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Portugal releases final 23-man roster for World Cup


Not too many surprises from Portugal manager Paulo Bento as Cristiano Ronaldo headlines their final 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup.

The biggest surprise is the exclusion of Porto midfielder Ricardo Quaresma, with Rafa Silva there instead.

Also missing somewhat surprisingly is Benfica striker Ivan Cavaleiro, although the squad was already attack-heavy, and Bento had to slim down somewhere at the front.

Otherwise, all the usual suspects are there. Former Chelsea player Raul Meireles and his crazy hair will be patrolling the midfield, Real Madrid’s Pepe and his crazy hair will man the back line, and Manchester United’s Nani pretty average hair will be seen on the wing.

The goalkeeping situation will be an interesting one to watch. All three keepers on the roster have seen time recently, with Beto starting their most recent match, a thrashing of Cameroon in a March friendly. Rui Patricio - likely the frontrunner - played their last competitive match, against Sweden in the World Cup qualifiers, but that was back in November, and the Sporting man didn’t even make the squad against Cameroon.

Portugal’s first Group G match will be against Germany on June 16, and will take on the United States on June 22 in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

GK: Eduardo (SC Braga), Beto (Sevilla), Rui Patricio (Sporting)

DEF: Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Zenit St. Petersburg), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Andre Almeida (Benfica).

MID: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), William Carvalho (Sporting), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), Rafa Silva (SC Braga).

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