World Cup snub in the past for Wolves' Ruben Neves

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Ruben Neves says he did not ‘feel wronged’ by being snubbed by Portugal boss Fernando Santos for last summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Ruben Neves said he was ready to be called up but also prepared to miss out (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

Neves missed out on a place in the squad despite having featured in matches leading up to the tournament, with Leicester City’s Adrien Silva preferred instead.

Portugal were dumped out by Uruguay in the last 16 stage and since the tournament Neves has been named in every squad.

But he said yesterday: “I did not feel wronged, fortunately Portugal has a wide range of excellent players.

“I was prepared to be called and not to be. I was super quiet, it’s up to me to do my job.”

Neves and Rui Patricio are in the squad to face Italy and Poland in two Nations League encounters on Saturday (in Milan) and Tuesday (in Guimaraes, Portugal) respectively.

One point from either game will see Portugal qualify for the four-team finals tournament next summer.

Neves said of the games: “Portugal are focused on their work, we go into every game to win.

“We know that there is only one point left and we will look for the victory from the beginning and try to progress to the final four.


“We are all prepared to help the national team. Fortunately we have a wide range of players.

“Obviously it’s important to have players who have been European champions in the group because of their vast experience, they help on the pitch and in the group.”

Joao Moutinho and Helder Costa, the latter despite scoring on his debut during the last international break.

Elsewhere, eight more Wolves first-team players have been called up for international duty. Jonny Castro Otto is back in the Spain squad after winning his first two caps last month.


Like Portugal, Spain realistically only need a point to qualify for the finals – a draw in Croatia this weekend will put them three ahead of England and with a goal difference of six, compared to England’s zero, with England hosting Croatia in the final group game on Sunday.

Spain also have a friendly against Bosnia.

Leander Dendoncker is back in the Belgium squad after being dropped last month. They play Iceland and Switzerland.

Matt Doherty is in the Ireland squad for a friendly against Northern Ireland and a Nations League match in Denmark.

Romain Saiss has been called up by Morocco for two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon (home) and Tunisia (away).

Morgan Gibbs-White is in the England Under-19 squad for three matches in Turkey, while Diogo Jota and Ruben Vinagre will feature for Portugal Under-21 and Under-20 respectively.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living


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