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Injured Nani out of Portugal squad
Mar 14, 2013 6:09 PM GMT
Nani has been left out of Paulo Bento's Portugal squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Israel and Azerbaijan.
The Manchester United winger suffered a hamstring injury in his side's 2-2 FA Cup draw with Chelsea last Sunday, and is not fit enough to be included in the 23-man squad.
Wolfsburg attacker Vieirinha earns a debut call-up in place of the Red Devils star, with the 27-year-old having impressed in the Bundesliga over recent weeks.
Captain Cristiano Ronaldo is also included in the squad, with Bento unconcerned by reports the Real Madrid star was suffering from a sugar low during his side's 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo.
"I guess I can ask the national squad doctor to bring along some extra sugar packages," Bento quipped to reporters on Thursday.
"But I am not worried. He is in a good moment and we hope he will help us get to our goal."
The forthcoming games in Tel Aviv and Baku represent vital fixtures for Portugal, as they currently sit level with Israel on seven points in Group F and a further five points adrift of leaders Russia.
Although his side have failed to win in their last four matches, Bento insists they must focus on the matches coming up on March 22nd and 26th.
"We cannot get caught up on the past and what happened in the last four matches. This (Israel) is an important one although getting to first place in the group no longer depends solely on us," he said.