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Football | Portugal

Pizzi replaces Almedia for Portugal



Striker Luis "Pizzi" Fernandes has won his first call-up to the Portugal squad as the Euro 2012 semifinalists start their 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 September 7 and Azerbaijan on September 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 winners 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).

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