Uncapped Pizzi replaces Almeida for Portugal

Striker Luis ”Pizzi” Fernandes has won his first call-up to

the Portugal squad as the Euro 2012 semifinalist starts its World

Cup qualifying campaign.

The 22-year-old Pizzi, who plays for Deportivo La Coruna in

Spain, replaces injured regular Hugo Almeida for the Group F games

against Luxembourg on Sept. 7 and Azerbaijan on Sept. 11.

Coach Paulo Bento left Hugo Viana out of his 23-man squad on

Friday, preferring midfielder Manuel Fernandes of Besiktas.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal reached the European Championship

semifinals in June, going out in a penalty shootout against

eventual winner Spain.

Russia, Israel and Northern Ireland are also in Group F for the

2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Eduardo (Istanbul

BB), Beto (Braga).

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (FC Porto),

Bruno Alves (Zenit St. Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Nuno Andre

Coelho (Braga), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Fabio Coentrao (Real

Madrid).

Midfielders: Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Carlos Custodio

(Braga), Raul Meireles (Chelsea), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto), Carlos

Martins (Benfica), Manuel Fernandes (Besiktas), Ruben Micael

(Braga).

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Manchester

United), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Helder Postiga (Real

Zaragoza), Luis ”Pizzi” Fernandes (Deportivo La Coruna), Nelson

Oliveira (Deportivo La Coruna).