Portugal coach Paulo Bento became one of the first managers of Euro 2012 participants to name his final squad for the competition in Poland and Ukraine.
The squad includes two debutants, Braga duo Miguel Lopes and Custodio, but their teammate Hugo Viana misses out.
Former Sporting Lisbon coach has explained his reasons for picking the two Braga stars.
“Custódio and Lopes have been in excellent form for their clubs during the second half of the season,” said Bento.
“Custódio has different characteristics from the other midfielders. Hugo Viana is a good player, but we feel that with our style of play he doesn’t fit in our 23. Lopes showed strength both in defence and attack and can operate on both flanks.”
The 23-man squad will meet up on 21st May for a training camp in Obidos, where they will prepare for friendly games against FYR Macedonia and Turkey, as well as for the final tournament.
“We are going to go as far as we can,” added Bento. “It’s not unreasonable to say that the future European champions could be found in our group.”
Portugal face an uphill task of qualifying for the knockout stages, having been drawn alongside Germany, Netherlands and Denmark, so no wonder Paulo Bento’s side are no less than 2.38 (11/8) with 888sport to qualify.
On the other hand, Portugal are 1.67 (2/3) with Paddy Power not to progress into the next stage. BetVictor has an excellent price on Cristiano Ronaldo to be team’s top goalscorer at the tournament, paying out 2.88 (17/9) on the Real Madrid forward.
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (SL Benfica), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Beto (CFR 1907 Cluj).
Defenders: João Pereira (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid CF), Bruno Alves (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Rolando (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Valencia CF), Pepe (Real Madrid CF), Miguel Lopes (SC Braga).
Midfielders: Raúl Meireles (Chelsea FC), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Rúben Micael (Real Zaragoza), Carlos Martins (Granada CF), Custódio (SC Braga).
Forwards: Nani (Manchester United FC), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş JK), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Nélson Oliveira (SL Benfica).