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Pizzi replaces Nani in Portugal squad for 2018 World Cup qualifier

By Editor   |   06 October 2016   |   3:20 am
Portugal's coach Fernando Santos gestures during the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Portugal and Wales at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on July 6, 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / Francisco LEONG

Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos gestures during the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Portugal and Wales at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on July 6, 2016.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / Francisco LEONG

Benfica forward Pizzi will replace Nani in Portugal’s 24-man squad for the World Cup qualifier home to Andorra tomorrow, the Portuguese Football Federation said.

Nani, 29, who played a starring role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph in France, has a muscle strain in his right leg but the Valencia winger should be fit for the qualifier away at the Faroe Islands on Monday.

“According to an evaluation by the Portuguese Football Federation’s health department, Nani is not fit for the match against Andorra,” the federation said in a statement.

Portugal began their qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 with a 2-0 loss away to Switzerland on September 6.

Meanwhile European champions Portugal will not let their guard down during their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and the Faroe Islands, FC Porto forward Andre Silva said yesterday.

“We are going to attack as much as possible and try to score as quickly as possible,” he told a news conference before a training session.“I know that people see us as favourites, we acknowledge we are the favourites, but we can’t let our guard down. We intend to give our all to win in every match.”

Silva, 20, who got his first call up to the senior national squad last month for a friendly against Gibraltar and a World Cup qualifier against Switzerland, said he was proud to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I have not been in the team for long but he is the best player in the world. Just being near him, in the same team, makes me happy and I hope to score many times alongside him. Of course I am proud,” he said.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos included Silva in his squad for Portugal’s home game against Andorra on Friday and away to the Faroe Islands three days later.
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