Devastating Blow for Portugal As Nuno Mendes Is Ruled Out of 2022 World Cup

Devastating Blow for Portugal As Nuno Mendes Is Ruled Out of 2022 World Cup

Isaac Darko
  • Nuno Mendes will no longer play a part of Portugal’s 2022 World Cup participation in Qatar
  • The Paris Saint-Germain defender will miss out after picking up an injury against Uruguay
  • The Selecao have already secured their place in the knockout stage of this year's tournament

Portugal have been dealt a crushing blow, following an injury to Paris Saint-Germain defender Nuno Mendes.

The 20-year-old was drafted into Fernando Santos' starting XI for the crunch clash against Uruguay, despite not featuring during the opening fixture against Ghana.

However, the left-back was hooked off after 42 minutes after sustaining a thigh injury on Monday evening.

Nuno Mendes, Portugal, Uruguay, World Cup 2022, Qatar
Nuno Mendes of Portugal sheds tears as he is substituted after picking up an injury. Photo by Lars Baron.
Source: Getty Images

Although the Portuguese Football Federation are yet to confirm the severity of the injury, there have been reports emanating from Portugal and France to suggest that Mendes will play no further part in Qatar.

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Furthermore, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has indicated that Mendes is not expected to recovery from his thigh problem until the early weeks of 2023.

Mendes' replacement

Mendes' latest injury will come as a devastating blow to Portugal, but Santos is not short of alternatives for that position.

Borussia Dortmund lateral defender Raphael Guerreiro is the like-for-like alternative for the Selecao going forward. He already featured in Portugal's 3-2 triumph over Ghana before being dropped.

Versatile Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo is also capable of playing from the left side of defence, having already done so on many occasions for Pep Guardiola's side.

The same applies to Diogo Dalot, who is enjoying a strong season with Manchester United, but the 23-year-old is likely to remain as third-choice when it comes to playing on the left.

Portugal's next match

The 2016 European champions head into their closing Group H game against South Korea on Friday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his side have already booked their place in the round of 16, having won their first two games against Ghana and Uruguay.

Portugal to file Ronaldo protest

Sports Brief earlier reported that the Portugal Football Federation are ready to submit evidence to prove Bruno Fernandes' goal against Uruguay was actually scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Spanish journalist Edu Aguirre, via SportBIBLE, the Portuguese FA are set to present evidence to FIFA to prove Portugal's first goal was not scored by Fernandes.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was spotted protesting the decision at full-time, gesturing that the ball touched his hair.