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Euro 2016 champion Joao Mario earns Portugal recall

Portugal’s Euro 2016 winner Joao Mario was included by coach Fernando Santos on Thursday in the squad for next month’s fixtures which include two World Cup qualifiers.

The Benfica midfielder, 28, won the last of his 45 caps in October 2019 alongside Leicester left-back Ricardo Pereira, who played his most recent international in November of the same year.

Lille midfielder Renatos Sanches and Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix miss out with injuries.

Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, who can break Ali Daei’s international scoring record of 109 with one goal, is also named by Santos for Portugal qualifiers against Ireland on September 1 and Azerbaijan on September 7 played either side of a friendly with 2022 World Cup hosts’ Qatar on September 4.

Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton/ENG), Anthony Lopes (Lyon/FRA), Diogo Costa (Porto)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City/ENG), Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City/ENG), Goncalo Inacio (Sporting Lisbon), Ruben Dias (Manchester City/ENG), Pepe (Porto), Nuno Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Domingos Duarte (Granada/ESP) Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Joao Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon), Ruben Neves (Wolves/ENG), Joao Moutinho (Wolves/ENG), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/ENG), Otavio (Porto), Joao Mario (Benfica)

Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG) Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/ITA), Diogo Jota (Liverpool/ENG), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Andra Silva (RB Leipzig/GER), Pedro Goncalves (Sporting Lisbon).

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