Cedric, Almeida get first Portugal call-ups
By Football News
Portugal boss Paulo Bento has handed first call-ups to Cedric Soares and Andre Almeida ahead of their final FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
The defensive duo of Sporting Lisbon's Cedric and Benfica's Almeida - 22 and 23 respectively - have been included in Bento's 25-man squad for Portugal's upcoming Group F games against Israel and Luxembourg.
Portugal sit a point behind leaders Russia with two games to play and Bento thinks that Cedric and Almeida represent two exciting talents.
He said: "Cedric and Almeida are two players that arrive here having proven themselves in the Under-21 national squad.
"Cedric has played more regularly at Sporting while Almeida has been part of a rotation strategy at Benfica but is also more versatile as we can play him in midfield."
Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao and Valencia forward Helder Postiga are included, but will sit out next Friday's qualifier with Israel through suspension.
Goalkeeper: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Seville), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)
Defenders: Cedric (Sporting Lisbon), Andre Almeida (Benfica), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Antunes (Malaga), Pepe , Fabio Coentrao (both Real Madrid)
Midfield: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Ruben Micael (SC Braga), Andre Martins (Sporting Lisbon) and Joshua (FC Porto)
Forwards: Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Helder Postiga (Valencia), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Eder (SC Braga), Nelson Oliveira (Rennes), Varela (FC Porto) and Danny (Zenit St Petersburg)