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World Cup 2018

Portugal Axe Two Barca Stars For Final World Cup Squad

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has now cut his preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup down to 23 players, and some big names, including two FC Barcelona stars, were axed.

Click through the gallery above to see some players who missed out on Portugal’s WC squad.

Cristiano Ronaldo headlines the 2016 UEFA European Championship winners' selection, and will be participating in his ninth successive major tournament.

However, just three days after announcing his 35-man provisional squad, Santos has now cut down on his numbers.

He left some high-profile names out of the final 23-man selection that will be travelling to Russia, the biggest being Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo.

In addition, Euro 2016 hero Eder, who scored the extra-time winner in the final against France in that tournament, was also cut.

The latest culls come after Renato Sanches, who was voted the young player of the tournament at Euro 2016, was not included in the initial provisional squad.

Here is Portugal's final 23-man World Cup squad: 

Goalkeeper: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Beto (Goztepe), Rui Patrício (Sporting CP)

Defender: Bruno Alves (Rangers), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Jose Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Mario Rui (Napoli), Pepe (Besiktas), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Ruben Dias (Benfica)

Midfielder: Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Mario (Inter Milan), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), William Carvalho (Sporting CP)

Forwards: Andre Silva (AC Milan), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain) and Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas)

Read: 12 Stars Snubbed For Brazil's World Cup Squad

Portugal have been drawn in Group B alongside Spain, Morocco and Iran. They will begin their preparations for the showpiece in Russia with a friendly against Tunisia on 28 May, before facing Belgium on 2 June and Algeria on 7 June.

What do you make of Portugal's chances at the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.

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