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Portugal replace injured Pizzi with Bruno Fernandes


Lisbon (AFP) – Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon has been called up to the Portugal squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary after the withdrawal of Pizzi, the Portuguese Football Federation announced Monday.

Benfica midfielder Pizzi, 27, was there as the European champions gathered near the capital Lisbon on Monday but was later released and allowed to go back to his club.

Bruno Fernandes, 22, is rewarded for a fine start to the season with Sporting following his move from Sampdoria in the summer.

Portugal host the Faroe Islands at the Estadio do Bessa in Oporto on Thursday before taking on Hungary in Budapest on Sunday.

They are second in European qualifying Group B for next year’s World Cup in Russia, three points behind leaders Switzerland but eight ahead of the Hungarians in third.

Only the group winners qualify automatically for the finals.

Revised Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Beto (Göztepe/TUR), Bruno Varela (Benfica)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Inter Milan/ITA), Cédric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR), Bruno Alves (Rangers/SCO), José Fonte (West Ham/ENG), Fabio Coentrao (Sporting), Eliseu (Benfica)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting), Adrien Silva (Sporting), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Joao Mario (Inter Milan/ITA), André Gomes (Barcelona/ESP)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas/TUR), Gelson Martins (Sporting), André Silva (AC Milan/ITA), Bruma (RB Leipzig/GER), Nelson Oliveira (Norwich/ENG).

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