Joao Felix picked by Portugal as injured Andre Silva misses out

Portugal striker Andre Silva.

Fernando Santos has confirmed Andre Silva was deemed unfit by Portugal’s medical staff, ruling him out of the Nations League Finals.

Andre Silva missed out on Portugal’s squad for the Nations League Finals due to fitness concerns, Fernando Santos has confirmed, paving the way for Joao Felix to potentially make his senior debut next month.

Silva was not included in a 23-man squad for the games on home soil, the striker having not featured for Sevilla since April 4.

A knee injury kept him sidelined at the end of the Spanish domestic season but the LaLiga club felt the player, signed on a loan deal from AC Milan, was exaggerating the issue – and called on UEFA to intervene if he was picked to play for his country.

The 23-year-old told A Bola he had a “clear conscience” and was not simulating injury, and Santos confirmed on Thursday the decision to leave out Silva was down to the advice of Portugal’s medical team.

“Andre Silva was monitored by our medical department and the final report gave him as an unfit for these games,” he told a media conference.

Cristiano Ronaldo is included, along with Benfica’s teenage sensation Felix.

The 19-year-old was called up for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Ukraine and Serbia in March, though he did not make an appearance in either fixture.

Still, Santos confirmed he would have no hesitation in calling upon a highly rated forward who has been heavily linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United.

“The criteria to make the squad is quality. Felix is one of 23 players in the squad that can play,” Santos said.

The reigning European champions face Switzerland in the first Nations League semi-final on June 5.

Portugal’s Nations League Finals squad in full:

Beto (Goztepe), Jose Sa (Olympiacos), Rui Patricio (Wolves); Joao Cancelo (Juventus), Ruben Dias (Benfica), Jose Fonte (Lille), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Pepe (Porto), Mario Rui (Napoli), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona); William Carvalho (Real Betis), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP), Joao Moutinho (Wolves), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Danilo Pereira (Porto), Pizzi (Benfica); Joao Felix (Benfica), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Diogo Jota (Wolves), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Dyego Sousa (Braga)

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