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Pepe, Andre Silva return for Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers

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Veteran Porto defender Pepe and in-form Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva earned recalls Tuesday for Portugal ahead of the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying later this month.

Pepe, 38, missed the end of the Nations League campaign due to injury but is back in the 25-man squad after helping Porto knock Juventus out of the Champions League last week.

Silva has scored 19 times in 23 games in the Bundesliga this season, level with Erling Braut Haaland and trailing only Robert Lewandowski (32).

The former AC Milan forward has made just four appearances for Portugal over the past two years, and bolsters a strong attack that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Diogo Jota.

Ronaldo is on 102 international goals, second on the all-time list behind Iran’s Ali Daei (109).

Portugal kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign against Azerbaijan in a match moved to Italy for health reasons. The European champions then head to Serbia three days later before going to Luxembourg on March 30.

Portugal squad:

Goalkeepers): Rui Patricio (Wolves/ENG), Anthony Lopes (Lyon/FRA), Rui Silva (Granada/ESP)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City/ENG), Cedric Soares (Arsenal/ENG), Jose Fonte (Lille/FRA), Ruben Dias (Manchester City/ENG), Pepe (FC Porto), Nuno Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Domingos Duarte (Granada/ESP) Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (PSG/FRA), Joao Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon), Ruben Neves (Wolves/ENG), Joao Moutinho (Wolves/ENG), Renato Sanches (Lille/FRA), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/ENG), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG)

Forwards): Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/ITA), Diogo Jota (Liverpool/ENG), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Pedro Neto (Wolves/ENG).

AFP

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