Former Al Ahli striker Quaresma misses final Portugal World Cup cut

Portugal coach Paulo Bento announced his final 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup late Monday, leaving Ricardo Quaresma behind while taking less-experienced players like Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho and Benfica's Andre Almeida.
Ricardo Quaresma shown in February 2013 with Al Ahli. Jake Badger / The National
Ricardo Quaresma shown in February 2013 with Al Ahli. Jake Badger / The National

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo headlines Portugal’s 23-man squad named on Monday for the 2014 World Cup finals with veteran striker Ricardo Quaresma, who played at Dubai side Al Ahli in 2013, overlooked.

Coach Paulo Bento slimmed down the original 30-man squad named last Tuesday with FC Porto’s Quaresma, 30, who had been expected to make his return to the national side, failing to make the cut.

Also dropped were Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, defenders Antunes (Malaga) and Rolando (Inter Milan), midfielders Andre Gomes (Benfica) and Joao Mario (Vitoria Setubal) and striker Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica).

All those named have already played for Portugal with the least experienced being Braga striker Rafa, who has just one cap, followed by Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho and Benfica defender Andre Almeida, who have two each.

Portugal have been drawn in Group G at the World Cup and will face Germany on June 15 in Salvador, the United States a week later in Manaus and then Ghana on June 26 in Brasilia.

Portugal will face Mexico in a friendly on June 6 at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

They will take on Ireland on June 10 at MetLife Stadium – home of the New York Jets and Giants.

Portugal squad

Goalkeeperss: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga)

Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia)

Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (Braga), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg)

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Published: May 20, 2014 04:00 AM