not a left back.

Lastly, Ruben Amorim's had a good start to the season at Braga, but we have better options out there. Manuel Fernandes, Andre Martins, and Adrien Silva are all better players.
Is it April Fools Day already?
1 Thursday, 04 October 2012 12:36
Thank you. I'm thrilled to see Bento finally incorporating new faces into the squad. I don't care if they even play. They get the much needed experience of Int'l futebol and it puts guys on notice that people are on notice and being tracked.
I love the two center back selections, just because it was an issue. They might fail, but what was there wasn't good enough either.
Eliseu is a name that's putting it together once again, for possible inclusion. You could say the same for Beto.

I've been critical of Bento, but this is positive.

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